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Quiet Hike to Zimmerman

It was a warm weekend in the city, so we wanted to go up high to find cooler temperatures. We got up early to hike on frozen-over snow before the afternoon warmth made it slushy and dangerous. We started early because the early spring warmth created conditions for loose wet and wet slab avalanches because of the afternoon heat combined with a weak overnight freeze. We also picked this hike because it is West-facing which meant keeping the warm sun off of the trail keeping it frozen longer into the morning. After a 2-hour drive, we got to the trailhead a little after 8 am and the temperatures were below freezing. Despite the freezing temperatures, the weather was great with no wind and manageable cold. When we were hiking back, the warmth made a noticeable impact on us sinking in with every step but it was still okay. When we finished the hike around 10 am, the temperature was reading in the mid-50s.

I'm not sure if it was the avalanche conditions or because we started our hike early, but we were completely alone for our hike. We saw 2 groups of people in the parking lot about to start their hike when we were finishing up, but the trail was ours for the entirety of our hike. This was shocking since Zimmerman Lake trailhead is a popular snowshoeing and skiing trail along the Poudre that usually has several dozen cars parked at it each weekend. But I won't complain about being alone since that's part of the reason we go hiking. This is now the 3rd hike we've done that we've had to ourselves.

Katie's ankle did a little better on this hike compared to the hike we did in Rocky a few weeks ago. I think this might be the last snowy hike we do until the next season since the softness of snow is harder on Katie's ankle than solid ground.

Trailhead Location
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2.81 mi 1.6 hrs 10,580 ft 528 ft
View Graph
Frozen Trail
Cameron Peak Burn
Lake Panorama