Kettle Ponds Professional Review and Guide
"This gentle, uncrowded hike follows an old mining road then travels on the Gore Range Trail (GRT), climbing a lateral moraine left by two epochs of glaciers. The GRT wanders around the top of the forested glacial debris, past many small ponds, some covered with lily pads. The moraine is covered with conifers—mainly lodge-pole pine interspersed with a few aspen, spruce, and fir. Dropping down to cross South Rock Creek, the trail crosses a few boggy areas, then climbs to an unnamed lake.
The peaceful destination provides views of Red Peak with its craggy ridge, and the Thorn. Between 150, 000 and 12, 000 years ago, two periods of glaciation (Bull Lake and Pinedale) deposited thick sheets of ice in this area. As the glaciers crept forward, they eroded the land underneath and pushed the resulting sediments out of the way, creating ridges known as lateral moraines. Hunks of ice sometimes became embedded in the moraine then melted creating small ponds. Geologists call these depressions kettle ponds or kettle holes."