Trail of the Week: Lost Lake via Divide Trail (with video)
Lost Lake is by no means hidden or impossible to locate. It’s very much been found, and the trail leading to it is gorgeous and easy.
There’s a long way and a short way to Lost Lake, both along the Continental Divide Trail. My boyfriend and I took the long way, which was about 10 miles round trip, starting at Dumont Lake Picnic Area off Rabbit Ears Pass.
We followed the CDT north, astonished by the masses of bright pink fireweed that lined the trail. The first few miles were very casual. We crossed a creek, climbed a small hill then bopped around the forest and the meadows.
Reaching Forest Service Road 311 marked the halfway point. We headed left on the road towards Basecamp Trailhead, where the short version of the hike begins. For those with higher clearance vehicles, they can take the forest road from the Rabbit Ears trailhead all the way to the Basecamp Trailhead. From that parking lot, the route to Lost Lake is about two miles.
Once back on the Continental Divide Trail, we traveled downhill for a bit. We thought the return trip back uphill would be slightly painful, but since the rest of the trail is so tame, our legs didn’t seem to mind.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
At the bottom of the hill was another creek crossing, perhaps the fourth one. Dallas, our dog, was grateful for the frequent water. He could wade, cool down and get a drink.
A short distance later, we reached Fishhook Lake, a long skinny lake where a few other weary travelers were resting their feet and enjoying a snack.
Dallas was elated to walk up to every single person and demand pets. We encountered a half dozen dogs and more than a dozen people, and everyone was so friendly and nice. There were also a few bikers taking advantage of the surprisingly lovely weather after days of rain. One of the best parts of hiking is that everyone is in a great mood. Everyone is so happy to be out there and enjoying the great outdoors.
Just past Fishhook Lake, the trail splits. The CDT continues left, and the trail to Lost Lake is to the right.
The lake is everything a hiker would want after five miles of walking. Big logs to sit on and shallow places to dip their feet. There are a few dispersed camping sites, near the shore, and a pair of anglers were casting into the Alpine lake, hoping to catch some fish. Bright blue dragonflies flitted around the rocks, warming in the early afternoon sun.
Dallas proved to us once again that he is not a water dog. He’s part hound and part lab, so he should enjoy swimming. Instead, he balanced on logs trying to get out onto the water without getting wet. I don’t understand that dog.
After a while of enjoying the beauty that we are so lucky to have so close to home, we headed back. We all started to drag with about two miles to go, but thankfully, we were back to Dumont Lake before we knew it.
Dallas passed out in the back of the car on the way home.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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