Watanga Lake via Roaring Fork Trail
Watanga Lake via Roaring Fork Trail is a unique day hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Suitable for novice hikers and older children, this trail is a perfect introduction to the Colorado Mountain Ranges. Views of wildflower meadows, lush aspen woodlands, craggy peaks and a crystalline alpine lake await!
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Route Description for Watanga Lake via Roaring Fork Trail
Watanga Lake via Roaring Fork Trail is a lovely hike in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. The first few kilometers of the hike are steep which can be daunting, but we urge you to persevere. After the initial steep section, the trail levels off and the climb to the lake is gradual and scenic. Be prepared, you may have to navigate a few downed trees as you progress through the woods.
Begin at the Roaring Fork Trailhead. Follow along the Roaring Fork Trail as it rapidly gains elevation through the woodlands. Continue along this trail, noticing the picturesque Roaring Fork Arapaho Creek. Once you intersect with the creek, the terrain will become more gradual as you ascend towards Watanga Lake. Follow along the shaded path and you will eventually encounter a junction. At this point veer left and head north on Watanga Lake Trail. Continuously gaining elevation, the path will weave over the Watanga Creek and through lush meadows before guiding you to the lake. Nestled between Twin Peaks and Watanga Mountain, Watanga Lake is a stunning crystal-clear lake. You can often see trout and other fish swimming around!
Dip your tired feet in the water and bask in the beauty of the surrounding snow-dusted peaks before venturing back down the trail. Retrace your steps to get back to the parking lot and trailhead.
Getting to the Watanga Lake via Roaring Fork Trail Trailhead
Watanga Lake via Roaring Fork Trail is off of Country Road 637 in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. Passes are required and can be purchased online or on-site.
Watanga Lake via Roaring Fork Trail Elevation Graph
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