Sylvan Lake - Sunday Gulch (5-8-11)
Sylvan Lake is one of those special places that you come across by chance and are completely blown away by. Located at the busiest trailhead for those seeking to climb nearby Harney Peak the lake is also frequented by anglers and just about anyone else in between. Seeking a more relaxing hike after my climb of Harney Peak the day before the 4 mile loop around Sylvan Lake and down neighboring Sunday Gulch seemed to fit the bill.
Unfortunately, I didn't do my research ahead of time. I had read that Sunday Gulch contained some of the most dramatic terrain to be found (and maybe even some snow!) but failed to realize that this meant large amounts of elevation gain and loss. The trail was both spectacular and disappointing as you'll see in the album...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 43.846453, -103.560152
Route Type: Loop Difficulty: MODERATE (HARD in conditions shown)
Hike Length: 4.5 miles Hike Duration: 2:30
Trailhead Temp: 71'F Trail Traffic: NONE!! (not typical)
Min. Elevation: 5,600' Max. Elevation: 6,405'
Total Vertical Gain: 805' Avg. Elevation Gain/Mile: 358'
Trails Used (blaze color): Sunday Gulch (blue), Sylvan Lake Loop (blue)