Do I have your attention? Good. Now, let's talk about the title of this post. I fully realize that proclaiming "The Most Beautiful Place In Colorado" is a very bold statement on what truly comes down to subjective opinion. I thought long and hard about whether I actually believed this to be true, and even so if it was truly an appropriate title. The conclusion I have come to is that even if no one else agrees, the title holds true in my own view and that's exactly what this blog is about - my own view - therefore the title is appropriate.
First, let's lay some background of comparison for the statement that Lone Eagle Cirque is the most beautiful place in Colorado. I've seen a lot of beautiful places in the mountains of Colorado: I've seen Ice Lake Basin, Blue Lakes Basins, Glacier Gorge, South Colony Lakes, and Lake Silex. I've been to Yankee Boy Basin, American Basin, California Gulch, and Fravert Basin during the height of wildflower season. I've stood on the shore of Chasm Lake and stared up at the diamond on Longs at sunrise, I've watched the mountains above Chicago Basin turn fiery red at sunset, I've spent time on the shores of Capitol Lake and Snowmass Lake, I've marveled at the Grenadiers from near and far, and I've viewed the Maroon Bells from every possible angle. I've also stood on the summits of the high peaks near almost all of these areas and taken in the scenery from above. All of these spectacular and beautiful areas contribute to my basis and standard for comparison of scenic mountain locations, and for this specific area to outshine all the rest is significant.
With that established, let's get on to the important part - the picture tour. I recognize that the photos I take with my iphone fall far short of doing this place justice, but the point I'm trying to bring is to inspire others to visit this place, and I think that they're adequate to achieve that.
There are a couple of routes used to access the Lone Eagle Cirque; one being from the Brainard Lake area west of Ward via the Pawnee Pass trail, and the other more direct approach is from the Monarch Lake trailhead on the southeast end of Lake Granby. I chose to take the latter approach, and am very glad that I did because it allowed me to not only visit the Cirque, which was my primary destination, but I was able to view the abundance of gorgeous waterfalls along Cascade Creek along the 8 mile trail leading to the Cirque as well.
There is a reason it's called Cascade Creek. This becomes evident approximately 3 miles up the trail, and the waterfalls continue in close succession for the next few miles.
From Mirror Lake, fantastic views are had of the north face of Lone Eagle and its' parent ridgeline behind.
From Crater Lake, different angles on the western aspects of Lone Eagle are visible.
While Lone Eagle is striking, it's certainly not the only mountain in the area worth looking at. There is a high ring of impressive summits rising abruptly above the shores of Crater Lake.
The upper portions of the Solo Flight route on Lone Eagle, including the Mohling Traverse, are visible in the photo below.