Resting humbly at the culmination of a winding, rocky road just before Berthoud Pass, Urad Lake teems with natural wonder. Just before you reach the first hard curve to traverse over the pass, take a left at Henderson Mine Road. This rocky dirt road should not be taken too lightly, so make sure you have a friend with an SUV. Drive past Henderson Mine and set up camp lakeside, where the forest crawls right up to the shoreline. Runoff streams empty constantly into this crisp body of water, and it is a perfect little nook in the mountains to explore. Strike a fire beneath the stars and indulge in massive amounts of s’more consumption before climbing into your tent to slumber.

Wake to a warming sunrise, clear your nostrils with crisp mountain air, and cast your line into crystal waters jammed with trout. If you fish where the runoff meets the lake, you are bound to catch a few before the hour is up. Spend the rest of the morning with some kettle boiled coffee, and grab that campfire skillet you brought to fire up some fresh eggs to fuel your body.

As the noon sun peaks, ascend the northern trail lined with pines, as you venture through a diverse terrain of trees, flowers, and streams. Stroll through an aspen field, and step into the clearing where the shallower, colder Hassell Lake resides. At this time of year, it is a little late to see snow, but with all the moisture we have been getting you are bound to see a green paradise atop these hills. Climb as high as you’d like, as the string of small peaks leaves much room for bushwhacking and exploration. You’ll be snapping photos of wildflowers and waterfalls, immersing yourself in the essence of wilderness. Spend a night, or spend a weekend-this is the type of place you will not want to leave. As you watch the sun slowly descend over the mountaintops, closing its bright orange eye for the night, let go of all the frustration from the week. Just make sure to return before the darkness falls to cook the fresh fish you caught that morning.

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