The Ten Essentials

6. Illumination: LED headlamp or flashlight (+ extra batteries) – DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE DARK

Overview

Wilderness
One Way Length
Beginning Elevation
Peak Elevation
Gain/Loss/Net Gain
Ratings
USFS Regulations
Trails Illustrated
Quadrangle
Comanche Peak
4.9 miles (from Flowers Trail to RMNP boundary)
11,104
12,516
1,854/442/+1,412
Hikers – Strenuous;    Stock Riders – Moderate
Wilderness
#112 Poudre River, Cameron Pass
Comanche Peak

Location

Assuming that you will begin your patrol from the Zimmerman Trail:  Poudre Canyon. Drive 26.5 miles from Ted’s Place to the Pingree Park Road (at mm 96.1), cross the Cache La Poudre River, and proceed 4.3 miles to the Crown Point Road (FDR-139). Turn right and drive to the end of the Crown Point Road at the juncture of the Comanche Peak Wilderness. No facilities. The Mirror Lake Trail begins at the Flowers Trail and intersects with the Hourglass Trail, so there are actually four different ways to access it – from the Flowers Trail, from the Zimmerman (South) Trail via the Flowers Trail, from the upper Beaver Creek Trail via the Flowers Trail, and from the lower Beaver Creek Trail via the Hourglass Trail.

GPS Coordinates
Trailhead (at Flowers Trail)
Jct. Hourglass Trail
Wilderness boundary

N40°34.737’ W105°44.844’ Open lightbox
N40°33.399’ W105°42.501’
N40°33.203’ W105°42.037’
Mirror Lake Trail elevation profile

Description

Assuming that you access this trail from the Flowers Trail, your hike begins at about 11,104 ft elevation when you turn off the Flowers Trail to the south. The trail maintains a more or less constant elevation as it goes due south for about 0.6 mile and then turns sharply to the east and continues another 1.5 miles. At this point it meets the Brackenbury Cabin Trail dropping down from the northeast. The trail turns nearly due south again and continues for about 0.8 mile and then turns to the east-southeast and continues climbing for about 0.9 mile until it meets the Hourglass Trail coming up from the northeast. At this point, the trail turns to the southeast and climbs directly toward the summit of Comanche Peak for about 1.4 miles before meeting the Wilderness boundary. The trail more-or-less continues to the east-southeast along the Wilderness boundary for another 1.4 miles before it turns to the southwest just below Comanche Peak and travels about another 0.8 mile before meeting the RMNP boundary. If you want, you can continue hiking into RMNP for roughly another 2 miles to Mirror Lake.

This trail is virtually entirely above timberline and affords panoramic views and access to lots of alpine wildflowers in the mid and late summer.

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