The Best Fort Collins Hikes
This trail provides easy access to a high, wide alpine meadow experience. It travels through Colorado State Park State Forest, on the western side of the Continental Divide. The trail begins on an old logging road and climbs through evergreens and past small, snow-fed, swollen streams. To the north are views of the Diamond Peaks in the Medicine Bow Range, which extends into Wyoming. The Never Summer Range is seen to the east and south. The American Lakes, sometimes called Michigan Lakes on older maps, comprise two easily accessible lakes. A third lake, Snow Lake, involves a rocky scramble. Depending on spring temperatures, the trail may not be easily navigable until late June or July.
The Nohku Crags (from the Arapahoe hoh’onookee, meaning “Eagle Rocks”) form the western boundary above the lakes and shade the lakes from the late afternoon sun. As you enjoy the panoramic views of peaks and tundra, look for wildflowers like the glacier lily in late June. Other Never Summer Range views on this hike include Static Peak, with Mount Richthofen in the background, and Lulu Mountain and Thunder Mountain, all part of the Continental Divide bordering on Rocky Mountain National Park.