A couple of weeks ago, my husband Dale and I went on my favorite Colorado hike. It’s an 8.4 mile roundtrip up the South Boulder Creek Trail to the creek’s headwaters at Rogers Pass Lake, and then on over a small saddle to Heart Lake. Thanks to record snowfall this past winter, this summer’s wildflowers have been more plentiful than ever – and in the James Peak Wilderness that’s saying something. In fact, this hike has all my favorite features: lively streams and waterfalls, prolific flowers, an uphill workout that’s not a painful trudge, a combination of shady trails and sunny meadows, craggy mountains circling glacial blue lakes, and nary a view of town or road.
The trail starts at the East Portal of The Moffat Tunnel at about 9,211 feet and climbs to 11,310 feet. To reach the trailhead, take Rollins Pass Road west from highway 72 at Rollinsville. The 8.2-mile dirt road dead-ends at the tunnel. Check out this two-and-a-half-minute video to see why it’s worth the trip: