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Amazing beautiful Trail! Fantastic rock formations if you go all the way up. We will be back. Camped at
Goose Creek campground, but could have camped on the trail. Got fantastic photos!

I did this trail and tracked it on my Fitbit, I knew my Fitbit would track the distance a little less than what the distance really is from my experience but it was a little more than six miles one way to Lake Verna from the East trailhead. It was totally worth it but I’m not sure what everyone is smoking to think it’s 12.9 round trip. I was tracking at least 15 Miles total. The sign at the trailhead can not be accurate unless it’s tracking the river that comes from the lake, before you actually get to the huge lake. We didn’t see any wild life and we were the only ones on the trail for a few hours. We started around 8:30am and arrived at 1:30pm. We headed back at 2:00pm and got to the parking lot around 5:30pm. It was beautiful but don’t underestimate the distance and the amount of hills that are required to climb to get to the lake.

So, this trail totally blows chunks. Little did I know Lily Lake is at the top of the pass not up and down the other side! To my surprise I misread the map leading to a dissappointing trail experience. Needless to say it was totally my fault for f'n it up, but still gonna go ahead and say one-star. Views were dope though.

11 days ago

We did this hike Sunday October 7. The trail is definitely longer than advertised— the whole hike I recorded via this trailhead from the parking lot to the lake was 10.1 miles total. The trail spreads the elevation gain out well and is marked clearly throughout. We got some snow at the top but trail was clear

on Gore Lake

14 days ago

Beautiful fall hike, low traffic, no bikes, plenty of breathtaking views! The full out-and-back loop is more like 14.4mi. The route to the lake is tough, and slow going, even for experienced hikers.

There are mountain goats up at the lake, please don’t feed them!!

19 days ago

Beautiful hike, but challenging. It was a great character builder for my eight-year-old son , 11-year-old daughter and wife. Coming from sea level the day before added to the challenge, but the kids made the trek in 7:30 hours with a stop for lunch at the lake. Can’t wait to do it again.

this trail is pretty epic. this should be rated as hard. did the venable side first. was very windy and a little nerve wracking before phantom terrace. saw more people coming the opposite direction. beautiful long hike. will do this again as an overnighter.

Great trail worth the long drive with spectacular views.

24 days ago

I loved the scenery on this trail, but it was a bit confusing to get to! The trailhead is actually the Gibson Trailhead and then you take the marker towards rushing creek, from there it’s .5 of a mile until you see a sign that says Lakes of the Clouds. My boyfriend and I thought we were lost multiple times. Other then that, the fall colors were amazing!

24 days ago

Date: 9/22/18, 7:30am-1:30pm
Conditions: Sunny, clear, temps 40-65F
Adequate dirt, roadside parking at trailhead. More parking available up the hill. Watch for bicyclists coming down when leaving.
While rated as hard, overall the trail is fairly moderate. There is a steep section at the start and a long climb to the lake, but the majority of the trail is a series of short climbs, downhills and flats. The trail carves through a variety of terrain, remaining mostly well-shaded throughout. Following Gore Creek, there are some small waterfalls and water access points along the route. Once you hit the marked graves of the Recen brothers, take a minute to fuel up and shed layers as the climb to the lake begins. The best views, aside from the lake, come from the open meadows on this final climb. Gore Lake itself is a breathtaking large green body at the feet of Snow Peak, Willow Peak, and Red Peak. There is a trail around the entire lake if you have energy remaining. As others have noted, this looks to be a great place to spend a few nights camping. I'll be back!
Upon reaching the lake, I noticed an illegal campfire left burning and was forced to throw the large, smoldering logs into the water to put it out. Please abide by fire bans and Wilderness regulations posted at the trailhead.

Great hike with a friend and well worth the climb to see the 1st lake. It is an emerald green and so clear you can see the lake floor. We went to the 2nd lake and ate lunch before we headed back. The leaves were falling fast, so the autumn beauty is fading fast. Plan to do a weekend trip and camp next year.

There was my first hiking in my life. Out of my shape, 49 years hold, 24 pounds backpack and ambition made finish. Actually, having a friend with me who made it before was the key. If I knew how hard it gonna be I would prepare myself before hit the mountain. Once we got there, I felt energized due to the magnificent view. The lake is incredible beautiful, quiet and bright. During 3 days I never got tired to see that surrounded Lake by mountains. Feel like all the place is yours, since it’s not easy getting there. We and maybe 5 parties were there for camping overnight and maybe 10 other parties just went there and returned on the same day. We explored other small lakes located about 1 hour far from lake Charles which kept us in motion. If you like natural and beautiful things I strongly recommend it, just prepare yourself for the endurance!

30 days ago

Backpacking camping weekend trip with Boy Scout Troop 268 from Colorado Springs. 17 Scouts and 4 adult leaders. Took upper trail on the way up on Saturday. Left trailhead at 8am and first group of 10 arrived at meadow a couple miles from lakes at 12 noon. Second group arrived within an hour after. Setup camp next to the stream for a water source. Spent Saturday night sharing stories, skits and general Boy Scout fun. Rocky trail in some areas but relatively moderate trail. Beautiful scenery with aspens changing colors. 10 Scouts went to the first lake with daypacks and enjoyed the hike and the lake.
On Sunday broke camp at 8am and came down on lower trail. Steeper and very rocky. Arrived at trailhead at 11am. Had a simple church service and headed home. All had a great time. Temps during the day were in the mid to upper 70’s, night down to mid 40’s. No rain and no clouds. There was no moon so stargazing was phenomenal.
Great trail for all to enjoy, highly recommend it!

Good trail. Did this for my first backpacking trip and had a great time. Being from the Midwest, it took me some time to adjust to the altitude, which made the hike a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. The first 1.5 miles on the Salmon Lake trail is grueling, particularly after we had hiked close to 8 miles before (we did a portion of the Rock Creek trail in the morning). Found a few great campsites toward the top with views of distant peaks and closer ones. Great for the sunset and sunrise. We even had a moose walk through our campsite. The views at the top are breathtaking and well worth the hike.

There is a point about mile 5 where you are walking in a blown out area filled with dead and fallen trees. The trail remained very clear (had to climb over a few) but I would be wary of doing this section on a windy day for fear of falling trees.

In all, a great experience.

1 month ago

Rough terrian but 100% worth it!

As noted by others, the real trail is a bit different than the one listed on here, but the real trail is easy to follow and well marked, about 4 miles to the lake from the trailhead. In mid September, the trail had tons of beautiful foliage lining the ground and lush greenery for most of the hike. We also only ran into a handful of people — definitely not a busy trail this time of year. The lake itself is incredible. So clear and serene. Some backcountry camping spots are also available around the lake. I’ll definitely be back soon!

Great hike. The aspen are GORGEOUS now. However when you get to the sign that says Rainbow trail and points both right and left, go right. You have to be a Mt. Goat to do the left trail. We lost quite a bit of time going that way then turning around to find the right trail. Didn't make it to the lake so are heading back next Sat.

1 month ago

We took the swift creek trail which led to a sign and we took the Lake of the Clouds trail marked 3.75 .. it was probably 6-8 miles total from the trailhead to the gorgeous lake. We walked through the aspens and the leaves were changing to gorgeous yellow and orange. The lake was crystal clear perfect for trout fishing.

Love this area. We did the goose creek loop counter-clockwise, 3 nights and 4 days. Days 2 and 3 are by far the toughest, lots of uphill and steep switchbacks. Stayed on McGurdy park trail instead of taking the Lake Park “shortcut”. Pretty much all downhill from Hankins pass back to the trailhead. It was my 10 year old son’s first pack it in pack it out trip. He did great, so any dedicated novice can do this.

Does anyone know if there is dispersed camping on the way up?

Great hiking, tons of climbing however. You must be in shape to get there! Unbelievable scenic!

1 month ago

Hiked August 28. 5.1 miles up to the lake and 5.1 miles down according to my garmin. First 1.5 miles of switchbacks are steep and sandy but doable. Clear trail all the way. Great mountain lake and waterfall. Saw woodpeckers, picas, marmots and a bighorn sheep.

Kid friendly camping spots early on, trail was very busy and lots of people with poorly trained off leash dogs. Wilderness area was beautiful, saw some cows in the burn scar area before the trailhead. Spotted some grouse and the biggest beaver dam I’ve seen in person on goose creek.

1 month ago

Incredible hike!!!! A must do. Took my sister and I 5.5 hrs round trip (we're in our late twenties and fairly athletic/experienced hikers) and we clocked it at more like 13.75 miles to the lake and back! We hit the trail around 6:30am and had the lake to ourselves, although we saw quite a bit of traffic on our way down. Definitely have to come back and camp up there, it was absolutely stunning.

It was a good hike with some beautiful views. The lake itself is gorgeous and serene. Be forewarned that the trail map both on here and on Google Maps does not accurately reflect the path up to the lake; it seems that the trail may have been redone. Definitely more moderate than hard.

1 month ago

Great hike. Nice mix of hiking terrain: some soft padded Forest floor in the forest, some rock scrambling, some open terrain with nice views.
Did not make it to the lake - hopefully another time

1 month ago

INCREDIBLE! So so beautiful, especially if you start early to get the sunrise and early morning light on the mountains on the way up. Also, you may get lucky like us and get the lake all to yourself! Lots of folks were coming up on our way down.

This hike wasn’t as strenuous as anticipated, BUT it’s long. It’s definitely not 11.3miles. It’s 14. It was steeper right at the beginning and the end, but not bad at all. Mostly moderate. It was 3hrs up and 2.5 down for us at a moderate pace. For reference we live in Boulder and hike frequently.

This walk is great. Some good views back to Grand Lake and beautiful forest. We saw a moose and calf near Lake Verna but they can be hard to spot, settled in the shrub vegetation. Take plenty of water- the two of us drank 5 litres. They are camping sights on route. This track does go on further to Spirit Lake. Highly recommend.

Beautiful scenery, sort of a desert feel to it at first.

This was my first experience backpacking and while the trail was challenging it was within reach for a 54-year-old first timer. Varied terrain, stream crossings, waterfalls, and gorgeous views. Spent the night by Salmon Lake, had a clear evening and the stars were amazing. We only passed and few hikers and felt like we had the mountain to ourselves. The forest service did an amazing job clearing down trees and as others have said, mosquitos were aggressive at sunset. What a great experience.

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