Here in Colorado, you’re going to come across some of the most serene and beautiful sights in the whole country. 

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We’ve got some incredibly scenic waterfalls you can hike to see, or you can stop by the Crystal Mill, Colorado’s favorite photo op

However, Colorado is home to a ton of breathtaking lakes that are completely worth the visit.

However, there’s one lake that offers some incredible views, but at the cost of an extremely difficult hike. 

Why? Because it sits at the highest elevation of any named lake in the United States.

Pacific Tarn is the Highest Named Lake in the United States, Sitting at 13,420 Feet in Elevation

Wikimedia Commons // Carl Drews
Wikimedia Commons // Carl Drews
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Pacific Tarn truly is one of Colorado's hidden gems since it is so unreachable. Hidden in the Front Range, it sits at an elevation of 13,420’.

The lake gets its name from the 13er it sits in the shadow of; Pacific Peak, which only barely eclipses Pacific Tarn at 13,965’. 

To get the title as the highest named lake in the country, a man named Carl Drews from Boulder got the named approved by the United States Board of Geographic Names in 2004.

If you want to visit it, you’ll need to head west of Breckenridge. However, you’ll be in for a rather challenging hike. 

How to Get to Pacific Tarn

YouTube // Dave Spate
YouTube // Dave Spate
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The most common route to get to Pacific Tarn is to go through the McCullough Gulch Trailhead. 

According to Emily over at Spates Photography, you’ll be able to get a great view of the beautiful White Falls early in the hike. 

YouTube // Dave Spates
YouTube // Dave Spates
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However, further down the trail you’ll encounter a lot of boulder hopping, with plenty of loose rocks to be had. 

Emily said just being able to find a gully to get up to,”...put our mental and physical strength to the test.”

YouTube // Dave Spates
YouTube // Dave Spates
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Once you get to Pacific Tarn, however, you are in for a beautifully clear lake with Pacific Peak in the background. The area is noted for having an incredible view from all around. 

The hike in total is 9.6 miles round trip, making it an exhausting yet worthwhile hike if you have the strength and experience to do it.

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