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Lake Katherine

For the Fourth of July weekend, Katie and I decided to head up to the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. Katie got the two days leading up to the weekend off and I took vacation time from work so that we could beat the crowds to camping and head out on Thursday. We picked this location because it was pretty far away (so there was a good chance of little people, even for a holiday weekend), and because there was no fire ban in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest until starting July third. Since we were getting up there on the second and coming back on the fourth, this at least let us set up a campfire for one of the two nights we were camping. All the other forests and dispersed camping areas already had fire bans in place, so we figured this was the best that we could do. This area did not disappoint. Getting there on Thursday we were the only ones camping off the side of the road.

We got a lazy and late start to leave for camping. We left Fort Collins a little after noon and got to the campsite around 3. It took us an hour to set up camp and then we decided to do our first hike. It was a pretty late hike to get going in the afternoon, but since we didn't have anywhere to be or anything that needed to get done, we figured why not go hiking?

The hike wasn't all that difficult but did have quite a bit of elevation - 1,000 feet - in just 2.6 miles one way. The hike took up almost 2 hours and thirty minutes, although we went off trail at the lake to try and make it to a better location to take photos. We only encountered a few people along the way - There were a few people fishing on the river and we saw two groups of backpackers heading up to the lake to set up camp.

Trailhead Location
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5.2 mi 2.4 hrs 9,831 ft 1,004 ft
View Graph
Merging Streams
Dying Pine
Clear Water
Lake Katherine
Fishing on the River
Cold Water
Blue Water