Trip Reports: Mount Powell, Gore Range, Colorado - August 2017

In early August we backpacked into the rugged north end of the Gore Range and Eagles Nest Wilderness for three nights. We hiked the Upper Piney River Trail for while, branched off on a faint boot trail then camped the first night in the high basin below Mount Powell and Kneeknocker Pass. On day two we crossed over the pass and hiked to the summit of Mount Powell, the highest peak in the Gore Range. I've wanted to hike Mount Powell for about 20 years but never got around to it, so it was quite satisfying to finally stand on the summit! After some rough off trail routefinding we spent the next two nights at a remote alpine lake before hiking all the way back out the way we came.

Colorado, Gore Range, aspens, Eagles Nest Wilderness, trail, photo

Hiking on the Piney River Trail through beautiful aspen forests.

Colorado, Gore Range, tent, Eagles Nest Wilderness, photo

A lovely campsite below Mount Powell.

Colorado, Gore Range, marmot, Eagles Nest Wilderness, photo

Peekaboo! A marmot peeks out from the flowers.

Colorado, Gore Range, marmot, Eagles Nest Wilderness, photo

A sneaky marmot pauses to smell the flowers.

Colorado, Gore Range, Peak C, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Kneeknocker Pass, photo

An alpine stream below Peak C and Kneeknocker Pass.

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Colorado, Gore Range, Peak C, Eagles Nest Wilderness, photo

Morning below the rugged Peak C.

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Colorado, Gore Range, Mount Powell, Eagles Nest Wilderness, photo

Looking south from the summit of Mount Powell. At 13,448 ft., Mount Powell isn't quite a fourteener but it certainly feels like it with its commanding view over the Gore Range. It also requires a lot more effort to hike compared to most fourteeners!

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Colorado, Gore Range, Mount Powell, Eagles Nest Wilderness, photo

A panoramic view of the Gore Range from northeast to south from the 13,448 ft. summit of Mount Powell.

Bubble Lake, Colorado, Gore Range, wildflowers, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Heartleaf Bittercress, photo

A huge field of Heartleaf Bittercress wildflowers high in the Eagles Nest Wilderness.

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Colorado, Gore Range, columbine, wildflowers, Eagles Nest Wilderness, photo

Backlit columbines cover a tundra hillside in the Eagles Nest Wilderness.

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Bubble Lake, Colorado, Gore Range, Eagles Nest Wilderness, sunrise, photo

A brilliant sunrise reflects in an alpine stream and lake.

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Colorado, Gore Range, mountain goat, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Kneeknocker Pass, photo

A mountain goat and her kid pose for the camera.

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Colorado, Gore Range, mountain goat, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Kneeknocker Pass, photo

A curious mountain goat kid.

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Colorado, Gore Range, mountain goat, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Kneeknocker Pass, photo

The mountain goats kept following us over Kneeknocker Pass.

Colorado, Gore Range, mountain goat, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Kneeknocker Pass, Vail, photo

Mountain goats check out the view towards Vail from Kneeknocker Pass.

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Colorado, Gore Range, mountain goat, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Kneeknocker Pass, photo

A mountain goat still shedding her winter coat in early August.

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