Crater Lakes Trail via Moffat Tunnel East Portal Trailhead

HARD 174 reviews
#2 of 108 trails in

Crater Lakes Trail via Moffat Tunnel East Portal Trailhead is a 6.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1925 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Forest trail with mountain views leading to alpine lakes This trail takes you into the James Peak wilderness. The first part is an old jeep trail that will take you up to WP22, from there a new trail heads up to crater lakes. This trail fades in a couple places since it is not well defined yet, but push on and you will find it again. Look for cairns in the rocky areas to continue trail. Middle Lakes are easily accessable. Continue between the middle lakes staying on path that runs along the left side of the lake on the right. Upper Lakes take more effort and there is light scrambling. Continue past the lower lake and climb to the final lake at the base of Continental divide. Bring your fishing gear in the summer.

hiking
6 hours ago

hiking
23 hours ago

This was plenty challenging and lovely! We stopped at the first two lakes because the ascent to the third lake was more than we could handle but it was fully satisfying regardless.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

Nice hike through the cool forest up to beautiful Crater Lakes. Wildflowers were rampant! Last mile is steep, but really not bad at all. We started around 9 and it was fairly busy, but it was a perfect Bluebell Sunday in July, so we expected a crowd. Glad we packed the bug spray.

camping
7 days ago

Just returned from a 2-nighter. Couldn't pick a better spot. Flowers are in bloom. Some nice glacial streams and lakes. Some snow still left, but none on the trail up to The Divide or on The Divide. Make sure to get off the top by 1pm at the latest.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

7 days ago

10 days ago

Beautiful trail. The lakes at the end are stunning. Very lush this time of year, and the Moffat Tunnel is really cool to see. Lots of abandoned houses, and they're really eerie but cool to see.

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

Fabulous hike! So many beautiful wildflowers all along the trail. Two beautiful Lakes at the top. Did not climb up to upper Crater Lake because the trail was ridiculously steep and treacherous. But did go up high enough to look down for a view of the two lower Lakes. I like to stop and photograph, so it took 2 hours up and 1.5 down. Plenty of people heading up to camp for the weekend around 1:00 when we were about done. Some bugs up at the Lakes. Bug spray was good to have. The hike was a great workout, especially the last mile, which is a good climb. Cool forest most of the way.

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

fishing
18 days ago

One of the prettiest hikes ever.

hiking
18 days ago

One of my favorites now! It'll get you breathing if you push past the lakes. And what a view if you do! Definitely going with the wife next time!