Mirror Lake – 12.8mi / 20.7km
Great effort leads to grand rewards as Mirror Lake sits in a broad drainage with towering, crumbling walls.
You’ll follow the playful Corral Creek down through a lovely drainage. The creek joins up with La Poudre Pass Creek which you follow down into the wide valley bottom. Cross this creek and enter into the national park where you begin working up the Cache la Poudre River alternating between forest and meadow. Stay straight and cross the river at the junction.
The trail begins following up Hague Creek to a stunning meadow with imposing Rowe Peak in the distance. The easy going changes to tough slogging as the trail steeply climbs 600ft/180m up the wooded ridge transitioning to subalpine forest. Cascade Creek splashes into flowering, wet meadows. Crazy towers of rock begin to appear as you get close to the lake.
The trail pops up to the lake’s shore where rocky towers line the western edge of the lake and extend up the drainage in an epic landscape. On a calm day, the waters reflect this impressive wall, giving it its name.
Trailhead: Take Colorado Hwy 14 and travel east from Walden or west from Ft. Collins to Long Draw Road (seasonally closed). Follow the gravel road for 8.5mi/13.6km to the Corral Creek Trailhead.
Elevation Gain: 2,100ft / 630m – Elevation Loss: 2,100ft / 630m