This week I FINALLY made it out to Gorman Lake. It's one of the classic local trails in Golden, and I'm so happy that I got to go on a spectacular day like this!
I woke up at 5am randomly, did a bunch of boring admin work that I was feeling motivated to do, and then messaged my fellow guide friend, Sarah, to see if we could schedule a hike. What do you know? She was heading out with her daughter that very day!
I needed no convincing to pop on my hiking boots, throw together my day pack and scrounge some snacks from my miserably bare kitchen.
An hour or so later and we were hitting the road.
And what a road it was.
The access road to Gorman Lake is ... often not like a road at all. Luckily Sarah has an trusty little SUV (and is an expert driver!) and we made it up with no issues. Definitely DO NOT try to get up this in a regular car or you will run aground and your day will not be a happy one. I took a video on the way down to illustrate what it's like... but as always, videos never do it justice!
We made it to the trailhead without incident, and there were a couple of cars already there. We arrived just as a couple of families were setting off on ATVs - this trail is wide and the access is good for ATVs up to the boardwalks. We reached the boardwalk after about 1.5km of hiking, so it seems a little pointless to drag the ATVs up the treacherous road. The boardwalks meander through a braided stream lined with dandelions and indian paintbrush - the alpine wildflowers this year are simply STUNNING after a long, wet spring.
Once across the boardwalk it's a simple jaunt up through the forest and into the alpine. We had to cross a short section that was still snow covered, and a short, rocky section of talus field. After the snow section you come up and over a short rise and are treated to this spectacular view of a pool just below Gorman Lake (above middle photo).
Surrounding the lake are a whole series of short trails, including some that go around the lake and on up to the surrounding peaks. We stopped and had a bite to eat, and watched as the ATV families set about fly fishing. We spent some time exploring the rudimentary campground. It's worth noting, if you're planning to camp up here, that there are no facilities except an outhouse. It's imperative to bring something to hang your food supplies and scented items to keep them away from the prying reach of bears and other critters!
In summary: this is a great, easy, family friendly hike with stunning views, varied terrain and beautiful wildflowers. I'd like to go back and camp and explore the trails further, and will DEFINITELY be bringing a solid all terrain vehicle to tackle the access road with! It's only going to get worse with each year that goes by.
Have you done this hike more recently? How were the trail conditions?
Let us know in the comments below! Happy hiking!