2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Colorado: Gibson Lake, Pike National Forest

Tiny Gibson Lake will take you out of Denver in a hurry with its big-wilderness feel and smirking brook trout.

by: Al Marlow

PAGE 1 2

Little Known Fact: Did you know that smirking brookies will watch you as you circumnavigate Lake Gibson?

While Denver and Colorado's eastern plains swelter in summer's unmerciful heat, snow lingers on the 12,000-foot slopes of the Continental Divide. For those suffering in the city, cool relief is a short drive away.

This pleasant July weekend, we intended to check out rumors of 14-inch brook trout in Gibson Lake, within Pike National Forest. We hit the trail early under clear skies. The climb to Gibson Lake was a pleasant one at a grade of 12 percent. The path crossed Lake Fork Creek, a 2-foot-wide stream, several times along the way.

Conditions seemed perfect at the lake: A slight breeze rippled the surface, and occasional rises tangled the wave patterns. Within 15 minutes Steve had landed a fat 10-incher. "It's going to be great!" he said. Of course, that was our only fish of the day.

As I fished my way around the tiny glacial lake, casting here and there to likely spots, squeaks and whistles echoed down from the talus slopes above. A glance up the hill revealed a marmot sitting nervously on his haunches to warn others nearby of real or imagined dangers.

We could see the mythic brookies smirking and hungerless in the depths. I eventually exchanged my rod for a camera and turned to the shoreline rainbowed in delicate alpine flowers.

PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Health and Fitness
2014 fitness updates
Posted On: Aug 21, 2014
Submitted By: RebeccaD
MYOG Alcohol Stoves
Posted On: Aug 21, 2014
Submitted By: Tigger
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions