Backpacking Lake Ann

Lake Ann, Colorado is a beautiful high-altitude mountain lake just off the Continental Divide Trail and a few miles from the small ghost-town of Winfield, Colorado. The trailhead also serves the immensely-popular 14k-foot Huron Peak – on the weekend we visited in Mid-August to backpack, a caravan of hikers motivated to beat the afternoon storms were parading up the 4×4 access road toward the trailhead starting at 5:00 AM. We camped near the parking lot the night we arrived, set out around 8:00 AM and saw only a handful of hikers once we reached the split-point in the first mile of the trail to Lake Ann.

Nestled in a bowl beneath the Three Apostles, Lake Ann’s turquoise-green water was cold enough to discourage a casual dip but offered plenty of frontage to stretch out and gawk at the surroundings. A number of mid-size campsites and fire rings spotted the field in front of the lake, but we chose a site the east that offered a bit more cover from wind and rain and easy access to a small waterfall for water refills. After setting-up camp, we continued up the switchbacks above the lake to reach a saddle that provided a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Lulu Gulch valley below.

If you’re looking for a weekend backpacking destination close to the Boulder / Denver area, Lake Ann will not disappoint.

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