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6 miles

Elevation Gain

1000 ft

Route Type



Added by Kathleen Buenviaje

Mountains, lakes, valleys, streams and scrambling all in one. What more could you possibly ask for?

There are a few ways to get you to Sheep Lake Trail, this particular one will take you to the trailhead via the Lewis Lake Trailhead near the picnic area. It makes it a longer hike, but trust, it's a beautiful one, and definitely not a hike you'll want to miss. 

The hike starts at an approximate elevation of 10,000 feet and will gradually take you to about 11,000 ft. It's about 6.5 miles round trip and is doable as a day hike. If you're at the Lewis Lake picnic area, you'll want to take the road all the way up until you hit a small parking lot. There aren't many spots, so its highly likely that it will be full. You can park on the side of the road if that's open, tons of people do it. Once there, facing the lake, you'll want to head towards your right. You'll see a trailhead and a sign for Gap Lakes. This is the beginning of your adventure.

The trail will take you pass several lakes, its up to you whether you stay on trail or venture off and explore the meadows and valleys all around you. Once you're back on trail, follow it all the way past Gap Lakes. You'll have to do a bit of scrambling on the rocks to get over a tiny ridge. Be careful, it tends to be slippery on the smooth rock surfaces. You'll reach the ridge and see another lake, if you follow the trail you'll notice a split. The right trail will take you to Shelf Lake, while the left trail will take you to Sheep Lake. Just keep hiking and passing lakes, valleys and rivers and eventually you'll finally reach the lake. The lake itself is eh... but the hike to get there is stunning, filled with so many different types of landscapes, you can't help but get lost in the scenery. Enjoy every step, climb, curve and lake and if you're a photographer, don't forget to peel your eye away from the camera to take in all the beauty you'll be submersed in.

Before you head out there, keep an eye out on the weather. This place has typical mountain weather where it's as bipolar as the Colorado weather systems. During our hike in September we encountered rain, sun, clouds, dense fog, and a really crazy hail and wind storm, all in six hours. So, bring a waterproof shell and wear layers to help regulate the influx of temps you'll be experiencing. There are also several backcountry fire rings along the way, if you plan accordingly you could enjoy a nice warm fire to warm your hands and toes if you get caught in a thunderstorm during the hike. This is bear and wild life country, be smart and happy exploring! 

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