American Lakes Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Walden, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,453 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

cross country skiing

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

As of May 27, 2020, users have reported that the road to the trailhead is closed - adds 1.5 miles of easy gravel road with some scattered snowbanks before starting. Alpine tundra, wildflowers, cirques, Continental Divide views. Trail ends at American Lakes with options to continue over Thunder Pass into Rocky Mountain National Park or up to Snow Lake. Fly and lure fishing permitted. A great backpacking trip. Fires prohibited above timberline. For hiking, trail is best used from July to October.

hiking
14 days ago

Just hiked the trail on 5/23. Hiking the first mile was basically a dirt road and the moment you get to the trail head, it's completely snow covered the rest of the way. Easy, hike and did it without crampons. Gorgeous views through out!

hiking
snow
14 days ago

As of 5/23 the road to the trailhead is still closed - adds 1.5 miles of easy gravel road with some scattered snowbanks before starting. Trail is covered in multiple feet of snow, mostly hard packed snowbank. Didn't finish this time so unsure of conditions after 2 miles.

hiking
17 days ago

Can anyone tell me if this trail is closed currently and what the weather conditions are? Planning to hike this weekend but don’t want to drive if it’s blocked off. Thanks!

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Great day in the snow and sun! Snowshoed all the way from the car to the lakes. Winter trail is about 10 miles round trip according to my Apple Watch.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Beautiful, amazing back country snowboarding destination. Fairly safe terrain all the way to the advanced. It’s one hell of a snowshoe hike with a board on your back but well worth it. .. plenty to do, could stay here for days and not hit all I wanna hit there!

4 months ago

Amazing hike that has never left me shy of a few moose sightings per trip. Be very cautious while the female moose have their babies with them. They become wildly aggressive and I have been charged on this trail without even getting close. The day we were charged we ran into two seperate Cow and Calf pairs on our way back to the trail head. Both right on trail, both snarling and kicking up dust with heckled raised.

hiking
7 months ago

This was awesome! Beautiful and lonely; we did not see another soul all day. It's not particularly slippery yet, though there was new snow. Path was very easy to follow.

hiking
fee
rocky
8 months ago

The trial was in great shape. Nice shade for first few miles. Windy and scenic at the lakes. The trek to Snow Lake was worth the extra effort. Beautiful alpine mountain scenery.

hiking
8 months ago

definitley closer to 8 miles but truly amazing hike!

hiking
8 months ago

Did this yesterday (9/29), and it was absolutely beautiful. Got a reasonably early start at about 8:30. Only light traffic on the trail, and the parking area was only about 1/4 full. This is the best time of year to hike up there, as it was cool with blue sky, yellow aspen on the surrounding mountains, and yellow willows in the drainage. Even though the trail is rated moderate, there aren't any particularly challenging parts. Friends from sea-level did suffer from the altitude a bit though. We saw only one moose, but that might have been because there were a couple of unleashed and poorly controlled dogs on the trail ahead of us. There are many nice camping spots around the lakes and there are several side trips from the lakes that are straightforward, such as climbing up to Snow Lake and hiking to Thunder pass (looking into Rocky Mountain NP). It's a bit of a drive, but from the trailhead, it is one of the highest reward-to-effort hikes I've done.

hiking
8 months ago

Arrived just before the sunrise and saw 7 moose total from start to finish (mostly by the parking area and entrance road). Also saw a bear about 1.5mi in across the open valley / river area. Easy, beautiful hike all around!

camping
8 months ago

Amazing trail out in the middle of nowhere. Moose all around so careful. Epic hiking and perfect weather this weekend.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail in the wilderness. I hiked on Monday and only passed 8 other hikers. Usually I would love that, but this trail is so in the middle of nowhere, it was almost disconcerting without other hikers. I was on the lookout for moose and despite walking slowly and with my head on a swivel, a moose was around a switchback. I spooked it which then spooked me so be careful! Even when being cautious they can still be just where you don’t quite see them!

hiking
8 months ago

river views, easy trail great for a short walk.

hiking
9 months ago

We went all the way up to snow lake and it was a bit of a challenge but so worth it. The views here are astounding. I’ve never been to this part of the state before and definitely plan to come back! There were a lot of people but it wasn’t overly crowded like some places I’ve been to.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful hike and even saw some moose, including a big bull down in a meadow below us. However, our GPS clocked it at 8.9 miles not 6.8, just a heads up.

hiking
9 months ago

Walked up the Michigan Ditch to catch this trail up to American Lakes. Still some beautiful wildflowers along the way. Saw 6 moose- one of which was quite close to the trail while the others were all down in a valley of willows. Great hike!

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Several moose were spotted. amazing trail very heavily trafficked. Definitely an amazing hike with majestic views!

backpacking
rocky
9 months ago

Bananas

9 months ago

Great hike, I'd like the rate the nap-ability of this trail as a solid 5/5. Nothing like catching some Z's by a bubbling brook with amazing views and a mossy seat. Would highly recommend at the lower lake.

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing trail with beautiful views

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful views on the way. Especially nice views st the lake.

hiking
9 months ago

This was one of our favorite hikes in Colorado. From start to finish it was amazing. Did this in late July, and the wildflowers were NUTS. Saw two moose. Really just a fun hike with varying terrain and lots of views. What’s not to love?

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful, well maintained and easy to follow trail. This may have just become my favorite hike

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Hiked on 9/18. This hike really started at the switchback for me. Nice mix of sun and shade with a cool breeze. Great views. The views at the lake were pretty amazing. A mamma moose grazing at the bottom of the switchback on my way back down made my day!

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Went on 8/17/19. Day was mostly cloudy, cool and breezy. Got to trail head about 8:30 on a Saturday with parking available. Roundtrip per GPS 7.8 miles and duration was 5 hours including lunch and numerous photo stops. Trail mostly steady upward until timberline. Wild flowers very profuse and saw four moose near the trail in a meadow area. At the lakes scenery is spectacular with towering mountains for a background. Will definitely do this hike again.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful hike! As of now, there is no more snow on the trail and Snow Lake is no longer frozen! Relatively easy hike, good for any moderate hiker. Got there at 7am, we were the only car in the parking lot and so no body on our way up to the lakes. However, on our way back down we saw a lot of people and when we got down at about noon the parking lot was getting pretty full! Hike took us about 5 hours, but we did stop a couple times because of moose being on the trail and just to take in the scenery!

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

It was a beautiful hike with wild flowers, mushrooms, small water falls along the way. Saw 3 moose on the way up. We started at 8AM and hiked all the way up to the second(or third) lake all the way on top. It was a little over 9 miles round trip.

hiking
10 months ago

My chocolate lab and I had a great time on this trail. Plenty of beauty, shade, photo ops, and the moderate temps and beautiful lake were icing on top!

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