Boulder Lake is a 8.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Silverthorne, CO and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and fly fishing and is accessible from May until October.
This hike utilizes three trails to get to Boulder Lake. Don't park at the first parking lot you see, keep driving up the dirt road till you get to the Rock Creek Trail Head. You start off on the Rock Creek Trail. You'll come across the Gore Range Trail, you want to head to the right at that intersection, then after awhile you'll come up to the Boulder Lake trail intersection, take that to the left and you'll soon be at the Lower Boulder Lake. This is a moderate trail, wouldn't exactly classify this as easy. Maybe upper end of easy on the way up, but coming back there is a hill that is very steep and is anything but easy. Good for dogs as there is plenty of water run off. Lots of wildlife, in fact we had a chicken stand off with a Moose. Naturally when it started moving towards us we bushwacked up the hill and around, and eventually got back on the trail. You can see where this happened on my tracks. Mid September hike and there was very little in the bugs respect. No mosquitoes to speak of as in other posts. Leaves were changing producing some beautiful views. Payoff at the top is top notch.
Beautiful scenic hike with some steepness. I wish there were better instructions for following trail up to upper boulder lake...as I attempted it after reaching lower boulder lake but the trails aren't marked well after that point as far as directing how to further go up to upper boulder lake.
We enjoyed this hike quite a bit. There is a lot of scenic variety and the river below the lake was a fun surprise. As others have mentioned, be sure to take the unpaved road to the trailhead past the parking lot just off CR 1351. That will make it closer to a 5.5 mile hike instead of 8.3 miles.
There were a lot of mosquitos also but the lake was very pretty and the people along the way were always friendly.
Nice hike, pretty steep both ways, lots of climbing. Lake is beautiful. Lots of mosquitoes
Loved this hike, went early and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Pretty trail but longer than 4.8m round trip, more like 6.2 mile round trip. Saw bow hunters on trail
It was a good hike, it's a workout for sure. The lake is beautiful and definitely worth the effort. Be sure to take the gore range trail. Otherwise you end up way off track. Bring snacks and enjoy your time at the lake, it's so pretty.
The trail has lots of downed trees. Some say its steep, but you're in Colorado so that's expected. Its a beautiful hike otherwise. Lots of opportunities to get clean flowing water. Lots of people part at the parking lot in the beginning of the trail, however I was told thats winter access parking. If you travel all the way to the end of that road you'll see the actual trail head with parking. Trust me PARK AT THE TRAIL HEAD. When I arrived around noon, the parking at the trail head was full. I parked at a small camp site. When I got back some jerk shot my car 4 times with a pellet gun and shattered my back window.
If you plan on backpacking or hiking here park at the trail head, and avoid the weekends where its busy with gun toting red necks(lots of gun fire). I have no issue with guns, but alcohol and fire arms don't mix especially when you lack the morals to not shoot someones car with a pellet gun.
The lake is beautiful, most of the people out there are very kind. I saw a group of young hikers fell a tree, which is not OK. Do not cut down trees in a national park. You are not supposed to have fires at the lake, which is blatantly stated by a sign as you walk the trail to the lake. However, it seemed like everyone had made a fire that night. If you're going to make a fire at least do so with he abundance of fallen wood.
This trail is somewhat steep both on the ascent and descent. The area is beautiful but you are walking amongst beetle kill trees the majority of the way. The trees creak in the wind, which adds a somewhat eerie feeling to the hike. Boulder Lake itself is beautiful, with awesome views of the Gore Range. The lake is supposed to have great fishing opportunities as well.
I'd definitely rank it a more moderate hike... Lots of steep inclines here and there. Took us 2 hours to get there, but it's very pleasant with a few places to stop and admire the scenery. We took our dog, and he loves swimming in the lake! The lake area is friendly to backpackers and fishermen. The peak views are worth it!
This hike was fine but not as nice as some of the other hikes in the area. I like booth falls in Vail much better. Boulder lake is pretty but calling it spectacular feels strong. There are tons of very pretty wildflowers due to all the rain lately, but also tons of mosquitos, so bring bug spray! A few steep inclines that may make this trail feel a little more moderate than easy, but not too bad. For those who thought the hike felt long, they are right. Our GPS tracked us at 5.4 miles. Also make sure you go to the parking lot at the trail head. When you first turn onto rock creek path or whatever it was called there is a small lot which we almost parked in. That would have sucked because it's still a pretty far distance to the trail head. Go up the rocky road, you'll see tons of people camping and after about 10 minutes of slow driving, there is a large lot right at the trail head.
For beauty - A1 - amazing views at the lake with the mountains in the back.
The unfortunate part is all the descriptions indicate easy, the national forest hike descriptions state 800 foot elevation gain, 500 foot elevation loss... ok not bad. But it's over and over again. The hike out is just as hard as the hike in. Took our group 2 hours to the lake, 1 hour 50 minutes back to the car. Very easy to follow, but definitely not "easy". The road to the summer parking lot is definitely high clearance.
Those who have complained about the trail being too long or need markers are idiots. You must drive up Rock Creek road to the trail head. There is a huge parking lot. Start hiking from the trail head on Rock Creek Trail until you get to Gore Range Trail. Take the trail to the right. It's mostly up hill to a mid point along a range/peak where you can rest. This is in fact a halfway point. The trail is mostly down hill to the creek and you will come upon another fork in the trail. Go left to take Boulder Creek Trail. If you go right, you'll be wondering along the Gore Range Trail for miles. So hang a right and experience a little more incline until you get to the lake. Carrying an 80lbs pack takes me 2 hours.
Nice hike to lake.2001,sept23
Went in July and were swarmed with mosquitos! Bring your "off" if heading out in the summer. Fun hike, beautiful views.
We didn't follow the advice and parked well before the Summer Trailhead, ended up with about 7..5 miles round trip and didn't make the lake. We only saw a couple of other groups and did enjoy the solitude. It would be nice if there was some sort of marker along the way to let you know you are headed in the right direction, there are a few spots where you end up hoping you are on the right path. We will go back and get to the lake!
Good not great hike. Trail books are missleading in that its 4.5 mi each way. We had to turn around after 3.5 as my 4 yo son would make another 2mi. Also, you definitely need to continue driving about 1.5 mi past the first lot right off the rd.
The trail to the lake is a nice hike and easy going. The lake itself offers spectacular views of the Gore Range. The lake also offers good fishing for smaller Brook Trout. If you like to continually catch smaller fish (less than 12 inches), this is a good lake to go to. The fish are active on dry patterns. I backpacked around the area, but this lake could be a good "day trip" fishing experience too. I could not identify any larger fish (12 inches +), but that is not to say they are not there! If you catch any, I would certainly would like to hear about it!
We took the rock creek trail to the gore range trail. That hike would be more appropriately classified as moderate difficulty, in our opinion. If you take that route, I recommend reviewing the directions here because it would be easily missed otherwise. http://www.protrails.com/trail/summit-county-eagle-county-clear-creek-county-boulder-lake. Overall, a lovely hike and a beautiful view of the lake and the Gore Range. Bring your mosquito repellent!