MOUNT PRINCETON HOT SPRINGS RESORT
This lake is in the Mount Massive Wilderness and is one the most pristine lakes in Central Colorado. The lake sits at 12,400 ft beside Mt. Champion (13,646ft) which was heavily mined. Many peaks to the South can be seen from this lake which is also subject to fast moving intense thunderstorms. The basin is bright red in the fall with ferns and beautiful in the spring with wild flowers. The trail is 4.4 miles (one way) with 1,520 ft. elevation gain. The last part of the trail is designated by cairns in a meadow before starting a zig-zag trail steeply up the mountainside. Beautiful cutthroats (red coloration along gills) are the predominate trout caught. High country elements of caution such as lightning, hypothermia, and giardiasis, are covered in a guidebook “Central Colorado Alpine Lakes“.
Divide Lake Trailhead:
About The Author
Tom Parkes spent 12 years fishing, hiking, and camping at these alpine lakes, enjoying the solitude and scenery surrounding them. For the most part, these lakes have trails leading to their locations on public land and are open to everyone will ing to expend the effort to hike to them. The most prominent lakes are located in the San Juan, San Isabel, Sangre de Cristo, and Swatch Mountain Ranges.
The best times to hike into these lakes are from late May thru November with lower elevations best done in early and late season. July, August, and September are the best months to reach the higher lakes. To successfully complete these treks, physical conditioning and preparation are very important. The following items are essential: adequate water (at least 1.5 liters per person per 5-6 hours}, compass and topo map, sunscreen, adequate food, protective clothing for cold and wet weather (backup socks/have gloves}, flash light, matches or lighter, whistle, mosquito repellant, aspirin, and a CD for reflective device. Included in this pack of course is the essential fishing gear including a four-piece 5-6 weight rod and reel, for windy conditions I have always had a spin-casting rod and reel with clear plastic bubble. My arsenal of flies is both dries and nymphs. Parachute Madam X is an excellent dry fly and most midge nymphs with wooly bugger patterns are normally productive.
It is important to know what to expect in terms of distance and elevation profiles. A GPS or Topo Map complete with routes up and into the lakes are crucial. Also, it is prudent to be familiar with what I call "points of caution" when hiking into these lakes. Elevation gain and altitude can greatly change the difficulty of the hike.
ALPINE LAKES HIKING & FISHING SPOTS
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Many of these activities offer exclusive discounts to guests of Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Or Call 719-395-2447 (ext. #3333)
9AM – 5PM Daily
This activity is an extreme test of a person’s physical and mental limits and carries with it the potential for death, serious injury and property loss. The risks include, but are not limited to: actions of other people including, but not limited to, participants; lack of hydration, weather, and/or other natural conditions. Princeton Holdings, LLC DBA Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is not liable for any injury, property loss, damage, death, etc occurring do to any activity outlined by any information sheet. Guest is participating in any activity on their own merit with no liability to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort or its agents.