Hutcheson Lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Date hiked: 06/28/2020 and 06/29/2020
- Hiked from: Finch Lake trailhead
- Distance hiked: 16.4 Miles RT
- Total elevation gain: 2,700-3,300 ft
- Maintained trail: NO – There is a faint trail that leads you to lower Hutcheson Lake. After that it runs into overwhelming vegetation.
- Overall Difficulty: 8/10 – Route finding and bushwhacking skills are needed. Moderate to Major elevation gain.
- Overall Views: 7/10 – Ogalalla Peak, Mt. Copeland and the Elk Tooth can be seen from Hutcheson Lakes.
Attempting to visit all 3 Hutcheson lakes should only be attempted by experienced hikers. There’s a pretty clear route up to the Lower Hutcheson Lake. After that you will need to stay high, well above middle Hutcheson Lake and keep an eye out for cairns.
Video of Reaching us Arriving at Lower Hutcheson Lake
When we hiked to all 3 Hutcheson Lakes we were camping at Pear Lake. After setting up camp we made an attempt to get to Cony Lake, which sits well above Upper Hutcheson Lake. Obstructed views of incoming weather quickly turned nasty once we crossed upper Hutcheson Lake and had to bail do to thunder and lightning.
Returned early morning the next day to complete the hike again and push onto Cony Lake.
Tips for Reaching all 3 Hutcheson Lakes
Leave early. If you are not camping, this is a long hike. You can’t see incoming weather from the west and thunder storms can sneak up on you fast. Recommend some sort of SOS GPS satellite device for emergencies. There is absolutely no cell phone service out here.
Map and Compass recommended. Study the route beforehand and pick your bushwhack. Mileage and elevation gain will be different for most people.
Bug spray, sunscreen, extra water, water filter, recommended. Don’t wear shorts, I did and my legs got extremely cut up.
Route Information for Hutcheson Lakes
You can check out the route we took to reach all the Hutcheson lakes and beyond. Use it at your own risk. We briefly attempted to reach the upper lake by following the creek but major Class 3 scrambling on wet rock would be necessary to do this. Stay high until you see the upper Lake then head down.