Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trappers Lake

The amphitheater is the most recognized feature around Trappers Lake

Trappers Lake is at the heart of the Flat Tops Wilderness. Once a gem of phenomenal beauty, it is now scared by the skeletal remains of the 2002 Big Fish Fire. When I chose this destination, I had no idea of this fire. Most guidebooks of the area were written before this date and don't include it in their descriptions.

Crossing the outlet

Looking southeast from across the outlet

The lake, which is a true wilderness lake, must be walked into although the walks are as short as 1/4 mile. I took pictures at two common areas. The first is from the Outlet Trail on the north side of the lake. As you drive in, the road forks just past the local lodge. The left fork dead ends at a berm. The outlet trail climbs up this berm and then circumnavigates the lake. There are many pretty spots within a half mile for those not interested in walking far. The second spot was past the campgrounds on the right fork. We followed the road to the Wall Lake Trailhead, turned left and parked in the large parking area. There is a short trail out to an overlook.

A close up of the same formation

Trapper's Lake is also known as the beginning of the Wilderness movement. In 1920, the Forest Service hired Arthur Carhart to survey the area for potential development. Carhart was so moved by the beauty of the area that the lake was protected from all development. This concept was quite new at the time and served as the seed for the establishment of the Wilderness Act.

From the southern overlook

A close up of the willows in the fading light

There is a lodge near the lake that has cabins and a small restaurant. The lake is 1.5 miles by 0.5 miles wide and is 180 ft deep. There are numerous trails in and around the area. We hiked Skinny Fish Lake, which is a few miles before the lake.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I continue to camp at Trappers Lake. It remains one of the most beautiful places in Colorado even after the fire. Wildflowers and undergrowth are stunning. Fishing and hunting remain the best.

Also stayed at the lodge several times, great little rustic cabins, excellent food at the restaurant.