Linkins Lake

Round Trip Distance: 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 11,493 - 12,012 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Linkins/Upper Lost Man
Fee: none
Attractions: Alpine hike, scenic lake

View Linkins Lake in a larger map

The Linkins (link-enz) trail is located in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness Area of the White River National Forest east of Aspen, Colorado. The trail begins at the last hairpin corner on the west side of Independence Pass and climbs the steep valley wall to an alpine cirque that was formed at the head of a glacier. The trail gains 500 feet of elevation over the length of its short course. Hikers should be aware of the danger of lightening strikes when thunderstorms are in the area.

The trailhead is about 18 miles east of Aspen just below the summit of Independence Pass.

The trail begins by paralleling the Roaring Fork River as it flows down the valley from its source at Independence Lake.

Within a few hundred yards of the trailhead the Linkins Lake trail branches off on the left.

The slope of the climb intensifies as the trail angles up the side of the valley.

Several switchbacks make the climb a little easier.

At these altitudes sub zero temperatures are the norm for most of the year.Wildflowers like these gentians are able to withstand a few freezes. The growing season is so short that up here trees that are only about waist high can be as much as 200 years old.

According to the Forest Service fishing is fair at the lake. We saw at least one fish jump the short time that we were there. Due to the fragile conditions around the lake and the lack of shelter during inclement weather camping is discouraged around the lake.

Looking back down the mountain the 'U' shape of the valley caused by the retreating glacier that once carved its way down the mountain is obvious.

The parking area looks pretty full here but there is plenty more room across the road. Most of the people here were hiking to Linkins Lake. Some of the vehicles were left by people that were hiking up the Lost Man trail from the lower trailhead to shuttle them the 4 miles back down the mountain. The trail to Linkins Lake is a relatively easy place to experience a hike in an alpine setting. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.