“Talk about a great run up a beautiful drainage! Earn stunning views of the East Thorn.”
— Matthew Coye
Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This heavily forested approach reaches a high alpine lake, along they way, take notice of the entire Gore Range, it won't be hard to miss! Work on those high knees as there may be numerous downed trees.
The trail can be a burden in the rain as it becomes a running creek. Try to hit it on a warm clear summer day. There are rocks strewn about the trail, so your foot placement will need to be calculated.
Once you arrive at Salmon Lake
, you'll get a beautiful view of the East Thorn and its gnar-ness. If you're really feeling adventurous, go for a scramble up the East Thorn and get your exposure on!
The trailhead is located at the top of the Willowbrook neighborhood and is forested pretty much the entire way to the lake. There are a few lookout areas facing east where you can see the mountains on the divide.
Be prepared for a steady climb to the high alpine Salmon Lake
. There is not much in the way of respite (is there ever in the Gore Range?), but it's beautiful the entire way. At about 3.8 miles, you'll head left to stay on the North Willow Lake Trail
and veer off of the Gore Range Trail. Your next junction will be shortly after 4.5 miles when you split right and head up to Salmon Lake
, this is well signed. Once you reach the lake, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the drainage you just conquered, and, of course, the East Thorn.