Boulder Lake via Gore Range and Rock Creek Trails

MODERATE 80 reviews
#25 of 193 trails in

Boulder Lake via Gore Range and Rock Creek Trails is a 8.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Silverthorne, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.2 miles
1,774 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



County road 1350 is between mile marker 109 and 110... We ended up too far north, it is across the street from the Blue River Campground. You can stop at the first parking lot or keep driving a little more and it will be a shorter hike by a about two miles. It is a beautiful hike. One of my favorites in the area.

15 days ago

Nice hike to lower Boulder Lake. Park at trailhead and take Gorge Range trail at split. About 3.3 miles to lake. Some aspens which were turning on 9/8/18. Little wildlife seen this time - bow and black powder hunting seasons on. Nice view at lake. Left our packs here and came back later to camp. Hiked on towards upper lake: After 4 miles and cresting a boulder field, we realized we were at least another mile off so we turned back. But a nice hike. Trail obvious in many places though faint in some. Creek crossings, many down trees, some steep climbs. Nice quiet, rugged forest. Mostly along creek. Larger fish the higher you go.

19 days ago

adventurous hike this afternoon - upset moose, hunters and a storm. Comparable in difficulty to Wheeler Lakes near Copper. Start at the trailhead to park, don't walk the road up!

1 month ago

Took the Rock Creek Trail for about 1.2 miles before a fellow hiker told us we were taking the much longer route with lots of bush whacking. Decided to turn around and take the Gore Trail instead. This trail was about 6 miles round trip from the trailhead to the lake. The trail itself wasn’t exceptionally interesting but the lake is well worth the trek. Beautiful views!

3 months ago

Used the rock creek trailhead this time and found it’s nothing to write home about. Animal leash-law rarely followed so fellow hikers show little respect. Trail scenery listless and downed pines everywhere from beetle kill. Highly camped before trailhead and at lakeside. Lakes low this season. Not a repeat. I’m local to the county.

3 months ago

Beautiful trail that takes you as much down on the way out as up. Boulder lake is amazingly gorgeous and the changing scenery between pine stands and aspens is great.

3 months ago

I didn’t like this trail and give it 3 stars because of the scenic lake at the end otherwise I’d give it 2 stars. Lots of dead fallen trees (because of the bark beetle) that blocked the trail. Not terribly scenic until the end where you’ll arrive at the alpine lake which is pretty. Very rocky trail too. Drive all the way to the end and park at the trailhead. A regular car might struggle because the dirt road is bumpy with potholes but doable I think. Ok trail- wouldn’t do it again.

3 months ago

Beautiful hike and well worth it! You defiantly need an SUV or a truck to get up the dirt road to the trail head. My dog and I did both the lake hike and the other hike to the old mining place. Took us about 7 hours to do both. If you plan on doing both trail make sure you bring enough water. On our way to the lake we came across a moose when we were about to the lake so make sure to keep your eyes out. My dog and I just hid behind some trees while it passed. The lake with the mountains in the background are beautiful. There are a lot of trees that have fallen that you will have to step over. I saw about 3 people the whole time I was there too. Overall would highly recommend .

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Morning hike to Boulder Lake via Boulder Creek Trl., coming in via County Rd 1376 (the old way)... Driving in from this direction (as opposed to Rock Creek) the upper parking lot permanently closed. (Signage indicates the residents prefer hikers use the Rock Creek Trl. to access Boulder Lake which is a mile S on HWY 9). Drove back to the lower TH marker that also indicates street legal vehicles authorized. The Boulder Creek trail is part 4WD trail with dispersed camping, unmarked trail, gravel road via easement, and then upon entering the national forest the trail reveals itself. Fabulous tree colors, deer and chipmunk. Only go this way if you have some navigation experience and respect for private land, but worth it being on a very lightly travelled trail.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Backpackers, don't park at the first parking lot unless you want to hike up a dirt moderate 4WD road for 1.5 mi. Drive through the gate and park at the upper lot. The map shows water along the way. Please note that these are small seasonal streams and did not lend to any camping spots along the way (we were with our kids and were looking for less mileage). Also, there is a sign posted at the junction of the gore range trail and boulder lake trail that says no fires at boulder lake. We decided to stay below the lake because of that. If was a nice hike, lots of up and down and nice views at the top of trail. Lots of downed and dead lodge pole, however. Also, what's with all the shooting?? We heard guns pretty much until you start the descent towards the lake. Like semi automatic constant shooting. And it is Bow Season. What??

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Started the hike from Rock Creek trail head - trails are moderate, be prepared for constant change of up and down incline. Saw many deer and animals throughout the hike. Upon arriving to Boulder Lake it was absolutely stunning. Best advice is get there early (7-8am preferred) as more hikers show up mid day.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Camped here for four days. Thurs-Sun. Sign from summer trailhead says 2.73 miles one way to Boulder Lake. 7 cars in the parking lot on Thurs. 26 cars in the lot on Sun. - lots of day hikers. Had pick of campsites on Thursday. There were four or five other campsites occupied on Saturday night. Hiked to head of lake and found a beautiful three-tiered waterfall by following the stream a little ways up from the lake. Saw deer and moose and the fishing was pretty good.. Tried the hike to Upper Boulder Lake but the trail is pretty sketchy, did not make it. If interested in climbing peaks, no easy access to peaks from the lake.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Did this hike today and I parked at the bottom near the gate to the 4WD road. Headed up the road 1.5 miles to the Trailhead for Rock Creek. Followed until the road split and chose the Gore Range Trail to the right. Followed up through forest and across numerous muddy streams. Passed a small pond and then the path started leading up and down until eventually you cross a stream with a sign for Boulder Trail. Follow this trail west up the stream again leading up and down through muddy areas. Eventually you hear rushing water to the right and can see a rocky waterfall at one outlook point to the right while heading up further. A lot of logs have fallen over the path and eventually it flattens out and leads over northwest overlooking Boulder Lake. Approaching the lake, trees protrude and there are various trails all over for various scenic viewpoints of the lake. It's about 7 miles roundtrip, but I did take an extra 3 miles (1.5 up and back) from walking up the road to the trailhead. There are cool camping spots and lots of Be Cautious of Bear signs. Overall, 9.46 miles in 3hrs 26min and 1511 elevation gain

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Parked at RockCreek Trailhead. Just under 3hrs. Great Gore Range views.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

I tried hiking this trail in June and the upper parking lot was closed off. When I finally got to the trail, I had to turn back a mile in because it was just too much snow on the trail. I tried again this August and I finally made it! Some tips: the trail makers to Boulder Lake aren't very clear, but people have carved into the signs, so that was a huge help. I definitely wouldn't call this an easy hike though, more moderate. View at the lake was great and there were a ton of interesting wildflowers.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Follow the post from Rob McKeever to get there. He did a great job. Dirt road to trail head to turn offs, he describes it all. Good run off for dogs. About 5.75 miles round trip 3.5 hrs or so. Good hike for mid-July.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Actually did this trail 2 years ago and just found this app. Great trail especially if you follow it around to Slate lake. It's quite a bit farther but worth it. Just more switchbacking for the first 2 miles and then open meadow for 4-5 miles after that.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Great hike. Little bit of snow towards the end but nothing to hold you back from getting to the lake. Started at the rock creek trailhead. If you start at the first parking spot you hike the road the first mile-plus til you get to the actual trail.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This hike utilizes three trails to get to Boulder Lake. Don't park at the first parking lot you see, keep driving up the dirt road till you get to the Rock Creek Trail Head. You start off on the Rock Creek Trail. You'll come across the Gore Range Trail, you want to head to the right at that intersection, then after awhile you'll come up to the Boulder Lake trail intersection, take that to the left and you'll soon be at the Lower Boulder Lake. This is a moderate trail, wouldn't exactly classify this as easy. Maybe upper end of easy on the way up, but coming back there is a hill that is very steep and is anything but easy. Good for dogs as there is plenty of water run off. Lots of wildlife, in fact we had a chicken stand off with a Moose. Naturally when it started moving towards us we bushwacked up the hill and around, and eventually got back on the trail. You can see where this happened on my tracks. Mid September hike and there was very little in the bugs respect. No mosquitoes to speak of as in other posts. Leaves were changing producing some beautiful views. Payoff at the top is top notch.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Beautiful scenic hike with some steepness. I wish there were better instructions for following trail up to upper boulder I attempted it after reaching lower boulder lake but the trails aren't marked well after that point as far as directing how to further go up to upper boulder lake.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

We enjoyed this hike quite a bit. There is a lot of scenic variety and the river below the lake was a fun surprise. As others have mentioned, be sure to take the unpaved road to the trailhead past the parking lot just off CR 1351. That will make it closer to a 5.5 mile hike instead of 8.3 miles.
There were a lot of mosquitos also but the lake was very pretty and the people along the way were always friendly.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Nice hike, pretty steep both ways, lots of climbing. Lake is beautiful. Lots of mosquitoes

Friday, September 25, 2015

Loved this hike, went early and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Pretty trail but longer than 4.8m round trip, more like 6.2 mile round trip. Saw bow hunters on trail

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It was a good hike, it's a workout for sure. The lake is beautiful and definitely worth the effort. Be sure to take the gore range trail. Otherwise you end up way off track. Bring snacks and enjoy your time at the lake, it's so pretty.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The trail has lots of downed trees. Some say its steep, but you're in Colorado so that's expected. Its a beautiful hike otherwise. Lots of opportunities to get clean flowing water. Lots of people part at the parking lot in the beginning of the trail, however I was told thats winter access parking. If you travel all the way to the end of that road you'll see the actual trail head with parking. Trust me PARK AT THE TRAIL HEAD. When I arrived around noon, the parking at the trail head was full. I parked at a small camp site. When I got back some jerk shot my car 4 times with a pellet gun and shattered my back window.

If you plan on backpacking or hiking here park at the trail head, and avoid the weekends where its busy with gun toting red necks(lots of gun fire). I have no issue with guns, but alcohol and fire arms don't mix especially when you lack the morals to not shoot someones car with a pellet gun.

The lake is beautiful, most of the people out there are very kind. I saw a group of young hikers fell a tree, which is not OK. Do not cut down trees in a national park. You are not supposed to have fires at the lake, which is blatantly stated by a sign as you walk the trail to the lake. However, it seemed like everyone had made a fire that night. If you're going to make a fire at least do so with he abundance of fallen wood.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

This trail is somewhat steep both on the ascent and descent. The area is beautiful but you are walking amongst beetle kill trees the majority of the way. The trees creak in the wind, which adds a somewhat eerie feeling to the hike. Boulder Lake itself is beautiful, with awesome views of the Gore Range. The lake is supposed to have great fishing opportunities as well.

Monday, July 06, 2015

I'd definitely rank it a more moderate hike... Lots of steep inclines here and there. Took us 2 hours to get there, but it's very pleasant with a few places to stop and admire the scenery. We took our dog, and he loves swimming in the lake! The lake area is friendly to backpackers and fishermen. The peak views are worth it!

Monday, July 06, 2015

This hike was fine but not as nice as some of the other hikes in the area. I like booth falls in Vail much better. Boulder lake is pretty but calling it spectacular feels strong. There are tons of very pretty wildflowers due to all the rain lately, but also tons of mosquitos, so bring bug spray! A few steep inclines that may make this trail feel a little more moderate than easy, but not too bad. For those who thought the hike felt long, they are right. Our GPS tracked us at 5.4 miles. Also make sure you go to the parking lot at the trail head. When you first turn onto rock creek path or whatever it was called there is a small lot which we almost parked in. That would have sucked because it's still a pretty far distance to the trail head. Go up the rocky road, you'll see tons of people camping and after about 10 minutes of slow driving, there is a large lot right at the trail head.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

For beauty - A1 - amazing views at the lake with the mountains in the back.

The unfortunate part is all the descriptions indicate easy, the national forest hike descriptions state 800 foot elevation gain, 500 foot elevation loss... ok not bad. But it's over and over again. The hike out is just as hard as the hike in. Took our group 2 hours to the lake, 1 hour 50 minutes back to the car. Very easy to follow, but definitely not "easy". The road to the summer parking lot is definitely high clearance.

Load More