Fremont Peak (7,273′), Royal Gorge

Fremont Peak (7,273′), Royal Gorge

View of Fremont Peak from the trail

Fremont Peak (7,273′), Royal Gorge

Fremont Peak is the high point along a narrow ridge of hills rising near the eastern edge of the Royal Gorge’s north rim. The desert peak is part of a very small sub-range of mountains called the Gorge Hills. These peaks are relatively low and are covered in desert flora. Great views of the Royal Gorge, the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, and Pikes Peak can be seen along the trail and summit.

Don’t miss the Elkhorn Loop Picnic Area and Overlook to get a closer look of the bridge and the Royal Gorge, only a couple minutes drive from the EastRidge Trailhead. Great views just steps from your car, check out the last two pictures. You can find a map here.

Summers in this area can be dangerously hot, plan accordingly.

  • Destination: Fremont Peak
  • Trailhead: EastRidge Trailhead, Royal Gorge Mountain Park
  • Round trip: 3.9 miles / 6.3 km
  • Elevation: 6,919′ – 7,273′ (+354′) / 2,109m – 2,217m (+108m)
  • Note: over 1000′ total gain

Area: Royal Gorge
County: Freemont

Elevation Map (select to enlarge)

The Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest bridge in the United States. It spans 880 feet across the Arkansas river at a height of 955 feet. Built in 1929, it was the highest bridge in the world until 2001.

GPS Track with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

From the Eastridge trailhead head downhill and to the left (heading south) to get on County Road 389B.

Folllow County Road 389B until it ends at the radio towers

From the end of the road, you will see Fremont Peak across a saddle to the southeast. Follow the the trail heading in that direction.

You quickly come across a trail junction with a sign for the Summit trail. Follow the trail towards the peak (southeast).

Once underneath the peak, pick a social path up the steep slope to the summit. There is no maintained trail.

Trailhead Directions

The Crags (10,856′), Front Range

The Crags (10,856′), Front Range

Fantastic views

The Crags (10,856′), Front Range

The Crags Trail #664 follows Four Mile Creek through deep forests and lush meadows, ending at a rocky dome with unobstructed views in all directions. At the summit of the windswept dome there are views of the Rampart Range, Pikes Peak Mastif, Catamount Reservoirs, and distant mountain ranges to the west and north.

The majority of the Crags trail has a gentle elevation gain, with the first and last half-mile gaining the most elevation.

  • Destination: The Crags
  • Trailhead: The Crags/Devils Playground
  • Round trip: 7.3 miles / 11.7 km (winter mileage)
  • Elevation: 9,665′ – 10,856′ (+1,191′)/ 2,946m – 3,309m (+363m)

County: El Paso
Agency: U.S. Forest Service
Nat’l Forest: Pike

Elevation Map (select to enlarge)

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

Take the clear and well-used path over a bridge and through the forest.

After climbing for 1/2 mile you will see the trail junction with the Devil’s Playground #664A, stay to the left on 664 to The Crags.

Continue following Fourmile Creek northeast through a valley. The trail will be wooded at first, but will eventually open up into a meadow with views of rocky cliffs and the rough western flank of Pikes Peak.

During the last 1/2 mile the trail re-enters the forest and gains elevation as it turns north along a small ridge.

The trail ends on the top of a rocky outcropping with excellent views all around.

Trailhead Directions

Lake Helene (10,630′), Front Range

Lake Helene (10,630′), Front Range

Notchtop Mountain towers over the valley

Lake Helene (10,630′), Front Range

There is no signage and you must follow a social trail to get to the lake, but despite it’s obscurity, Lake Helene is a spectacular destination inside Rocky Mountain National Park. The lake is situated at treeline, between Flattop Mountain (12,324′) and Notchtop Mountain (12,129′).

Even lesser known Two Rivers Lake is a short walk from Lake Helene, and also worth the visit while in the alpine valley.

Destination:  Lake Helene
Trailhead: Bear Lake
Round trip: 7.2 miles / 11.6 km
Elevation: 9,475′ -10,630′ (+1,155′)/ 2,888m-3,240m (+352m)

County: Larimer
Agency: National Park
Nat’l Park: Rocky Mountain

Elevation Map (select to enlarge)

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

Follow the Bear Lake trail for less than 1/2 mile to the Odessa Lake Trail Junction and take the trail to the right. The trail climbs above Bear Lake to the Flattop Mountain trail junction. Continue towards Odessa Lake, climbing through forests and meadows. After approximately 3.5 miles from the trailhead you will see social trails on your left for Lake Helene. The lake is partially concealed from the trail and spurs are fairly easy to miss. If you make a sharp hairpin turn north (right) and begin descending, you’ve passed it.

Two Rivers Lake is near treeline just downstream of Lake Helene. A thick forest and boulder field stand between the main trail and lake, making it easier to walk east from Lake Helene through the forest and meadows.

Trailhead Directions

Mills (9,965′) and Jewel (9,990′) Lake, Front Range

Mills (9,965′) and Jewel (9,990′) Lake, Front Range

Cove on Mills Lake eastern shore

Mills (9,965′) and Jewel (9,990′) Lake, Front Range

Located within Glacier Gorge in Rocky Mountain National Park, Mills and Jewel Lake provide dramatic views of the surrounding peaks. The summer route initially takes you to Alberta Falls, another popular destination in the park.

Mills Lake is named in honor of Enos Mills (1870-1914), who is considered the father of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The view from Mills Lake towards Longs Peak is the image used on one side of the 2006 Colorado State Quarter.

Destination: Mills & Jewel Lake
Trailhead:  Glacier Gorge Trailhead
Round trip: Jewel Lake 6 miles/ 9.6 km
Elevation: 9,240′-9,990′ (+750′) / 2,816 m – 3,045 m (+229 m)

County: Larimer
Agency: National Park Service
Nat’l Park: Rocky Mountain

Elevation Map (select to enlarge)

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

The winter route was utilized , bypassing Alberta Falls and intersecting with the summer trail about 50 ft from the Loch Trail/Glacier Gorge intersection.

Trailhead Directions

Lake Haiyaha (10,244′), Front Range

Lake Haiyaha (10,244′), Front Range

Hallett Peak

Lake Haiyaha (10,244′), Front Range

Lake Haiyaha is located at timberline along Chaos Creek, in the Chaos Canyon drainage, inside Rocky Mountain National Park. Bouldering is a popular activity in Chaos Canyon due to the large boulders left behind by retreating glaciers. It is in close proximity to popular Dream Lake in the park.

Destination: Lake Haiyaha
Trailhead: Bear Lake
Round trip: 4 miles / 6.4 km
Elevation: 9,475′-10,244′ (+769′) / 2,888m – 3,122m (+234m)

County: Larimer
Agency: National Park Service 
Nat’l Park: Rocky Mountain

Elevation Map (select to enlarge)

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

The trail begins alongside Bear Lake and climbs westward towards Tyndall Gorge, passing Nymph Lake along the way. Past Nymph Lake the trails climbs again to Dream Lake.

Once there, the trail moves up a southward slope into the Chaos Canyon drainage and arrives at Lake Haiyaha, located at timberline along Chaos Creek. The lake and Chaos Canyon are known for excellent bouldering.

Trailhead Directions

St Vrain Mountain Trail (12,162′), Front Range

St Vrain Mountain Trail (12,162′), Front Range

View of Longs Peak

St Vrain Mountain Trail (12,162′), Front Range

The St Vrain Mountain trail is located just outside the border of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area to the south, and Rocky Mountain National Park to the north. The trail climbs steeply heading west, just east of the Continental Divide, with views across the Middle St Vrain Creek drainage and the Wild Basin Area of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Destination: St Vrain Mountain
Trailhead: St Vrain Mountain
Round trip: 9 miles / 14.5 km
Elevation: 8,940′-12,162′ (+3,222′) / 2,725m-3,707m (+982m)

County: Boulder
Agency: U.S. Forest Service
Nat’l Wilderness: Indian Peaks
Nat’l Forest: Lincoln

Elevation Map (select to enlarge)

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

The trail climbs up the valley’s north side to the Indian Peaks Wilderness Boundary. The trail then switchbacks hard left (west) one final time) before turning sharply south across the valley. Grades briefly moderate and then steepen back up the south valley wall, turning sharply south one last time before clearing treeline (2.65 miles : 10,765′).

Travel eases along a broad tundra saddle between the shoulders of Meadow Mountain (11,632′), an unnamed peak, and St Vrain Mountain. It reaches the Rocky Mountain National Park Boundary (3.15 miles : 11,180′) and levels for nearly half a mile on a south heading with some of the route’s best views. This section overlooks Rocky Mountain’s Wild Basin Area, Mount Copeland (13,176′), Ouzel Peak (12, 12,716′), Mahana Peak (12,632′), Longs Peak (14,259′) and Mt Meeker (13,911′).

Those not aiming for the summit will be content with views along this stretch. The trail exits Rocky Mountain National Park (3.6 miles : 11,335′) and threads a few pockets of krummholz to an unmarked turnoff for St Vrain Mountain. Leave the main trail (3.65 miles : 11,360′) and aim for a band of krummholz approximately 200 yards away. Once through look for cairns and, most importantly, Indian Peaks – Rocky Mountain National Park Boundary posts to your right (north).

St Vrain Mountain (4.45 miles : 12,162′) is rounded with 2 wind shelters and incredible views. Continuing takes you along its west ridge to the Elk Tooth formation and base of Ogallala Peak (13,138′) on the Divide.

Trailhead Directions