Peak(s):  Mount Dickinson - 11,831 feet
Mount Dunraven - 12,571 feet
Date Posted:  07/20/2013
Modified:  07/24/2013
Date Climbed:   07/16/2013
Author:  andrewrose
Additional Members:   DanR
 Dickinson, Dunraven, and the North Fork River lakes.  

"From the mightiest Pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?"- C.M. Burns
Early morning again, but with a very low precipitation chance throughout the day, we decided to go longer. 5 AM meet up in Lyons, rather pleasant drive up 36 to Estes (at least compared to coming back!), and then a farther few miles to the tiny town of Glen Haven. The trail head is at 7900 feet, which means we'd have to gain almost 4000 feet just to get our first goal of the day.

Dickinson from far, far away.
We took the standard route up this not often climbed peak- take the North Fork trail to the Happily Lost campsite, go through that, cross the river, and up, up, up. From here on we shall remain happily lost, hidden from the view of the world, away from the responsibilities of life. This is probably the most difficult part of the hike, as you'll gain about 2200 feet over the 1.25 miles or so from the campsite to the summit.

The privy apparently used to be on the other side of the river. I had nothing to add for posterity at this point.
We hit a ridge and stayed west of it, continuing up. The bushwhacking was tedious, with dead fall, knee height brush, and mossy rock. Everything was wet from the recent rains, rendering the air quite humid.

Eventually we reached a place where we could see tundra and talus to our east and headed that way into clearer terrain.

And then we were there. It took us less than four hours to cover the 7.8 miles and 3931 feet to this summit. Pretty great views all around. And hello to NOCO Chris and 49ersrule, saw both you in the register.
Next, head west to Dunraven. It looks simple enough, but brings the pain somewhat with 2.2 miles and 700 feet to gain. But of course you end up loosing about 160 feet right away, then gaining 600, then loosing 300 of that, and then gaining the final 570 to the summit. So, 2.2 miles with almost 1200 feet to gain. No sweat, except I was actually sweating alot.

A Bob Rossian cloud hangs out. We started to get some low but non-threatening clouds on the surrounding peaks.

See what I mean from the summit of Dunraven.

Dan took this photo of yours truly on the summit. Much better than my selfie.
It took us one more hour to gain this summit. For future ascenders, there is no writing implement in the register and neither of us had one. Now at the highest point of the day, but less than halfway done, we set our sights on the lakes below. First up was Scotch Lake.

We aimed ourselves at the snow fields pictured near the base of Gibraltar Mountain. Though it looked like we might come to something too steep to climb down, the topo indicated we might be able to head north east from there and descend somewhat more mellow slopes...

which pretty much worked perfectly. Scotch Lake, Whiskey Lake, Lake Dunraven. Did I mention I was starting to feel mighty thirsty for some single malt? Caol Ila anyone?

Approaching Scotch Lake. The registers on the peaks above indicated 10-15 ascents per year, and I'm sure these lakes get that or less. But I find the high lakes to be just as satisfying as the peaks. I mean, look at them!

Whiskey Lake.

Lake Dunraven.
From here we planned to contour around to Lake Louise, but some steep rock blocked the way. An up and over on a game trail and we were there.

Lake Louise.

Lake Husted.

Descent to Lost Lake was a little bushwhacky at times. Despite the name there is a trail right to this lake, as well as campsites around it. I guess someone found it at some point.

Be brave!

Rather cold but ultimately quite refreshing. And I was not eaten by a Loch Ness Monster, so there's that.
From here it was 9ish miles back to the trail head and a good sit. We made it back to the truck at just under 11 hours after we left it. Though both of us have had 20ish mile day hikes, at 24 or so miles, this is the farthest either of us had gone in a day. And worth every penny.
Lake elevations and distances from Dunraven Th:
'Scotch Lake': 11.7 miles one way, 11620.
'Whiskey Lake': 11.5 miles one way, 11540.
Lake Dunraven: 11.1 miles one way, 11260.
Lake Louise: 10.9 miles one way, 11020.
Lake Husted: 10.4 miles one way, 11088.
Lost Lake: 9.7 miles one way, 10714.

 Comments or Questions

Scotch and Whiskey
07/21/2013 17:41
Two of the parks best high alpine lakes, the view of Gibraltar in that drainage is phenomenal. Lots of people climbing Dickinson and beyond, those peaks must feel popular this year! Well done on your climb Dan!


No props?
07/29/2013 18:29
To the dude who summitted these 2 days before you did? Nice work guys. Agree that the lakes are the money attraction here. Dickinson is nice, but the other 2 summits are meh.

Paul S

Not Dundicking?
07/22/2013 19:48
Sounds like you went over ”Dundicking” too. Congrats on a big day!


07/24/2013 17:58
We did, just didn't realize it was a thing. And thanks, it was fun!
@49ersrule- didn't know that was you! Updated the TR

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