Gunsight Pass Hike (text and photos by Glen Kirkendall)

38.6833 N.  |  106.5997  |  12,165’ elevation  |7.4 total miles from trail head

  • First, follow the directions for the Lamphier Lake Hike. Once you have arrived at the lake...

  • Then hike across the hill that is to the right of Lamphier Lake. You will see a separate shallow lake there. Hike around it and find the single track trail that leads to the left.

  • Follow the trail upward. It becomes faint at times.

  • Continue upward and follow the trail that leads toward the rock ridge to the left. I prefer going to the left side of the large solitary boulder that becomes evident.

  • Stay close to the nearly vertical ridge and find a "V" shaped chute that leads upward. It's almost like having a hand rail to use in climbing. The chute will take you to the notch in the ridge, AKA Gunsight Pass*.

Note:  This is not the only way to Gunsight Pass. If the above directions fail, just keep hiking upward and stay toward the ridge on the left, and you should find Gunsight Pass. The Pass goes through the very top of the ridge.*

The hike is not long in distance but the first third may seem arduous. Hiking from the Lamphier Lake to Gunsight Pass may take 45-90 minutes depending on personal physical condition. The vista will be your reward!

*If you go through the Gunsight Pass, you will be able to see:

  • The Lottis Creek drainage almost directly ahead.

  • Henry Mountain to the far left. It's slightly higher than Fairview Peak.
  • The beautiful shiny mica schist metamorphic rock material in profusion.

Lamphier Lake and Gunsight Pass are both good hikes with a lot of natural beauty. Gunsight has a lot of natural vista that is evident.

I understand that Gunsight was dynamited out of the ridge so portages could be made with laden pack animals. There are several 'steps' that were also created with dynamite just below the opening of the pass with the same thought in mind.

Then came the day I visited with a gentleman who told me he used to travel from Lamphier Lake THROUGH Gunsight Pass and down the Lottis Creek drainage on his trials bike. I found that very tough to imagine. We traded email addresses and he later emailed me pictures of himself doing that very thing! I was honestly amazed!  Life is full of interesting people...

Photos (click on any photo for larger view)
Return to Pitkin Adventures