Meridian Lake Fall Hike (23 Sept 2014)

(Last Updated On: September 28, 2014)
Meridian Lake (also called Long Lake), with fabulous fall colors and  Whetstone towering behind.
Meridian Lake (also called Long Lake), with fabulous fall colors and
Whetstone towering behind.

Meridian Lake is lovingly called “Long Lake” by locals. Why? Because the lake is very long and skinny! A popular swimming spot, this lake also makes a great area for hiking, especially to enjoy the fall colors.

The trailhead is currently unmarked, and starts at the winter closure of Washington Gulch, when the road becomes dirt. Immediately, the trail crosses the stream.
Meridian Lake hike start

For about 1/4 of a mile, the trail travels through a forest and is very steep.
Meridian Lake hike

After reaching the top of the steep hill, Meridian Lake is revealed.
Meridian Lake Hike

The fall colors were magnificent.
fall colors on Long Lake Hike

fall colors on Meridian Lake

The trail sweeps around to the right before climbing the ridge across the other side of the lake.
Long Lake Hike

As I climbed, the fall colors kept getting better.
fall colors from Long Lake hike

The peak of Mount Crested Butte framed by golden aspens.
Mount Crested Butte from Meridian Lake hike

Gothic behind rainbow trees.
fall colors on Long Lake hike

fall colors and Gothic Mountain on Meridian Lake hike

Mount Crested Butte looking mighty and majestic.
mount Crested Butte seen from Long Lake hike

Avery Peak in the distance.
Avery peak seen from Meridian Lake hike

The colors were wonderful on this stormy day.
fall colors on Long Lake hike

fall colors on Meridian Lake hike

fall colors on Long Lake hike

A view of Meridian Lake (Long Lake) from above.
Long Lake seen from hike

Another view of Mount Crested Butte with Meridian Lake below.
Mount Crested Butte and Meridian Lake

Gothic Mountain in the shadows.
Gothic Mountain seen from Meridian Lake hike with fall colors

Another view of Gothic Mountain with the trail in the foreground.
Gothic Mountain seen from Meridian Lake trail with fall colors

The top of the ridge provided great views of mountains highlighted with fall colors, like this one of Avery.
Avery seen from Long Lake hike

Gothic once again, decorated in fall hues.
Gothic Mountain with fall colors seen from Meridian Lake Hike

After spending some time on the ridge highpoint, I retraced my tracks back to the lake shore. Instead of retreating down the steep path through the forest, I continued eastward for about 1/4 mile to descend via a closed road.
road down from Long Lake

One more view of Mount Crested Butte.
Mount Crested Butte seen from Long Lake road

I followed the old road to its intersection with Washington Gulch Road, where I headed back west to the parking lot. Along the way, I took time to admire the last bits of clinging summer (Blanketflower).
flowers on Washington Gulch

Want to do this hike yourself?

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Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Latest posts by Brittany Walker Konsella (see all)

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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