Mirror Lake, Corral Creek Trailhead, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Mirror Lake - 12.2 miles

Corral Creek Trailhead

The Mummy Pass Trail skirts the Cache La Poudre River valley en route to Mirror Lake

The Mummy Pass Trail skirts the Cache La Poudre River valley en route to Mirror Lake

Round-Trip Length: 12.2 miles
Start-End Elevation: 10,070' - 11,015'
Elevation Change: +945' net elevation gain
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Mirror Lake - 12.2 Miles Round-Trip

Mirror Lake is located 6.1 miles from the Corral Creek Trailhead in the lightly traveled northwest corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. It lies near treeline in an isolated, steep-walled N-S valley in the Mummy Range. Visitors will enjoy large open valleys, pristine forests, abundant wildlife, and miles of remote wilderness travel on the hike to Mirror Lake:

The trail begins on a flat dirt road that soon becomes trail along a lively section of Corral Creek. It passes uneventfully through a lodgepole forest, enters Rocky Mountain National Park (1.3 miles), and breaks south into a massive valley carved by the Cache LaPoudre River.

It parallels the river for .5 miles to the Mummy Pass Trail split. Immediately south is a vast meadow fed by Hague Creek - consider detouring through this wildlife-rich area on a .7 mile long spur used to access the Hague Creek, Desolation and Flatiron backcountry campsites.

The Mummy Pass Trail climbs steadily for .75 miles in a spruce-fir forest accented by fallen timber and thick ground cover. It moderates for .5 miles, then pushes once more up a forested ridge to the Mirror Lake Trail split (4.3 miles : 10,700'). Turn north (left) towards Mirror Lake.

The Mirror Lake Trail undulates .75 miles in a thinning subalpine forest to a meadow beside Cascade Creek. It climbs past the north edge of the meadow to the Comanche Peak Trail split where you'll see a voluminous cascade two hundred yards shy of the lake.

The final quarter mile is highlighted by open rocky areas and abundant wildflowers.

Mirror Lake (6.1 miles : 11,015') is tightly ringed by several towering, unnamed peaks. The lake shore is somewhat cluttered, but easy enough to reach several good spots for fishing its healthy brown trout population. You can follow an unmaintained route up the lake's east shore and inlet stream to a small pond just north of Mirror Lake. Marked spur trails lead to several backcountry campsites in the lake vicinity.

Illustration of bighorn sheep

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N40 32.203 W105 41.824 — Mirror Lake

Worth Noting

  • The northwest corner of RMNP is lightly traveled, relative to other areas of the Park. This is a good choice for those seeking solitude during peak summer months.

  • The valley to the south of the Mummy Pass Trail junction is stunning. This is an especially peaceful area because no maintained trails pass through it. You can easily explore the valley by using the access trail for the Hague Creek, Desolation and Flatiron backcountry campsites. Look for moose, elk, deer and bear. Enjoy great views to the southeast of Flatiron Mountain (12,335').

Directions to Trailhead

From Fort Collins: To reach Corral Creek Trailhead, take Highway 14 up the Poudre Canyon (west of Fort Collins) to Long Draw Road. Turn on to the unpaved Long Draw Road. Corral Creek Trailhead is about 8.5 miles from Highway 14 on Long Draw Road.

Note that Long Draw Road is only open seasonally.

Contact Information

Rocky Mountain National Park
Visitor Information:
970.586.1206

Backcountry Office:
970.586.1242

Campground Reservations:
800.365.2267

Emergency Dispatch:
970.586.1203

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.



Comments

"From Corral creek we easily hiked to the Poudre, then Gauge creek, and started up once we got past Desolation campground inside RMNP. From there the trail is a very challenging climb through substantial beetle kill lodgepole pines up to Mummy pass, and another mile into Mirror Lake at 11,000 feet. The horseshoe valley walls are spectacular granite with several mineral veins. The valley faces South for a spectacular view of colors, shapes and sizes. Fishing is 4F, a freakin' fish feeding frenzy that never ends. We tired of the Brook trout after catching over 100 by each of us in six hours. The trout will strike at anything, but especially terrestrials. Sadly no other species can compete with the Brookies, so they stunt their growth at about 10 inches. Moose were loudly munching as they meandered up to the lake. BEWARE NOT TO EAT THE TROUT, they have mercury levels 40 times greater than human tolerance. See http://www.boulderweekly.com/boulderganic/toxic-trout-for-dinner/ "
Terry Usrey  -  Colorado  -  Date Posted: September 3, 2016
"We began our hike to Mirror Lake at Chapin Pass trailhead which allows a day of flat moderate hiking to get acclimated before the strenuous climb from the Cache La Poudre river valley up to the where Mummy Pass and Mirror Lake trails split. Encountered several moose along the Chapin Creek trail and the 1st night witnessed the elk mating ritual during the rut season. The 2nd day Gary and I hiked to the large footbridge crossing through Cahe La Poudre river and began the strenuous climb up to Mirror Lake. (A day hike from base camp without a full pack is another option to be able to see this spectacular lake at 11,000 feet.) At the Mirror Lake trail split the 1st snow storm of the season began and about 1/2 way to Mirror Lake we made a decision to press on. The Rangers office warned us about the pending storm and said it would come and go quickly followed by high pressure and clear skies. Finally found the campsite at the base of Mirror Lake nestled in a beautiful canyon which we did not see until the next morning after hunkering down in our tents for a long 16 hours. Felt like the top of Mt. Everest with the wind and snow blasting thru the canyon. However, next morning was manifiigant. Deep blue sky and the early morning sun glowing off the granite canyon walls. And to top it off a moose grazing across the pond about 30 yards away from the tents. We took in the moment and realized that this is a once in a lifetime experience. However, we realised the storm has taken it's toll so we packed up and went down to a lower elevation and never saw Mirror Lake. The good news is my son and I made the same trip 3 years later and did finally see Mirror Lake. It's beautiful and the trout fishing was great. At one point late in the afternoon the water was bubbling for about 1/2 hour as the trout were feeding. Be sure to bing you camera. Cheers."
Mark Johnson  -  Rockford Ill  -  Date Posted: February 17, 2015
"I hiked this trail to Mirror Lake in 1973 by myself when I was 31yrs old by myself. I don't remember if I had a map, just what was provided on the trail. I had a 40lb pack, hike what I judged to be .5mi down the valley then Left on a very steep climb through heavily wooded & Brush trail with many stops. I always thought that I had made a premature left turn, or short-cut to the Beaver damn. I did reach a break-through about 11/2mi on to easier walking in open forest with little brush. I came to a small creek, turned slightly left following the creek north to a ridge above. I'm not sure but I think it was only less than a mile when I saw the Beaver Damn and the horseshoe high peaks surrounding it. When I reached the east side of the Damn on a clear day, Oh my God, I was in Heaven, surrounded by raw beauty and a crystal clear lake where you could see thousands of 6 to 8" Brook trout that would bite on most anything. No shortage of food and lots of berries. I plan to have my sons take my ashes when I pass to feed the fish and help continue life in such a wondrous area. But you were right, there was nobody there......except for 4 teenage college kids with a very large old heavy canvas tent and many heavy pieces of cast iron cookware. I thought they must have been air-lifted in there by Helicopter, NO, just back packed it the same way I came up. What a truly Awesome trip! Steve Dyke "
Stephen Dyke  -  Rockport, Texas  -  Date Posted: October 24, 2014

 

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