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A nice hike through mixed forests and past pastures of wildflowers with the highlight being the many lakes you'll see.


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Map Key

4.2

Miles

6.8

KM

Point to Point

10,275' 3,132 m

High

9,946' 3,031 m

Low

301' 92 m

Up

539' 164 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

13%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fishing · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The paved access road FS 116 around the south side of Island Lake is open 7/1 to 10/15.

Need to Know

If you have to use it, in 2020 the day parking fee at Island Lake Day Use area is $6.00. Day use parking of a campsite is $4.00 (probably per vehicle). But there's space to pull off on the side of FS 116 at the intersection with Granby Road (FS 115).

Between the time we hiked into Granby Res 11 and the time we hiked out, a huge tree had fallen across the road. The two 4x4 UTVs we'd seen had both made it out before the fall, or we might have come across them attempting to saw their way out. We easily got around the tree and later reported it to the Ntl Forest. Lesson learned: always put a saw in your vehicle if you are going to be driving back-roads in Colorado. Or have a tow strap and learn ahead of time how to use it safely to move a tree.

Description

This hike is best done on a weekday when fewer motorized visitors are in the area. We parked just by the intersection of FS Road 116 (the road on the south side of Island Lake - watch for it across from Cobbett Lake) and Granby Road FS 115. There was space for at least 3 cars. Otherwise parking can be paid for at the Island Lake Day Use Area.

FS Road 115 is a multi-use road open to hikers, horseback riders, mtn bikers and motorized vehicles. The large rocks embedded in the roadway means this is a rugged 4wd road for skilled drivers. But hiking the road is quite straightforward and pleasant.

The hike starts with a slight drop and then a climb to the highest point of the hike, watch for views of the West Elks. Watch also for Little Gem Reservoir below you on your left. Its green color is noticeably different from the dark blue lakes you'll be seeing later in the hike. In June or early July you might see pink and white Corydalis wildflowers on the slope above and below the road.

The road goes by part of Island Lake campground, so if you happen to be camped there you can start your hike right from the campground.

The road passes through pine forests, airy aspen forests and past open meadows. You'll pass Scotland Trail #2752 and then FS Road 115 1B which leads to Granby Reservoir 1. Both are signed.

Granby Reservoir 11 is large enough to be worth leaving the road to see more of it. We crossed the dam and followed the old two track over to a peninsula that juts out between the two arms of this lake. It was a grand spot of our picnic lunch. A worker told us that backpackers have been known to camp out on that peninsula. It is sunny and airy and that helps to keep the mosquitoes at bay. After lunch we followed the old two-track some more to get over to Granby Reservoir 9. That was our turn around point. That version of the hike was 7.5 miles in all.

Otherwise you can continue down FS Road 115 to see other lakes like Granby Res 12 and the Battlement lakes. Greenwood Trail #2721 has its west end at Little Battlement Lake. A pathway connects that trail to this one.

Flora & Fauna

We spotted a few columbine near the start of the hike and then enjoyed a large spread of pink and white Corydalis. Wildflowers abundance will vary with the wetness of the spring and early summer.

We noted evidence of beavers living at Granby Reservoir 11. They favor aspen and sometimes you can spot the chute they make down the bank when they repeatedly drag the cut down trees into the water. We were delighted to see a doe near Granby Res 9.

Contacts

Shared By:

Janice Shepherd

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#11

in Grand Mesa

#31821

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#11

in Grand Mesa

#2,669

in Colorado

#31,821

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126 Since Jun 29, 2020
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Photos

Granby Reservoir 11 west arm.
Jun 29, 2020 near Cedaredge, CO
Nice views along the way of the West Elks.
Jun 29, 2020 near Cedaredge, CO
An inviting section of aspen.
Jun 29, 2020 near Cedaredge, CO
This tree came down during the 3 hours we were away from this spot. It was easy for us to get around it on foot.
Jun 29, 2020 near Cedaredge, CO
Corydalis
Jun 29, 2020 near Cedaredge, CO

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