Trail Length: 8.22 miles (roundtrip)
Trailhead Elevation: 10,290’
High Point: 11,987′
Elevation Gain: +1,697’
Trailhead Location: The Herman Gulch Trailhead is located .1 mile north of exit #218 from I-70. It’s located between Bakerville, CO and the Eisenhower Tunnel. From westbound I-70, exit #218 and bear right (east) on the short service road that dead-ends at the Herman Gulch Trailhead.
This is another hike I did back in August but am just now writing the trip report. Some friends called me on a Saturday morning and asked if I wanted to do this hike with them. Never wanting to turn down the opportunity for a hike, I took them up on the offer and said yes.
I did this same hike back in August of 2012. You can read about that hike here.
Herman Hassell, an early timber operator in the area, supposedly named Herman Gulch after himself. While timber may have been Herman’s ambition, today wildflower aficionados consider this trail a “100 wildflower” or “century” hike because of the possibility of seeing about a hundred different flower species during peak bloom in late July.
We arrived at the trailhead around 10:00am and started up the trail shortly after that. After climbing steadily for 30 minutes along the creek, we came to a long meadow in the lower gulch with beautiful views of the Continental Divide.
A close up view of 13,195’ Pettingell Peak.
We continued hiking up through the meadow.
We continued hiking up the gulch with wonderful views of The Citadel (13,294’).
The trail leveled off in the tundra as we neared Herman Lake.
We arrived at Herman Lake (11,987’).
After taking a lunch break at the lake, we continued on a trail to the west of the lake towards Fortress Pass.
There were still some wildflowers in the area to enjoy.
After exploring around a bit, we turned around and headed back down the trail, taking in the views back towards the direction we had come from.
An overview of our route.
A great day and as the saying goes, “If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough”!