Dry Lakes Trail

MODERATE 4 reviews

Dry Lakes Trail is a 4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Westcliffe, CO that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.0 miles 2900 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash



fly fishing


nature trips






wild flowers



Dry Lakes is one of the steeper hikes on the East side and four miles one way from the trail head at Rainbow Trail. Fishing primarily at the lower lake. To get to the upper lake go right and look for the faint trail. That adds another mile but easy. Total including top is 10 miles round trip. If you like to climb stairs, this one is for you. The beginning is one long stair climb with no switch backs. It levels off in the middle and then you climb a short bit again. The creek is on the left most of the way with a couple of crossings using rocks and logs. Great hike. Flowers and mushrooms. Fly fishing was good.

3 months ago

This is NOT a moderate 4 mile hike! The hike from the Rainbow Trail parking lot to the Dry Lakes Trailhead is 2 miles. The trailhead for Dry Lakes Trail branches off from the Rainbow trail and although the Forest Service sign says 3.5 miles to the lakes, it is closer to 6 miles. The entire hike will be close to 8 miles, which doesn't seem like a big deal for experienced hikers, at least we don't think so, but we didn't pack enough water or food for a 16 mile round-trip hike. The trail is uphill the entire way and full of rather large lose rocks that make it difficult to move at a decent speed. So, to sum it up, start early and pack enough food and water!!

5 months ago

A pleasant trail. The beginning definitely is a climb, but it does even out to a slightly more gentle uphill after a while.

We were a little paranoid about finding the right trail. You start from the Horn Creek Trail Head and make the climb up to access the Rainbow Trail. When you T at the Rainbow Trail, turn right towards Horn Creek. After a short walk, you reach the a split for the Horn Creek Spur or "Trail 1343"-- which is the Dry Lakes Trail.

1 year ago

beautiful hike with great views of the valley. we tried late may but there were still large patches of snow at 10,000 feet obscuring the trail. we had to turn around before we could make it up to the lakes but there were aspen trees lining the path. it would be a pretty early fall hike too.

3 years ago

Nice hike. Love the Sangres!