American Lake Trail

HARD 66 reviews
#28 of 193 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
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
5 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.

7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

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

7 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
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 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 .

9 months ago

all up hill amazing scenery bring bug spray

hiking
9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

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

10 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
11 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
11 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.

11 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!

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.

hiking
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hiked this on a Saturday afternoon and was surprised at how few people were on the trail as it was our favorite of 5 hikes in the area over a long weekend! The trail was not as rock-strewn as many others, nor as steep/strenuous. The differing terrain (thick aspen stands, pine tree forests, alpine meadows, rock fields, and the lake) made the hike incredibly beautiful. The lake itself was beautiful -- while smaller than others, it was more beautiful with the trees and rocks all around. Best advice for the hike: take your time to enjoy it and soak up the beauty at the top!

hiking
Sunday, July 17, 2016

Not the best in the area.

hiking
Monday, July 11, 2016

Gorgeous!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Hiked in October before Castle Creek road closed. Loved it. Lots of snow, wear weatherproof hiking boots. Gorgeous views.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Difficult/moderate

hiking
Thursday, July 02, 2015

Enjoyable half day hike; give yourself 3 hours RT.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I wasn't acclimated when I did this trail. It's a steep and quick climb and one you should do after you've been in CO for a week or more.

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