Crater Lakes Trail is a 5.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, horses, and snowshoeing and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
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.
Hiked on 4/14. Beautiful views, but too much snow to make it to the lakes with standard hiking boots. Also lost the trail a few times because of the snow. Still rate it a 4 because it's absolutely gorgeous. Can't wait to attempt again in a couple months!
Love this hike. I live close by and I love to camp up there. Getting to it in the winter can be tricky, its not very popular to snowshoe or ski to. I'd definitely bring a GPS if you want to find your way to crater lakes in winter.
Overall a great trail. The trail junctions are very difficult to find in the snow. Ended up backtracking a few time to stay on track. I will be back.
Beautiful hike mainly within the trees until you make it to the lakes. Once you're up there, it's loads of fun-walking around the lake, exploring the two lakes, climbing up further for a better view, etc...my favorite hike in CO so far.
Beautiful but definitely need your GPS during the winter. Thought we were on the right trail and realized we missed the turn 1/2 mile out. Turned around and got back on the right path...so we thought! Followed a broken trail. So close to the lakes but never made it. Wanted to get back to the car before the sun went behind the mountains.
Good hike about less than 5 miles round trip. The last mile is a little steeper but not bad. Recommended if your looking for a 4-5 he excursion or so.
Beautiful amazing hike relatively dry right now love loved it
Nice trail. Absolutely should NOT be considered "hard". The first 2 miles are easy, the last bit after the turnoff becomes moderate. Was glad I had a walking stick for the way down since it was snowy/slippery (although not very cold). Once you get to the lakes be sure to carry on above/past them for incredible views and another scenic lake (this part is steep/hard). Moffat Tunnel has plenty of parking and you cannot pick a bad trail from there. I didn't cross too many people, surprisingly.
Hiked this in mid October and it was beautiful. There are a couple small "lakes" hidden up I'm the top of the mountain. Just look for waterfalls or dried up waterfalls and follow to the top. you will not be disappointed. Snow hits the mountain by 2 or 3 so be prepared.