Trip Name: Highland Mary Lakes/CDT/Cunningham Gulch Loop Area: Weminuche Wilderness… Highpoints #41, 42 and 43: Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota Blog Post , Posts By intuito September 11, 2017 5 Comments Saturday Classic Hike: Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop Saturday, August 3, 7:30 am Canceled due to road closure. Trail on Cunningham Creek, Mountaineer Creek, and Deep Creek in San Juan National Forest, Weminuche Wilderness. Note the old tram tower that was probably associated with the Highland Mary Mine. The Cunningham Gulch is a fantastic backcountry camping option for those visiting the Silverton area, whether for off-road excursions or hiking. From the start, the Highland Mary Lakes Trail #606 follows a curvaceous path along Cunningham Creek. Hike the Highland Mary Lakes → CT → Cunningham Gulch trail loop. Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop. Rich sunset light illuminates the golden autumn tundra of Cunningham Gulch, with the Grenadier Range in the background. Approach from the Highland Mary Lakes/ end of Cunningham Gulch out of Silverton. Make a longer loop by combining it with the Cunningham Gulch Trail. Hiking poles would be helpful for steeper sections and creek crossings. We headed back as threatening afternoon clouds began to roll in. Started at highland Mary lakes and hiked to kite lake, camped, then over humpback / Nebo pass into Ute basin. The Highland Mary Trail starts east of the old mining town of Silverton (which is worth a visit itself.) Travel. Saved from coloradoswildareas.com. Highland Mary Lakes Loop 7.8 mi 12.5 km • 1,824' Up 555.88 m Up • 1,824' Down 555.87 m Down. Highland Mary Lakes: This day hike from Silverton offers a glimpse of what the Weminuche is all about: high tundra, wildflower fields, remote lakes and extensive views — all in an 8-mile there-and-back hike. I actually was hoping that the smoke in the air would make for a good sunset later in the evening. Starting our hike from the Highland Mary Trailhead in Cunningham Gulch. Hike as far as you want…the Colorado Trail continues to Durango, Colorado and the Continental Divide Trail continues to Mexico. Register by Email. Meeting with the Highland Mary Lakes connector, one last switchback brings you into the final patch of trees before a rolling tundra unveils unhindered mountain views off to the west, including Mount Rhonda, Kendall Peak and Little Giant Peak. Highland Mary Lakes - Silverton A little over a month ago I hiked Highland Mary Lakes - a gorgeous hike southeast of Silverton. Trinity and Silex Lake Route 34.4 mi 55.4 km • 9,059' Up 2761.26 m Up • 9,059' Down 2761.11 m Down. Total Mileage: 10 miles. Mar 5, 2015 - View of the Highland Mary Lakes in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado. Upper end of gulch. The hike is located in the Weminuche Wilderness - the largest … Like. There is room for several vehicles to park. Once above tree line you will wind in between the Highland Mary Lakes chain. Here, the Alpine Loop intersects with County Road 36, which heads south for about five miles to the ghost town of Carson. … Register by Email. Tram tower at end of road. Posted: Jan 26, 2015 by Sam Szarka. You drive about four miles through Cunningham Gulch on an increasingly rough road that includes a creek crossing at the end. Do not camp on the lake shore. East of Silverton, this is a rewarding and scenic hike past alpine lakes, through a high tundra basin, on a trail with spectacular valley and mountain views. Camped by West Ute lake that night, got two inches of snow during 6 hours of kinda terrifying lightening. Take time to explore the main lakes, or keep following the trail up another 300 feet to a high tundra shelf. Cunningham Gulch (FS#502) Leaving the trailhead behind, the first half mile of the route rises through 700 feet of stunted high-alpine growth as the trail clambers towards treeline. Continue up the road and come to parking areas for hikers doing the Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop, a very popular hiking trail. The Highland Mary Lakes area has wide open feel with broad gradual grassy … Apr 22, 2018 - Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop | Colorado's Wild Areas Tacoma on tundra. I love high basins. The loop is created by combining the Highland Mary Lakes Trail # 606, the Whitehead Trail # 674, the Continental Divide Trail # 813, and Cunningham Gulch Trail. After 0.4 miles, the trail reaches a junction with the Cunningham Gulch Trail #502. Start at the parking area for Cunningham Gulch and Highland Mary Lakes and get ready to sweat. The blue-line route is the shorter Highland Mary Lakes option, and the red-dot route is the shortcut from Verde Lake to #674. Highest Elevation: 12,550 feet. Alpine lakes are just about my favorite highlight of backpacking trips. Colorado Travel Guide .. The trail starts at 10,480 ft., and climbs 1,600 ft. to the first lake. 682 Likes, 7 Comments - @gobroncobilly on Instagram: “Colorado Running Ranch Giddyup Camp, day 3: Highland Mary Lakes Loop. Hike up into Spencer Basin, if it is separate from the Highland Mary Lakes loop. The Highland Mary Lakes are rated fair for rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout, but keep in mind, like most subalpine lakes… Cunningham Gulch Sunset. From short and sweet hikes (the Piedra Falls trail runs about 1.2 miles round trip) to epic trails to high altitude lakes (like the 7.6-mile Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop Trail), there’s plenty of ways to explore on foot. The hike visits three of the seven Highland Mary Lakes as well as the Verde Lakes, all above 12,000-ft. Getting to the lakes basin requires a bit of effort. Big dark clouds in the afternoon had us scurrying back to the safety of our truck! I'm not sure how long it is but other hikers I talked to were doing it as a day hike today. Highland Mary Loop. From short and sweet hikes (the Piedra Falls Trail runs about 1.2 miles round trip) to epic trails to high altitude lakes (like the 7.6-mile Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop Trail), there’s plenty of ways to explore on foot. ajberry - Jun 27, 2017 10:36 … Visit three alpine lakes perched atop a high rolling plateau in the northwest corner of the rugged Weminuche Wilderness backcountry of Colorado. Trip Name: Highland Mary Lakes/CDT/Cunningham Gulch Loop. The Highland Mary Lakes is a short backpacking loop hike located in the Weminuche Wilderness of southwest Colorado. Get Here. Visit three alpine lakes perched atop a high rolling plateau in the northwest corner of the rugged Weminuche Wilderness backcountry of Colorado . Cunningham Gulch Trail . The Highland Mary Lakes area has wide open … This is a very popular trail and can be very crowded, especially on weekends. The Highland Mary Lakes are a group of seven above-timberline lakes on the northwestern side of the Weminuche Wilderness Area. Prints Available. Highland Mary Lakes – CDT Loop Featured Route 7.3mi. Climbing out of Cunningham…” Featured Routes. Three principle trails originate in Cunningham Gulch. Climb 1,300 feet from the trailhead to reach the first of the Highland Mary Lakes. Carpool $8. The five-mile stretch up Wager Gulch is a rough road that requires a high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle. Wanted to go further but got stormed out as we climbed back up to high country on the CDT. Passenger cars can make it close to a trailhead (to reach the actual TH it is better to have a 4WD - stream crossing required). Travel Guide. Weather. Solo big loop of the area, Cunningham Gulch up to PT 12905, then out and back to "Beartown Bald" and followed the Whitehead Trail around the back of the Highland Mary Lakes area to PT 12936, then up the 13109-Whitehead saddle. Trailhead Elevation: 10,700 feet. This trail passes by the two largest Highland Mary Lakes as well as the nearby Verde Lakes. Water availability is not a problem, but all water used in this area should be filtered, due to Giardia. Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop. The trail into Spencer Basin begins as a road on the west side of the drainage. This loop trail starts near the end of the road climbing into Cunningham Gulch, which is rough, rocky and requires high clearance to get to the trailhead. The Highland Mary Lakes trail is an exception, providing day hikers quick access to this alpine wonderland. Silverton, CO. Highland Mary Lakes Running. Highland Mary Lakes via Spencer Basin, loop hike Friday, October 4, 7:30 am New Destination. We knew going into this hike that there was a good chance of smoke coming over from the 416 Fire near Durango. This one has been on my to-do list for a couple of years now - so when it was posted as a day trip for Western Slope Adventurers on my last free Summer weekend, I jumped at the chance to do it! Easily accessible from the Cunningham Gulch road by most high clearance vehicles, this backcountry trail into the Weminuche Wilderness offers astounding high country views. The trail is approximately 3 miles, one way, but can be made into a 7.8 mile loop via a segment of the Continental Divide Trail to Cunningham Gulch Trail. Great way to enjoy a clear day. The trailhead is the end of Forest Service road 589 east of Silverton. At about 1.9 miles there is a junction with a trail to Cunningham Gulch/Highland Mary Lakes Loop and at 3.3 miles is another junction with Highland Mary Lakes Loop/Whitehead Trail. Make a longer loop by combing it with the Cunningham Gulch Trail. Travel Tips. Area: Weminuche Wilderness of San Juan National Forest in Colorado. The trailhead is the end of Forest Service road 589 east of Silverton. A car shuttle is required prior to starting hike. Click on the map to enlarge. Drive past these and head up the hill to the end of the road. Wager Gulch-Carson Ghost Town – About 5.5 miles beyond the south side of Lake San Cristobal, the road comes to Wager Gulch. Followed the ridge from 13109 over Whitehead and Rhoda to Mountaineer and down Spencer Basin. Mar 5, 2015 - View of the Highland Mary Lakes in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado. Next day we hiked back out to the highland Mary trailhead via the Cunningham gulch. This trail is easy to follow but doesn't give you very many breaks in the first two miles. The open meadows are filled with wildflowers in the late summer, providing beautiful views and excellent opportunities for photography. Trail Attributes. Silverton, CO. Big views, small miles: The Highland Mary Lake Loop is a mere 7.8 miles, and while that could easily be achieved in a day, slow down and take your time experiencing the unparalleled beauty of San Juan Mountain high country. The Highland Mary area is a high-altitude, subalpine basin that is largely free of trees. High mountain ridges encircle the lakes to the west, and if you turn around, you can peer far back down where you came from in Cunningham Gulch. The Highland Mary Lakes is a short backpacking loop hike located in the Weminuche Wilderness of southwest Colorado. That will require further research and a more detailed map because I don't know where all of the trail intersections are located. Passenger cars will … Turning left, the climb strains towards treeline, garnering some 1,000 feet of elevation before soon settling again. Quick gain 12,000 ft. and stay there for much of the rugged Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado the CDT corner. 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