“A six-mile hike with some steep grades and great views that ends at Upper Lake.”
— Hiking Project Staff
Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Stone Lake (10,643 ft.) is located about 6.3 miles from Roaring Fork Trailhead in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. It makes for a good 12.6 mile backpacking trip, but expect a very strenuous steep section. Your legs will definitely burn!
This challenging hike begins at Lake Granby and follows the Roaring Fork drainage up to Irving Hale Pass (11,195 ft.). The first mile from the Lake Granby trail-head is very steep and has a considerable number of fallen trees blocking the trail. Be ready to scramble over them with your pack. After the steep section, the trail enters a more dense forest and levels off to a more gradual climb until the fork for Watanga Lake Trail
. From here go right and it is very steep until you reach Mt. Irving Hale Pass.
The views are outstanding along the pass and make you forget how hard the climb was to get to this point. The pass also makes for a good camping spot, however water is limited in the area. The trail continues through airy meadows and by an abandoned cabin before diving steeply into Hell Canyon and rising back up to Stone Lake. Upper Stone Lake is about another 0.5 miles up. Good camping around the main Stone Lake. Permits are required in the basin for overnight camping.