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Mirror Lake Trail is in the northern Gore Range, part of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, Summit County. Mirror Lake Trail is north of Interstate 70, west of Highway 9, north of Silverthorne and near Heeney. The trail extends west from Upper Cataract Lake to its junction with the Elliot Ridge Trail. Mirror Lake lies at the base of Elliot Ridge, in a bowl below Meridian Peak, 12,630 feet, and the Eagles Nest for which the Eagles Nest Wilderness was named.
Wildlife in the area includes pika, cougar, mule deer, elk, marmot, coyote, ptarmigan, and gray jay. Wildflowers that bloom in the area include moss campion (Silene acaulis), alpine forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris), sky pilot (Polemonium viscosum), mountain gentian or Ranier pleated gentian (Gentiana parryi) or (Gentiana calycosa), and paintbrush (Castilleja).
Cataract Creek divides the Mirror Lake Trail between Upper Cataract Lake and Mirror Lake, so care must be taken on the return from the lake to the valley to cross Cataract Creek and ascend the ridge along the south side of the valley. Failure to make the crossing resulted in at least one hiker being lost for three days in the forest on the north side of the valley in recent years. Mirror Lake Trail is accessible from the Eaglesmere Lakes Trail, Elliot Ridge Trail, and Surprise Lake Trail. Greatest Hikes in Central Colorado: Summit and Eagle Counties, a hiking guide by Kim Fenske, provides a description of Mirror Lake Trail.
The Mirror Lake Trail begins at Forest Road 206 and ends at Mirror Lake. Shortly after it leaves the parking area, the trail crosses a .75 mile strip of private land across the White River. The trail begins in grass and sagebrush and continues through aspen and lodgepole pine as it climbs. Shortly after reaching the timber, the trail enters the National Forest and Flat Tops Wilderness boundaries. The trail follows Mirror Creek for 2.5 miles until it reaches Shamrock Lake. One quarter mile above Shamrock Lake, the Big Ridge Trail climbs west onto Big Ridge. Mirror Lake is .75 miles past the Big Ridge Trail. Both Shamrock and Mirror lakes provide good fishing for Brook Trout. The Mirror Lake trail passes through private property: please remain on the trail as you travel through the Rio Blanco Ranch.
|Restrictions:||Please respect private property.|
- Trail Measurement: 4.9 Miles
- Compass Latitude: 403331N
- Compass Longitude: 1054132W
- Numeric Latitude: 40.5585937
- Numeric Longitude: -105.6922264
- Elevation in Meters: 2622
- Elevation in Feet: 8603
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