eye candy – Part III: Herman Lake, CO

My massive road trip finally wrapped up late last night, but thanks to the magic of pre-scheduled blog posts, I have one last bit of eye candy to share with you. 🙂

As a reminder, if you missed Eye Candy – Part I: Fletcher Canyon – just click here, or Eye Candy – Part II: Mary Jane Falls – click here.

The star of today’s post is the Herman Gulch Trail (summiting at Herman Lake).

Herman, a stunning glacial lake, is located north of Bakerville, CO, in the Clear Creek Ranger District of the Arapaho National Forest. It lies in the open tundra of a gorgeous valley just below the Continental Divide. In fact, this trail is a section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. I completed this amazing hike on Monday, Sept 2nd. I won’t soon forget this one.

The Herman Lake hike is 6.5 miles round trip, and features a +2,000′ elevation gain over a 2.5 mile stretch, making it very challenging. At a maximum elevation of 12,018′, it is officially my highest altitude to date. [Jumpy Claps!!!]

I have way more pictures than anyone would care to see, I’m sure, so I have pulled a small, but representative, sampling to share with you. […although, hmm…now that I am assembling the pics, I’m thinking you may want to see a lot more!]

Come and enjoy Herman Lake with me, won’t you?…

I won’t even hold it against you that your legs didn’t get sore in the process. 😉

Herman Gulch Trail - 2.5 miles + .75 miles to Herman Lake = 6.5 miles round trip.

Herman Gulch Trail – 2.5 miles + .75 miles to Herman Lake = 6.5 miles round trip.

Wildflowers abound on this trail.

Wildflowers abound on this trail.

Lush forest, cool creek and tons of wild flowers right from the start of the trail.

Lush forest, cool creek and tons of wild flowers right from the start of the trail.

The Russian Princess ready to tackle the trail.

The Russian Princess ready to tackle the trail.

Are you kidding me? How beautiful is this trail???

Are you kidding me? How beautiful is this trail???

And it just keeps getting better...

And it just keeps getting better…

But, my God, it's a steep climb... My glutes are still on fire.

But, my God, it’s a steep climb… My glutes are still on fire.

Yes, I'm ready to shoot myself at this point. Holy hard trek!

Yes, I’m ready to shoot myself at this point. Holy hard trek!

Mr. Enthusiasm decided on less drastic measures. :-)

Mr. Enthusiasm decided on less drastic measures. 🙂

Made it!!!

Made it!!!

Finally...rest!

Finally…rest!

And some picture-taking

And some picture-taking

Maybe a little more rest. :-)

Maybe a little more rest. 🙂

The victorious crew. But, uh-oh...time to hike back. Giddy up.

The victorious crew. But, uh-oh…time to hike back. Giddy up.

Happier on the descent.

Happier on the descent.

Mr. Enthusiasm is happy to be going downhill. :-)

Mr. Enthusiasm is happy to be going downhill. 🙂

Yes, downhill is definitely better.

Yes, downhill is definitely better.

Takes my breath away.

Takes my breath away.

Does it get any prettier?

Does it get an prettier?

IMG_6062

Blissfully peaceful

Soothes my soul.

Soothes my soul.

So happy to put this notch in my belt.

So happy to put this notch in my belt.

In looking through these pictures again, I think this hike deserves a proper Trip Report. Once I get a few nights sleep in my own bed, I think I’ll revisit this amazing hike in an effort to better share the gruelling challenge and totally awesome payoff. ‘Til then…

Get Moving!

xoxo nancy

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14 thoughts on “eye candy – Part III: Herman Lake, CO

    • It was unbelievably beautiful and unbelievably challenging. Keep in mind – if you do hit the Scottish Highlands, Sam, that for every 1000 feet you climb, you lose about 3% of the available oxygen because there is less gas packed into your column of air. So, for me, at 12,000 feet, every breath I took only brought in 2/3 the amount of oxygen that I would normally suck in at sea level. Gruelling? For sure. Aerobic? Absolutely. Worth it? Hell yeah! 🙂

  1. I just got in from a hour long run. In the humid, muggy heat of a Summer that just won’t move on… and then I see your pics. I felt cooler just looking at them. I’m already pumped full of endorphins from a good run and these just upped the pump! The pictures and your attitude make me happy to be alive and able to move and be a part of nature. Muggy or mountains, I’m just in awe of it all right now. I feel your joy and my feet are aching (literally) to get into the stream in that second to last picture.

    You rock for posting these. I’m in a great place in my life and though I really want to be envious of you, I’m not. I’m so happy that you got to experience such beauty and fellowship with friends that I don’t have any room in my little heart for envy at the moment.

    You rock the rocks, Sole Sister!!!!

    Cheers,
    G

    PS LOVE the Merrells in the pic of you by the water!

    • An hour long run? …You cray-cray, sista! 🙂
      I have been home all of 12 hours, and I already miss the mountains. I think I need to research some hiking in this neck of the woods. I won’t get the altitude, but I just love ‘moving and being part of nature’, as you so beautifully put it.
      Keep rockin’ those runs, G!
      One day…just maybe…I’ll join you for a run longer than 30 minutes. 🙂

  2. I swear I read this last September but I see i never liked it.. sorry for the late like! I was totally thinking of you while I hiked it and how lucky you were to do this particular Colorado hike!

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