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Monday, August 2, 2010

Zimmerman Lake Backpacking

We took off Friday for a short backpacking trip to Zimmerman Lake. Zimmerman Lake is up Poudre Canyon almost to the top of Cameron Pass. It took us nearly an hour and a half to drive to the trailhead from Fort Collins. It was raining when we arrived at the trailhead, so we waited in the car for the rain to pass.

Fortunately, the time wasn't wasted. We saw a female moose browsing on a hillside across the highway from the trailhead.
We set out, and were amazed at the many beautiful wildflowers and mushrooms.

The clouds parted shortly after we arrived at the lake to set up camp. The hike in is along an old logging road and is only a mile. Campsites are available on the west and east sides of the lake.

There are also several lumber piles in the area- remnants from logging back in the day. We saw one along the road, and 2-3 more to the east of the lake.

The lake was really pretty about sundown when the breeze stopped and it got glassy. We could hear splashes from several greenback cutthroat trout jumping.

We enjoyed dinner and sat around the fire before we we retired to our tent for the night.
The next morning, we hiked to the top of the ridge southeast of camp (two pictures back). There isn't a trail, so we bushwhacked our way to the top. The views were incredible!

We wandered back down the mountain, enjoying the beauty of the many wildflowers as we hiked.

As we hiked down the road to the trailhead, we talked about how lucky we were to have avoided any serious rain. What a great short backpacking trip!
Nearest City: Laporte, Co
GPS Coordinates: N 40° 32.345 W 105° 52.935
Time Needed: 2 hours roundtrip, including time at the lake
Difficulty: Easy
Kid Friendly: Yes
Additional Info: The trail is an old logging road. Bring your fishing pole and try to catch greenback cutthroat trout in the lake. Restrooms are available at the trailhead.

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