Red Deer Lake

Estes Park, Colorado

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Red Deer Lake and Elk Tooth, a distinctive rock formation on the eastern ridge from Ogalalla Peak, are the only natural features named for the area’s most prominent herbivore. The Buchanan Pass Trail runs in a relaxed fashion along the north side of Middle Saint Vrain Creek to the Indian Peaks Wilderness boundary. Just beyond the boundary, the Saint Vrain Mountain Trail drops through switchbacks to join the Buchanan Pass Trail from the right. The Buchanan Pass Trail continues to parallel the creek to a crossing on a bridge where the Saint Vrain Glacier Trail continues along the north bank. On the south side of Middle Saint Vrain Creek, the Buchanan Pass Trail cuts a broad switchback south, now further from the creek and heading downstream. A fairly gentle grade after 1.1 miles leads to a sharp right turn on the Red Deer Lake trail. Snowefilds in early summer melt to water abundant wildo fl wers. An informal path circles the rock and krummholz-rimmed shore of Red Deer Lake, a glacier-created tarn, enlarged by a small dam.
Best Hikes Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness

by Kent Dannen (Falcon Guides)

Red Deer Lake and Elk Tooth, a distinctive rock formation on the eastern ridge from Ogalalla Peak, are the only natural features named for the area’s most prominent herbivore.

The Buchanan Pass Trail runs in a relaxed fashion along the north side of Middle Saint Vrain Creek to the Indian Peaks Wilderness boundary. Just beyond the boundary, the Saint Vrain Mountain Trail drops through switchbacks to join the Buchanan Pass Trail from the right. The Buchanan Pass Trail continues to parallel the creek to a crossing on a bridge where the Saint Vrain Glacier Trail continues along the north bank. On the south side of Middle Saint Vrain Creek, the Buchanan Pass Trail cuts a broad switchback south, now further from the creek and heading downstream. A fairly gentle grade after 1.1 miles leads to a sharp right turn on the Red Deer Lake trail. Snowefilds in early summer melt to water abundant wildo fl wers. An informal path circles the rock and krummholz-rimmed shore of Red Deer Lake, a glacier-created tarn, enlarged by a small dam.

© 2017 Kent Dannen/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding
Nearby City: Estes Park
Distance: 13.8
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Duration: 8 hours
Season: Summer
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: USDA Forest Service, Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave., Boulder CO 80301; (303) 541-2500; fs.usda.gov/arp
Local Maps: Trails Illustrated Indian Peaks Gold Hill; USGS Allens Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Red Deer Lake

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Apr 2018