Lake City Day Hikes

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Lake City Day Hikes

Postby Eye Doc Hiker » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:33 am

My husband and I are taking our 14 month old to Lake City mid-late June. We are looking for a nice day hike - maybe 5 or 6 miles round trip that all of us can enjoy. We are experienced hikers, but the kiddo adds a whole new element. We will hike a 14er or 2 without him, but want to include him on some of the hiking. Ideally, a nice destination like an alpine lake or waterfall. Ideas??
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Re: Lake City Day Hikes

Postby huffy13 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:52 am

You might like the hike in American Basin just at the base of Handies Peak. It has Sloan Lake a couple of miles in and the wildflowers are awesome there. The elevation gain is not bad and there are some great photo opportunities. Go here they have some info on some hikes in that area too.
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Re: Lake City Day Hikes

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:59 am

Here's the options provided on the Lake City website (scroll down to get a list of 17 trail options). I don't really have any particular recommendations--I did the Devil's Creek/Devil's Lake hike last year but was not overly impressed with it, and it is long. Lake City is great for walking, complete with deer in town (and the occasional bear!) and nice views of the river--I think that's what I'd do if I had a small kid in tow. Also the standard approach to Wetterhorn is really nice--the basin at treeline is beautiful, and I thought about taking my wife there sometime for a picnic lunch. It's a very worthy stand-alone day hike!
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Re: Lake City Day Hikes

Postby thebeave7 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:42 am

Never dayhiked in the area, only run the San Juan Solstice 50 so can't help much with specific hikes. I can say that usually by mid/late June much of the snow has melted away, and it'll just be patchy at the higher elevations(12K+). Water is usually raging in all the rivers, and boy are they cold. Anyways, just wanted to give a word of warning for when you plan your trip, the San Juan Solstice 50 mile trail race is the weekend of June 20th, and will fill the entire town and some. It's a great town, enjoy it.
Photos from the area June 21st last year

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Re: Lake City Day Hikes

Postby Mark A Steiner » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:57 am

There is a stair-step waterfall just off the Engineer Pass road. To get there, go west from Lake City along Henson Creek past Capitol Park, about 9.7 miles from the center of town. You should see the old smelter structure still standing among the ruins of Capitol City on the south side of Capitol Park. Proceed west on Engineer Pass road. The waterfall will be on the left (south side) of the road and is at about 11,500 feet (near timberline). If you make it this far, you should proceed ahead to the summit of Engineer and view the spectacular volcanic terrain (Coxcomb, Wetterhorn, Uncompahgre and others). Have a stout 4-wheel drive vehicle for this journey.
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Re: Lake City Day Hikes

Postby PKelley » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:02 pm

There are several stellar day hikes in Lake City. Water Dog Lake, Crystal Lake (my fave), Thompson Lake, Larson Lakes, Cataract Gulch, Alpine Gulch, Station 11...... Not to sound like a jerk, but there are maybe 100 sweet day hikes right around Lake City. PM me if you need more information or have specific questions.

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Re: Lake City Day Hikes

Postby Gene913 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:51 pm

PKelley wrote:There are several stellar day hikes in Lake City. Water Dog Lake, Crystal Lake (my fave), Thompson Lake, Larson Lakes, Cataract Gulch, Alpine Gulch, Station 11......


My favorite is Cataract Gulch. Check this out:
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