Woodland Lake

June 23, 2018 · Indian Peaks Wilderness

The hike to Woodland Lake and Skyscraper Reservoir is a very pretty hike, it comes in around 12 miles roundtrip; for me it came in at 13.3 miles, because of how far I had to park away from the trailhead. Parking at the Hessie trailhead is terrible, you need to be there no latter than 7am or accept parking far away or take the shuttle - finally, there's a shuttle to the trailhead! Hooray!

The trail is a but lumpy in spots, but there are nice flat parts to even it out and catch your breath. I was there after a week's worth of heavy rain, so that combined with the runoff made the rivers very full, fast and loud. There was a wave cloud for the first part of the morning so that washed some of the color out of the photos, but it cleared up and then there were periods of perfect blue sky and racing clouds.

Even though parking was terrible, the crowds quickly thin out and you find yourself on the trail alone. Once in a while I did come across a couple of large groups of people on their way to overnight camp; it's something I would like to go back and do a multi-day hike in Indian Peaks, it's very pretty.

The views from Woodland Lake are spectacular, and when the clouds raced through made some very dramatic shadows on the surrounding valley walls. There is still some snow on the trail, starting at and just above treeline there's still noticeable snow. The weather was great, there was some high winds from time to time at Skyscraper Reservoir, which is a small alpine lake converted to a reservoir sometime in the 1940's. Lots of Marmots on the rock outcrops and *a lot* of evidence of Elk on the trail, though I didn't see any Elk or Moose on this trip. Great day, beautiful weather. Checkout my GPS tracks from this hike here.


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AREAS HIKED

Collegiate Peaks Wilderness10
Eagles Nest Wilderness10
Fossil Ridge Wilderness1
Fraser Experimental Forest1
Gunnison National Forest1
Holy Cross Wilderness12
Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness3
Indian Peaks Wilderness17
James Peak Wilderness1
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness2
Mount Evans Wilderness2
Mount Massive Wilderness2
Pike National Forest1
Raggeds Wilderness1
Rocky Mountain National Park41
San Isabel National Forest6
Sangre de Cristo Wilderness2
White River National Forest10
Zirkel Wilderness1

TRAILS BY MONTH

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SEASONS ON THE TRAIL

2021

The 2021 Season has started. Though the pandemic created a challenging 2020 season, I am looking forward to building on the 2020 season to create an incredible 2021 season. The pandemic has taught me a few things about when and where to go hiking. As such planning for the 2021 se...

2020

The 2020 hiking season has been incredible, even in the face of adversity. The pandemic has made for a logistically challenging season. Somehow, I was still able to piece together an incredible 230+ miles on the trail this season and able to see some truly spectacular places. Enj...

2019

The 2019 hiking season was an interesting season, this was the first season that I started and ended the season snowshoeing and a full summer of hiking for a total of just under 225 miles on the trail. What this season has taught me is that it's winter in the mountains for a long...

2018

The 2018 Summer Hiking Season has come to an end. What a season, incredible views and just over 230 miles on the trail. Even with 230 miles, this season seems short to me, perhaps I'll add something to it during the winter season - snowshoeing perhaps. In the meantime, I hope you...

2017

The 2017 hiking season was interesting, I was able to explorer more of Colorado's National Forests and get in some camping, not as much camping as I would have liked, but hopefully next year I'll able to get in more multi-day hikes. This season came in just under 129 miles roundt...

2016

The 2016 hiking season was about spreading out and exploring more of Eagles Nest Wilderness, Indian Peaks Wilderness and touching on White River National Forest - and of course a few trips into Rocky Mountain National Park. These are amazing National treasures. This season came i...

2015

The 2015 hiking season was a big hiking season, I decided to do a fundraiser for The Red Cross (I learned a lot about fundraising - it was very interesting) with my pledge to hike over 200 miles for this season, I came in at 217 miles for the season; what a great time out on the ...

2014

The 2014 hiking season was almost all about exploring Rocky Mountain National Park, it really is a beautiful park. What I learned during the course of this hiking season is, although people may roll their eyes when you say you're going on a hike in RMNP, it really is spectacular ...

2013

2013 is the year this all started. The hike to Pitkin Lake started it all. Although it was a difficult trail, I was hooked immediately. However, I didn't have the right gear and the seasons were changing quickly. So, even though this season only brought two hikes, I new this was ...