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The Flat Tops: Marvine Trail to the Marvine Lakes

Flat Tops Wilderness | Saturday & Sunday, July 1-2, 2023

Now that Diane is finally finished with school and will hopefully be joining me on more of my weekend trips going forward, we planned to go backpacking into The Flat Tops together over this extended holiday weekend. Although we had originally set out to go on a loop through the Flat Tops Wilderness, for various reasons we ended up altering our plans and only doing an overnight trip up to the Marvine Lakes this time. In hindsight, that’s probably all we should have planned to do in the first place for our first backpacking trip back into the mountains. We left home early on Saturday morning, made our way over to Meeker and then followed the Flat Tops Trail along the White River to the Marvine Trailhead where we shouldered our packs and started hiking up the Marvine Trail.

After leaving the trailhead it wasn’t long until we entered the Flat Tops Wilderness.

Flat Tops Wilderness Sign

The trail followed Marvine Creek as we climbed higher into The Flat Tops.

Marvine Creek

It seemed a bit hazy out today, possibly because of smoke from the Spring Creek Fire near Parachute which we had driven by earlier in the morning.

Flat Tops View

There were a couple of creek crossings along the trail where we removed our shoes and put on our sandals to cross, but this crossing right below the outlet of Slide Lake was the deepest. The water came all the way up to our hips.

Slide Lake Outlet & Crossing

Slide Lake

Slide Lake

Clouds reflected on this small pond that we hiked around to avoid a section of flooded trail.

Cloud Reflections

Once we reached the Marvine Lakes we started searching for a campsite and found a good spot not far below the outlet to set up camp.

Afternoon View

After relaxing at camp for a while we watched a couple of river otters play in the creek for a bit and then went for a late afternoon walk along the shore of Lower Marvine Lake.

Marvine Lakes Outlet View

Afternoon Trail

I liked the small colorful part of this cliff.

Cliff Colors

Shoreline Reflection

The Other Side

We returned to camp for dinner and then I wandered around the area until sunset.

Marvine Creek Camp

Rippled Reflection

Rippled Reflection

An evening at the Marvine Lakes.

Marvine Lakes Evening

As usual, we went to bed shortly after it got dark out since we were both pretty tired. Even though the weather forecast had predicted no rain for the weekend, we did wake up in the middle of the night to some light rain falling on the tent, but it wasn’t enough to get anything wet. On Sunday morning we both slept in for a while and then went for a walk to the far end of the Marvine Lakes and turned around just as the trail started to climb up through the trees.

It was a bit overcast when we got up on Sunday morning, but the clouds started to clear as we started hiking around Lower Marvine Lake.

Morning Spotlight

The air was calm this morning which made for some good reflections.

Across Marvine Lakes

An early morning hike up the Marvine Trail.

Morning Trail

After bushwhacking around a couple flooded sections of the trail we made it to the upper Marvine Lake.

Flat Tops Wilderness Morning

The views and reflections from the edge of the upper lake were nice, but the bugs were terrible!

Marvine Lakes Morning

Upper Marvine Lake

Upper Marvine Lake Reflection

There were less bugs around as we walked through this rocky section of the trail that was further away from the lakes.

Rocky Trail

Marvine Lakes Trail

Marvine Lakes Trail

Lower Marvine Lake

Hiking Back To Camp

After returning to camp and packing up we headed back down the trail. We passed quite a few horses that were on their way up, so maybe it was good thing we ended up leaving today…

Forest Trail

Here’s a photo of Diane going through the deepest creek crossing just below Slide Lake.

Deep Water Crossing

Following Marvine Creek back to the trailhead.

Marvine Trail & Creek

>> Marvine Trail to the Marvine Lakes Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. SteveR
    SteveR July 7, 2023

    Great to see Dianne getting out too, on the start of your mountain season!

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