- Mar 18, 2014
One of the only trails on the east side of the divide that has alluded me has been this Buchanan Pass trail up the valley towards Red Deer Lake and Gibraltar Lakes underneath the St. Vrain valley. As a dayhike you're looking at 18+ miles, which is completely doable, but I hadn't made the effort - yet. A couple of friends and I do a yearly backpacking trip one of the last weekends in Sept. when the colors are at their peak and there is no need for a permit in the Indian Peaks. I was blown away not only at the color and beauty of Red Deer lake, which is kind of tucked up in the woods on a side trail, but the colors and scenery up the valley blew me away. We dipped in the glacial lakes and tarns and had such an amazing saturday exploring around. Our last morning we woke up at 6:00am to the sounds of grunting which was apparently a very perturbed bull moose who was feeling like the 2nd bull near our tent was too close to his lady. A battle ensued outside my friend's tent as we shouted for him to stay put as these bulls were going at it. It was some close encounters and the bull who won the duel stayed near his lady 50 yards from our tent for over an hour just watching us. It was a magical weekend and I'm so glad we chose to explore this little piece of paradise.