Indian Peaks Wilderness Area
Watanga Lake (10,772') is located 4.25 miles from Roaring Fork Trailhead on the west side of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The lake is fairly small but set among broad, flat meadows that give it a larger and more spacious feel. A network of outlying meadows and ponds are easy to reach and fun to explore.
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The entry point to Watanga Lake faces north and may hold snow into July, making for a tricky scramble to reach its otherwise open and sunny shores
Yellow avalanche lilies, one of the first flowers to bloom after snow melt, were collected in Idaho during the Lewis and Clark expedition and described by Lewis as a reliable indication of the onset of spring
Globe flowers, marsh marigolds and avalanche lilies carpet damp meadows that ring and rise just above much of the lake
The Roaring Fork Trailhead is located on the far east side of Lake Granby, the second largest body of water in Colorado
Watanga Creek originates well above the lake from slopes on the Indian Peaks - RMNP boundary; it's fed by the lake and joins the Roaring Fork near the Watanga Lake Trail split
Backpackers will have several acres of level terrain in which to find private, well-spaced campsites near the lake
Stream, pool and pond cut meadows surround Watanga Lake and remain damp most of the summer
The Stone Lakes are a significantly more challenging destination that require a tough climb over Irving Hale Pass into Hell Canyon - and back!
After a steep 1-mile climb, the trail levels along the Roaring Fork with easy access to fishing holes and lively cascades
Osprey, which are common along the shores of Lake Granby, have a reversible outer toe which enables them to pluck fish with two toes in front and two behind for maximum power, reach and grip