Upper Cataract Lake Trail

MODERATE 6 reviews
#7 of 14 trails in

Upper Cataract Lake Trail is a 9.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Silverthorne, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.9 miles 2621 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash





nature trips

off road driving

trail running






wild flowers



Start at surprise trail. Go past surprise lake. Keep going until you come to Cat lake. Seen from the top of trail. Then keep going on short trail to Upper Cataract Lake.

4 months ago

I'm a local, grew up 5 mins away from the trail. I LOVE it. It steep until you get to Surprise Lake. At the end it's a little tricky. You will see a lake and think you made it, but its Cat Lake. I do recall a sign that was there explaining it. Go further up and you will find upper Cataract. There are camping spots around the lake and it's the at the base of Eagle's Nest (Most locals call it Sleeping Indian). An Awesome view the whole way up!!

5 months ago

The best. Steep at first in a washed out gully-trail. Flattens out at surprise lake. Upper cataract is breathtaking.

5 months ago

7 months ago

7 months ago

I loved this hike! It starts out through 2 meadows with aspens and beautiful wildflowers. The first 2.5 miles is a long, steep grind until you get to Surprise Lake. But then things get a little easier. My dog loved all the creek crossings.

I took a star away for two reasons:
1. It was poorly marked. I met 2 other groups at a trail marker near Cat Lake. There was NO mention of Upper Cataract Lake. (just so you know, continue walking straight beyond the spur).
2. This is more of a complaint with Alltrails.com. The site said this hike is dog-friendly. There was NO mention that leashes are required.

1 year ago

Take bug spray ,alot of mosquitos when we went. Crossing alot of creeks, and ponds. 7-22-2005