Best Quickie Mountain Hike (2005)

Herman's Gulch

Herman's Gulch, just off I-70 at Exit 218, can sometimes have a clutter of cars at the trailhead, but don't worry: These are similar sorts seeking a quickie escape. And what an escape it is. Once you get beyond the cars -- and out of earshot of the Ski Way, which is only about a mile from the gulch -- all hikers will hear is the sound of a running stream and the birds. Bring a lunch to fend off a grumbling stomach while taking in the views of a pristine lake. The round-trip trek takes only a few hours, but it can seem like a getaway. If it's still not far enough, more determined hikers can take a fork at Jones Pass toward the Continental Divide.


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