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    Ypsilon Lake Trail

    Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
    Elevation Gain1,824ft
    Trailhead Elevation9,216ft
    Elevation Min/Max9215/10742ft
    Elevation Start/End9216/9216ft

    Ypsilon Lake Trail

    Ypsilon Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Larimer County, Colorado. It is within Rocky Mountain National Park. It is 2.8 miles long and begins at 9,216 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,824 feet. This trail connects with the following: Lawn Lake Trail and Spectacle Lakes.

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    Arvada, CO
    Ranger | 2996 pts
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    I did this trail on 4/2/19, a cold and snowy day in the Colorado Rockies. I did it with a friend because the lake is at the bottom of Ypsilon Mountain which is reached by another trail that I had done last summer. The trailhead is in the Rocky Mountain National Park, not far from the Fall River Entrance near Estes Park. The description of the trail and how to get to the trailhead in the book shown here are accurate. The trail starts at about 8500 ft and it was not covered with snow as we started. That changed after a mile or two and we had to use snowshoes. The snow-covered trail itself was readily discernable as we went up but the falling snow was coming down hard and quickly covering our tracks. The trail is a bit long (8.6 miles) and challenging to do with snowshoes because of the climb, about 2000 ft. Not much to see until you get to the end and we didn't quite make it to Ypsilon Lake because it was cold and snowy and getting late. We were short by only about 0.25 miles though and even the lower Chipmunk Lake was pretty. I will have to return once the snow melts. Total time was 5:49 with a 45 min break for lunch.
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    Ypsilon Lake Trail Professional Guides

    Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

    Kent Dannen
    "Crossing the rubble left by the Lawn Lake flash flood, the trail to Ypsilon Lake passes Chipmunk Lake, a surprisingly dramatic mirror reflecting Ypsilon Mountain. Ypsilon is the Greek letter corresponding to our letter Y. Very conspicuous Mount Ypsilon is named for the snow-fi lled gullies that form a Y across the huge bowl-shaped cirque cut by glaciers on the mountain’s east face. Ypsilon Lake takes its name from the mountain against which it rests. Switchbacks from the Lawn Lake Trailhead lift hikers through a ponderosa pine forest on the side of a steep slope laid down thousands of years ago by the icy conveyor belt of a glacier. The back-and-forth trail eases passage up and down this lateral moraine, but that is not the main virtue of switchbacks. They also eliminate erosion from hikers’ or horses’ feet by keeping this wear and tear on a less-steep slope, where it is less forceful and damaging than on a straight up-and-down path. Do not shortcut the switchbacks." Read more
    Susan Joy Paul
    "Spectacle Lakes lie at the edge of the Mummy Range, in Rocky Mountain National Park. Their mountain waters flow south through a narrow ravine, in multitiered horsetails amid mossy rocks and greenery, and spill into a shimmering, brown pool at “Ypsilon Falls.” The hike to “Ypsilon Falls” begins on Lawn Lake Trail, and follows the ridge above Horseshoe Park and Horseshoe Falls. At about a mile the trail meets up with Roaring River, and follows it for about half a mile before reaching the junction with Ypsilon Lake Trail." Read more

    Trail Information

    Rocky Mountain National Park
    Nearby City
    Rocky Mountain National Park
    Rocky Mountain National Park, (970) 586-1206,
    Local Contacts
    DeLorme Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer: Page 29 A5 and B6; USGS Colorado Quad Map: Trail Ridge
    Local Maps

    1 Member Completed

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