Black Canyon to Dark Mountain Hike
The Black Canyon to Dark Mountain Trail exhibits the diversity of the Colorado wilderness as it guides hikers through the arid terrain of the Lumpy Ridge Area. This adventure reveals several unique geological features like the Twin Owls, Balanced Rock, Keyhole Rock, and Gem Lake.
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Route Description for Black Canyon to Dark Mountain Hike
Immerse yourself in the wilderness and reconnect with nature along the Black Canyon to Dark Mountain Trail. This path guides adventurers through luxuriant meadows and dense tree coverage, revealing impressive Front Range views. This diversity of the terrain means diverse weather; thus, we recommend wearing layers as protection against inclement and windy conditions. Wear microspikes or snowshoes in the autumn or winter months to aid in the navigation of the likely icy terrain. Located within the boundaries of the Rocky Mountain National Park, visitors are required to purchase a pass.
Begin your hike along the Black Canyon to Dark Mountain Trail from the Gem Lake Trailhead. From here, track northwest along the Lumpy Ridge Trail. At the first intersection, keep left and you will be diverted onto the Black Canyon Trail. Hike this meadowed path along the Black Canyon Creek as it gradually ascends below the timberline. Climb up the now forested path and at the next junction, turn right onto the Dark Mountain Trail. Hike through the mountain saddle and revel in the sights of Dark Mountain looming above.
At the next junction, track the Cow Creek Trail briefly before merging onto the Gem Lake Trail. As you venture the Gem Lake Trail, you will be granted views of the Balanced Rock and Longs Peak towering in the distance. This route will guide you down to Gem Lake and back to the trailhead, marking the end of your adventure.
Getting to the Black Canyon to Dark Mountain Hike Trailhead
The Black Canyon to Dark Mountain Hike departs from the Gem Lake Trailhead off Lumpy Ridge Road.
Black Canyon to Dark Mountain Hike Elevation Graph
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Black Canyon to Dark Mountain Hike Reviews
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