Lily Lake - Snowshoeing

April 14, 2019 · San Isabel National Forest

The trail to Lily Lake is an offshoot of the Colorado Trail / Continental Divide Trail along Tennessee Pass in the San Isabel National Forest. It is not a difficult trail in snowshoes with a total out-and-back elevation gain of a little over 900 feet. Though for the first half of the way in it felt more like going downhill - which meant uphill for the last half on the way out.

Every now and then the Mount Massive Range would come into view, the views of the Mount Massive range are breathtaking. There is so much snow on the range and when the sky was a clear blue the snow looked like salt.

The weather was a little bit of almost everything. The day started out with clear blue skies and very few high clouds in the morning, then shifting to overcast and windy to blowing show, to no wind and light snow with big fluffy snowflakes. The trail comes in at about 8.2 miles roundtrip.

What was surprising about this trail is that I only encountered one person on the way in to Lily Lake, and he had four dogs with them. Once at the lake it was a bit overcast and I could hear a few snowmobiles in the distance once in a while. I did see one riding across the frozen lake as I was finishing lunch. Lily Lake is a fairly large lake, even though it looks fairly small on the map. The trail continues onto the 10th Mountain Division Hut and Slide Lake. On the map, Slide Lake looks like a very good choice for a summer hike.

For the longest time on the way in and for most of the way out, the forest seemed very noisy for being covered in snow. It sounded like birds chirping throughout the hike. I did see a lot of squirrels, though they were fairly quiet.

When the wind did kick up, large cakes of snow would fall down from the high branches in the trees and land with a loud thud on the snow-covered forest floor. Just as I was about to step off of the trail did I figure out what the chirping was. It was not birds, one of my snow shoe bindings had broken off and my foot was moving around on the base of the snowshoe. I had a good laugh over that, but I prefer to think it was actually birds chirping along the hike and not a broken squeaky snowshoe.

There is a lot of snow, and it had snowed the night before so there was about 3-6 inches of fluffy powder on the trail. But just below the new powder the snowpack is very hard. Because this is part of the Colorado Trail, there was something that looked like the Colorado Trial maintenance crew had setup on the trail - a swing at a junction in the trail.

Seems like it would be a nice place to take a short break, but it was covered in show, and it seems nobody who had been on the trail wanted to disturb the snow on the swing. Just beyond the swings are two huts, and I came across a family on their way up to one of the two huts - which are really big cabins that are for rent from huts.org.

It was a beautiful day on the trail, with all of the different weather and having the trail to myself. It was very peaceful. It is getting warmer, there are some signs of the snow melting and some of the trees are starting to posthole in the snow. It’s hard to say how much more snowshoeing there is before the summer hiking season starts up, but days like this are fantastic.


SIMILAR TRAILS

Lake Isabelle - Snowshoeing

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Mohawk Lakes ~ Cut Short - Snowshoeing

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Janurary 26, 2019 · The Meadow Mountain trail at the Minturn exit along I-70 is interesting, it is super easy access and during the winter caters to many winter activities, including: snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, Telemark skiing, down-hill skiing, snowboarding, toboggining and snowmobiling and...

AREAS HIKED

Collegiate Peaks Wilderness9
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 Wilderness1
White River National Forest10
Zirkel Wilderness1

TRAILS BY MONTH

January3
February2
March2
April3
May5
June16
July26
August26
September27
October5
November4
December3

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 ...