Kite Lake Campground Trail

MODERATE 7 reviews
#71 of 123 trails in

Kite Lake Campground Trail is a 3.2 mile out and back trail located near Fairplay, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

3.2 miles 2165 feet Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips

off road driving




From Alma,north of Fairplay on Hwy. 9, Take Buckskin Gultch Rd. up gultch to the end of the road, above timberline.

5 months ago

I came down this trail after hitting the four 14er peaks, it was scramble and rocky, definitely not easy. $12 to camp and $3 to park, go explore here for a weekend if you don't live close by.

10 months ago

Kite Lake is a awesome place to hang out for the day, or do some great hiking. Lake Emma is a wonderful place to hike to also. The trail not very noticeable but if you can find it I recommend it. Yes the road is kinda ripped up. Some people reviewing it might be exaggerating on how bad it is. 2 ft is a little over board yes it is ripped. I have a stock Nissan Xterra and it has no problem even in 2 wheel. I see cars up at the top. Granted they have no care in the world for there car at that point but they make it. I have camped on the base of the trail head with minimal wind. Its all about the time of the year you go. The wind I did experience was not bad, but I parked my vehicle in front of my tent and it solved all my problems. There are other great camping spots around the area with no wind if you like the wooded areas.

1 year ago

I don't think I've ever camped in such horrible wind. Thought our tent was going to up stake and fly away with us in it. I literally didn't sleep at all. We went in mid October so I'm not sure if the wind situation is better earlier in the year but the bathrooms and signs do say it's a high wind area. I will never camp here again. It's also $3 to park a car and another $12 to stay overnight (although I didn't see anyone checking). If you don't have a few feet of clearance for you vehicle you will not be able to make it all the way to the campground. The last bit of road after the switchback is swiss-cheese with each hole being around 1.5-2 feet deep. A lot of cars parked on the side of the road before this part and walked the rest of the way.

It is beautiful in the early morning when the sun is rising. But I can't recommend camping to anyone. Just drive up the morning before your hike.

2 years ago

A nice place to picnic,see wildflowers, and take a hike to Emma Lake. Most everyone uses the campground for the 14er's in the area.

3 years ago

Not a bad campground to base out of - parking lot always a bit crowded during the day, even weekdays, but really empties out as everyone finishes up the 14ers.
I was there in August and they were just finishing up re-building the toilets on site.
Amazing stars at night if you can camp at 12,000+ and sleep - not everyone can at that altitude.
Several trails that go out from Kite Lake and of course if your up for some scrambling you can knock out Mt Democrat in the morning.
Star and end the day down in Alma at the café/coffee shop.

4 years ago

6 years ago

Kite Lake is a small campground at the end of a long, bumpy dirt road, in a bowl of 14ers right beside Kite Lake. Which is, of course, shaped like a kite. It costs $3 to park in the lot here then $10 to camp each night. This is a popular trailhead for 14ers Lincoln, Democrat, Bross and Cameron. There are approximately 10 campsites without underbrush, but located pretty widely apart. There is a pit toilet. There are no other facilities except for amazing views, wilderness, wildflowers, a lake, and trails for miles just feet from your campsite. If the campground is full, there is camping along the road in the national forest, there must be a fire ring in place to camp.