Crater Lakes Trail

HARD 89 reviews
#2 of 112 trails in

Crater Lakes Trail is a 5.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, CO that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, horses, and snowshoeing and is accessible from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.4 miles 1444 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

snowshoeing

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

forest trail with mountain views leading to alpine lakes This trail takes you into the James Peak wilderness. The first part is an old jeep trail that will take you up to WP22, from there a new trail heads up to crater lakes. This trail fades in a couple places since it is not well defined yet, but push on and you will find it again. Look for cairns in the rocky areas to continue trail. Middle Lakes are easily accessable. Continue between the middle lakes staying on path that runs along the left side of the lake on the right. Upper Lakes take more effort and there is light scrambling. Continue past the lower lake and climb to the final lake at the base of Continental divide. Bring your fishing gear in the summer.

hiking
28 days ago

Good hike about less than 5 miles round trip. The last mile is a little steeper but not bad. Recommended if your looking for a 4-5 he excursion or so.

hiking
30 days ago

Beautiful amazing hike relatively dry right now love loved it

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail. Absolutely should NOT be considered "hard". The first 2 miles are easy, the last bit after the turnoff becomes moderate. Was glad I had a walking stick for the way down since it was snowy/slippery (although not very cold). Once you get to the lakes be sure to carry on above/past them for incredible views and another scenic lake (this part is steep/hard). Moffat Tunnel has plenty of parking and you cannot pick a bad trail from there. I didn't cross too many people, surprisingly.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Hiked this in mid October and it was beautiful. There are a couple small "lakes" hidden up I'm the top of the mountain. Just look for waterfalls or dried up waterfalls and follow to the top. you will not be disappointed. Snow hits the mountain by 2 or 3 so be prepared.

1 month ago

1 month ago

I'd call it easy/moderate, but beautiful, especially at the top

hiking
1 month ago

Wouldn't say this is a hard hike, but it was fun, has some really good sites.

hiking
1 month ago

Really easy hike definitely wouldn't classify it as hard. Pretty views at the top and along the way

2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

Great hike for the fall, it gets definitely steeper and harder as you reach the 1 mile left and it could feel like never getting there, bring enough water and food, as it will be a nice reward to have a picnic at the lakes.

2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike the entire way. I love the foliage in Nederland. The lakes at the top were glass when I was there and you could do your make up looking in them if you needed.

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Might be one of my favorite hikes so far... Not too challenging until the last mile. I went on a Wednesday and it was sooo quiet and peaceful.. Only ran into about 10 other hikers. Even if you don't make it to the lakes, the hike out there is amazing. But then the lakes!!! ... Definitely would do this again and go past the lakes, not sure if I did that this time. Keep an eye out for the very faded blue circles to stay on the trail.. Other than that it is pretty well marked, just pay attention and take your time.

hiking
3 months ago

James Peak Wilderness area seems less crowded than Indian Peaks to the north. Lots of people but that's what you get on a holiday weekend. Kids (7 & 5) did it, with a little assist. A leisurely 10 hours out and back from central Denver.

3 months ago

Tough hike up but beautiful views around close to every turn. Definitely keep trying to go to the second two lakes. Trail is super steep but there were little kids and tiny dogs coming down from it so I figured I had to stick it out if not for my own pride. My phone died and I didn't have my camera though so I didn't get any pictures. Guess I'll have to to go back!

hiking
3 months ago

holy frickin' staircases. Was fine going up but coming down, beware those with bad hips/knees. Lake is amazing and we had to save the upper lake for another day. Just too whacked. Our first strenuous high-altitude hike. Bella, the 10 lb,, 9 y.o. poodle was fine the whole way.

camping
3 months ago

Went during the week and only saw a few people. Camped at the second lake and it was amazing. One of my best trips this year.

3 months ago