Hell Canyon Loop

HARD 8 reviews
#48 of 149 trails in

Hell Canyon Loop is a 15.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Granby, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
15.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5,229 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

off trail

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Day hiked the point-to-point CCW on 7/7/18, 9.5 hours total. Please read carefully:
1. The mileage is wrong! It's 16.5 miles point-to-point, or 18.5 miles if you walk the road between Roaring Fork TH and Monarch Lake TH.
2. Arrived at Monarch Lake at 7:15, lot was 80% full.
3. The first mile along the lake is nice, but the next 6.9 miles up to Gourd Lake are boring and not really photo-worthy.
4. Gourd Lake is pretty, but its best views are from beyond it, looking back down. Also, this is the most enjoyable portion of the loop, route finding up to Island Lake.
5. Island lake itself wasn't very photogenic though.
6. Took us 5.5 hrs to get to the [Cooper?] Pass, 9.9 miles in. That included snack and photo breaks.
7. The view West down into Hell Canyon, Upper and Stone Lakes, one of the BEST VIEWS I've seen in Colorado.
8. The descent was very steep, 1,200 feet over 0.5 miles! Took us almost an hour, and each of us was bloody by the end. Scree, boulders, and patches of meadow. No snow though.
9. The upper canyon and lakes area are superb. Wish we were camping overnight, would have stayed here. Side note, the other pass (north of Hiamovi Mountain) looks enticing for another occasion.
10. The 600 foot climb out of Hell Canyon was a little pesky after all we'd been through so far. Some good views though. Easy to lose the trail, tempting to aim low and left of where you should be, may have to backtrack.
11. The last 4 miles of Roaring Fork after the saddle feel like retribution. Again, not much to look at or enjoy.
12. Overall thoughts are that there were 5 miles of wonder, 11.5 miles of boring. And would strongly encourage going clock-wise unlike us. This puts Cooper Pass only 6.6 miles from TH (in case you turn back), and you'd ascend the steep rather than descend.

hiking
1 month ago

Incredible, went fairly unprepared for the length of the hike, all went well.
Vertical, unmarked up high, zero trail where you might want it most. Snowfields that required kick steps, wish we’d have had ice axes to self arrest and glissade. Flowers out the wazoo the right time of year, highly likely depends on snowpack. Only drawback as a day-hike is taking it all in, wanting to do a summit or two.

camping
Friday, July 31, 2015

What a great trip! Difficult and vertical trail that is unmarked and unmaintained. Once up to long lake it is a raw and remote. Great for camping, fishing and hiking near the lakes!

hiking
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This is a remote and lightly traveled area of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. There are spectacular lakes and peaks. From the top of the canyon, you can cross over into Rocky Mountain National Park. About 10 miles of no trail hiking in the park will take you to the top of the East Fork Trail. From there, you will pass 5 beautiful alpine lakes on your descent that ends at Grand Lake.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
Tuesday, June 27, 2017