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Zimmerman Lake

It was a snowy week, so we thought that maybe we'd be able to get in one more snowshoeing trip of the season. To do this, we knew we had to get up high and saw that Zimmerman Lake was forecasted to get 7 inches of snow so that was our destination. Zimmerman Lake is a pretty easy hike, less than 3 miles round trip and less than 500 feet of elevation gain, but it starts at an elevation of 10,000 feet which makes it a little more challenging. We probably didn't need snowshoes for most of the hike because the trail was snow packed and icy since it last snowed on Friday and we went hiking on Sunday.

When we got to the trailhead after driving for almost 2 hours, it was starting to get cloudy. Storms move quickly at that elevation so we knew that it would either clear up or we'd get caught in a snowstorm. It was lightly snowing when we got to the trailhead but decided to do the hike because the hike wasn't that long. The snowing stopped, but the storm completely covered Cameron's Peak, which was the main thing we wanted to look at during the hike. Cameron's Peak was just recently in the news for being the starting point of the worst fire in Northern Colorado burning more than 200,000 acres over the course of 6 months. We figured Zimmerman Lake would have been hit hard by this fire, but it was completely intact and unharmed, which makes sense now that I think about it since it's the only trail open along the Poudre River. There were lots of bare and charred mountains around us, but the mountain that Zimmerman Lake was on remained untouched and safe to hike.

The drive up towards Cameron's Peak was pretty saddening. The Cameron's Peak fire destroyed so many trees, including some right next to the highway that haven't been cut down yet. It was quite surreal. But I guess that's nature's way of clearing out the forest to make room for new trees to grow. The saddest part, though, is that now every trail along the Poudre River is hiking through a burned area, either from the High Park fire in 2012 or now from the Cameron's Peak fire. But I guess burned areas are beautiful in their own way.

Trailhead Location
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2.77 mi 1.6 hrs 10,469 ft 463 ft
View Graph
Paked Down Path
Camerons Peak
Zimmerman Lake