Commonly Backpacked · Lake · Wildlife
Wilderness rules apply. It is open year-round, but access during the winter may be limited due to snow. There is a required self-permitting system at the trailhead.
Need to Know
Winter access: The road is plowed for the first 5 miles, meaning this trailhead is the farthest point north where the road is plowed.
From the trailhead, follow the Abyss Lake Trail #602 northeast within the Scott Gomer Creek drainage. The first 3-4 miles is a mellow sandy path suitable for families with young kids. You'll cross the Scott Gomer Creek three times before reaching the Rosalie Trail #603
. This trail briefly joins Rosalie Trail #603
. Briefly follow the Abyss Lake and Rosalie Trail #603
until you reach the next trail junction, where the Rosalie Trail #603
will continue north-northwest up to Guanella Pass (continue straight to stay on the Abyss Lake trail).
Head northeast again and cross several small streams before ascending a series of moderately steep switchbacks. You'll begin to leave the more heavily forested areas, entering a grove of willows near Helms lake. Upon leaving this scenic area, you'll continue your climb up the drainage, crossing Lake Fork Creek that is draining Abyss Lake. A portion of this upper trail is more creek than trail, and some bush whacking through willows that are overtaking the trail is required.
From this point, you'll head west across the stunning alpine tundra. The trail finally ends at the shores of Abyss Lake, between Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans.
Mt. Bierstadt can be seen along much of the trail.
Flora & Fauna
Mountain goats and bighorn sheep can be seen on occasion in the tundra between Mt. Evans and Mt. Bierstadt.
Shared By: Luke Snow
by Ralph Bradt
and 1 other