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Mount Zirkel Wilderness

Greetings all,

A few days ago Steven, Marty and I backpacked up to Bighorn Lake in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness (Colorado) and spent two nights camping.  The hike from the trailhead (located about 20 miles from Walden, Colorado) to the lake was about 3 miles BUT it was rather steep and a tad strenuous for one “up hill” mile — the hike up took about 2 ½ hours to complete, the hike down 1 1/2 hours. The weather was warm but not too hot, no rain, and the bugs weren’t all that bad.  The elevation at OUR camp was around 10,000’  — the entire lake was ours since no other travelers were there.  (Unfortunately we left our fishing gear at home because fishing at Bighorn Lake seems outstanding … bad luck … but we did enjoy all the wildflowers, especially the Monkshood, Scarlet Paintbrush and Parry Primrose.)  We spent our second day hiking UP to the Continental Divide, connecting with Lone Pine Trail, peaking at around 11,000’.  This was a spectacular hike: the views along the trail and the Divide were absolutely breathtaking!  This was my first experience exploring the Mount Zirkel Wilderness but it won’t be my last – this area is a real gem!  Below are a few photos.

More soon … Cheers!

Bighorn Lake – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

Bighorn Lake – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

Bighorn Lake – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

Steven, Marty and Michael, Bighorn Lake – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

Marty and Steven, Bighorn Lake – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

Parry Primrose, Bighorn Lake – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

Hiking Lone Pine Trail – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

Continental Divide with view of Big Agnes Mountain (12,059′) – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

Continental Divide with view of Mount Zirkel (12,180′) – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

Atop a glacial cirque with Bighorn Lake and Lone Pine Creek valley below – Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado

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