Adventure To Lake Katherine And Beyond
It’s difficult to write about a place you have never seen and experienced unless you are intrigued by the allure of the magnificent landscape we know as North Park. West of Walden up a little-known foot path is the Lone Pine Trail. The mysteries that lay upon that trail enchant the most avid hikers in the country. Two lakes, specifically, are found off the beaten path of this trail tucked into the backdrop of the well-known Lone Pine Ranch.
USFS trail #1157 leads to a true hidden gem
known as Lake Katherine. North Park Adventurer and Photographer, Matt Schelppy, shares imagery of the lake he took in mid-June, still dressed in late spring attire of glacier snow caps and crystal blue waters. The gradually trail leading to Lake Katherine is nearly a mile long and gradually ascends into the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. Up to Lone Pine Creek the hike is easy and gradual, but following the trail ascends rapidly about 1 mile from the left fork. The beauty is worth the long drive and short hike through the wilderness trail. Hikers are attracted to this lake that sits at 9,865 feet because of the beautiful hike, great rough camping area and high mountain fishing.
Google Maps lays out the topography of this mountainous terrain and shows the close proximity Lake Katherine is to Big Horn Lake, located just Northwest of it using the same trail head.
Big Horn Lake is your second option willing the time to travel up the right-hand fork of the trail. It is approximately 2 miles from where the fork diverges into the woods. The hike through the aspen and pines will lead to yet another diamond in the rough that is a bit smaller and not as long as the previous lake. The Big Horn Lake is another stunner, filled with glacier water and absolutely breathtaking views. The trail head is about 20 miles from Walden and located in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.
Any hike to the backcountry in North Park will yield a day of beauty, fresh air and magnificent views. A nice fishing hole is a bonus and a treasure to find as well. We hope you stay tuned for another Adventure in North Park series and hope you share your experiences while hiking the back country in our surrounding mountains as well.