Forum

Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
Posts: 884
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:04 pm

Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby PaliKona » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:15 pm

Thoughts? Best in terms of scenery.

User avatar
Posts: 954
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:58 pm
Location: Louisville, CO

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby GregMiller » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:18 pm

Lower or Upper Slate Lake. Absolutely gorgeous. Do note that they are ~8 and ~9 miles from Rock Creek TH, respectively.

User avatar
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:11 pm
Location: Centennial, CO

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby Floyd » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:41 pm

Yep. Upper Slate but its haul. I don't recommend it if you have less than 3 days or you have some serious stamina. For easier access Pitkin and Deluge are nice too. Deluge is a bit of a grunt.

User avatar
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby oldschoolczar » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:56 pm

Upper Cataract was pretty.. and Mirror Lake a couple miles beyond. More solitude at Mirror. A lot more people at Upper Cataract than I expected after hearing a lot of folks on here talk about how the Gore Range is some undiscovered, untouched area. It is definitely not.. I guess for it's proximity to the metro area it doesn't get as many people as you'd expect though.

If you're bothered by mosquitos I wouldn't bother this time of year. I talked to two other parties up there that cut their trip short after one night because of the mosquitos. Mosquitos don't bother me usually but the population up there was definitely a nuisance. We stuck it out and had a blast, but I went through half a bottle of eucalyptus/lemon bug spray (deet-free) that actually works pretty well. I took a picture of sunset randomly and you can see 4 mosquitos in it. I can try to post it but it's a pain to shrink pics and such to fit on here..

I think Upper Cataract was 5.5-6 miles from Surprise Lake TH and less than 2000' vertical so not too bad.
"Where's the beef?" -Wendy

User avatar
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:41 pm
Location: Parker, CO

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby Roald » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:00 pm

Floyd wrote:Yep. Upper Slate but its haul. I don't recommend it if you have less than 3 days or you have some serious stamina. For easier access Pitkin and Deluge are nice too. Deluge is a bit of a grunt.



+1 for Deluge. It is a grunt - not that long, but pretty steep elevation climb. I seem to remember a cabin or something up there too, but its been 10 years.
chrismjx wrote:

Roald, in that one sentence you managed to demonstrate that A) you're an idiot and B) you're a hypocrite, and a perfect example of the cause of the modern-day problems in this country.

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby sstratta » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:50 pm

My vote would be Booth Lake. You might also consider Upper Piney Lake or Willow Lakes, although those are longer approaches. In general I don't like the approaches on the Silverthorne side of the Gores because of how much beetle-kill forest you have to hike through in order to get above treeline...not to mention the Gore Range Trail is pretty annoying with all its ups and downs. I think the approaches on the Vail side are prettier and more enjoyable. You might also like the Gore Lake/Snow Lake/Deluge Lake loop (in that order via snow pass), depending on how much time you have. Absolutely gorgeous. Pitkin Lake is also amazing. Basically it's hard to go wrong in the Gores! Oh and yes, there is still a cabin near Deluge Lake (though more like a sturdy shack), and I do agree that the mosquitoes are pretty bad this time of year, so keep that in mind.

User avatar
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:06 pm
Location: Medina, OH

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby JTOlson26 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:54 pm

I've only been to Gore Lake of all those mentioned, but it was gorgeous and only one other group (of two) was in the area. The first few miles of the hike is easy, the last mile is a grunt, but it is rewarding.

Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:37 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby k-berger » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:51 pm

Was up at Pitkin lake last week and it was beautiful. I liked it more than booth lake for a few reasons - better scenery (during the hike and at the lake) and better fishing than booth. Neither have great camping at the lake itself, so you will want to camp a bit below.

User avatar
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby scottrappold » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:51 am

+1 on Upper Slate Lake. Was there last weekend and had the entire lake to ourselves:
Image
But mosquitoes were hellish, and because of the up-and-down of the Gore Range Trail, the hike out was as tough as the hike in, so I agree 3 days is a good minimum. But damn, the prettiest lake I've camped at in the Gores or maybe anywhere else in Colorado!

User avatar
Posts: 6262
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby Scott P » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:59 am

A lot more people at Upper Cataract than I expected after hearing a lot of folks on here talk about how the Gore Range is some undiscovered, untouched area. It is definitely not..


Yeah, try to find one person on the forum who hasn't heard of the Gore Range. A secret it is not. In fact, it may be the most well known non 14er range in Colorado (unless you count the Indian Peaks as a separate range, but most don't). This is for good reason for it being well known though; it is very scenic, easy to get to, and well worth the trip. There is still solitude if you look for it.

Anyway, to answer the original question, I think Bubble Lake is the neatest lake in the Gores when it comes to scenery. It is a bit harder to get to than most of the Gore Range lakes though. The best campsites are actually below the lake.

Dora Lake is also pretty cool because it sits almost on the ridge crest. The views are fantastic. I would rate it #2 in the Gores. On the other hand, I don't know if it would make the best campsite though since the tundra is pretty fragile, but it's a must see.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

User avatar
Posts: 786
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:17 pm
Location: Lakewood

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby JeffR » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:05 am

Roald wrote:
Floyd wrote:Yep. Upper Slate but its haul. I don't recommend it if you have less than 3 days or you have some serious stamina. For easier access Pitkin and Deluge are nice too. Deluge is a bit of a grunt.

+1 for Deluge. It is a grunt - not that long, but pretty steep elevation climb. I seem to remember a cabin or something up there too, but its been 10 years.

Yup, it's still there, might be nice for the inevitable PM storms.
To recognize the beauty in sadness, without playing host to the pain...
- Under the Sun, "Reflections"

User avatar
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Best Gore Range lake to backpack to?

Postby oldschoolczar » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:25 am

Scott P wrote:
A lot more people at Upper Cataract than I expected after hearing a lot of folks on here talk about how the Gore Range is some undiscovered, untouched area. It is definitely not..


Yeah, try to find one person on the forum who hasn't heard of the Gore Range. A secret it is not. In fact, it may be the most well known non 14er range in Colorado (unless you count the Indian Peaks as a separate range, but most don't). This is for good reason for it being well known though; it is very scenic, easy to get to, and well worth the trip. There is still solitude if you look for it.

Anyway, to answer the original question, I think Bubble Lake is the neatest lake in the Gores when it comes to scenery. It is a bit harder to get to than most of the Gore Range lakes though. The best campsites are actually below the lake.

Dora Lake is also pretty cool because it sits almost on the ridge crest. The views are fantastic. I would rate it #2 in the Gores. On the other hand, I don't know if it would make the best campsite though since the tundra is pretty fragile, but it's a must see.


Scott P thanks for the feedback in your PM last week. I saw a post you made about Bubble a couple years ago and that was our first choice, but it seemed like a nightmare approach from the East and some others mentioned that the approach from the West (Kneeknocker) was still full of snow. So we chose Upper Cataract. We'd planned on a "quick" trip up to Dora Lake on the way back, but it looks like that's pretty rough to get to as well (albeit a much shorter bushwack). Storms were rolling in and we called it.

I can attest that the fishing at Upper Cataract is excellent. We only fished an hour before the tip of packable rod flew out to the middle of the lake on one of my girlfriend's heroic casts, but we caught 5 trout (rainbow & cut throat) in that hour.
"Where's the beef?" -Wendy

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests