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.
dogs on leash
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.
Wouldn't say this is a hard hike, but it was fun, has some really good sites.
Really easy hike definitely wouldn't classify it as hard. Pretty views at the top and along the way
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Love this hike.
Difficult incline, but rewarding at the end.
Great hike but too many people for my liking
I have been to Crater a few times but this was the best.
Once you hit the cutoff from the main trail it's a constant climb, but this time I was in better shape (new hip!) also the false trails have been blocked off and it s a clear well marked trip. there was snow surrounding the lower two lakes but the edges were navigatable.
fishermen. ... tons of bookies here. but I'm done taking my fly rod. the wind just frustrates me so I'm bringing spin gear.
Great hike which was not very crowded (a great surprise given the number of cars in the parking lot). Where I went a few weeks ago, there was still a lot of snow up closer to the lakes. Overall gentle climb to the lower lakes, but definitely a fairly difficult and intense climb up to the upper lake. With that said, the views from the upper lake are beautiful so I would highly recommend making your way up there, it's worth the effort!