ElevationAscent: 2,415' 736 m
Descent: -2,415' -736 m
High: 11,289' 3,441 m
Low: 8,988' 2,739 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)
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“Talk about a great hike up a beautiful drainage! Earn stunning views of the East Thorn.”— Matthew Coye
The trail can be a burden in the rain as it becomes a running creek. Try to hit it on a warm clear summer day. There are rocks strewn about the trail, so your foot placement will need to be calculated.
Once you arrive at Salmon Lake, you'll get a beautiful view of the East Thorn and its gnar-ness. If you're really feeling adventurous, go for a scramble up the East Thorn and get your exposure on!
Be prepared for a steady climb to the high alpine Salmon Lake. There is not much in the way of respite (is there ever in the Gore Range?), but it's beautiful the entire way. At about 3.8 miles, you'll head left to stay on the North Willow Lake Trail and veer off of the Gore Range Trail. Your next junction will be shortly after 4.5 miles when you split right and head up to Salmon Lake, this is well signed. Once you reach the lake, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the drainage you just conquered, and, of course, the East Thorn.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, History & Background
Land Manager: USFS - White River National Forest Office