The hike to Upper Cataract Lake and Mirror Lake was a bit of a soggy hike, this part of July is Colorado's monsoon season and as such that means it will rain at some point during the day. On this hike, hit had threatened to rain for most of the way up to Upper Cataract Lake and then just before Mirror Lake it finally started to rain. The rain was heavy at times but sporadic at Mirror Lake, then on the return trip the rain was consistent and heavy and mixed with sleet, though there were brief breaks in the rain, then the rain would start backup.
Upper Cataract is very pretty and I'm sure on a clear day it is just breathtaking as the lake sits in a high narrow bowl, even with the weather it was a sight to see. Also, Upper Cataract Lake is a super popular camping destination. Though, given that school is about to start there are families and returning college students getting in that last camping adventure before school starts.
For me this hike came in just under 15.5 miles round trip. I finally saw some deer, at the very end of the hike. I saw three buck deer with velvet on their antlers. Two of them ran off as soon as I reached for my camera, but one stayed in place just long enough to get a picture, they were very close.
The trail starts in a pretty area in Heeney, Colorado. It's ranching country and there is a lot of sage brush, it reminds me more of ranching areas further south and west in Colorado. Despite the rain, it was a fun and quick hike - if you want to call ten hours on the trail quick. Check out my GPS tracks here.