Backpack to Red Deer Lake, CO

Colorado Middle Saint Vrain Rd. Trailhead

Added by Brynn Schmidt

Great backpacking distance for families (individuals too) with gorgeous hiking trails with waterfalls and along a river and a beautiful lake at destination. An awesome hidden gem in Indian Peaks Wilderness - not as crowded. There are wildlife in the area - moose and bear scat near our camp site and this is within easy driving distance for Boulder County - less than 45 minutes and one of the best breweries in CO is only about 20 miles away in Lyons.

This is an excellent place to take your family backpacking. It is a fairly easy trail and definitely a great one for kids. Take in the beautiful scenery while hiking through meadows, aspen and pine with incredible mountain views in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. 6.4 miles to Red Deer Lake with an elevation gain of 1900 feet.

Starts out a couple miles down the Middle St. Vrain Road off of Peak to Peak Hwy (Hwy 72) and past the Camp Dick campground. Look for a parking lot right past the campground for the trailhead (Hwy 72).

GPS Info. for Camp Dick: (Latitude, Longitude): 40.13, -105.51833 40°7'48"N, 105°31'6"W

You start at 9,655 feet and the final elevation is at 10,381 feet (net 726 feet). It is a 12.8 mile round trip hike. This would be an excellent place to hike and backpack in the early fall as well as summer. Check in the fall to make sure it is open. Plan ahead as the parking lot does get crowded as it is a small lot. After your trek, head to Oscar Blues Brewery with amazing food and beer about 20 minutes away in Lyons.

Pack List

  • Permit for Indian Peaks Wilderness (pick up at the ranger station)
  • Backcountry tents (we take 2 small ones)
  • Warm sleeping bags - high elevation
  • Stuff sacks - we use stuff sacks that reverse to fleece for a pillow
  • Layers for clothing - it can be hot or very cold.
  • Parachute chord or rope to hang food in trees - rule in this wilderness area
  • Water filter
  • Back country stove
  • Food for backpacking
  • Hammocks for your kids - don't forget the straps
  • Water bottles and bladders for backpacks
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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

6.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1900 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

over 1 year ago

Moose!

I've done this twice and seen five moose in all. Also, it is very easy and from the lake you can get to sawtooth, which is slightly more crowded, but worth it.

over 1 year ago

Added by Brynn Schmidt

I love wilderness/beaches: photography, hiking, camping, backpacking, and hanging out with my guys while they climb. Mom, wife and co-founder of non-profit organization serving in Gabon and DRC, Africa. Find me on Instagram @brynn.alise.photography

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