Columbine Lake Trail

HARD 12 reviews
#9 of 70 trails in

Columbine Lake Trail is a 6.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.4 miles
2595 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



To reach the trailhead of Columbine Lake Trail, travel about 7 miles north of Winter Park on US Hwy 40. Just before the town of Tabernash, turn right onto 84 Road (later known as FR 129) and follow the signs towards Meadow Lake.

4 days ago

The switchbacks were very steep and this hike definitely pushed me pretty hard. That being said, the amble at the top was lovely and I'll probably never forget rounding the corner to the sight of the bluest water I've ever seen in my life. My dog had a good time, too. Highly recommend.

22 days ago

24 days ago

Beautiful hike, that was worth all the incline. Wild flowers in bloom, green everywhere and that view when u get past tree line was amazing. A few snow patches as u approach the lake but nothing too crazy. The lake was an unreal blue but make sure to find an elevated vantage point to see the true beauty.

29 days ago

Several locals recommended this hike because of the combination of beauty and seclusion. I loved Blue Lakes over near Ridgway, but was ready for a more quiet experience; it turns out this has become much more popular over the past few years, and I encountered almost 30 people on my way down, including several mountain bikers who apparently use the lower part of the trail as a return from Ophir Pass. (I did the hike on a Sunday, though, so a weekday would likely be lighter).

The good news is the much of the snow mentioned in the reviews from early July has melted; on July 23rd I had to cross 5-6 snow fields that were all easily handled with hiking boots and a walking stick. Only the first major one was worth hiking around.

30 days ago

1 month ago

We just did this hike on July 3rd and there is still a TON of snow along the trail. Because of the snow, we lost the trail and ended up wandering around the basin looking for the lake. We ran into another couple who had also lost the trail because of the large amount of snow and were able to point us in the right direction. The lake is still mostly under ice. You can see a bit of the blue but not enough to make the hike worth it. If you're thinking of doing this hike this summer, I would put it off until August. Hopefully the snow will melt by then!

2 months ago

This hike is straight up and is pretty much all switchbacks till you get past the tree lines. Unfortunately there was still huge snow patches past the tree lines (and we did not have snow shoes), so we rock climbed up on the left side. We got to the top (almost 13000ft up), and it was stunning, The lake is still frozen and under some snow, but we did see that turquoise color shining through some spots. My wife is a moderate backpacker and found it very difficult once we reached 12000 ft and still climbing up. We are going to come back late July to August, so I can actually see the lake.

6 months ago

I have hiked to this lake twice. Once along this trail, and once from the Ophir side. The color of the water in this lake is like nothing I've seen anywhere. It changes as the day goes on. Afternoon seemed to show it's color the best. Great views in all directions. This lake stands out on Google Earth with it's blue color, and it is exactly that color when you get there. That's what prompted this hike for me, had to see it.

10 months ago

11 months ago

Tough trail but worth it! Lots of beautiful wildflowers and wonderful lake at top.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Great hike! Lots of uphill but well worth it.