Herman Lake

On a cloudy Tuesday morning at the end of July, I set out on another adventure. In about an hour, I found myself parked at the Herman Gulch trailhead yet again for the second Tuesday in a row. This time, I decided to take the hike up to Herman Lake via the Herman Gulch trail. Here’s some more info:

  • Date: July 30th, 2019
  • Route: Herman Gulch Trail to Herman Lake
  • Mileage: 6.8 Miles

Getting There

The Herman Gulch trailhead is easily accessible by taking exit 218 off of Interstate 70. Their is plenty of parking but it does tend to fill up quickly on weekends.

The Route

For this particular hike, I simply followed the Herman Gulch trail all the way until I reached Herman Lake. It’s very well traveled and easy to follow.

Beginning of the Herman Gulch trail.

What surprised me right away was the amount of avalanche debris all over the place. Numerous trees had been uprooted and large boulders have been moved a considerable distance as well.

Avalanche debris

After passing through the avalanche debris area, I then encountered a large field of columbines. They were literally growing all over the place. The trail itself continues to go in and out of the woods with some areas being pretty wet while other parts had a ton of tree roots everywhere.

Large field of columbines.
Columbine close up.
Lots of tree roots.

Pretty soon, the mountains directly behind Herman Lake come into view. They just look so majestic for some reason. It continued to get even more cloudy to the point that I nearly turned around. I’m glad I didn’t though!

Storm clouds brewing.
Getting closer to Herman Lake.

Once I got closer to the lake, it was starting to sprinkle but I figured that their was no sense in turning around. Not only that, but I simply couldn’t turn around with so many amazing views all around me. A few minutes later, I reached the lake and was very surprised to see only one other person.

Looking back down towards the trailhead.
Herman Lake
A close up view of Herman Lake.

Originally, I intended to hike up to the summit of Pettingell Peak from the lake but with dark clouds continuing to build it seemed like a good idea to just turn around. Their is absolutely no point in putting yourself in danger to the point that you could potentially become a statistic. And I made the right choice!

The Return Trip

On this particular occasion, the trip back from Herman Lake was rather uneventful. Despite the weather, more people were beginning to head up the trail. This didn’t really surprise me given the fact that the trail is very heavily trafficked.

One last departing shot.

Once I got back towards the bottom near the trailhead, the sun began to fight through the clouds. I also took a few minutes to sit by the creek.

The creek was roaring!!

It was definitely a nice and relaxing hike! I totally recommend making the hike to Herman Lake if you haven’t done it already.

Author: David Higham

Spending time in nature calms my soul.

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