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blue Herman Gulch Trail #98


3.3 mile 5.3 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,692' 516 m
Descent: -32' -10 m
High: 11,989' 3,654 m
Low: 10,309' 3,142 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)


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Trail shared by Tom Robson

Quickly earn some amazing mountain views and slowly gain an alpine lake on this easy-to-access route

Tom Robson

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly If kids can make it all the way to Herman Lake, they'll love exploring the unobstructed lakeside.

Unless seasonal restrictions are in effect, campfires must be attended at all times and cold to the touch with the bare hand before being abandoned. Collection of dead and down wood is allowed; do not break branches from standing trees for firewood.


Starting on an old sawmill road, this trail emerges out of the forested trees within a mile of traveling. From here onwards, the subalpine wildflowers add beauty to otherwise rocky terrain.

Towards the top of the trail, rock cairns (rock piles) lead the way to Herman Lake. This trail is a section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

Herman Lake provides the perfect setting for exploration. Enclosed by Pettingell Peak, the view across the lake is unobstructed and stunning. If you're feeling up to it, a quick scramble can allow for even better views across the valley. And if you're feeling particularly ambitious, Herman Lake can also offer an access point to the dual summits of the Citadel in an ascent that involves some more technical scrambling.

Flora & Fauna

Enjoy the wildflowers in Spring! You have a chance of seeing bighorn sheep and mountain goats, if you're lucky.

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Jul 20, 2019
Clancey Potter
The wildflowers are out! Enjoyed the meadow full of columbines about a mile in. Volunteers have done a great job of cleaning up this trail from thi… 6.6mi — 3h 15m
Jul 19, 2019
Amy Ulrich
Milage to the lake is 3.5 instead of 2.5 as marked at trailhead. Beautiful wildflowers starting to bloom. Start early as it get warm quickly. 7mi
Jul 19, 2019
Clay Pennington
Bob and france
Jul 8, 2019
Ava Cecil
Jul 6, 2019
Mike Amolsch
9.5 miles, 4.5 hours! Gushing rivers, avalanche debris, snow packed, mostly dry! With sis- great day hike
Jun 19, 2019
Hannah R
Jan 1, 2019
Clancey Potter
Beautiful in winter! The trail didn't go all the way to the lake and veered off to the left but still had a great view of the bowl. Didn't need sno… 5.5mi — 3h 00m
Dec 29, 2018
Roudy Hildreth
Clear and hard trail. Didn’t need snow shoes. 3.1mi

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 36 votes


in Front Range


  4.6 from 36 votes
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