Flat Tops Wilderness Trails
There is not a more idyllic mountain setting in Colorado than Trappers Lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness. Large by Colorado standards, the lake’s broad surface reflects a backdrop of towering volcanic cliffs. Campgrounds and trailheads line the lake’s outlet along its north shore, but the vast majority of shoreline remains wilderness. This we owe to the efforts of one man, a landscape architect named Arthur Carhart who promoted the idea of wilderness within the infant Forest Service. Carhart was sent to Colorado and Trappers Lake in 1919 to survey the lakeshore for summer cabin sites. As he gazed upon the quiet and remarkable setting, he came to a quite different conclusion. He decided that Trappers Lake was an irreplaceable resource, and, rather than develop it for the benefit of a lucky few cabin owners, the greater good would be better served by the lake’s perpetual preservation in its natural condition. Carhart convinced his superiors to set aside Trappers Lake, and in many ways this marked the genesis of the modern wilderness concept. A few years later, Carhart’s contemporary, Aldo Leopold, would expand upon this idea with the creation of a half-million-acre wilderness preserve in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico. This trail guide includes descriptions of Hack Lake, Skinny Fish and Mcginnis Lakes, Oyster Lake, Stillwater Reservoir/Chinese Wall/Devils Causeway, Trappers Lake/Upper Island Lake/Wall Lake, Marvine Creeks, and South Fork/Lost Solar.
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Directions to: Flat Tops Wilderness Trailsprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Nearby City||Flenwood Springs|
|Skill Level||Easy to Moderate|
|Season||Best Spring through Fall|
|Trailhead Elevation||7,600 ft|
|Top Elevation||12,400 ft|
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