Explore alpine lake hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

alpine lake hikes Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Beautiful!

This trail is our favorite of all time - so dynamic. From lakes to a smooth ascent over the Divide to the High Lonesome trail and the incredible reward of King Lake, it truly is awe inspiring. We wandered around a bit and ended up closer to 20.0 miles but still completed before sundown. Be sure to bring lots of water and fuel as high lonesome trail is exposed and a long stretch of the hike.

Snowshoed within a .25 mile of Hartenstein Lake today. The Denny Creek Trailhead is OPEN. There is a good trench all the way. There is good boot pack until the Mt Yale trail, After that snowshoes are needed to avoid postholing. The snow above 11000 feet is deep.

hiking
2 months ago

Climbed this in just winter boots and had a blast. Once you get above tree line the path is impossible to find. Rather than freezing your hands fumbling with the GPS, head straight up and you will get to the gorgeous alpine clearing where you can see mountains from all sides. Then it's a leisurely mile to the lake

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail yesterday 10-27-18. Very snowy like the previous poster said. After the first lake it got really deep and we had to turn around. It was also pretty slick after everyone had compacted the snow and melting then refreezing at night. I would be cautious, there were a few parts that were a little touch and go. On the other hand, beautiful beautiful hike!!

hiking
2 months ago

Great Hike - trails are snowpacked up high, there are steep trail sections that are snowpacked and icy. Bring your yaktrax. Almost made it to the lake by my partner forgot her sunglasses and didn't want to risk getting snow blind up high due to the wide open areas of snow we had to cross - bluebird day - high sun. Either way - great hike. Would do it again in fall. A lot of climbing right out of the lot, actually climbing all the way. Fun Hike - bring water and some snacks as you'll burn a ton of calories climbing

backpacking
2 months ago

Really steep beginning after that the steepness levels out somewhat. It’s definitely a trek with a pack. It’s a beautiful hike and great fishing in the lake. Many places to camp and there are other lakes nearby

hiking
2 months ago

This was my first day in town and I misjudged the time it would take to hike through snow and turned back at around 3,500 meters. I started late around 11 AM, and had enough time to make it but it would have had me with a potential return after sunset. The trail was still quite passable with poles (a couple of other groups made it up, albeit slowly). It was a great overall experience for me, even though I did not make the lake. First day I realized that I really enjoyed hiking in snow this season. Very much like a winter playground at the top. Will be back to the area.

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked this trail on 10/21/18. Very beautiful area. However, this 7.2 mile out and back turned into 10.5 miles due to the snow. 80% of the trail had between 2 inches - 2.5 feet of snow. The snow and ice made the hike very difficult. Unless you’re experienced with snow hiking and snowshoes, I would not advise the hike until the snow melts. In the end, the snow got so deep, we couldn’t even make it the last 400 meters to grand lake.

One note though is that the first mile of the hike is easy (if no snow) and takes you to a beautiful small waterfall and small lake.

hiking
2 months ago

Very good hike with substantial natural variety along the way. Snow in the higher elevations (poles are handy). Still very accessible. Took me about 3 hours and 15 minutes. I lolligagged substantially at the start of the hike enjoying nature and was slowed down considerably right at the end due to snow (hard packed though and not bad to traverse). Round trip 11 AM to 5 PM, 6 hours. Third day in a row I have loved hiking in snow. Temperatures were very reasonable (had plenty of gear but hiked 100% in summer gear).

Did this on 10/14 after a big snow storm. Was a chilly and epic adventure. Post-holing up to the hips for the last mile. Good fun.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike is one of my favorites. The beginning of the trail is lined with many dead trees. But, the ground cover and aspens are gorgeous in the fall! There is about a mile of steep incline. Otherwise the trail is fairly moderate. The last lake is about a mile from the first lake, but it is definitely worth the time and steps!

on Gore Lake

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful fall hike, low traffic, no bikes, plenty of breathtaking views! The full out-and-back loop is more like 14.4mi. The route to the lake is tough, and slow going, even for experienced hikers.

There are mountain goats up at the lake, please don’t feed them!!

trail running
3 months ago

Heavy incline with the altitude but through piney single track. Rocky but not overly technical, small lake at the end and an easy pacer down.

Beautiful

trail running
3 months ago

Amazing trail, the lakes and creeks are gorgeous.

3 months ago

Beautiful hike, but challenging. It was a great character builder for my eight-year-old son , 11-year-old daughter and wife. Coming from sea level the day before added to the challenge, but the kids made the trek in 7:30 hours with a stop for lunch at the lake. Can’t wait to do it again.

backpacking
3 months ago

No overnight parking at the trailhead. There are signs posted at the parking area, and Silverthorne police does patrol and enforce.

Wonderful hike.
We stayed the night at the very furthest lake.
We are missing our tent poles though.. if anyone has found them on the trail please contact me my email is shea.marie1432@yahoo.com

Went yesterday & today. I camped at Lost Lake last night. About 2 miles in from where you park. Woke up this morning to about 22 degrees. And it had rained just a bit last night. Ran into a bunch of people on the trail as I was heading to set up camp who saw moose.

So I went clockwise. This was the right choice for me as the climb is more gradual (and I just got off a plane from Florida yesterday :)

Was gonna camp one more night (tonight) at Jasper Lake but....it was gonna be 20. And was only 5.3 miles to the car at that point. So I humped all 15 today w my 25lb pack.

And - I’m sitting at the noodle restaurant now haha. Yes, delicious.

Beautiful hike!! It was long and got rough near the end, but the lake and cirque views are worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

Date: 9/22/18, 7:30am-1:30pm
Conditions: Sunny, clear, temps 40-65F
Parking:
Adequate dirt, roadside parking at trailhead. More parking available up the hill. Watch for bicyclists coming down when leaving.
Trail:
While rated as hard, overall the trail is fairly moderate. There is a steep section at the start and a long climb to the lake, but the majority of the trail is a series of short climbs, downhills and flats. The trail carves through a variety of terrain, remaining mostly well-shaded throughout. Following Gore Creek, there are some small waterfalls and water access points along the route. Once you hit the marked graves of the Recen brothers, take a minute to fuel up and shed layers as the climb to the lake begins. The best views, aside from the lake, come from the open meadows on this final climb. Gore Lake itself is a breathtaking large green body at the feet of Snow Peak, Willow Peak, and Red Peak. There is a trail around the entire lake if you have energy remaining. As others have noted, this looks to be a great place to spend a few nights camping. I'll be back!
PSA:
Upon reaching the lake, I noticed an illegal campfire left burning and was forced to throw the large, smoldering logs into the water to put it out. Please abide by fire bans and Wilderness regulations posted at the trailhead.

If you are planning to complete the loop in a day , I would recommend start early. If you are not acclimated to the high altitude then it is a lot harder then it seems. Take plenty of breaks and drink a lot of water.

Great hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike on Saturday, 9/22. Very few people on trail. Sunny, clear day, sea level friend joined us and did fine! The first lake you come to is just as beautiful as Lower Missouri Lake, which is just up a bit. We didn’t do the loop to connect up to Fancy Lake Trail bec two in our party were tired. Will try that next time.

Such a nice, smooth trail up, over and along the Divide. Always love this one!

hiking
4 months ago

This trail has it all, in my opinion. Very challenging at the beginning, levels off for awhile then hard again (for someone not acclimated to altitude or used to hill climbing - came from Indiana). Open meadow, forest, rushing stream and waterfall off in the distance. Didn’t have enough time to get to the lake but the Fall colors were incredibly beautiful! Loved this hike! Only did about 6 miles round trip but had done 3 earlier in the day so my knees were ready to be done hiking (poles came in very handy).

Tough hike but very beautiful. The road to the trailhead was a long dirt road but not bad as far as clearance goes-- only the last mile or so was uncomfortably bumpy/slow, I imagine most vehicles could make it up. The beginning of the trail is steep, then it levels out a little with less dramatic gains. Don't be fooled by the first lake you come to... continue up about another 1/4 mile ish to see the bigger lake, it's worth it! Gorgeous water color and mountain backdrop. Highly recommend this for a great workout and views. Not too much fall color change on the hike bc of the tree composition in the area, but the drive from Minturn was stunning with tons of aspens.

We only hiked about 4.5 miles of this trail since we got on the road a little later than expected. Still a beautiful hike, is mostly a steep incline for the first couple miles so I would recommend being prepared for that. There’s a really pretty waterfall around mile 2(ish) off to the side. Would definitely like to go back and go backpacking!

hiking
4 months ago

What an amazing hike! Pitkin lake is so beautiful during the fall. It is not as hard as you think. First mile is pretty tough but after that you can see very beautiful valley. Steady incline when you approach lake. Just bring enough water and a good snack. Must do if you in Vail area!

Load More