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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests > Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District

Quick Facts

Mica Basin Trail

Beginning Elevation: 9,040 Feet (2818.0 Meters) at junction with Gilpin Lake Trail #1161
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 1,388 Feet (432.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,428 Feet (3250.6 Meters) at Mica Lake
Length, One-way: 2.5 Miles (4.17 Kilometers) from jct. with trail #1161
Other Maps: Routt National Forest Map
TI Topo Maps: #116 Hahns Peak, Steamboat Lake; No Mt Zirkel Wilderness
Trail Number: 1162
Usage: Light to Moderate
USGS Maps: Mt Zirkel; Farwell Mtn

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description


This area was affected by a large tree blowdown. Contact the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District for current conditions.

This trail ascends steeply for the first 1.5 miles through a lodgepole pine/spruce/fir forest before entering the beautiful Mica Basin. Mica Lake at the head of the basin is surrounded by 12,059' Big Agnes Mountain, Little Agnes Mountain, and the Sawtooth Range.

NARRATIVE: This trail leaves the Gilpin Lake Trail and ascends out of Gilpin Creek canyon into Mica Basin. Upon entering the basin, the trail crosses a slow moving Mica Creek and then follows it to Mica Lake.


As humans, we must minimize our impacts to help preserve this resource for present and future generations.

Directions from Steamboat Springs: Take HWY 40 west of town and turn right onto County Road 129, Elk River Road. Travel north about 18 miles to the Seedhouse Road (Forest Road 400;also County Road 64) and turn right. Continue for about 10 miles to the end, at the Slavonia trailhead parking. Begin hiking the Gilpin Lake Trail #1161. Just after entering the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, 1.5 miles, you will encounter trail #1162 on your left.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Accessibility depends on snow depth and weather.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Andrew Martin (Coventry, RI)
Time of Day: 1130
Length of Time: 5hrs + 1hr swimming & exploring over the saddle.
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: After skinny dipping in the lake, I made my way up and over the saddle on the other side of the lake. There I found three stockpiles indicating another rail, but I could not see any way down into the next valley. Phenomenal high valley.
Conditions: The trail was mostly in full sun, the only snow was 5' deep on the other side of the saddle. Stream crossings were easy, no mud to speak of. The lake was about 55 degrees.
Water Availability: Two liters was plenty, only the stream, lake, and a little snow available.
Recommended Clothing: Sneakers were fine, as were shorts, I kept my T-shirt off the entire day, it was 61 when I got back to my car at 630.
Suggested Accessories: Nothing needed.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Mica Basin Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Mica Basin Trail
ICON Viewing Scenery Mica Lake and Basin

Related Activities
Gilpin Lake Trail - This area was affected by a large tree blowdown. Contact the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District for current conditions. The Gilpin Lakes Trail, north of Steamboat Springs, leads from Slavonia, past Gilpin Lake to the saddle between Gilpin and Gold Creeks.

Seedhouse Campground - This area was affected by a large tree blowdown. Contact the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District for current conditions. Seedhouse Campground is located miles north of Steamboat Springs, on the upper Elk River, at an elevation of 8,000 feet.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District, 925 Weiss Drive , Steamboat Springs, CO, 80487, Phone: 970-879-1870, Fax: 970-879-2147


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