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This 2.4 mile hike follows the Lake Fork drainage up to a pretty lake nestled in a high tundra bowl. The well-established trail climbs at a steady, moderately steep grade. Allow about one hour and 20 minutes to reach Gibson Lake. Elevation gain is 1,544 feet. The last ½ miles or so is above treeline. The lake is regarded as a good fishing spot for brook trout. There are virtually no areas along the trail suitable for overnight camping. The lake is situated just eat of and below Whale Peak (elevation 13,078). The trail is for foot and horseback travel only.
The Trail travels in a generally westerly direction up the Lake Fork Drainage. Just below the parking area, you will cross a small stream. From that point until you reach treeline, the stream drainage will be to the left (south) of the trail as you ascend. At about 1 ¾ miles, the trail reaches a fork. Bear left at this trail junction (the right fork is an unmarked trail leading up to the Continental Divide). At about 2 miles, you will be at treeline. Shortly thereafter the trail makes three major stream crossings. After the third crossing, the trail bears southwest through willows and tundra up to the shelf on which Gibson Lake is located. Tundra flowers are in abundance in mid-summer. At the south end of the lake, there is a long, ribbon-like waterfalls draining into Gibson Lake from a small lake above Gibson.
Check out the Official Route.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
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