Parika Lake Trail is a rewarding hike, and a great way to spend the day with your furry adventure companion. This trail is located in the Never Summer Wilderness, just 6 miles north of Grand Lake, Colorado. The trail is lightly traveled and secluded, so it’s perfect for those looking to get away from it all and enjoy some solitude in the wilderness.
Although the Parika Lake Trail is only 2.4 miles round trip, it’s a longer journey to get there, so plan on spending most of your day on the trails. To access the Parika Lake Trail, you need to start at the Bower/Baker Trailhead. Here you can find plenty of free parking and restrooms. At this point, take the Baker Gulch Trail for about 4 miles to reach the Parika Lake Trail junction. By the time you’re back to your car, you will have hiked over 10 miles round trip.
Along your travels, you will be passing through all kinds of breathtaking landscapes. These include meadows, wetlands, rivers, lodgepole pine forests and boulder fields. The Kawuneeche Valley in particular is prime habitat for moose and elk. As you climb steeply towards the lake, the trees will thin and you will have unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains, including Fairview Mountain, Baker Mountain, Mt. Stratus and Mt. Nimbus.
There are a couple rugged and steep portions along the trail, but once you reach Parika Lake, your breath will be taken for a completely different reason! This alpine lake sits in a basin surrounded by mountains, and is known for its blooming wildflower displays in the spring.
Please keep your puppers leashed along the trails, and be sure they don’t pursue any wildlife. When you’re in the wild, please make sure to follow Leave No Trace principles, and have clean up bags handy. Also bring water to share.
Parika Lake Trail may take some time to get to, but it’s all the more worth it for hikers looking for solitude among the majestic mountains.
Always check the weather before you head out on the trail, and be prepared for sudden changes. During the springtime, there are higher water levels and you may get your feet wet crossing streams. Don’t forget some food and drinking water for you and your pup!