South Park 600 to Square Top Lakes is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, CO that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
The trail has its own parking and out house, so you don't need to park on the Mt. Bierstadt side.
My husband and I hiked square top lakes at the end of September. It was definitely browning due to it being the end of the season, but there were very nice views and the trail is lightly trafficked. Good hike overall.
Wonderful ice cave with stream under below upper lake and beautiful wildflowers!
Great scenery with a very interesting tundra landscape. Great view of the sawtooth ridge. Bring at least 1L of water.
Fun trail to push to the summit above the upper lake. Beautiful views!
I am a resident of Georgetown and use this trail to walk my dog at least once a week. I'm not certain why this site lists it as Idaho Springs but Guanella Pass (the road leading to these trails) is in Georgetown, approximately 11 miles west of Idaho Springs. This is a moderate trail great for a quick (3 hour) hike. It's located at summit by the Bierschadt entrance and is beautiful in the summer!!!
This was a good half day hike . The parking lot is right on the top of gunella pass. Very easy to find. Be sure to get there early. We finished the hike around 10 and when we got to the bottom the parking lot was full and the road was full of parked cars also.
Waterproof shoes are a good idea. There are portions of the hike where you have to walk through water and marsh.
Make sure you hike to the top so you get to see both lakes . Not too far outside the city.
Good trail for a 2hr hike
Took a quick weekend dispersed camp trip on Guanella Pass and did this hike during the day Saturday. Moderate difficulty trail with a nice elevation change over the distance. There will be a lot of vehicles in the parking lot, but don't let it scare you, most of those will be for Mt. Bierstadt. Trail was dotted with flowers in mid-summer, a few small ponds along the way that my dog played in. Lower Square Top Lake was clear and beautiful, a nice lunch spot. Upper Square Top lake had better views of Evans and Bierstadt but was more muddy along the bank. Definitely recommend going all the way to the upper lake. As with any trail, if you came that far, might as well go all the way.
There are some stunning wide open views on this hike and the lower lake can be quite beautiful.
The upper lake, however, was a little muddy and plain. The trail leads on and on in the blazing sun with no trees or turns between rocks or terrain. So it's a bit mundane and repetitive.
Might be beautiful in peak leaf-changing season (late Septemeber) or in the snowy winter, but by now (second week of October), everything is just brown.
Not my kind of trail - just very little magic and variation.
Love this trail for a quick hike with my dog. Very scenic and accessible.
Good hike with nice wildflowers and pretty views. Didnt make it to the top because bad weather moved in.
Camped along Guenella pass. Lots of mosquitos. Hiked to the lakes. Very muddy and had to go through some deep snow. Wild flowers in bloom and great views.
Camped up Guanella Pass did this beautiful hike the next day. It was beautiul, wildflowers are in full effect up there. We only made it to the lakes, couldn't hit the summit of Square Top, as the storms were moving in.
We enjoyed this hike a lot. It was our first hike of the summer 2013 hiking season, so the wildflowers were still a bit sparse. The weather was a mixed bag—clouds, rain, wind, cold, warm, sun, and even hail (no lightning though).
Once you make it to the first lake, keep going. The second lake is even larger, with better views. We found a nice lunch spot on the bluff overlooking the lower lake (with the upper lake and Square Top Mountain at our backs). The views in front of us were Mount Bierstadt (shrouding mostly in clouds that day), and the Sawtooth.
There was plenty of parking, but be advised: The Bierstadt trailhead is across the street, and the Square Top lot catches a lot of overlook. Bierstadt trail is very popular and very busy. If you want a great hike with great views, and a little more seclusion, give Square Top a try.