“An off-trail traverse that leads over Cooper Pass and by several mountain lakes.”
— Thomas David Kehoe
Lake · Views · Wildflowers
From the end of the Gourd Lake Trail
2.1, make your way up past several tarns (small mountain lakes) to reach Island Lake after half-a-mile of moderately steep off-trail hiking. Continue around the west side of Island Lake. A small cliff with krummholz (stunted wind blown trees) is a little tricky.
From the north end of Island Lake, continue through a boulder field to Cooper Pass. This section is about 0.5 miles with 450 feet of climbing. In July, you can easily cross on snowfields to avoid the boulders, especially if you bring microspikes. The east side of Cooper Pass is a bit loose in places but nothing too difficult.
The west side of Cooper Pass has large areas of steep, loose scree. Go straight down the lowest line of the gully to avoid the loose scree, for about a quarter-mile. Then you'll reach the meadow and continue descending another quarter-mile to Upper Lake at 10.5 miles. Continue down another quarter-mile to Stone Lake to pick up Roaring Fork Trail # 3
The best campsites at Stone Lake are found around the outlet of the lake.