This loop trail, which visits four lakes, can be hiked in a long day, broken into shorter segments, or done as a backpack. The farther into the Eagles Nest Wilderness you travel, the more primitive the area seems. Various features along the trail highlight the glacial past. Lower Cataract Lake, far below most of the trail, forms the hub of the loop. Several views of craggy Eagles Nest, the peak after which the Eagles Nest Wilderness was named, treat the eye along the way. At 13, 400 feet, Eagles Nest is the second-highest peak in the Gore Range. The loop hike consists of a bit of dirt road, the Surprise Lake Trail, the Gore Range Trail, short side trails to Tipperary Lake and Eaglesmere Lakes, and the Eaglesmere Trail. The farther into the Eagles Nest Wilderness you travel, the more primitive the area seems. After Tipperary Lake, the trail winds around huge blocks of granite, surely a remnant of glacial times. Looking up the Cataract Creek drainage to Eagles Nest might make you feel like you ’re miles from civilization.
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Directions to: Surprise/Eaglesmere Loopprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Elevation Gain||1,845 ft|
|Skill Level||More Difficult|
|Duration||5.5 to 8.5 hours|
|Season||Best from mid-June to early October|
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