Still jamming to T.Swift, if anyone cares to know..
This week I’ve got Herman Gulch Trail locked and loaded for you! Now, on first impressions looking this trail up on the internet, it doesn’t seem like a super picturesque hike. But all of my expectations were blown out of the water because it was honestly one of the most beautiful mountainside hikes I’ve done in a while… Here’s the info:
Trail: Herman Gulch Trail, 6.3 mi out and back
Park: Arapaho National Forest
Location: Idaho Springs/Georgetown, Colorado
Incline: 1,755 feet gain, steeper more towards the end
Shade and Seating: Most of the trail is fairly shaded. The last part of the incline and up by the lake, there isn’t a whole lot of shade, but large boulders you can rest on.
Wheelchair Accessible: No
Parking: Easily accessible, but be there early
Shuttle Service: No
So for this hike, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. I’m barely getting into the hiking game, and my endurance isn’t the best. So we left Denver around 5, and we started our hike just before 6:30 am.
If I’m going to be completely honest, if we had started this hike any later, I’m not sure I would have finished it. It took me 3 hours to get to the top, and that’s when the temperature started warming up a bit, and it started to get more crowded, too. For most of the hike, we were on our own, only a couple of groups passed us. However, I can feel a little defeated when many groups pass me, so our timing was perfect.
There is a lovely meadow towards the beginning of the hike with beautiful wildflowers.
Another tip I would give before you start this hike, or really any hike, make sure you eat a decent breakfast. I have this thing where I can’t eat super early, and started the trail on an empty stomach. I wasn’t feel great until we stopped and I ate a nutrition bar, and I felt SO much better after that.
The hardest part of the trail is probably more towards the end, because it’s a fairly steep incline up until you get to the lake. But if you make it, it is worth it!
At the top, we packed a little food so we had some extra protein and nutrition to help us down the mountain until we were able to get lunch, much like everyone else around us.
Even though the lake and surrounding hills are beautiful to look at, the mountain range on the way back down was breathtaking, as well.
You even get to see the (seemingly) elusive state flower of Colorado: the Columbine.
It was much needed outdoor therapy after the past couple months I’ve had. Life may not have a reset button, but nature does have a way of resetting your perspective on life.
As always, bring water, wear sunscreen, and enjoy!
Mary Jane xx