Located in the 167K acre Collegiate Peaks Wilderness that is home to eight of Colorado's 14,000+ peaks, this route enjoys majestic views of the rocky and unusually steep surrounding peaks including the Three Apostles, as well as high mountain meadows covered in wildflowers. With endless options for outdoor adventure, this area is perfect for your next adventure and is worth the long bumpy ride to reach the trailhead!
This is a wilderness area and is home to lots of wildlife, so please follow Leave No Trace principles. Keep the wilderness wild by not leaving your trash for others (critters and humans) to find.
Depending on your mode of transportation this trail has two possible starting points. As this trail is mapped it starts from the 2WD parking area just south of the Winfield ghost town. There are a number of spots to park along the road with a large parking area just outside of Winfield that boast two vault toilets. If you possess a 4WD vehicle then you'll have the luxury of taking the road 2+ miles further south down to the actual trailhead.
As you begin your run from the 2WD parking area you start your journey up a gentle slope that will continue for the majority of the run. As noted the first couple of miles are all dirt road running. Along the way are a seemingly endless number of campsites dotted along the road. The road passes through the valley sandwiched between several large mountains.
As you travel the road ensure that you follow all posted signage and stay to the right when it forks. The road left leads to a climbers trail for Huron Peak
. Eventually you arrive at the actual trailhead with signage indicating rules and restrictions for the area. From this point on you'll share the trail with the CDT, so you'll likely see plenty of other runners along the way. Keep an eye out for signage as the trail splits twice, once for Hope Pass and again for Apostles Basin. At the final split you'll head to your right and immediately cross a small footbridge as you head towards the lake.
The trail continues to meander through the lush valley forests and shrubs as you make your way into the evergreen forests near Lake Ann. The trail quickly changes from a gentle incline to a fairly steep run as you traverse the last couple of miles to the lake. The trail is clearly marked and easily navigated without any confusion. As you come above treeline the trail for the CDT will continue over the pass as you veer gently left to the open fields lying in front of Lake Ann. From here you get great views of Huron Peak
, the West Apostle and the surrounding Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.
Overall an exceptional run that is absolutely worth the effort. One of the most scenic areas of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness that offers unforgettable views of the beautiful Three Apostles.