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.