Norton-Big Lost Lakes Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,596' 486 m
Descent: -1,596' -487 m
High: 9,246' 2,818 m
Low: 7,665' 2,336 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 32% (17°)
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“Four major lakes on a loop up Norton Creek.”— Josh Kleinman
There are three small creek crossings along the trail to the lower Norton Lake. Along the route, there are switchbacks, long sloping meadows with wildflowers and wonderful views of the high canyon walls. The trail from the Lower Lake follows the creek for 200 feet to Upper Norton Lake.
To start the loop towards Big Lost Lake, run up a steep scree slope on the north side of Lower Norton Lake to a saddle and then run down to Big Lost Lake. The trail moves along the lake to a rocky ledge with spectacular views. Then run down to Smoky Lake, a wonderful spot to stop for lunch.
The trail continues down from Smoky Lake along a stream, traverses downhill with switchbacks and dense forest before rejoining the Norton Lake Trail back to the trailhead.
With luck, Mountain Goats can be seen at the beginning of the run on the rocky slopes on the right of the trail.
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