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    Zimmerman Lake Trail

    Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado
    Elevation Gain677ft
    Trailhead Elevation10,013ft
    Elevation Min/Max10013/10532ft
    Elevation Start/End10013/10013ft

    Zimmerman Lake Trail

    Zimmerman Lake Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Larimer County, Colorado. It is within Neota Wilderness Area and Roosevelt National Forest. It is 1.7 miles long and begins at 10,013 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 677 feet. The Zimmerman Lake parking is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms. This trail connects with the following: Meadows Trail.
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    Restrooms are generally open. Very windy at the parking area so prep up inside your car. Once you duck into the forested area (about 30 yds away), the trees offer good protection. Grades are modest.

    Zimmerman Lake Trail Professional Guides

    Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

    "This 40-acre natural lake, just below the treeline at 9,500 feet, is surrounded by fir and spruce trees. Zimmerman Lake is home to a brood population of pure greenback cutthroat trout that range up to 18 inches, with an average size of 12 inches. Since cutthroat trout are mainly insect eaters, spinners don’t work well, but if used they should be small and colorful. These fish will surely hit anything once, usually as soon as it hits the water, but matching the hatch with dry flies and nymphs trailed slowly through the water will draw strikes. Small sizes work best." Read more
    Colorado's Quiet Winter Trails (Colorado Mountain Club Press)
    Dave Muller
    "Zimmerman Lake, near Cameron Pass in north central Colorado, is the primary spawning area for the state fish, the Greenback Cutthroat Trout. Eggs from this lake are taken to stock other lakes throughout the state. The tour uses a four-wheel drive road up to the lake. A forest trail circles the large lake amid great scenery and connects with the ascent road. Begin south from the signboard and trail register. Maps may also be available here. After 50 yards through open terrain, enter the trees at the large sign about Colorado’s state fish. Follow the road as it rises and curves to the left. The way is steep at times as the blue diamond markers on trees guide you up the snake-like road to a sign and fork at a clearing 1.1 miles from the trailhead. This is where your clockwise loop trip will rejoin this road. Continue up the left fork into the forest for another 0.2 mile to another signed fork. The trail on the right leads quickly to Zimmerman Lake." Read more
    "This is a short and steady climb to a small lake with great views of the surrounding remnants of the Never Summer Mountains. It is a very popular trail so expect company, but crowds thin out quickly when you reach the lake. The Rawah Wilderness and Never Summer Mountains that form the northwest border of Rocky Mountain National Park surround the lake. This can be the beginning of a mostly downhill car shuttle loop with the Meadows Trail. There is also a loop trail around the lake that features lots of trees and can be used to extend the short hike to the lake." Read more
    Andy Lightbody and Kathy Mattoon
    "A short trail with a smooth and steady ascent to the lake and a fairly gentle grade back to the trailhead. The Zimmerman Lake Trail, which is popular with the locals, is a short excursion from the main road into a heavily forested area that follows an old logging road that was built to Zimmerman Lake in 1957. Offering a mostly smooth, steady ascent, it has only two steep sections, one right as the trail begins and the other soon afterward at about the 0.25-mile point. Resting at the foot of cliff s that form the northern border of the Neota Wilderness Area, Zimmerman Lake offers a peaceful, solitary setting unencumbered by the mechanized traffic created by snowmobiles. From the trailhead use the old road at the south end of the parking lot. Starting at an elevation of 10,020 feet, the trail heads southeast and climbs through a spruce/fir forest, twisting in a slight zigzag direction toward the northeast." Read more

    Trail Information

    Roosevelt National Forest
    Nearby City
    Roosevelt National Forest
    Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
    Additional Use
    Roosevelt National Forest
    Local Contacts
    USGS Clark Peak, Chambers Lake
    Local Maps

    Trail Log