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Hartenstein Lake (alt. 11,451 feet)
(Near Cottonwood Pass and Buena Vista, CO in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness - June 18, 2008)
Hartenstein Lake! Off the top of my head, this is a very good hike if you are seeking:
1) A scenic high country hike that will prepare
you for more rigorous hikes (14ers and
trails above timberline), or 2) a high altitude lake for fishing.
The most common route to Hartenstein Lake is via the Denny Creek Trail. At the
Denny Creek Trailhead on Chaffee County Road 306 ("Cottonwood Pass Road"), it is a
2 to 2.5 mile hike uphill to the lake. There are two forks in the trail with signage -
one fork leads to Mt. Yale,
the other to Browns Pass. Just follow the signs!
Now I must admit I have one very perplexing issue with Hartenstein Lake. Each
time I have been near the lake there has been
either too much snow or the weather has been terribly cloudy, making for poor photography. On this day (June 18, 2008), I did not even make it to the lake, because of
all the snow that remained at the fork for Browns Pass and the lake.
The other time I actually visited the lake (June 5, 2007 -
the dreary skies made for really terrible picture taking.
Anyway, for what it's worth, below are my photos of Hartenstein Lake
from various vantage points and some photos along the Denny Creek Trail today.
This page will be my reason to return at some point this summer
and pack this page with photos of the lake! :)
||Pictures of My Hike on the Denny Creek Trail
June 18, 2008 - A pretty view of the Denny Creek Trail at the beginning.
||Denny Creek was running really hard! You'll need to walk
across the creek using these three logs. Honestly, it was an anxiety-inducing experience going
over them. On the way back, I just took my shoes and socks off and walked across the creek. It was silly and exhilirating! :)
|Two views of
Mt. Princeton as I ascended the trail.
||There was still a lot of snow up there and a
large portion of the trail was muddy. The adjacent photo was a good example,
although one can not quite grasp the muddiness in the photo.
|At the fork for Hartenstein Lake and Browns Pass,
I stopped. There was way too much snow just a few yards into the trail to Hartenstein Lake.
It did seem like some hikers were finding ways to pass through,
including another creek with weak logs across, but I just was not
in the mood to deal with it. Oh well, I'll chalk it up to laziness!
Here are some of my local hikes in this area:Lost Lake
Mt. Yale (2007)
Mt. Yale (2006)
Unnamed 12,792' (2 miles south of Cottonwood Pass)
A few more around Buena Vista, CO:Midland Hill
Davis Meadow Trail
||Oh and if you don't believe me about the snow ...
adjacent is what the Browns Pass Trail looked like last year on June 5, 2007. It did not look that much different this time.
Again, see my page from last year: Hartenstein Lake.