Eaglesmere / Surprise Lake Loop

The Eaglesmere is a loop hike to three high altitude lakes on the northern perimeter of the Eagles Nest Wilderness in northern Colorado. The trail offers the hiker a sunny aspen forest, dense spruce-fir forests, several lakes and best of all, mountain views of the rugged Gore Range to the south. Trek 3.6 miles to the twin Eaglesmere Lakes situated at 10,400 feet, then head southeast to Surprise Lake with the option of a side trip to stunning Upper Cataract Lake at the foot of the northern face of Eagles Nest peak. The hike length is 10.7 miles without the side trip to Upper Cataract Lake. Add an extra 4.3 miles (round trip) for the side trip.

The Eaglesmere trail (#61) begins at a fork near the end of County Road 1725. Be prepared to pay the US Forest Service use fee ($5). The road forks right onto County Road 1726 and ends at the Eaglesmere trailhead. Ascend 3.6 miles through a sunny aspen forest along the south face of a mountainside. After summiting the mountain, the trail enters a dense spruce-fir forest briefly before descending across another sunny south facing mountainside. After 2.8 miles, the trail enters the forest again and connects with the Gore Lake trail at a trail junction. At the junction, head right for 0.8 miles to the Eaglesmere Lakes. For the next leg of the trip, head back toward the Gore Lake junction, and head south (right) at the fork toward Surprise Lake. 3.0 miles from the Gore Lake junction you will encounter the trail junction to Upper Cataract Lake. Upper Cataract Lake likes at the foot of the Gore Mountains that lie to the south at 10,800 ft. and is another 2.15 miles away. Continue to Surprise Lake trail junction and turn right onto Surprise Lake trail to return to the Surprise Lake trailhead on County Road 1725.

Trail Length

10.7 miles; Add another 4 miles if you hike to Upper Cataract Lake


Eaglesmere & Surprise Lake trailheads

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