If standing before pointy grey granite spire-like peaks blows your hair back, than this is the trip for you. Photos of this beauty are all over the internet…just look here! This trip is a backpacking out and back to the base of Lone Eagle Peak, one of Colorado’s most striking mountains. The Indian Peaks wilderness shares a border with Rocky Mountain National Park and has the mountains to prove it.
This is an excellent backpacking out and back trip through the western Indian Peaks Wilderness, about 10 miles northeast of Granby, Colorado (fairly near Denver). Totaling 14.0 miles, the only difficulty may be encountered on the climb out of the trailhead to Crater Lake. Also, given that the trail is near Denver, significant numbers of people may be on the trails.
The Monarch Lake Trailhead is approximately 10 miles northeast of Granby, Colorado in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Trailhead elevation is approximately 8,400′ and high camp on day 2 at Upper Cataract Lake is around 10,375′. Total distance is approximately 14.0 miles in 2+ days of hiking (3/4/7). If you’re feeling burly, you can make it to Crater Lake in one day and have extra time for exploring. Fishing in the alpine lakes in this loop has been known to be fairly good.