American Lake Trail

HARD 66 reviews
#28 of 191 trails in

American Lake Trail is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Aspen, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1988 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

forest

lake

Directions from Aspen: Drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82. At the roundabout, turn onto Castle Creek Road. Drive 10 miles to the Elk Mountain Lodge. There is parking on the right where the trailhead begins.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy drive to trailhead from Aspen (about 20 minutes from downtown). Limited parking. The hike starts off through a beautiful canopy of aspens. The trail narrows as you take multiple switchbacks through the forest of aspens with a modest incline on a narrow trail. There are many different views of not only the aspens and pines but also rock formation. After the switchbacks and climb flattens a bit as you traverse around the mountains. You eventually hit a rock patch with a great view. From that point you are only a few hundred yards from American Lake with an amazing mountain backdrop view.

4 months ago

Very steady incline ALL the way up--- It's beautiful, but it is a difficult hike.

hiking
4 months ago

La montée dans le bois est sublime à l’automne.

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome and easy to follow trail. Great for running too. Beautiful lake with campsites available.

5 months ago

This hike kicked my butt more than hiking up Huron Peak. Really beautiful through the aspens right now, but be ready for the insanely steady incline the entire way.

hiking
5 months ago

Steady climb with some ups and downs further in. Go early avoid the crowds. Lake in very pretty but smaller.

hiking
6 months ago

Very fun hike. The first 45 minutes will burn off the cheeseburger you ate yesterday. Strenuous and then moderate grade .Lots of aspens and very lush forest. Not the typical dense forest. The lake is beautiful. RT about 3 hours .

6 months ago

all up hill amazing scenery bring bug spray

hiking
6 months ago

Absolutely beautiful but definitely uphill most of the way! Should have packed my peanut butter sandwich. Don't forget bug spray!

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

7 months ago

Beautiful views. Lots of wildflowers. Quiet during week. Loved it. Took about 3 hours

7 months ago

Going up is pretty intense at first, but after the switch backs it's still hard. Lots of fun though, and a very rewarding view. The top elevation I measured was only 1085 at the lake.

hiking
8 months ago

Love this hike. A little hard in the beginning, but moderate the rest of the way. Beautiful lake at the top that was partially frozen over. There is still snow around, so wear waterproof boots.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike! Still TONS of snow once you get out of the switchbacks and into the spruce forest. Best to have waterproof boots.

8 months ago

Very nice hike to a lake. Lot's of forest hiking. Good views. If you have already done Cathedral Lake trail and want to hike in the same area this is a great choice.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

First part is hard but the hike is so worth it. Truly breathtaking!

hiking
Sunday, September 11, 2016

Loved this trail! The lake is beautiful!! One of the best we have done

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Great hike- well worth the grind. The lake is the prize!

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