It was mid-July and the Colorado high country was finally thawing out from an incredibly wet and cold spring. Summer was halfway over and I had yet to get a backpacking trip under my belt.
Overall, the Gore Range is relatively inaccessible due to the lack of mining roads that criss-cross so many other Colorado mountain ranges and they have a reputation for a lot of trailhead access red tape, due in large part to private property, particularly on the eastern side.
Six miles into the Gore Range and the Eagles Nest Wilderness, Gore Lake sits at 11,414′ at the base of Snow Peak (13,024′), Willow Peak (13,357′), and Red Peak (13,189′).
A couple years ago, my buddy found a hike to the unofficially-named Crater Lake in the Gore Range at the base of the Spider (12,692′) and the Fly, two also unofficially-named twelvers residing on a rugged spur ridge west of the main spine of the central Gores.
I kept putting the hike off because it didn’t sound easy even as a day hike, let alone to do it right as an overnight with a full pack.
Even though it’s nestled up against the Gore Range and just over the ridge to the south of Piney Lake outside of Vail, the views at Lost Lake just aren’t as grand or iconic.
Every June, the country’s largest celebration of adventure sports, art, and music are held in Vail, CO. The GoPro Mountain Games are kind of the unofficial start to summer in the valley as professional and amateur athletes from around the world converge upon the mountains and rivers of Vail.
Another 1.4 miles up the Brush Creek drainage through some beautiful meadows, led us to Mystic Island Lake (11,306 feet), a dramatic blue lake at the base of a classic glacial cirque…
The Fowler-Hilliard Hut, owned and operated by 10th Mountain, was originally constructed in the summer of 1988.