Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lone Pine Lake, a Long but Lovely Hike

If you've got the time and the stamina for an 11 mile hike, the East Inlet Trail to Lone Pine Lake is a wonderful way to spend a day. Starting at the Eastern edge of Grand Lake, CO, the trail heads up a beautiful glacially cut valley, alongside gorgeous meadows, between towering, boulder spiked mountainsides, through lush, cooling forest and intermittently meanders along East Inlet creek which alternates between clear and serene or roaring over rocky rapids.

The trail head sits at just about 8400 ft elevation and gains almost 1500 feet over 5.5 miles. There are numerous sets of stone stairs to climb over the course of the trail. The views are incredible and several folks we met on the trail had seen moose (even right on the trial!), though we did not. Fishing on East Inlet Creek in the meadow looks wonderful and we saw many trout in Lone Pine Lake.

We turned a corner and were presented with this beautiful sight:
East Inlet Creek flowing through a gorgeous meadow.
Our trail heads up the left side of the valley before us

This little guy seemed to be posing for a photo!

We've started to climb and the view back down the valley toward Grand Lake is spectacular!

Once we started climbing we had immense rock walls on our left, aspens provided shade,
and wonderful views into the valley on our right.
The canyon walls opposite us were slabs of rock broken up by
pine beetle damaged forest.

One of many sections of stone stairs...
Stairway to Heaven?
East Inlet Creek is one of several creeks in the area that feed into the Colorado River.
Lone Pine Lake
Rainbow cloud!
Here's one more shot of this gorgeous valley in the better afternoon lighting.


  1. A beautiful, but long hike. Congrats!
    Box Canyon Mark

  2. The stairway to heaven part of the walk would be the most challenging part for me. I love when there are water views ts part of the reward. You two are hiking inspiration.

  3. Eleven miles! I am impressed. Beautiful part of the country.

  4. I can't imagine an 11 mile hike at that altitude, but sure glad you guys made it so I can enjoy the scenery in your shots.

  5. Beautiful hike! Wish we had been along.

    I love the mirror shot with the marmot! Your last photo almost looks like a back drop it is so perfect.

    Someone sure did a wonderful job building those steps.