2019 Best of the Boat hike: Zirkel Circle

Put the Zirkel Circle on your hiking list.

The 10.4-mile loop in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area is the best in the region, according to voters. Gaining 2,360 vertical feet, the loop links Gilpin and Gold lakes, with a scenic pass in the middle.

Most people approach the loop from the west at the Gilpin Lake trailhead. The loop’s high point is at the midway point, so it doesn’t really matter which direction you go.

Going clockwise is a higher sustained grade overall, but with fewer steep sections; counterclockwise offers lower grade but with more steep sections. Regardless, expect a few creek crossings and spectacular views and take the time to relax at both Gilpin and Gold lakes en route.

2019 Best of the Boat winners

Click here to see the complete list of winners from 2019’s Best of the Boat.

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