Hiking to Heart and Rogers Peak Lakes

Colorado East Portal

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Visit two beautiful alpine lakes in one hike.Both lakes make for wonderful camping and fishing destinations.You can ascend an extra 551 feet to Rogers Pass and visit the continental divide.To make it to both lakes, your hike will be approximately 8.75 miles with 2200 feet of total elevation gain.

The hike begins at the East Portal Trailhead outside Rollinsville. Start hiking along the South Boulder trail to the right (north) of the very obvious Moffat Rail tunnel. The trail begins with moderate grades past the Forest Lakes cutoff just 1.25 miles from the trailhead. Continue hiking straight towards Rogers Pass. Do the same at the Cataract Lakes cutoff 1.85 miles past the trailhead.

After the Cataract Lakes cutoff, the trail continues along the creek and through the forest with moderate grades until about four miles from the trailhead. Here, the trees thin into a scenic meadow and you will reach Rogers Peak Lake at 4.05 miles. The trail follows the east side of the lake but there is a use trail that circles around the lake to the west.

Once you have had your fill of the wonderful scenery around Rogers Lake, continue on the trail to the east and north up a steep ridge where the Rogers Pass Trail begins to climb an additional 551 feet to Rogers Pass. For Heart Lake, continue straight on the obvious trail for an additional several hundred yards to the beautiful Heart Lake.

To descend, you'll find the use trail at the outlet stream that will take you along the stream to the main trail 1.35 miles from Heart Lake. You can also follow your ascent route along the main trail past Rogers Peak Lake and back to the trailhead.

The lakes are both located within the James Peak wilderness and additional restrictions and permits exist for campers. Otherwise standard camping gear including tent, sleeping bag, stove, and lights are sufficient.

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Hiking boots
  • Extra layers
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • First Aid kit
  • Snowshoes (for winter and spring)
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How to Get There

15 days ago

Great Overnight Backpacking Trip!!

This hike was an amazing beginner/intermediate backpacking trip for my girlfriend and I. While I had experience backpacking before, she was new to it. She loved it! The hike was about 8 miles to Heart lake, where we camped in almost complete seclusion. A light afternoon/evening rain kept us in the tent for a few hours, but we enjoyed hiking the next morning, in amazing weather, up to Rogers Pass and the Continental Divide trail. Much more hiking to be done for a multi-day trip. There were plenty of good trees for hammock sitting, if so inclined. The hike in is all uphill but the hike back is essentially all down. There is plenty of water(lakes and streams) for your viewing pleasure, as well as wildflowers galore. Bring your camera!! We also noticed plenty of fish in the lakes and many fisherman on the trail hiking in. If that's your thing, I think this place is a gold mine. We did this hike on a Saturday-Sunday. There were definitely other people on the trail, but there was no shortage of good spots to camp. And like I said earlier, still plenty of seclusion. If you went on a weekday, I imagine it would be desolate. Plenty of parking at the base. Currently free, but they are asking you to fill out a "permit" before you enter the Forrest/park. Overall, an extremely fun and relaxing hike, especially for beginners or backpackers looking for some mountain R&R.

15 days ago

about 1 month ago

Did not disappoint

This was amazingly beautiful for this time of the year. The place was lousy with wildflowers and the creek is beautiful. We couldn't tear ourselves away from the lake. I can see how it is backpacking friendly for beginners, since the trail is very moderate with a little bit of a steeper incline in the last mile. totally worth it! The parking lot looked full, but we found a spot easily and while we saw a lot of people, we felt like we had our privacy.

about 1 month ago

about 1 year ago

Fun beginners backpacking trip!

My boyfriend and I did this hike this past weekend and camped at Rogers Lake (a few blisters stopped us from getting to Heart Lake). However, Rogers Lake was a great place to set up camp as it was quiet and pristine (there were about 3 other tents around the lake)! For those who are experienced hikers and want to dip their toes in backpacking, this is a great hike to do so!

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

My Favorite Spot in the Rockies

This area is incredibly beautiful and often not too crowded. I will go here many weekends in a row and never get tired of it!

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Late June Snow

The first couple of miles are extremely well marked. Just about when things get tricky the blue tree markers become few and far between. What this trail lacks in clear directions it makes up for in abundant and beautiful water! We unfortunately didn't make it all the way to the lakes since we left our snow shoes in the car. Will try again in the Fall!

about 1 year ago

about 2 years ago

Beautiful scenery that makes for a great overnight trip. Could be done as a day hike as well, but waking up to the sunrise coming up over Rogers Lake is well worth bringing the gear to camp. Could also potentially make for a great way to tick off James Peak. Camp near Rogers Lake, wake up early, head up to the summit of James Peak, then come back down, and either stick around for another night, or scoop up your stuff and head out.

about 2 years ago

Added by Eric Schuette

I love adventure and exploring. Currently a school psychologist who tries to spend my free-time hiking, climbing, fishing, and celebrating with a good beer in Colorado. On Instagram @ericschuettephotography Cheers!!!


Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



8.75 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2200 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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