Monday, July 5, 2010

Heartbeat Mountain via Rogers Pass and Heart Lake

Heartbeat Mountain via Rogers Pass And Heart Lake to Rollins Pass and Forest Lakes: Alternative High Lonesome Loop

One of my favorite mountain trail runs near Boulder is the Heart Lake/Rogers Pass run. Starting at the Moffat Tunnel/East Portal, the run consists of 5 miles of shaded single-track that gently climbs along the south fork of South Boulder Creek. After passing Rogers Pass Lake and then Heart Lake, the final climb up to Rogers Pass is well worth it as the views from the Continental Divide always bring a sense of awe and wonder. However, this is only a 10 mile out-and-back, and if you want to tack on a little more, you can continue your run north along the Divide to Heartbeat Mountain. Not many people go here, so you are almost guaranteed a solo peak ascent.

Tara cruzen... 

If you want to do even a little more, just keep going north on the Continental Divide over several more "bumps" until you reach Rollins Pass. From here, you can drop onto the Rollins Pass Road, run it back down until you get to the first big U-turn. Here you will encounter the Forest Lakes Trail. Jump on this and take it back down as it passes Forest Lakes and then winds south, eventually connecting with your original trail about 1.5 miles from the Tunnel. A sweet loop that allows you to spend a good amount of time up high, and the bonus is that you are likely to see only a few people at the trail heads. This run is very similar to the popular High Lonesome Loop, but without any of the people. We ran this loop last week and I encountered only 4 people (2 parties)! Try that on the High Lonesome!

The "self-portrait" on Heartbeat Mountain

The numbers for those who care.... 

Beginning Elevation: ~9,200 feet 
High Point: ~12,200 feet 
Total climbing and descending: ~ 7,500 feet 
Mileage: ~18 miles roundtrip from the Moffat Tunnel 
Other People Factor: moderate to minimal 
Time: 3 - 6 hours depending on how often you stop to enjoy the views...
Just run the Divide up and over the "bumps"....

And of course, flowers...


  1. Isn't Rollins Pass north of Rogers? Pretty sure you meant to go north to summit Heartbeat then continue North to Rollins Pass.

  2. Oops, thanks for catching that. I've fixed it in the post. Still, a great run, and with a lot less people then the standard High Lonesome loop.