Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Florence Pass has a diverse habitat along the way which makes the run constantly engaging. You start out in a forested, rocky area, progress to an open meadow with the North Clear Creek whirling nearby, cross the creek 2-4 times, find a bridge in the middle of a wooded area, see a small waterfall coming off of the side of the canyon, and finally ascend a few more boulders/rocks right before getting to Florence Lake.
Need to Know
Soldier Park Road is very rough and rocky terrain before you get to the trailhead. Use an ATV/4x4 as it is faster.
To get to the trailhead, I highly recommend using an ATV/4x4 on Soldier Park Road. This is the road leading up to the start of the trailhead which is extremely rocky and, in some places, very narrow as it is surrounded by many tightly packed trees. I have seen people run all the way from the start of Soldier Park Road for the very reason that they cannot get their car up the rocky road. If you do decide to take a larger vehicle, you'll have to stop before the point at which this trail start is marked on FS Road 394, making the trail even a longer run than it is.
Once at the trailhead, you'll start in a wooded area for about one mile. From there, there will be a beautiful view of the canyon you'll later be running in, along with North Clear Creek nearby.
1.4 miles to 3.4 miles in will again be mostly surrounded by trees (2.4 miles in will have a slight opening and a beautiful view of the canyon again).
Be aware that at 3.4 miles in, you'll have to cross a creek which is not usually too high. If I remember correctly, sometime after this first creek crossing will be a small bridge.
3.7 miles is the second creek crossing. After this is when you'll start to be surrounded more and more of the large granite to the left of you while mostly surrounded by more spread out trees.
About 6.0 miles in, the trail opens up rapidly into a small marshland with a towering mountain of boulders to your left. This was one of my favorite parts of the run because we witnessed two moose running across the clearing below us (thankfully before we got down to the same area).
After the marshland, you come up on a small runoff of water flowing in and out of boulders. A steep run through a patch of sedimentary rocks is next for a good 0.5 miles. This is the toughest part of the trail as you are getting close to summiting to Lake Florence at 11,000 feet. The marshland (6.18-7.25mi) has an overall incline of about 700 feet in this section.
Flora & Fauna
Shared By: Anna Zowada