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Abyss Lake Trail #602

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (16)

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


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Map Key

8.6

Miles

13.8

KM

Point to Point

12,655' 3,857 m

High

9,630' 2,935 m

Low

3,087' 941 m

Up

65' 20 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features 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.

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 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 16 votes

#234

Overall
  4.6 from 16 votes
5 Star
56%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#56

in Colorado

#234

Overall
582 Views Last Month
5,598 Since Mar 19, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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21%
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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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Check-Ins

Sep 20, 2020
Anna L
Aug 30, 2020
Colin Trottnow
Aug 18, 2020
Ben Vogel
10h 11m
Aug 6, 2020
Missy Mc Q
Did a 3 day camping trip here - camped where Rosalie and Abyss trails meet. Easy lower trail, more challenging with a pack up top.
Jul 10, 2020
Colin White
6mi
Jun 22, 2020
Nicki Bartak
May 23, 2020
Gretchen Walker
Mary, Dan, Kate, Zach, Braxton. Did this instead of Burning Bear by accident!
Oct 6, 2019
Marina F