Herman Gulch Trail

MODERATE 693 reviews
#4 of 146 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
5 minutes ago

Phenomenal hike! Definitely closer to 7 miles to get to the lake and back, but it was well worth the extra mileage. Previous reviews are definitely right about the steep incline for the first and third miles, but it wasn't awful - we made it to the top with several rest breaks in exactly 2 hours. The parking lot was about ¼ full when we parked at 7 AM, and completely full and overflowing onto nearby roads when we came back down at 11. We didn't bring trekking poles with us and managed without any issues, but in the last ¼ mile before the lake and for the same stretch going back down, they definitely could have been useful. I would definitely recommend bringing them just in case if you aren't very sure-footed on steep slopes. There were also a few areas of small stream crossing that were a little on the muddy side, but not too slick at all. Overall this was one of our favorite hikes yet and we highly recommend it! The only negative we have is that people continue to bag their dogs' waste and leave it on the trail near the bottom - IF YOU DON'T WANT TO CARRY IT OUT WITH YOU, PLEASE DON'T BAG IT! It was really a shame to see so many doggy bags littering a beautiful trail.

1 day ago

What an AMAZING place!!!!!!!! I ended up going the “extra mile” into the gulch which made it closer to an 8 mile hike. Parts of it are steep so take it slow going up and be careful on the way down. A must-do for locals and visitors alike!

2 days ago

First hike ever in CO. I am from NE. stunning views of the continental divide ranges flowing creek throughout the trail, wonderful wildflowers and a small lake at 12k feet. There a multiple different approaches off the trail too. We went off trail at the lake to go up another 1000' vertical and you can see all the Rockies as far as the eye can see. This hike had everything. Bring plenty of water and I mean plenty you will need it. Fantastic hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Completed over the weekend mid-June. The lake was still frozen at the top, and we weren't expecting it. Beautiful hike, steady climb all the way to the lake. More like 8 miles than the listed 6.3 miles. Would love to do it again in late July or August for even more flowers and a summer alpine lake view.

hiking
4 days ago

Started at 8 am on a Tuesday and the parking lot was surprisingly 1/2 full. Beautiful hike, tons of wild flowers. Definitely recommend doing it in summer and winter! We’ve snowshoed this trail in the winter and its always a great work out. Start early this is a pretty popular trail with high traffic

4 days ago

One of my favorites. This hike has it all. It’s a good workout with steady incline in beginning and end. Lots of wildflowers, trees, meadows, water and views. My GPS said 7 miles. Ends up above tree line. Get there early if you want to avoid people, even on a Tuesday.

hiking
4 days ago

This is a really nice moderate hike. I completed it in about 4 hours with lots of stops and a long break at the top. There is a steady incline at the beginning and very end that can be tough. Hiking poles are recommended. There are lots of people (parking hard to get), but everyone was friendly and I didn't find it a nuisance or like I wasn't in the wilderness. the views at the top are spectacular! This hike is good if your looking for a bit of a liner hike with great views. The wildflowers are in full bloom, and conditions great. Highly recommend and a new favorite!

hiking
4 days ago

Gorgeous wild flowers, good steady incline. Mix of shaded areas and open, sweeping views. Very dog friendly. A must do!

6 days ago

My gps read 7.0 miles round trip. I made it up to the lake at a slow, steady pace in 2 hours. My hubby likes to cruise and made it in an hour and a half. Good workout. We left the trailhead at 7am and I’m glad we did. Ran into a lot of folks coming up on our way down, and the rain started to move in around 10:30. Only downfall is the poorly tended porta potties and no trash can at the trailhead for “doggy bags.”

7 days ago

So. Many. Wildflowers! Busy trail- get there early

hiking
8 days ago

Simply beautiful. Good combination of streaky climb with three good inclines. Surprises along the way. Gorgeous wild flowers and when there are no other people the sounds of the running water and run-off waterfalls are incredible.

8 days ago

Second time and always beautiful. Go on a weekday if you can. Great for dogs with water throughout trail.

hiking
9 days ago

This is my favorite hike!

hiking
12 days ago

Nice steady incline, good leg workout. Plenty of water steam access for the dog.
Beautiful scenic views with plenty of wild flowers along the way.

12 days ago

6.6 miles, 1701 ft elevation gain. Incline first and last mile.

hiking
13 days ago

Great hike. We did this today, arriving at 8:15am and the parking lot was almost full. The trail map doesn’t lie - very steep for the first and third miles. Wonderfully varied terrain from steep wooded path to meadowland to quite muddy when crossing water. Tons of wildflowers. Once you reach the pond at the top, keep going to eventually arrive at a beautiful lake, about another half mile at most. The trail was busy, but people were generally fairly spread out. My only complaint is that the two portapotties were literally nearly full to the top. Also, the trash can near the trail sign was filled to overflowing with dog poop bags. These sanitation issues really should be addressed. Thanks.

hiking
13 days ago

The flowers were at their peak. Gorgeous!

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful hike! Get there early to miss the traffic, people and heat. Lots of wildflowers blooming. Very dog friendly.

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike. Stunning hike with beautiful wildflowers of all kinds, a lovely lake, and a good hill-climb and ascent. The only disappointment is that irresponsible dog owners left poop bags scattered along the trail. Is it that hard to haul it out? The State should put a trash can at the base of the trailhead to try to curb the problem.

hiking
14 days ago

This is one of my favorite hikes!

15 days ago

Great hike, I saw more Columbines here today than on any other hike. Top lake view isn’t as picturesque as other alpine lakes but the gulch view and wildflowers make up for it.

16 days ago

Beautiful wildflowers!

17 days ago

Outstanding send. Steep incline at both the start and the end but smooth and shaded towards the middle. Vast open fields of wildflowers... running water pretty consistently within site. Flat and marshy at the top with a great view of the lake

20 days ago

I love this trail, it’s gorgeous but I think it should be changed to heavily trafficked. I showed up this morning and the parking lot is almost full on a week day morning.

20 days ago

plenty of parking, started at 11:30am and got back at 4:30pm. a steady incline up, deff wear sunscreen and a hat. lake at the top was small but a great place to eat lunch and views were amazing!

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked this today [July 1st]. Started at 12:30pm despite everyone’s reviews saying the parking lot would be full and to start early. I found that there was plenty of spots on a Sunday afternoon and I had plenty of moments alone on the trail. The entire hike was beautiful. Moderate incline and decline ~ bring trekking poles if you have achy knees / hips. I did it without them and was fine. Plenty of wildflowers, flowing water and absolute amazing views. This hike is definitely my top 3.

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful trail with rigorous climbs, only downside is the popularity (and the overflowing port-a-potties... super gross). Hiked on a Sunday from 9am-1p and never had a moment without other hikers nearby.

21 days ago

Stunning views throughout the whole hike!! More wildflowers than I’ve ever seen. Started a bit late around 11am, lot was packed full, made it to the lake about 1pm and back to the car by 2:45pm. Trailhead sign says 2.5 miles one way. My Apple Watch clocked us at about 3 miles one way. Highly recommend, bring trekking poles as there are plenty of steeper areas.

21 days ago

Beautiful hike, the views are spectacular all the way. I’ll definitely come back next year.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful hike! Lots of wildflowers and great views. Not too crowded in the afternoon/early evening. Pretty steep at the end, but otherwise not too difficult.

Load More