Mount Zirkel Loop Trail

HARD 131 reviews
#3 of 45 trails in

Mount Zirkel Loop Trail is a 10.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Clark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,463 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

scramble

snow

Beautiful, but cold. It looked like the first snow of the season had fallen the night before. Gilpin lake was surrounded by a dusting of snow, and the pass had a few inches of snow.

hiking
bugs
muddy
12 days ago

One of my favorites, the views are amazing!

recorded Mount Zirkel Loop Trail

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
15 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Great trail with lots of opportunities for camping and access to water since the trail parallels the river most of the time. Many signs are posted saying you cant camp within 1/4 mile of the lakes. Signs are also posted that camping is not allowed at the trailhead.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful hike. So blue water at Gilpin Lake. We also did it counterclockwise and I think it was easier.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike one of my favorites so far!!

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful scenic trail, definitely worth it! We backpacked and stayed 2 nights first near gold creek lake and the second night near Gilpin lake. We did the trail towards gold creek lake first and gilpin second (counter clockwise) and believe it was easier that way. Also it was fun watching the scenery get increasingly more beautiful!

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

Did this loop on 8/10. One of our best hikes, tons of different wildflowers and incredible views. There are a few water crossings but always trees to cross on. Go counter clockwise so that you walk down from the pass to Gilpin lake. Bring bug spray!

hiking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail! The trail head is scary busy, but we found a lot of solitude once on the trail. Great single track for run/hiking. Actually, GREAT running trail. Steady, runnable uphill all way. Cruiser downhill with some fun technical stuff. Gilpin Lake is one of the prettier lakes I have seen in this state. There are also a few more options of trails that branch off of this loop and could take you miles into the backcountry. I am looking forward to getting back to this area and checking those out.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice loop. A few water crossings that take some balance, but no need to get wet. Some nice Brookies in Gilpin and Gold lakes.

hiking
1 month ago

Honestly one of, if not, the best hike I’ve ever been on. The diversity of the wildflowers, geology, the creeks and lakes, bridges and various creek crossings. There is even a pretty good sized waterfall! I bet it’s beautiful in the fall as well. Completed the loop in over five hours (walking time, 6 hours total including stopping for photos, eating at Gilpin Lake and jumping into Golden Creek Lake and stopping under a tree to wait out a quick shower) and I would say it is more like 11+ miles. Started late on an August Saturday at 11AM with three people total and an 8 year old pit bull starting towards Gilpin Lake then Golden Creek Lake and were back to TH by 5:30pm. All uphill either way you do the loop until the saddle above Gilpin Lake then it’s almost all downhill. Can’t wait to come back and camp out so I can summit Mt.Zirkel next time!

hiking
1 month ago

Best hike in the steamboat area. Stunning, challenging (but not too much), beautiful alpine lakes ready to jump into, wildflowers, and no bugs. The best.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I did this hike counter clockwise on 07/19. It was probably the best hike of our lives! There is some snow to navigate through as you go up and over the pass and then down to Gilpin Lake. We changed socks after hiking through the snow, as our socks had gotten pretty wet. We had to wear water shoes for one of the crossings. We were able to navigate across logs on the others, but some were not easy, even with hiking poles. We loved the change in scenery throughout the entire hike. We took our time, tons of pictures, and had some snacks and lunch at the two lakes on the hike. We saw a nice size bear run across our trail about 50 yards in front of us just past Mica creek. We were somewhere around 9-10 miles in at that time. It was pretty awesome! It took us about 7 hours at a nice pace with plenty of stops.

hiking
1 month ago

awesome

hiking
1 month ago

Completed this trail on 7/21.It is mostly ready for exploring but be aware of high water if you plan to hike with smaller kids or dogs. On the top of the Gilman lake you’ll have to navigate through the snow to stay on trail. We hiked counterclockwise so it was easier to slide down on the snow. 6 hours of Colorado beauty: flowers, waterfalls, amazing alpine lakes, river, wild animals and tons of mosquitoes! Bug spray is highly recommended.

hiking
1 month ago

this is one of my favorite trails in CO. the counter clockwise route is a bit easier with the elevation gain spread out a bit more evenly. definitely a challenging hike but 100% worth it the entire way. the scenery is gorgeous during the entire season; beautiful lake, wild flowers, and Aspen all along the way. it's usually not crazy crowded, but weekdays are better if you want any solitude. I'd say it took me about 6-ish hours with a break at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

We did it on 7/17 counter clockwise with our kids (12, 10, 7 and 3 on a carrier). The trail is beautiful and you go through different sceneries. Climbing to the pass from gold creek lake was ok, but descending to Gilpin lake was hard since most of the trail was covered with snow. All the water crossings on the gold lake side were doable (on logs), only one crossing near the Gilpin lake required crossing in the water (3 feet deep maybe). We used the app to navigate in a few points along the trail. All together we hiked 8am to 6pm. Enjoy!

hiking
muddy
snow
washed out
2 months ago

Did a two night overnight on this trail, no regrets. We took it clockwise...and while the snow up to the peak was incredibly difficult to climb it made for a nice last day of hiking. This trail has everything, rushing creek, waterfalls, lakes, beautiful wildflowers, and lots of wildlife.

muddy
off trail
scramble
snow
2 months ago

this is my favorite hike, and is where I proposed to my (now) wife. we went back to recreate the experience, but what a different hike it was from the first time we were here. hiking counter-clockwise, three river crossings through hip-high snow melt, and muddy breeding grounds for mosquitoes all along the entrance. at higher elevations, you'll be cutting switchbacks over snow mounds to pick up the trail. the trail is visible throughout the whole hike below treeline, but afterwards you're making your own path due to the snow. good luck once you crest the mountain! still, the most beautiful and dramatic, adventurous hike-still my favorite! All colors of beautiful wildflowers are out.

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