Hiking to Heart and Rogers Peak Lakes

Colorado East Portal

Added by Eric Schuette

  • 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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Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



8.75 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2200 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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How to Get There

2 months 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!

2 months ago

4 months 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!

4 months ago

4 months 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!

4 months ago

about 1 year 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 1 year ago

Added by Eric Schuette

I love adventure and exploring. Currently spending time hiking, climbing, fishing, and celebrating with a good beer in Colorado. On Instagram @ericschuettephotography Cheers!!!

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