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A manageable uphill hike that brings you to the shores of a stunning alpine lake.


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Map Key

17.1

Miles

27.6

KM

Out and Back

12,655' 3,857 m

High

9,632' 2,936 m

Low

3,134' 955 m

Up

3,134' 955 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Wilderness rules apply. It is open year-round, but access during the winter may be limited due to snow.

There is a mandatory self-issuing permit system in the Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness areas to enable us to better manage visitation. Permits are available free at each trailhead. As you enter the Wilderness, fill out the provided permit and deposit the stub in the slot in the lower front of the register box. Keep the permit in your possession.

Overview

Head into the basin below Bierstadt and Blue Sky. This easily manageable trail is mostly a gentle, steady grade the entire way and takes you to the stunning Abyss Lake.

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Luke Snow with improvements by Ralph Bradt and 2 others

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 27 votes

#434

Overall
  4.6 from 27 votes
5 Star
59%
4 Star
41%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#90

in Colorado

#434

Overall
12 Views Last Month
9,911 Since Mar 19, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Aspen fall colors, 3 miles up the trail.
Sep 21, 2018 near Georgetown, CO
The view from the switchbacks after the trail intersection
Jul 16, 2018 near Georgetown, CO
Tricky bridge
Apr 23, 2019 near Georgetown, CO
About 4 miles in, where trail becomes difficult to find in the snow (April).
Apr 23, 2019 near Georgetown, CO
Some parts of the trail are a bit technical
Jul 16, 2018 near Georgetown, CO

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 13 days ago
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Check-Ins

Jun 15, 2024
Alex O'Connell
Turnaround at junction with Rosalie, where there was also a moose. Minor mud and great views. 9.2mi — 3h 30m
Oct 3, 2023
Tarita Fisher Boersma
hiked up to burning bear to see the yellow Aspens with bubby and toots 5.1mi — 2h 12m
Sep 19, 2023
Alex O'Connell
Guanella Pass to Rosalie Junction 10,900'. Slow with photo breaks along gentle grade up; last 0.5mi steeper. Great views of Mt Evans. Aspen starting
Aug 5, 2023
Private User
Oct 12, 2022
tara lieto
Aug 25, 2022
Holly Lawson
Sep 25, 2021
Dave B
Hiked out after camping overnight. Fall colors were amazing! Trail was super busy. We hiked out at 10am and it was a constant parade of hikers. 2.3mi — 0h 45m
Sep 24, 2021
Dave B
Hiked in a couple miles to camp and see the fall the colors 2.4mi — 0h 54m
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