Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked
Sturdy, wide, and without any steep dropoffs, Highland Mary Lakes are a great place for the whole family (dog included) to enjoy, though it may take some incentives to keep the little ones motivated.
Dogs must be leashed or under voice control.
Camping is allowed and sites exist near the lakes, but follow all Weminuche Wilderness camping regulations
Tracing moderate grades along Cunningham Creek, the trail traverses between high alpine meadows and forested thickets for the first mile as it strains towards treeline. Seasonal snowmelt-fed creeks cut across the trail, but where Cunningham Creek carves steep dropoffs into the creek bed, waterfalls and rapids churn.
Rock hopping across to the west side of Cunningham Creek, the route bursts through the last of the stunted pines at about 11,800 feet, where wildflowers blanket the tundra. Here, the trail veers from Cunningham Creek, then gains access to the lakes by way of an outlet stream. Climbing a steep talus field, the trail wraps a rocky knob before treading east to the first of the Highland Mary Lakes.
The true route then turns south to travel between three of the seven lakes, ending near Verde Lake at its convergence with Whitehead Trail #674
, but off-trail exploration will allow you to dip your toes in each.
Flora & Fauna
The Highland Mary lakes offers great opportunities for wildflower viewing. You'll likely be sharing the trail with high alpine critters, such as marmots and chipmunks.