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Grizzly Lake - St. Elmo, Colorado

Pictures Of My Hike Inside Grizzly Gulch To Grizzly Lake, CO

Grizzly Lake, CO

Grizzly Lake is located in Grizzly Gulch near the "ghost town" of St. Elmo. I was on the trail at 7:15 a.m. and did not see another person until I was coming back down at approximately 9:45 a.m. I had the entire lake to myself!

Locating and entering Grizzly Gulch was tricky. A 4-wheel drive road travels much of the way to the lake, with a trail south of the creek for the lower part. (The road crosses the creek twice.) To get on the correct trail (if you are walking by foot), it is the third left from the beginning of Hancock Road. The first left leads to a private home, the second left is Grizzly Gulch Road, the third left leads to the trail. On this particular third left, there is an immediate "Y" - go left toward Grizzly Gulch. Another way to get on the trail: On "Main Street" in St. Elmo (with the St. Elmo General Store to your right), walk toward the dead end and continue past the homes on the left. That old road turns sharply and up toward Hancock Road - across the road you will see the trail. Of course, if you bring your topographical map, you'll be okay. I used National Geographic's "Trails Illustrated Map" as seen in the left image.

Speaking for myself, this was a nice hike - a great morning to be in the outdoors - but nothing "dazzled" me. Many aspens line the trail and the lake is pretty, but the terrain at the lake was marshy in many areas. There was nowhere particularly inviting to sit and the lake's edge had numerous gnats. Was this an enjoyable hike? You bet. Will I hike this trail again? Probably not.

Lastly, if you really love challenging 4-wheel roads, you might want to consider Grizzly Gulch. It looked more difficult than Tincup Pass. Also, among the five hikers I noticed as I walked back down, all of them had fishing poles. High altitude fishing is probably great up there!

All the best,
-Steve

Grizzly Gulch, CO
Grizzly Gulch Aspens
Grizzly Gulch Road Grizzly Gulch Road

Hike and Sceney Photos

July 4, 2008 - Beautiful aspens surround the trail at the beginning.

TWO BOTTOM PHOTOS: A view of the road where the trail and road merge. Right - A really bumpy section of the road. My camera did not quite capture the full bumpiness of this spot!

Old Cabin
Old Cabin
An old cabin along the trail.

There are a few old structures and mine tailings remaining in the gulch from St. Elmo's busy mining days.

Patches of Snow Two small patches of snow remain near the trail ... And this was the morning of July 4! :)
Avalanche Area On the south side of the gulch was this obvious avalanche area. It is difficult to see in the photo, but many trees have broken branches and various forest debris (including tree limbs) were lying on this boulder field. Be careful if you hike or ski or snowmobile up here in the winter!
Grizzly Gulch, CO Looking back down into the gulch. The lowest saddle on the mountain ridge (left of center) is where the Poplar Gulch Trail leads.
Grizzly Lake, CO
Grizzly Lake, CO
Grizzly Lake, CO
Grizzly Lake, Colorado

Here it is ... Grizzly Lake!

The pointed peak to the right is an unnamed 13er (alt. 13,070 feet).

Below are other hikes, adventures and lakes in the area:

  • Hancock Ghost Town
  • St. Elmo, Romley, Hancock
  • Mary Murphy Mine Area
  • Tincup Pass
  • Alpine Tunnel (West of Divide)
  • Agnes Vaille Falls
  • Mt. Princeton
  • Mt. Antero
  • Autumn Foliage
  • Gladstone Ridge
  • Boulder Mountain

  • Steve One token photo of myself among these boulders.
    Grizzly Lake, Colorado
    Grizzly Gulch
    Two more mountain images.
    Four Wheeling At 10 a.m., I encountered the first 4-wheeler of the day on Grizzly Gulch Road. We briefly stopped to talk and he was having a good ol' time.

    Columbine Flower The columbines are out!
    Columbines Columbines
    Columbines
    Three more photos of columbines earlier in the morning when the sun was blocked by the mountains.
    Flowers Not sure what these are named but they sure are pretty.

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