Shh, keep this hike to yourself | AspenTimes.com

Shh, keep this hike to yourself

Every summer season I make a list of at least five new things that I want to experience in the Roaring Fork Valley area.

There are a plethora of activities to partake in here and there's never enough time to try them all when you work a full-time job in Aspen, hence the reason I make a list every year. Included on my "summer bucket list" are hikes I've never done, climbs I've never attempted or sometimes a completely new experience — for example, I'm aiming to try downhill mountain biking at Snowmass this year.

This weekend I was able to cross a new hike off my bucket list: North Fork Lake Creek.

The trail is located just past the last major curve on the way down the pass from Aspen, and chances are you've driven by the sign for the trailhead multiple times if you've made the trek over Independence Pass from Aspen to Twin Lakes.

Saturday morning, my two hiking companions and I woke up early and set off for the 8.1-mile hike.

The hike was beautiful and serene, albeit not well-marked. The wildflowers were in bloom and everywhere on the trail that meanders through meadows, alongside streams, through marsh-like terrain and up to a glacial lake in the Mount Massive wilderness.

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One of the best parts about this hike was how not crowded it was. The three of us didn't see a single other hiker until we began the hike back down from the lake to the car. For this reason I almost did not write about it, but at my editor's encouragement, I relented and decided to share the experience.

On the recommendation of a friend who told us to check out the trail, we hiked passed the lake at the top and were rewarded with stunning views that went on for miles and miles.

It's always exciting to explore new parts of the place you live and love, and this trail was well worth the early Saturday wake-up call. And while I'd recommend the hike to anyone who asks about it, can we all agree not to spread the word about it too far and wide so it stays a not heavily trafficked escape into the wilderness?

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