- Bob Falcone
Located literally right across from one Colorado's most popular 14ers, Mt. Bierstadt, the Square Top Lakes are often overlooked by hikers, and that's a shame.
The Square Top Lakes are a pair of small lakes situated at a little over 12,000' in elevation, at the top of Guanella Pass. The hike is on forest Service Trail 600 and is easy to follow with only a few hundred feet in elevation gain. The most difficult part of this 4.5 or so-mile hike, all of which is above treeline, is it's high elevation. Make sure to use caution during the summer monsoon season, when lightning is very prevalent. During weekends, this summit of the pass is very crowded and parking can be difficult.
To get there: From Colorado Springs, take I-25 to C-470, then west on C-470 to I-70. Drive west from Denver on I-70. Exit at Georgetown and follow the signs 11 miles to Guanella Pass. An alternate route is to take US 24 west from Colorado Springs to US 9, just west of Hartsel. Turn right on US 9 to US 285 just south of Fairplay and turn right onto US 285. Take US 285 to Grant and turn left on to Park County 62. Drive 13.5 miles to Guanella Pass.
Ute Pass Regional Trail closureThe El Paso County parks department announced the Ute Pass Regional Trail will be closed for several months simultaneously with the Incline closure. The trail starts at the base of the Incline. A city water line situated near the trail needs to be replaced while the Incline undergoes further repairs.
Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for 25 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: firstname.lastname@example.org.