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Baker Gulch to Bowen Gulch Lake is a 19 mile loop trail located near Grand Lake, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until October.

Length 19.0 mi Elevation gain 4,757 ft Route type Loop

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Lake

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Snow

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

NOTE: The Bowen-Baker trailhead is in the Rocky Mountain National Park which requires an entrance fee and dogs are NOT allowed. If you have a dog, you can enter the Never Summer Wilderness from the North Supply trail head in the Arapaho National Forest.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (60)
Photos (121)
Recordings (40)
Completed (122)
Emily Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2020

Just here to say: if you don't know how to poop in the wilderness, DON'T! Campground at the Lake Bowen was full of shallow catholes (I'm talking covered in maaaaybe an inch of dirt) IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CAMPGROUND that our dogs had a great time discovering Probably 10 other groups camping at the lake while we were there, not my ideal backcountry experience - however, the lake was beautiful.

Jenni Hankel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 7, 2020
HikingBugs

Fantastic backpacking loop! We camped at Parika Lake and Bowen Lake. There was very little snow or mud, though there were tons of mosquitoes. Plenty of wild flowers and moose near the trail!

Elliott Albin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2020
HikingMuddy
John Houchens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 4, 2020
HikingBridge outFloodedIcyMuddySnowWashed out

6/1-6/3, 2020 27yo male, 23yo female. Completed loop with many challenging sections. I would recommend waiting until later in the season to avoid flooding, deep snow, downed trees, and bridges out. Day 1: Started late (1:30PM) due to 34W winter closure after Estes Park and we had to detour 4hrs around to get to trailhead(TH). Field at TH was flooded 3-4” and we removed boots to get across. Lots of downed trees. 4 miles up the trail was washed out with rushing water and we were able to jump across. Trail was again flooded at Baker Trail intersection and we removed boots/pants to get across. Snow patches started at 9400 ft and we had to snowshoe almost everything past Grand Ditch. Lost trail multiple times and used GPS to get back on. Stayed at small lake before Parika in small dry patch in the trees. Approx 20 trees down from TH to lake. Lakes were frozen except in the center. Day 2: Arduous day of all snowshoeing. 5-10ft wall of snow (80degrees) at Parika ridge line and used ice picks to aid in ascent over. Some dry sections along the ridge and back to deep snow in Bowen Pass. Steep sections of snow over trail we had to be very cautious on. Skipped over Bowen Lake since it req’d snowshoeing up and we expected it was frozen. Camped near Ruby lake creek crossing. Bridge out. Day 3: Early start crossing logs to get over Ruby Lake creek and didn’t need snow shoes the rest of the hike. Trail was washed out in sections and had to off boots for a creek crossing where a bridge was out. Lots of water on trail but only a few trees down (5-10). Saw a good amount of elk near bottom field. Overall beautiful hiking with 70F degrees and sunny days and 35F nights. I would do this loop again, but wait until warmer weather to avoid deep snow. Distance was 25mi (according to Garmin inReach) but considering we lost trail multiple times in snow it’s probably more like 22mi.

Clete Lewis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2019
Hiking

As our group hiked this loop (Parika Lake, then Bowen Lake) on 8/31/2019 (busy Labor Day Wknd), I'll offer advice about the small parking lot. If the marked spaces are full, you can legally park just outside the lot, on the shoulder of Trail Ridge road. The shoulder is wider near the speed limit sign, so make sure your tires are well off the pavement. Otherwise, fantastic 3 day (2 night) trip. Lots of camping options and moose everywhere!

Reghan Gillman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2019
Hiking

DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED! Don't read what the internet says. There are multiple signs at the trail head saying "No Dogs," and I spoke with a park ranger who confirmed that. If you have a dog, you can enter the Never Summer Wilderness from the North Supply trail head in the Arapaho National Forest. Please follow the rules.

Judi Schwandt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 19, 2019
HikingBlowdownMuddyRocky
Erin O'Connor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

Just did this trail last weekend! It was a blast and the trail was in great condition! There was no sign of a snow wall - it must have melted bc we were all prepped for it and never came across it. We got to the park gate about 6am and there was no one at the gate that early so we got in with the doggo just fine as well. We camped at parika lake the first night and the high altitude was a bit of a challenge to sleep at, but totally worth it! Second night we camped down in Bowen Gulch. Great three day trip.

Judi Schwandt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2019
Hiking

I would make sure it is ok to bring a dog as you have to travel through the national Park to get into Never summer wilderness. I’ve heard conflicting information. I’ve never seen dogs. Lots of wildlife.

Allen Lindsay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2019
HikingRockySnow
View Allen's Recording
Jeffrey Raich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 23, 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

Did the trail to Parika on 7/19. It was beautiful. Switchbacks, some steep ascents, featured both open and shaded places. Wet, but few bugs. We didn’t make it to the lake. Found a lovely clearing and camped with sounds of waterfalls in distance. No snow at 10,500. Hiked with 10 yo. It was steeper than he could handle. Would do it again.

Andres Velez- Valencia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2019
Hiking

Amazing hike, especially this time of year if you're ok with hiking through lots of snow, bogginess, and bugs. My friend and I completed it in two days starting on 7/9. At around the 6-7 mile section, there are two 15-20 foot snow walls you need to climb. The first is at about an 80 degree slope and the other is about a 70 degree slope. We took our time to go up, but you definitely need to be comfortable doing this. Also, there is still a significant amount of snow 10,500 feet and above, so you need to be comfortable navigating the area and finding the trail. Some areas will be completely covered in snow.

Chester Conforte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 4, 2019
HikingBlowdownBridge outBugsMuddySnowWashed out
View Chester's Recording
Kyle LeMaire
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 5, 2019
Hiking

Great trail. Very scenic up top above treeline. Decent amount of both high elevation/scenic hiking, and through dense tree hiking.

Jacob Leeper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 16, 2018
Backpacking

Awesome trail! Counter Clockwise. June 2018 We planned to sleep at Parika Lake on the first night, but ended up short at the smaller lake 0.5 mile before. After seeing both spots, not sure which one was better. We slept in the wooded area covered by trees. Parika Lake is pretty open and exposed, but the views were amazing. Fishing was a thought, but glad we chose not to. Day two started with a couple miles of steep climbing and ridge lines. Only encountered a few patches of snow along the ridge. Parika Peak was just another quater mile, right turn upward climb and totally worth it. the views were stunning. Winds peaked to 50mph around Farview Mt. and it got pretty cold. We planned to camp at Bowen Lake the second night, but decided to skip it. We were just too worked from the long day. the forest past the junction had a lot of down trees and thick forest. Finally found a decent flat area to camp for the night. Last day was a easy down hill to the car. Saw a cow moose in the stream near the lot right as we were leaving. Few things to note for this trail: Parking lot is small Plenty of streams to filter water A lot of crossings, some difficult to cross Trail starts in RMNP but a permit is NOT necessary (we wasted 20 minutes trying to get one) Clockwise doesn't seem as enjoyable We average 2 trips per year(experience compared)

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