Trail itself is well kept. We were about 5 minutes from the trailhead when I (DeNae) realize that I had left my hiking shoes at home. Backpacking under the stars in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. It’ll work you to do the full loop in a day with backpacking gear, but it’s doable. A 3 day backing loop in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness of Colorado. The views as you come up on the pass from the South are breathtaking and then you will have us the hard parts behind you as you descend to Gilpin Lake. We went counterclockwise, mainly because the forest fire smoke and haze was really bad in the morning and we wanted to at least see one lake if we had to bail early in the hike (gold creek lake is a shorter hike than gilpin). I used Strava app to track, and it said we did 11.7 miles total. The Mount Zirkel Wilderness lies within the Routt National Forest in northwestern Colorado. The wilderness and the peak are both named after Ferdinand Zirkel, a German geologist. As others have suggested, I would recommend a counterclockwise loop. From Gilpin Ridge, the distance to Gold Creek Lake is approximately 3 miles. Those who have seen the area's rugged peaks, picturesque alpine lakes and meadows, and spectacular summer and fall colors would likely happily keep it way. I would not recommend doing this hike right now if you are sensitive to bad air quality. Not surprising that we saw more backpackers than hikers. My only suggestion is that I wish more people had some sort of mask, as 90% of the people on the trail did not have any sort of mask and there are plenty of portions of this trail where you can not give 6 feet of distance. From the Slavonia Trailhead you'll begin your hike along the Gilpin Lake Trail (trail 1161). Remarkable view points. Steamboat Springs and Elkhorn Mountain OHV Loop. With that being said, it’s so crazy to me that not one review has mentioned that this hike clocks in closer to 13 miles not 10.5. We believe good things come from people spending time outside. After that, not a soul for miles. Ahh, Wilderness! I’ve hiked it about 4 times this summer already. The total distance to Gilpin Lake is a bit over 4 miles, and the Gilpin Ridge overlook to the south of the lake is roughly the halfway point of the hike. We were getting itchy eyes and sore throats, but at least we had masks to wear! Just remember you cannot camp close to the two large lakes, you have to be 1 and 1/4 mile away from them and that is pretty well marked. Zirkel Wilderness area provide a great wilderness experience. This allows you the great reward of viewing Gilpin Lake from the highest point. Definitely in the top ten best hikes I’ve ever done! We went counterclockwise. Expansive wilderness area. Walden, CO Intermediate. Did the loop mid-week and was not disappointed. Gold Creek lake is only a few miles from the trail head, but it's all uphill! Totally silent at the pass & Gilpin Lake except some birds & pika - magical. Mount Zirkel/Park Range Area The Mount Zirkel/Park Range area is on the Routt National Forest in northwestern Colorado. Intermediate. The 6.4 mile out and back to Slide lake starts out at an elevation of 8750 and gives you a total elevation gain of 1777 feet at the end at Slide Lake. Once in the wilderness, you can access Mt. When researching and talking to others, all direct you to hiking to Gilpin Lake in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. Two of our volunteers last week overnighted and cleared trees from the wilderness legs of Swamp Park and Red Dirt. Start at the Rainbow Lake Trailhead 1126 in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness which is 19 miles south west of Walden, Colorado off Country Road 22A. Loop hikes are considered to be the pinnacle hiking experience. Closer to 11 miles on my recording. It’s about more than standing on the mountain top. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! The Zirkel Wilderness which is northwest of Steamboat provided my entry into backpacking and fishing. Lots of running water and wildflowers everywhere. Zirkel, Big Horn Lake. Nice day hike. Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Lots of little stream crossings and the colors were great! On short notice, I found 2 great hikes for me around Steamboat Springs. I bet in a few weeks the Aspens will be peaking. No snow and the trees were all cleared! The Garmin recorded the loop as 10.9 miles. Luckily four spectacular lakes are an easy day hike off of Seedhouse Road near the mountain town of Clark. They say you cant sleep at the trailhead but clearly people do it, maybe in their cars? In and out of the Lake Katherine Trailhead on the East side of the Wilderness Area. It is gorgeous and it is long. Tip - go counter clock wise - gold creek then gilpen. As far as Colorado outdoor recreation areas go, the Zirkel Wilderness is a bit off the radar for most. Beautiful views with the recent snow, however there were a ton of fallen trees that we were constantly climbing over/under or walking around which made the trek slow. Beautiful, moderate hike. Trailhead was very busy so parking and getting on the trail early was key. Started seeing hikers coming up a couple miles below Gilpin Lake, and lots of people closer to the trailhead. Many of these lakes are deep within the wilderness and unless you are an ultra marathoner, better seen on a backpacking trip. Rifle Falls. All trails map routes you away from a stream crossing to climb a log over faster water, just cross the stream. 1.8k votes, 35 comments. Gorgeous in the fall. Definitely more like 13 mi than the listed 10 mi. Stops included: Bear Lake, Summit of Mt. Zirkel—where the natural infinity pool drops off to its eponymous creek. It also ranks number fourteen among Colorado's most prominent peaks. The Zirkel Circle hike is a loop that connects the Gilpin Lake and Gold Creek Lake trail (1161 and 1150, respectively) in the Zirkel Wilderness just outside of Steamboat Springs. With fresh views at every step, none of your time or energy is wasted. The large land area of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness features a … We promise not to annoy you, but if you wish, you may unsubscribe at any time. We decided to do it in two days, camping at night simple because of the amazing camp spots you can find around the trail. Passed a number of folks on the trail which required stepping off the trail because of narrowness. This trail is good … Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure. It now contains over 160,000 acres of land, situated within the Routt National Forest. Mount Zirkel Loop Trail is a 10.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Clark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Zirkel, Red Dirt Pass and the remainder […] The Zirkel Circle is usually done … Excellent trail with a bit of everything-lakes, wildflowers, and views! Some trails have an abundance of flowers whereas other trails have relatively few. The Mad Creek Trail is located just outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. just did 2 nights this weekend. I am 29 weeks pregnant and did this as a 1 night backpacking trip this past Labor Day weekend. S&S Wallride at Jackson Hole, 85 Foot Cliff Front Flip, Drone Powder Skiing with Owen Leeper - Duration: 5:15. ... Timberline Trail, Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon - 41 miles (3-5 days) Some visit Mt. Hiking trail description and photographs of the Gilpin Lake/Gold Creek Lake loop in the Mt. The Zirkel Circle can be hiked in either direction; below is a clockwise description, but counterclockwise offers a more gradual ascent. Zirkel is the high point of Routt County and of the Mt. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The Mica Basin Trail #1162 is an obvious spur up along a creek drainage that descends from Mica Lake at the base of the … Went counterclockwise. By Erik Jensen, IBT Local 320 Recently, I returned from my first elk hunt, which was in Colorado’s Mount Zirkel Wilderness area. Beautiful hike! Now is the time to get out and enjoy a great variety of mountain wildflowers if you pick your hiking trails carefully. The hard work is worth the views. We took a right at the fork to this in a counter clockwise direction. Mary Korch. I am proud to say that I hiked to the summit of Mt. All of this wilderness is located in northwestern Colorado and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. 8.6 mi 13.9 km #1 Rainbow Lake Trail #1130. September 15 and 16, we headed to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and then an hour more into the Zirkel Wilderness. There are 15 peaks in the wilderness that surpass 12,000 feet in elevation, with 12,180-foot Mount Zirkel being the highest. The USGS was entrusted with the responsibility for mapping the country in 1879 and has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States ever since. 4 am start at Slavonia trail head and reached the summit at 10:30 am. It is just under 3 miles to get back to the Slavonia Trailhead from Gold Creek lake, making it a popular out-and-back day hike destination. Mt. Spectacular alpine lakes. As far as Colorado outdoor recreation areas go, the Zirkel Wilderness is a bit off the radar for most. We did it counterclockwise and that is definitely the way to go. Photo: Jeremy White. Easy to cancel ... and no cell signal, so wouldn't have worked, anyway. Completed this past weekend, first time planning to backpack it with our 10 year old pup. Went from a full run to dead stop. Mount Zirkel Loop Trail is a 10.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Clark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Rocky Mountain columbine should be blooming over the next several weeks in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. The Zirkel Circle hike is a loop that connects the Gilpin Lake and Gold Creek Lake trail (1161 and 1150, respectively) in the Zirkel Wilderness just outside of Steamboat Springs. We backpacked what is locally known as "The Zirkel Circle." Also, due to the recent snowfall, it was fairly wet throughout and really slushy/snowy near the lake and the saddle. Zirkel Wilderness north of Steamboat Springs, CO. Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area is located directly west of Walden, Co and north of Steamboat Springs, Co. Our original plan was to head out Monday and hike in from the East Boundary. Masks helped a lot! It’s known as the “Zirkel Circle”. Beautiful hike through many types of environments (meadows, wetlands, alpine, forests, waterfalls and streams). Geologically speaking, the Zirkel Wilderness is relatively new. A good example of this is the semi-polished summit of Mount Zirkel (12,180 ft.), the highest point in the wilderness. Don’t do this trail, unless you love wildflowers, butterflies, alpine meadows, and gorgeous lakes! At 11.2 miles long, it's a challenging day hike, or lovely single night backpacking trip. Zirkel, alpine style, in a single day. Gold Creek Lake is the smaller of the two, and less picturesque, but it is a great relaxation spot and a frequent swimming hole for those that visit in the summer heat. Summer comes late to the snowy Park Range at the core of Colorado's Mt. Great underrated area of Colorado and would highly recommend as a day hike. A decent number of accolades for a mountain in a state which contains over 1,000 higher peaks. Regardless, the decision must be made early, as the loop junction is less than 0.25 miles from the Slavonia Trailhead. We got to the trail head just after 8 am and barely got a parking spot. Zirkel Wilderness. It can be a nice day hike, or you can use it to enter the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. It was one of the original areas protected under the 1964 Wilderness Act and has since been expanded twice to its present size of 160,648 acres. (Probably not what you'd find on a weekend or before Labor Day.) Hood to scale its 11,000-foot heights, but this historic trail leads you around its belt. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. Other than it’s length, it is a fairly easy trail. This way was less steep. But I love the feature! I had set that up months ago and forgot about it. From approximately 1947 to 1992, more than 55,000 7.5-minute maps were made to cover the 48 conterminous states. There are 26 moderate trails in Mount Zirkel Wilderness ranging from 1.9 to 17.6 miles and from 6,774 to 11,066 feet above sea level. Seasonal wildflowers. Rainbows, browns, brookies, Yellowstone cutthroat and native greenback and Colorado River cutthroat (which the park has been reintroducing since 1975) all make their home here. Once in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, there are a number of camping options along the loop as long as you observe Wilderness regulations. To obtain information on a trail you see below, move your curser over the trail and if there is information available the curser will turn into a pointed finger. The highlight of the hike is the stunningly blue Gilpin Lake which provides a magnificent photo opportunity from the top of … Not an overnight worthy trip, unless you are planning for little or big agnes also.. Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, California. But the section of trail through northern Colorado’s Zirkel Wilderness still stands out. This map also shows area affected by the Routt Divide Blowdown. Close to the Front Range and boasting 156 lakes tucked into rocky cirques and sleepy forest, the park is the premier spot in Colorado for backpacking and hiking in to catch some trout. Outdoor Project may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers. But when it arrives, it rushes in with a blaze of wildflower blossoms and a surge of meltwater that turns trickling streams into raging cataracts. At 12,180 feet, it is the high point in Colorado's Park Range, Routt County, and its namesake wilderness. Would love to come back in a few weeks to see the Aspens We were able to find parking around 8:30 am on a Sunday morning without any problem. Also saw mule deer, marmots, all the squirrels ... the.usual crowd. Great views, spectacular cascades, and Greenback Cutthroat trout. Great day hike. The incline from Gold lake to Gilpin is tough but you are rewarded with amazing views! However, she recruited her fellow Minneapolis firefighter, Ben Pena, to join me. I saw 1 hiker at the trailhead when I left and a camp just before the first lake. You will arrive at Rainbow Lake after about 3.5 miles. The hikers' subreddit. The small store in Clark provided the entry. The sprawling wilderness area was expanded in 1980 and again in 1993. Mt. Today the Clark store is thriving from serving the growing population in the area and the large influx of vacationers and hunters. © 2020 Outdoor Project. 1.1m members in the hiking community. I hiked/jogged it in 3h 30m. Heading toward Gilpin Lake, a spur trail to Mica Lake will diverge to the left in just over a mile. Did the loop counter clockwise and planned to camp before the climb to Gilpin Lake, but we were feeling great and opted to do the whole loop. Beautiful hike. Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter packed with the best adventure guides, travel ideas, news, and articles. The gold creek lake is a great snack point , and after descending into Gilpin area. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. We camped near Gilpin and finished the loop the next day. I’d much rather hike this in the heat of the summer with a dry trail. Add Your Trails. It’s about nourishment and learning. Side note: I rolled my ankle badly on the way down where aspen leaves are covering the trail, hiding rocks. Hiked on Friday 10/2/2020. Definitely one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. Walden, CO 2 21.1 mi 33.9 km #2 CDT: Buffalo Pass to North Lake (CO Sec. Rifle Falls is a lovely 0.6-mile hike to one of Colorado’s iconic waterfalls! The loop consists of two trails: the Gold Creek Trail (#1150), which connects to the Gilpin Trail (#1161) at a junction about 5 miles into the hike. Beautiful lake up top and lush green trails (for Colorado). If you’re looking for an early summer backpacking trip, try this lower elevation version of the Zirkel Circle — a loop encompassing Mad Creek, Swamp Park, Red Dirt and Saddle trails. Very high elevation -- most of the trip between 9,000 - 12,000 feet along the continental divide. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from June until September. It … Thankfully the smoke started clearing up around noon. Phone 303-478-7586 Wonderful views as always. O_leeps | Big Mountain Ski Videos 2,466,153 views I’m really glad we did the whole loop- gilpin was amazing even in the haze, and we had some blue skies for the hike back down! Due to last minute changes, my normal hunting partner, Rita, was unable to go. It’s about building relationships with the outdoors and each other. The Zirkel Circle is the most popular hike in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. We did the research for you, completed the hike, and definitely recommend doing it counter-clockwise. We did this as a day hike and tracked it as close to 12 miles total. It consists mainly of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness … My Garmin watch immediately went into emergency contact mode! Simply put, Mount Zirkel is one of the best mountains in Colorado. Mt. There were many fallen threes but it was good to see that the forest had many workers clearing them up. fantastic backpacking and lots of streams for your fury friends. There was no snow (unlike a week ago, apparently), just tiny bit of mud, and the downed trees are all cleared from the trail now. Zirkel Wilderness Area. Recommend going up over the top and making a loop. Though a bit bumpy at the end. Definitely recommend doing it counterclockwise as the views seemed to be even better. However, the road leading up to the TH has lots of free dispersed camping. All rights reserved. Also, a counter clockwise loop is suggested. Definitely a great hike in ROCO. This Wilderness area is home to the headwaters of the Elk, Encampment and North Platte Rivers, as well as some 70 lakes, high mountain peaks (including the 12,180 foot-tall Mount Zirkel for which it is named) and a portion of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. – Mount Zirkel Wilderness Lakes are plentiful and beautiful. My GPS said 11mi for the loop. I didn't run as much as I wanted due to unhappy knees. Trails in Mount Zirkel Wilderness - 43. Beautiful wilderness. A 45-minute drive from Steamboat Springs, this loop hike offers some of the best views of jagged peaks in the area as well as two alpine lakes. If you are a strong hiker, you can do it in a day and don’t need to backpack it. Zirkel Wilderness Area is one of the most beautiful places to hike imaginable, with trails of all lengths and levels of difficulty. They may not be 14ers or even 13ers, but these peaks in the heart of the Mt. Mother nature is starting to show signs of fall which is absolutely gorgeous. Get to the trail early because by 11am on Sunday there were at least 50 cars parked miles down the road. The centerpiece, Gilpin Lake, pools beneath the ramparts of Gilpin Ridge, Big Agnes Mountain, and 12,180-foot Mt. Mount Zirkel Wilderness trail locator map. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from June until September. It’s about protecting what sustains us. About 4200 vertical feet and 11 miles to summit. Click on the trail with the pointed finger to go to the web page for that trail. Take some time at this viewpoint (we ate lunch) and soak up the amazing view. Started about 7am Fri, 9/18.
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