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 The Highland Mary area is a high-altitude, subalpine basin that is largely free of trees. Cunningham Gulch Trail . Get Here. 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 Lakes is a short backpacking loop hike located in the Weminuche Wilderness of southwest Colorado. Hike the Highland Mary Lakes → CT → Cunningham Gulch trail loop. The blue-line route is the shorter Highland Mary Lakes option, and the red-dot route is the shortcut from Verde Lake to #674. 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. 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. A car shuttle is required prior to starting hike. Apr 22, 2018 - Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop | Colorado's Wild Areas 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. The trailhead is the end of Forest Service road 589 east of Silverton. Highland Mary Lakes via Spencer Basin, loop hike Friday, October 4, 7:30 am New Destination. Highland Mary Loop. Tram tower at end of road. But, in my opinion, the most interesting part of the hike is the second half of the trail. Saved from coloradoswildareas.com. I love high basins. Trail Attributes. Visit three alpine lakes perched atop a high rolling plateau in the northwest corner of the rugged Weminuche Wilderness backcountry of Colorado. Great way to enjoy a clear day. Note the old tram tower that was probably associated with the Highland Mary Mine. Highland Mary Lakes – CDT Loop Featured Route 7.3mi. We knew going into this hike that there was a good chance of smoke coming over from the 416 Fire near Durango. Big dark clouds in the afternoon had us scurrying back to the safety of our truck! Weather. 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. The five-mile stretch up Wager Gulch is a rough road that requires a high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle. Started at highland Mary lakes and hiked to kite lake, camped, then over humpback / Nebo pass into Ute basin. Hiking poles would be helpful for steeper sections and creek crossings. The Highland Mary Lakes trail is an exception, providing day hikers quick access to this alpine wonderland. Register by Email. The open meadows are filled with wildflowers in the late summer, providing beautiful views and excellent opportunities for photography. The Highland Mary Lakes area has wide open … Easily accessible from the Cunningham Gulch road by most high clearance vehicles, this backcountry trail into the Weminuche Wilderness offers astounding high country views. 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. Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop. Tacoma on tundra. Make a longer loop by combining it with the Cunningham Gulch Trail. ajberry - Jun 27, 2017 10:36 … Trip Name: Highland Mary Lakes/CDT/Cunningham Gulch Loop. There is room for several vehicles to park. Visit three alpine lakes perched atop a high rolling plateau in the northwest corner of the rugged Weminuche Wilderness backcountry of Colorado . That will require further research and a more detailed map because I don't know where all of the trail intersections are located. Once above tree line you will wind in between the Highland Mary Lakes chain. This trail is easy to follow but doesn't give you very many breaks in the first two miles. Make a longer loop by combing it with the Cunningham Gulch Trail. From the start, the Highland Mary Lakes Trail #606 follows a curvaceous path along Cunningham Creek. Water availability is not a problem, but all water used in this area should be filtered, due to Giardia. Passenger cars can make it close to a trailhead (to reach the actual TH it is better to have a 4WD - stream crossing required). You drive about four miles through Cunningham Gulch on an increasingly rough road that includes a creek crossing at the end. Posted: Jan 26, 2015 by Sam Szarka. Saturday Classic Hike: Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop Saturday, August 3, 7:30 am Canceled due to road closure. Cunningham Gulch Sunset. 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. Camped by West Ute lake that night, got two inches of snow during 6 hours of kinda terrifying lightening. Mar 5, 2015 - View of the Highland Mary Lakes in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado. Upper end of gulch. Turning left, the climb strains towards treeline, garnering some 1,000 feet of elevation before soon settling again. Trailhead Elevation: 10,700 feet. 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. We spent the second day doing a fairly long day hike from Stony Pass to a high point above Highland Mary Lakes. Take time to explore the main lakes, or keep following the trail up another 300 feet to a high tundra shelf. Do not camp on the lake shore. Travel Guide. Followed the ridge from 13109 over Whitehead and Rhoda to Mountaineer and down Spencer Basin. … Prints Available. 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. The Cunningham Gulch is a fantastic backcountry camping option for those visiting the Silverton area, whether for off-road excursions or hiking. Silverton, CO. Highland Mary Lakes Running. We headed back as threatening afternoon clouds began to roll in. Continue up the road and come to parking areas for hikers doing the Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop, a very popular hiking trail. Register by Email. 682 Likes, 7 Comments - @gobroncobilly on Instagram: “Colorado Running Ranch Giddyup Camp, day 3: Highland Mary Lakes Loop. Drive past these and head up the hill to the end of the road. Climb 1,300 feet from the trailhead to reach the first of the Highland Mary Lakes. Silverton, CO. Hike up into Spencer Basin, if it is separate from the Highland Mary Lakes loop. The Highland Mary Lakes are a group of seven above-timberline lakes on the northwestern side of the Weminuche Wilderness Area. 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. Hike as far as you want…the Colorado Trail continues to Durango, Colorado and the Continental Divide Trail continues to Mexico. Alpine lakes are just about my favorite highlight of backpacking trips. Start at the parking area for Cunningham Gulch and Highland Mary Lakes and get ready to sweat. I actually was hoping that the smoke in the air would make for a good sunset later in the evening. Area: Weminuche Wilderness of San Juan National Forest in Colorado. Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop. Here, the Alpine Loop intersects with County Road 36, which heads south for about five miles to the ghost town of Carson. Highland Mary Lakes Loop 7.8 mi 12.5 km • 1,824' Up 555.88 m Up • 1,824' Down 555.87 m Down. This trail passes by the two largest Highland Mary Lakes as well as the nearby Verde Lakes. 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. 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 trailhead is the end of Forest Service road 589 east of Silverton. The hike is located in the Weminuche Wilderness - the largest … Wanted to go further but got stormed out as we climbed back up to high country on the CDT. The trail into Spencer Basin begins as a road on the west side of the drainage. Travel. Next day we hiked back out to the highland Mary trailhead via the Cunningham gulch. Travel Tips. Click on the map to enlarge. Passenger cars will … 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. Mar 5, 2015 - View of the Highland Mary Lakes in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado. Total Mileage: 10 miles. The Highland Mary Lakes is a short backpacking loop hike located in the Weminuche Wilderness of southwest Colorado. Explore. The Highland Mary Lakes area has wide open feel with broad gradual grassy … The Highland Mary Lakes are rated fair for rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout, but keep in mind, like most subalpine lakes… Trail on Cunningham Creek, Mountaineer Creek, and Deep Creek in San Juan National Forest, Weminuche Wilderness. Carpool $8. Highland Mary Lakes - Silverton A little over a month ago I hiked Highland Mary Lakes - a gorgeous hike southeast of Silverton. 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. 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. Climbing out of Cunningham…” Starting our hike from the Highland Mary Trailhead in Cunningham Gulch. View 7 Day Forecast on weather.gov. Highest Elevation: 12,550 feet. The Highland Mary Trail starts east of the old mining town of Silverton (which is worth a visit itself.) Three principle trails originate in Cunningham Gulch. The Highland Mary Lakes are perhaps one of the most popular day-hike destinations in the area. Wager Gulch-Carson Ghost Town – About 5.5 miles beyond the south side of Lake San Cristobal, the road comes to Wager Gulch. After 0.4 miles, the trail reaches a junction with the Cunningham Gulch Trail #502. Like. The trail starts at 10,480 ft., and climbs 1,600 ft. to the first lake. 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. This is a very popular trail and can be very crowded, especially on weekends. RECOMMENDED ROUTE Very Difficult. Colorado Travel Guide .. I'm not sure how long it is but other hikers I talked to were doing it as a day hike today. Featured Routes. 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! You’ll quick gain 12,000 ft. and stay there for much of the 9-mile loop.