American Lake Trail

HARD 92 reviews
#23 of 196 trails in

American Lake Trail is a 5.8 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
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,988 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 days ago

Nice workout and incline through beautiful aspen grove. I prefer it in the fall when aspen are gold. Beautiful alpine lake with turquoise water. Take a dip in the summertime! One of my fav trails in the area.

hiking
2 days ago

This was a beautiful hike through a few different types of terrain. The first half is pretty climby, but once the path changes into a forest vibe, it mellows out to a far more moderate grade. My GPS clocks this at 6.4 miles round-trip. Bug spray was mandatory.

2 days ago

Great hike, quite uphill. Stunning lake at end.

hiking
3 days ago

A bit more difficult than expected but worth it. Steady incline and lots of switchbacks at the start in an Aspen Grove then into more pine trees and a few meadows with lots of wild flowers. The lake was gorgeous but very buggy.

4 days ago

Nice

hiking
10 days ago

Excellent trail. First part is the hardest then it’s pretty smooth going the last half. Nice fields of wild flowers and you’re in and out of the forests. BRING BUG SPRAY, you’ll enjoy the lake much better. Happy hiking.

hiking
28 days ago

One of my favorite hikes in Aspen. It is a moderate hike and my app calculated a total distance of 6.5 miles in and out. The initial 1.5 miles has the steepest incline followed by a slower incline. I would not recommend doing this trail as one of the first hikes in Aspen. Bring some bug spray, water, snacks and a camera. Pace yourself and enjoy the magnificent views and wildflowers.

hiking
6 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.

9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

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

9 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
10 months ago

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

hiking
10 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 .

11 months ago

all up hill amazing scenery bring bug spray

hiking
11 months ago

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

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Monday, July 17, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

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

Friday, June 30, 2017

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
Sunday, June 18, 2017

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
Monday, June 12, 2017

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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!

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I agree with the post before, we tracked 7.1 miles even though the app says it was less. Beautiful hike, mostly covered. If you haven't hiked in a while, like us, this hike seems strenuous as it is all uphill to the lake. The first 2/3 of the hike is through dense Aspens, which are stunning. Then up through pines. There are two open meadows before arriving to the lake. Well worth the hike.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Second hike we have done and it's a great hike.. Get past the first thousand feet of traverses and its a bit easier and a lot more interesting.. The lake was beautiful.. In reality the trails app measured 7.1 miles total round trip...

hiking
Saturday, August 06, 2016

Great hike. Has a little of everything wild flowers , great views and a lake.

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