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  • Writer's pictureVien R. Guenther

Heart Lake, South Boulder Creek Trail – James Peak Wilderness/Roosevelt National Forest

So, if you hike to Rogers Pass Lake you might as well hike all the way to Heart Lake. That is, if you still have the stamina, or time. It is a steep climb but only about a quarter mile further and about 200 feet above Rogers Pass Lake. You can do it and you won't regret it. The view from up there is fantastic.

Going up to Heart Lake; James Peak in the background

HEART LAKE (Elevation 11,300 feet) - 10 miles

This lake is located at the base of the Continental Divide. Heart Lake is shaped like a heart, but only if you look at it from above. Google it.

You can find amazing meadows of wildflowers here, especially columbines (photo below). As you can see, snow still remains in the nooks and crannies of the mountain in summer. Whether it be summer or autumn, it is wonderful up there. One thing we learned, the later in summer we go, the less people we encounter and will almost always have the place to ourselves. All we can hear is the sounds of nature, most especially the shrill sound of marmots.

Wildflowers in summer
Heart Lake in summer

From Heart Lake you will get a good view of James Peak and Haystack Mountain.

Heart Lake in Autumn




If you are camping, you will have time to go hiking to the top of the Continental Divide, which separates the Pacific and Atlantic watersheds.

There are many fine campsites in the James Peak Wilderness, but campfires are not allowed and group size is limited to only 12 - including pets.

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