Herman Gulch Trail is a hiking trail in Clear Creek County, Colorado. It is within Arapaho National Forest. It is 3.2 miles long and begins at 10,299 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,000 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. Along the trail there is a quarry. The trail ends near the Herman Lake water.
Herman Gulch Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Welcome to summit hiker’s heaven. This trailhead is extremely popular with day hikers, most of whom are out for a stroll to Herman Lake and never set foot on a single mountaintop. None of the summits in this area have formal trails, but all of them are worthy adventures. Hikers make a decision early in their day: go west to Herman Gulch or east to Watrous Gulch... or link up the two gulches via an inconspicuous summit between the two. Two excellent Class 3 routes and several Class 2 walk-ups make this a trailhead you’ll revisit many times."
--James Dziezynski, Best Summit Hikes: Denver to Vail (Wilderness Press).
"The popular hike to Herman Lake starts on an old sawmill road through thick forest. The trail then wanders through fields of colorful wildflowers with spectacular views of the Continental Divide. Most of the trail doubles as a section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. A last steep pitch takes you to treeline where the trail mellows on the final stretch to Herman Lake, nestled in a bowl at 12,000 feet below Pettingell Peak. Herman Hassell, an early timber operator in the area, supposedly named Herman Gulch after himself. While timber may have been Herman’s ambition, today wildflower aficionados consider this trail a “100 wildflower” or “century” hike because of the possibility of seeing about a hundred different flower species during peak bloom in late July."
--Maryann Gaug, Hiking Colorado's Summit County Area (Falcon Guides).
"The popular hike to Herman Lake starts on an old sawmill road through thick forest. The trail then wanders through ?elds of colorful wild?owers, with spectacular views of the Continental Divide. Most of the trail doubles as a section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. A last steep pitch takes you to treeline, where the trail mellows on the ?nal stretch to Herman Lake, nestled in a bowl at 12,000 feet with Pettingell Peak towering above."
--Sandy Heise and Maryann Gaug, Best Hikes Near Denver and Boulder (Falcon Guides).
"Dogs love this hike because of the numerous rivulets and minor streamlet crossings along the trail. This is an enormously popular trail, so the Forest Service now requires that dogs be leashed. However, this should not deter you from taking your dog on this hike. Once up the old lumber road, the trail intersects numerous rivulets that flow down the slope into Herman Creek. In the lodgepole pine forest, the ground is spongy and pleasant to hike on. When you get to Herman Lake, dogs know exactly what to do. Most hikers let them off leash for a quick swim or a game of “fetch” in the still but frigid water of the alpine tarn."
--Ania Savage, Best Hikes with Dogs: Colorado (The Mountaineers Books).
"Herman Gulch is popular with families because of moderate terrain, proximity to metro Denver, and culmination at a high-altitude lake surrounded by jagged mountains. It’s a great example of how people in average physical condition can access and enjoy spectacular roadless areas on national forests."
--Penelope Prudy, Hiking Colorado's Roadless Trails (Colorado Mountain Club Press).
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