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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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Jan 19, 2020
Raquel Rulli
Oct 13, 2019
Kevin Reilley
3.3mi — 4h 30m
Oct 11, 2019
Livia Abuls
Sep 28, 2019
Ross Therrien
Sep 4, 2019
Max Swearingen
Aug 30, 2019
Cynthia B.
Aug 4, 2019
Manuel Oros
Aug 3, 2019
Lexí Roberts
Went even further than the lake up to Pettingell! One of my favorite hikes here, by far

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 38 votes


in Front Range


  4.6 from 38 votes
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69 Views Last Month
11,975 Since Jul 1, 2015



Fall color and snow dusting over Herman Gulch.
May 12, 2016 near Georgetown, CO
Pettingell Peak on the far right
Nov 8, 2017 near Georgetown, CO
The Citadel
Jul 26, 2018 near Georgetown, CO
Looking across the highway to Mount Sniktau.
Jul 1, 2015 near Georgetown, CO
Heading up Herman Gulch.
Oct 23, 2016 near Georgetown, CO
On Herman Gulch Trail, cresting treeline, almost there!
Oct 23, 2016 near Georgetown, CO

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