Colorado’s mountainous terrain is peppered with crystal clear alpine lakes, nestled in jagged, rocky bowls at the base of soaring peaks. These serene bodies of water are effectively worth the hike in but can turn into even a lot more specific when skilled from a new viewpoint – like a 5-pound inflatable boat. Enter, the packraft.
This light-weight tool lets me get in and splash about in some of the most serene bodies of water in the Rockies. Witnessing the mountains from a new viewpoint, unattainable by foot, and feeling little in the middle of an icy blue expanse is some thing I haven’t however been capable to get adequate of.
If you are searching to spice up your hikes and practical experience the mountains from a entire new angle, verify out these alpine lake packrafts just a stone’s throw from Denver, Boulder, and Longmont.
Chasm Lake, Longs Peak
Situated at the base of Longs Peak on its north side lies the emerald-colored waters of Chasm Lake. The stroll up is not for the faint of heart and leads hikers along a four.two mile stretch of steep, forested trails and rocky alpine terrain, from 9,405 to 11,803 ft. The final stretch is a scramble up to the lake, but you will quickly neglect the tightness in your chest from the thin air when you attain the shore.
Panoramic views of the Diamond, a gigantic granite wall that soars two,456 ft above Chasm Lake greets deserving floaters. Place your packraft in and paddle the perimeter of the lake for up-close views of Chasm’s glaciers and rock walls. The water is so clear that paddlers can conveniently see into the lake’s depths. As the sun creeps across the sky, Longs Peak frequently attracts mid-day storm clouds so be ready. If you do not thoughts a dark hike in, sunrise runs this legendary wall via a variety of glorious pinks and oranges that paddlers can witness from the comfort of your lightweight packraft.
Blue Lake, Brainard Lake Recreation Region
The Indian Peaks supply rugged and gorgeous terrain, year-round, but, in my humble opinion, absolutely nothing beats this variety in late summertime. Winding trails carry hikers across ever-altering terrain, via lush meadows speckled with wildflowers, more than trickling creeks, and up rocky hills. The most complicated aspect of this five.1 mile round-trip hike is the steep half-mile trek up to the lake.
Place in anyplace along the gently sloping shore and paddle straight across to the waterfalls along the far side of the lake. Floating Blue Lake provides packrafters the possibility to see special capabilities up close. From the shore, Blue Lake’s glaciers look nearly miniscule but upon reaching them through packraft, you seriously get a really feel for their magnitude. Encounter Roosevelt National Forest like by no means ahead of with this conveniently-accessed alpine lake packraft.
Lake Dorothy, Fourth of July Trailhead
Starting at Fourth of July trailhead, this path gets the heart pumping with a series of switch-backs nearly right away. It opens up and leads hikers previous the historic Fourth of July Mine, then into a tundra. It is a slow, steady climb up to Lake Dorothy, but hikers are rewarded along the way with sweeping views of valleys and notorious peaks.
Following a moderate three.five mile climb, you will attain the highest named lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Lake Dorothy. There’s no finer lady than this sparkling beauty. Packrafters seriously score on this hike. From it is nearly purple waters, contained in a deep cirque, take in the beauty of Arapaho Pass, Mount Neva, and the Continental Divide. Gulp down the fresh mountain air whipping across the open tundra as you tool about the lake.
Lake Isabelle, Brainard Lakes Recreation Region
Likely the easiest hike on this list, Lake Isabelle is a swift and simple out-and-back with a massive payoff. This four.two mile round-trip hike only gains 435 ft. of elevation. This effectively-marked trail leads hikers previous Extended Lake and up towards Isabelle Glacier.
Upon arriving at the lake, take in these views! Subsequent, inflate and paddle about this expansive physique of water. Lake Isabelle is surrounded by varied terrain considering that it is positioned correct at the tree line. Its quite a few glaciers make the outer edge of the water make the lake seem greenish-blue. Take in the lake’s infinity edge from across the other side of the lake.