Corona Lake, Rollins Pass - Corona Lake Trailhead, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Colorado
Corona Lake - 2.1 miles
Rollins Pass - Corona Lake Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||2.1 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||11,594' - 11,206' (11,594' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-388' net elevation loss (+622' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Corona Lake - 2.1 Miles Round-Trip
Corona Lake (11,206') is located 1.05 miles from Rollins Pass Road in the James Peak Protection Area. This short trail drops northwest from the Continental Divide through open tundra and skirts Pumphouse Lake en route to Corona Lake. Visitors will enjoy mild grades and excellent fishing against a high alpine backdrop:
The trail begins on Rollins Pass Road with a good look at Deadman Lake (11,281'), James Peak (13,294’) and the Winter Park Ski Area. It drops through open tundra and threads dense willow mats to the open north end of Pumphouse Lake (.4 miles : 11,384’).
Pumphouse Lake is flanked by Mt Epworth (11,843’), and together with Corona Lake, forms the headwaters of Ranch Creek.
The trail continues down to stream crossings at .67 miles and .73 miles, which at both points can be obscured by heavy runoff and overgrowth. Stay vigilant, and be sure not to veer (left) down-valley on an unmaintained trail beside Ranch Creek.
The main trail edges north to its low point (.9 miles : 11,110’), then rises to a crest and drops back to Corona Lake (1.05 miles : 11,206’).
Corona Lake is hemmed in by steep walls of the Continental Divide to the west, but its south and west shores are fairly open and easy to explore.
- N39 55.361 W105 41.259 — 0.0 miles : Rollins Pass - Corona Lake Trailhead
- N39 55.556 W105 41.409 — .4 miles : Access to Pumphouse Lake
- N39 55.748 W105 41.566 — .67 miles - Cross Creek
- N39 55.780 W105 41.607 — .73 miles : Cross Creek
- N39 55.901 W105 41.641 — .9 miles : Low point of descent; rise to crest over lake
- N39 56.005 W105 41.717 — 1.05 miles : Corona Lake
- N39 56.082 W105 40.961 — Rollins Pass Parking Lot
- N39 56.258 W105 41.235 — High Lonesome - King Lake Trail junction
- Though short, the Corona Lake Trail is vague in places and can be hard to follow through runoff, lingering snow and overgrowth. Be mindful of an unmarked fork at the stream crossings that veers left and heads down-valley; this trail follows Ranch Creek before fading in the forest. Keep right at each stream crossing.
- The King Lake cirque is located 1.3 miles from the Corona Lake Trailhead. To reach it, continue .95 miles up Rollins Pass Road to the main parking lot, and take the High Lonesome Trail .35 miles to the King Lake Trail junction. Here you'll have great views over the lake, and down the South Fork Middle Boulder Creek valley.
- Corona Lake is approximately 8.1 miles from the Hessie Trailhead (via King Lake), including the short walk on Rollins Pass Road to pick up the Corona Lake Trail. This is a long but not exceptionally difficult hike with clear trail conditions.
- John Rollins established a toll road over Rollins Pass (11,660') in the mid 1860s. David Moffat's Northwestern and Pacific Railway crossed the Continental Divide here in 1903. Railroad workers dubbed it 'Corona', the 'crown at the top of the world'. A railroad station, hotel and restaurant existed here until 1928, when the rail operation was abandoned to build the Moffat Tunnel.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Camping is permitted at Corona Lake, Pumphouse Lake, Deadman Lake and within the James Peak Protection Area. No Permit is required.
- There are no maintained sites - dispersed camping only. Camp at least 100' away from all water sources and trails. Use established sites whenever possible to minimize impact.
- Fires are not permitted. Gas stoves only.
- Fishing is permitted at Corona Lake, Pumphouse Lake and Deadman Lake with a valid Colorado fishing license.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs must be under voice and sight control at all times within the James Peak Protection Area. A leash is not required, but is advisable. In the adjacent Indian and James Peak Wilderness areas, dogs must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
The Corona Lake Trailhead is located 15 miles east of US Highway 40 on Rollins Pass Road (aka Country Road 80 - Forest Road 149). 4WD vehicles only.
From Winter Park, drive approximately 1 mile south to County Road 80 and turn left (east). Follow this road 15 miles to the small parking area on the left. The main Rollins Pass parking lot (11,660') is located .95 miles up the road from the trailhead, with access to the High Lonesome Trail.
Sulphur Ranger District
9 Ten Mile Drive
P.O. Box 10
Granby, Colorado 80446
Boulder Ranger District
USDA Forest Service
2140 Yarmouth Ave.
Boulder, CO 80301