Gore Range Trail to Lost Lake, Copper Mountain - Gore Range Trailhead, Summit County - Eagle County - Clear Creek County, Colorado

Gore Range Trail to Lost Lake - 9.9 miles

Copper Mountain - Gore Range Trailhead

Lost Lake (11,612') in the Eagles Nest Wilderness

Lost Lake (11,612') in the Eagles Nest Wilderness

Round-Trip Length: 9.9 miles
Start-End Elevation: 9,723' - 11,612' (11,628' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +1,889' net elevation gain (+2,083' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate-Strenuous
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Gore Range Trail to Lost Lake - 9.9 Miles Round-Trip

Lost Lake (11,612') is located 4.95 miles north of Copper Mountain Ski Resort in the Eagles Nest Wilderness. This moderately-strenuous section of the Gore Range Trail passes through intervals of aspen, subalpine forests and large meadows to the green-tinted lake near treeline and Uneva Pass.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

Visitors will enjoy exceptional views across the Ten Mile and Sawatch ranges and excellent backcountry camping options on the hike to Lost Lake:

From Copper Mountain Ski Resort's Alpine Parking Lot, walk .35 miles north across the I-70 pedestrian bridge to a sign marking the Gore Range Trail on your left (9,725'). The trail rises gently through a sage-aspen hillside over I-70, gradually bending N-NW to the Eagles Nest Wilderness Boundary (1.2 miles : 10,195').

The grade steepens considerably through intervals of timber and small clearings to the edge of a large meadow (1.85 miles : 10,778'), a welcome reprieve through archetypal elk and moose habitat.

It skirts the meadow and winds to the Wheeler Lakes Trail split (2.55 miles : 11,077'). The Gore Range Trail continues north across a string of meadows and trio of ponds (3.6 miles : 11,365').

It levels by the ponds into a thick forest and rises sharply on a shifting climb to a crest over the top of Officers Gulch. The trail drops into and crosses the marshy drainage on an ill-defined path, negotiating dense willow and rushing streams to a clear path on the far side (4.25 miles : 11,423'). Take a moment to locate the trail before crossing this gulch.

Once over it rises through the vestiges of treeline to a talus field (4.65 miles : 11,478') and stream crossing, which is Lost Lake's outlet (4.8 miles : 11,535'). A short push leads to the high east bank of Lost Lake (4.95 miles : 11,621').

Lost Lake is partially concealed by the bank and stands of gnarled spruce, however clearing treeline should prompt you to look back and find it. Consider hiking a bit past the lake and hooking back to its open north shore, a less-obstructed option.

Those with time may continue another half mile and 300' up to Uneva Pass, or take a .5 mile roundtrip excursion to Wheeler Lakes on the return.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N39 30.185 W106 08.546 — Parking Lot at Copper Mountain
  • N39 30.416 W106 08.687 — .35 miles : Pickup Gore Range Trail across I-70
  • N39 30.331 W106 09.114 — .95 miles : Gentle climb up open hillside
  • N39 30.394 W106 09.352 — 1.2 miles : Eagles Nest Wilderness Boundary sign
  • N39 30.433 W106 09.454 — 1.35 miles : Strenuous climb into subalpine forest
  • N39 30.722 W106 09.820 — 1.85 miles : Skirt large, flat meadow
  • N39 31.112 W106 10.149 — 2.55 miles : Wheeler Lakes Trail junction
  • N39 31.217 W106 10.591 — 3.05 miles : Moderate travel through high open space
  • N39 31.383 W106 10.954 — 3.55 miles : First of three large ponds in level meadow
  • N39 31.616 W106 11.236 — 4.05 miles : Steep, winding climb through thick forest
  • N39 31.781 W106 11.148 — 4.25 miles : Regain trail on far side of willow patch
  • N39 31.987 W106 10.912 — 4.65 miles : Trail threads short talus field
  • N39 32.183 W106 11.019 — 4.95 miles : Lost Lake

Worth Noting

  • Lingering snow may obscure portions of the Gore Range Trail. Follow cairns, be patient with route finding and help minimize erosion by staying on designated trails.

  • Much of this trail passes through exposed areas near treeline. Get an early start to enjoy the open high country and return safely below treeline before summer storms develop.

  • Anticipate changing weather conditions throughout the day. Carry versatile layers, sun, wind and rain protection.

  • This is a popular destination for both dayhikers and backpackers. Arrive early to avoid crowds and secure preferred campsites near the lake.

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • Dispersed backcountry camping is permitted in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. No permit is necessary. Camping is prohibited within 100' of any lake or stream. Group size is limited to 15 individuals.

  • Campfires are permitted for dispersed camping in the backcountry, with potential seasonal restrictions. Campfires are not permitted above or within .25 miles (440 yards) of treeline, or within 100' of any lake or stream in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area.

  • Contact the Dillon Ranger District (970.468.5400) for the latest on weather, trail conditions and trail-specific usage guidelines when planning your trip. The office is open M - F from 8am - 4pm.

  • For those not wishing to camp in the backcountry, there are several developed campgrounds within the White River National Forest. Contact the Dillon Ranger District for information on these sites.

Fishing Information

  • Fishing is permitted with a valid Colorado fishing license.

Rules and Regulations

  • Dogs are permitted on the Gore Range Trail and within the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6'.

  • Horses are permitted on the Gore Range Trail.

  • Bikes are not permitted on the Gore Range Trail.

Directions to Trailhead

The Gore Range Trail can be accessed from several parking areas along I-70 to reach Lost Lake. Each requires that you trace I-70 for a short time before turning north on the main trail. The most convenient access point for most visitors begins at Copper Mountain Ski Resort's Alpine Parking Lot.

Parking is free in the summer, but overnight permits are required.

From Denver, take the 195 - Copper Mountain Exit off I-70 and proceed to the Copper Mountain Ski Resort. Turn right on Copper Road into the resort, then immediately left into the Alpine Lot. Walk .35 miles east back over the I-70 pedestrian bridge. A sign marking the trail is located just over the bridge on your left (north). Mileage described above includes this .35 mile walk from the Alpine Lot.

You may alternatively park on the small shoulder to your right just off the 195 exit ramp, or at the Officers Gulch Exit off I-70. The latter requires a longer walk along I-70 to reach the main trail.

Contact Information

Dillon Ranger District
680 Blue River Parkway
Silverthorne, CO 80498
970.468.5400
M - F from 8am - 4pm

White River National Forest
900 Grand Ave.
P.O. Box 948
Glenwood Springs CO 81602
970.945.2521

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.



Comments

"The trailhead is across the highway. The directions say head east from the Copper parking lot. I'm fairly sure (at least according to my GPS) that the trail is actually north of the parking area. There IS however a pedestrian bridge to the east that leads to the bike path. Don't take that. There's a path to the leftt of the highway exit ramp that you can take back to the other side of 70. Overall a decent hike. We could hear I70 traffic for the first 3 miles or so which was a bummer... Nice lake with good wildflowers and mushrooms. "
Ben Dawson  -  Denver, CI  -  Date Posted: August 15, 2017
"Magnificent hike. Beautiful flowers almost the entire way. Would have been extremely dissapointed if we only went to Wheeler Lakes - not worth it. Would highly recommend adding one-half mile to Uneva Pass. This hike provides great views of the 10-mile range, Mt. of the Holy Cross, and from the Pass, the Gore Range. Great views with the effort being moderate to strenuous."
John Dillon  -  Southern Indiana  -  Date Posted: July 24, 2017
"Attempted but failed to reach the lake. I don't think my snowshoes had enough 'float' to keep me above the snow, which is really deep once you get into the trees. I'll try Wheeler in a few weeks, which should be easier to reach. I still recommend attempting this trail because it's so easy to access from I-70 / Copper Mountain, and the views across the valley are spectacular."
Todd Guerin  -  Denver  -  Date Posted: April 11, 2017
"Nice, fairly moderate trail with an option to check out the Wheeler Lakes as a side trip. Though not plentiful or large, there were quite a few varieties of wildflowers along the trail and near the lakes, though we saw no Rocky Mountain columbine. We had the lakes basically to ourselves, which was nice for a large group. Just bring some mosquito repellent! "
Thunderable  -  Denver, CO  -  Date Posted: July 8, 2013

 

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