Cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to do in beautiful places

Herman Gulch Trail

  • ★★★★★
  • 6.5 miles round trip (out & back)
  • Elevation gain: 1,814 feet
  • 1-2 hours
  • Moderately strenuous
  • Mountains, wildflowers, a creek, & a lake
  • Very easily accessible from I-70

Distance from Denver: 1 hour


Parking: Free

This is one of my favorite hikes in Colorado – it takes you through a beautiful section of the Continental Divide and offers supreme mountain views the entire way. It is a fairly challenging climb to the top, but it’s very doable for anyone in decent shape and filled with beautiful spots at which to take rest breaks.

From Denver, take Exit 218 off I-70, make two immediate rights, and you’re at the trailhead parking lot. Take the trail uphill – after a few minutes, the buzzing sound of cars passing by on I-70 will be replaced by the tranquil sound of a large creek flowing by. The trail then follows this creek for the majority of the journey. When you eventually reach a junction, make a left and take the last section of the trail to Herman Lake, situated among epic mountains and in an open meadow filled with wildflowers in spring/summer. There are several side trails that allow you to explore the area; when you are ready to depart, take the same trail back to your car.

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