Herman Gulch Trail

MODERATE 821 reviews
#4 of 152 trails in

Herman Gulch Trail is a 6.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,755 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

cross country skiing

hiking

skiing

snowshoeing

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Directions from Idaho Springs, Georgetown: Take exit 218 off of I-70. At the stop sign turn right and then turn right again and take the frontage road east to the parking area. The trail begins by the restrooms in the parking lot.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice views with the leaves changing colors. The last 1/4 mile had some tough steep hills. Certainly got the heart pounding.

2 days ago

I loved this trail! It is a good workout but not too hard. It is well maintained. There are plenty of beautiful sights along the way and at the end there is a very big payoff in the way of a beautiful lake surrounded by an awesome rotunda of rock. I took a dip in the lake and it was exhilarating to say the least. Highly recommended

hiking
3 days ago

Absolutely love this trail! The views all the way to the top were breathtaking, especially since the leaves had begun to change.

Couple of things to plan for:

- The first part of the hike and the last stretch up to the top are deceivingly steep. Be prepared!

- There are no trashcans, so think about what you are going to do with your trash/ dog waste prior to starting!

- There is less parking the longer you wait to get to the trailhead. The early bird gets the worm!

Can’t say enough good things about this trail! It’s a great workout for both people and dogs, with views that can’t be beat! Highly recommend!

5 days ago

This hike was beautiful. Challenging but totally worth it- the scenery was amazing. Definitely bring lots of water and be mindful of the elevation. It’s a popular trail so you will definitely be in company with lots of other hikers along the way. Our dog had a blast as well!

10 days ago

Hiked this trail yesterday. Arrived at 7:15 am and only saw a few people on the way up. I had the lake all to myself at the top! Steep at the beginning and steep again before reaching the lake. Nice views and fall color. No snow.

hiking
10 days ago

Gorgeous views and this trail has it all! A valley, a river, peaks and an alpine lake. Nice distance for a good workout. Decent amount of incline at beginning and end heading to the lake-- definitely a "moderate" trail but nothing challenging or technical. Within an hour of Denver and easy to get to the trailhead. We happened to arrive on a day where a trail race was taking place which was unfortunate, but obviously not a daily occurrence. Small rant: So many dogs off leash... which is annoying. Please put your dog on leash or call them close to your side when passing those who are following the rules and keeping their dog on leash (like me!) I am helpless in the case of a scuffle if my dog is on leash and yours isn't.

hiking
10 days ago

Gorgeous views. Easy to get to. Crowds of people though!

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful hike, the leaves are changing, but there is highway noise at the beginning of the trail where the leaves are mainly changing. Once you pass the first initial incline and hit the waterfall, the traffic noise subsides. The hike is steep and I would consider it hard, but not too challenging if you are in decent shape. The lake is gorgeous at the top, to get to the lake turn left at the top when the trail splits.

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful hike! The leaves are changing and the views are gorgeous : ) The elevation gain in spots can be tough, but the views are worth it! It took me 2 hours 30 min round trip. I consider myself an intermediate hiker. Plenty of parking and it was not crowded when I went on Saturday. I started the hike at 3. I will definitely be back!

hiking
16 days ago

This hike is a great workout with rewarding beautiful views! However I will say, this hike would definitely be best on a non cloudy day! The lake at the very top illuminates green when the sun is out. I had to wait 30mins in a very chilly breeze for the clouds to clear. It was definitely worth the wait but truly goes from amazing to spectacular if your looking for picture perfect views! It took 4 1/2 hrs trailing by myself with my pup. No snow! This is a hike I will definitely do again next August! We came a little late for wild flowers in full bloom but the leaves are turning and it’s very pretty! Last tid bit, earlier the better as the weather is very unpredictable!

17 days ago

Love this trail. Moderate trail but amazing views at the end!

hiking
18 days ago

I absolutely loved this hike! Beautiful wild flowers, peaceful river and a mix of forest and open meadows. Challenging in the beginning but levels out. Not heavily trafficked. We didn’t make it to the lake due to thunderstorms but would love to go back. No trash cans in the parking lot but free parking and porta potty’s. Be sure to bring mosquito spray!

hiking
18 days ago

Great hike! Moderate to hard but well worth it. First and last mile pretty intense incline but the mile in between was flat and takes you through a couple meadows and the scenery was beautiful. Just starting with a little bit of fall colors.

hiking
19 days ago

Great hike. Nice incline to warm your legs up and get the heart pumping. After that it mellows out. Aspen changing colors to vibrant yellows.. Weather was intermittent with warm sunshine, clouds and winds/snow at the lake for a few minutes.

22 days ago

I read about this trail and decided to get my friends from Texas to do it. It took us 7.4m and a little under 5 hours to do it. We spent about 30 minutes at the top. I was expecting a little more up at the top but the feeling of accomplishment of doing was well worth it. Make sure you pack a lot of water and snacks for the hike.

hiking
23 days ago

Awesome challenging hike!

hiking
25 days ago

Great trail that is moderate to easy. While the parking lot was crowded the trail never felt that way. The views are spectacular and the lake is a great place to let the dogs play and have a sandwich.

hiking
26 days ago

This is really a beautiful hike. It is all about the destination. The lake with viewes at the end is just paradise. You get some serious elevation at the start and then it is gradual most of the way. Poles help with the steep areas and gravel rock. You can go past the lake for even more beautiful views. Take lunch and enjoy the majestic mountains.

hiking
1 month ago

8.15.18
Got to trailhead at 7:30am. There were a few cars in the parking lot as well as 2 port-a-potties. The hike was 5mi RT out and back. I brought my 2 pups and they loved the hike!. There were a handful of moderate inclines, but we finished around 1:50pm. We did take a lunch break once we reached the water. We also had several photo shoots (had of out town guests) lol! The water was beautiful! Worth the pain and burning my legs were feeling from being out of shape haha! I would do this hike again!

1 month ago

Hiked this on Sat, 7/28. Very beautiful although wildflowers are significantly past peak.

1 month ago

Strenuous incline for the first mile (you start at 10,400ft.). The hike flattens out in the middle with 2 meadows filled with wildflowers. It finishes with an incline for the last mile or so to the alpine lake at 12,000 ft. You can continue on for unobstructed mountain views and little to no crowds.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hiking trail. Prepare yourself for the elevation gain but it’s well with it. Pups loved it too!

1 month ago

my favorite trail. starts out pretty easy but the last mile is pretty difficult. stick through it to be rewarded at the top. awesome flowers and water along the way to the top. easy to get to right off the highway.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike was absolutely beautiful! There were a lot of wildflowers and the views at certain points were breathtaking. It was certainly not an easy hike {especially if you’re pregnant}, but definitely worth it! A lot of cute doggos adventuring, too! :)

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail - definitely spend some time by the lake if you can! I went in the afternoon on a weekday and it wasn't too busy.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice varied trail. Nice lake destination at the end. I arrived at 8am and there were only a few cars in the parking lot. I had the lake all to myself for a half hour, and then only 6 other people were there for the next half hour. On the way down I did pass 50 people hiking up. So maybe get there early because it is pretty peaceful. I wish people didn’t leave their dog poop bags all over the trails though. Just why????????

1 month ago

Wonderful trail! Always busy, get there early..

hiking
1 month ago

It's past peak wildflower season, but there were still some pretty blooms up near the top. Please be mindful that this trail is quite steep and rocky for the first mile and the last mile, so if you're bringing dogs or kids, make sure they have proper footwear (yes-- PLEASE put shoes on your dogs to protect their paws!!). View from the trail just before you hit the lake is gorgeous. Go early to avoid the crowds, we arrived at the TH just after 8:00 AM and snagged one of the last parking spaces. It was windy and chilly up at Herman Lake so bring layers!

hiking
1 month ago

Went hiking on 8/11 and it was great! Got there early around 6:30 and their was plenty of parking. Definitely recommend getting there early to beat the crowds and have the lake and trails to yourself. Coming down it was starting to get overly crowded. Last half mile was a little tough but well worth the views.

Don’t be scared off by the incline at the beginning. Great views throughout the entire trip, very wooded in some areas and not in others. We clocked about 7.5 miles round trip.

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