Shelf Lake Trail is a 6.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grant, 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 October.
A beautiful hike to a lake on a high bench above timberline. The lake is often ice-bound until the end of June. The trailhead is at an old smelter site. The trail climbs steeply at first into a hanging valley, then climbs gradually up the valley to finish with a final short, but steep climb onto the shelf where the lake sits.
Nice trail that can be a bit challenging in places. The switchbacks at the beginning can be a bit tedious, but worth it once you clear them. Trail can be difficult to see with the leafs on the ground. For the 4X4 fans. the road leading to the trail head and beyond is fun.
Tips to find the trailhead -- its easy to miss! Our car clocked 2,9 miles from the entrance sign at Geneva Park Campground, but there isn't a recognizable parking area and the small sign is on the right in the trees facing away from you as you go up the dirt road. We went passed it and didn't see the sign until we were driving back down (on the left as you go down). We'll be back to hike it - it ended up starting to snow so hard we decided to save it for a better day.
Pictures show an inconsiderate jerk with dogs off leash.
amazing when you get to the top.
great hike! We only passed 4 groups of people the entire trail. Beautiful lake. The road is a little sketchy to get there. I have an outback and it did fine, higher clearance would be nice, but I also saw some little non four wheel drive vehicles on the road. Also, if you put the trailhead in googlemaps it should take you right there. The trailhead is not well marked, but googlemaps did a good job.
We went on a Sunday and only saw 3 other groups. Make sure you have a vehicle with high clearance, the road is really rocky to the trail head.
Had the entire trail to myself during Peak Autumn season. Lots of diversity. Would do again next fall.
Beautiful hike! Plenty of variety from flower valleys to climbing through rocks, if you chose.
The last bit of road up to the trailhead is pretty rough and you will absolutely need 4WD. As for the trail itself, the first and last 1/4th of the trail is fairly steep but not overly difficult. Trail features some amazing views and wildflowers. I went on a Thursday afternoon and only crossed ONE other person on it. I thought the lake itself was very pretty and a good payoff to the hike, very quiet and tranquil. The hike took me about 4-4.5 hours total.
Rough road to get there, but there were Subarus the whole way up (the Mustang we saw was out of place though). Absolutely beautiful scenery the whole way up, and the lake itself is a great site as well. Definitely a tough hike with a 40 pound pack on.
With so many awesome places to hike this one is the bottom of my list. Hot, rocky and the lake at the top is nothing special.