Crystal Lake Trail

HARD 50 reviews
#13 of 191 trails in

Crystal Lake Trail is a 8.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Breckenridge, 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 October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2398 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

off road driving

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Take Spruce Creek Rd., south of Breckenridge, off Hwy. 9, next to the Goose Pasture Tarn, and follow it to Crystal Creek, off ti the right. Follow the $ wheel drive road to the lower lake.

hiking
2 months ago

Accidentally went too far up Spruce Creek Road and missed the turn off to Crystal Creek Road. Cut back over on the Wheeler trail, which proved to be a gentler incline overall (for anyone looking for a less steep ascent). Made it about a half mile from lower crystal lake, at which point snow shoes were probably necessary (post-holing at least a couple of feet), and then promptly turned around when a bull moose entered the trail. The snow was too deep for bushwhacking around him, but views of the mountain ranges were pretty on the way back down. I know it’s tempting to allow your dogs off leash, but be careful out there with wildlife!

3 months ago

Great hike. I would recommend wearing snow shoes past the lake. Snow was somewhat compacted but some spots not so much and the snow was past my knees at some points

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked up today with surprise blue skies. We took the steeper road off to the right toward cabin. It's a good climb at that elevation, esp for us folks from sea level Seattle but well worth it !! Beautiful peaks right in front of you!! Pretty lake. Fantastic. Snow at the top and probably near the end of the season for this hike! Thanks beautiful Colorado ❤️

backpacking
5 months ago

We combined Crystal Lakes with Mohawk Lakes for a nice overnight hike; staying the night near Lower Crystal. Although "busy" for the holiday weekend Lower Crystal was still very serene. Great sunrise/sunset. We didn't make it to Crystal Peak as planned, but the trail looked like a good challenge.

hiking
6 months ago

My 11 year old son and I did this trail in combination with Burro Trail and Warriors Mark trail from Warriors Mark neighborhood in Breckenridge. Long, but a lot of fun. didn't make it to the second Lake as it started snowing and sleeting.

backpacking
7 months ago

Came up for an overnight trip. Hiked from the trail head to the first lake which is beautiful and perfect camping spot by itself. The journey to the upper lake is a very tough but rewarding 2 extra miles of uphill rocks. Poles are very helpful here. Once at the top the views are staggering. We had the whole upper lake to ourselves for the evening. Plenty of flat areas but very rocky. I wouldn't recommend camping out up here without some serious ground pads. All and all the hike was difficult but very rewarding. The views from the top are incredible. Would have given it 5 stars if I could have found a suitable place to camp without a ton of rocks. Lots of fun though!

7 months ago

Tough climb but absolutely worth the effort!

off road driving
7 months ago

Great trips. Drove up twice over the 4th week in my slightly lifted FJ Cruiser without any difficulty. Can only off-Road to the lower lake and up into the lose rocks to the south now. The hiking trail all the way up to the top is clear enough to make it on foot, but the off-road access is blocked. It doesn't look like a truck has been past the lower lake in years. This is a great hiking and off-road trail. Good to share the road.

backpacking
7 months ago

Great trail still some snow at the upper lake but you can still get up there. Also the hike up to crystal peak was great and so were the views. Only saw one other group at the lower lake. Would bring hiking poles and waterproof boots there are so street crossings where you could get wet. Overall great hike and a hidden gem.

hiking
8 months ago

We live close about a mile away..Had not yet gone all the way up to Crystal Lake..Still Lots of snow on way up near the end..We made it up in 2 hours and down in one with just a bottle of water and a couple sandwiches...no spikes, just regular hiking boots and I have my 8 year old with me...Ended up home just now with soaking wet feet..you lose the path on way up where all the snow is and we decided to just walk though the river on the way back as a short cut..we were already soaked...not a hike this time of the year for the squirmish...

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful, and way less busy than Mohawk lakes. The steep 4x4 road turned me off a bit at the beginning but it was well worth pushing through that

8 months ago

Very fun hike, lots of wildlife and wildflowers, and pretty challenging in parts. Having microspikes made our lives easier towards the higher elevations, but not a necessity. We found a really nice campsite near the falls about 3/4 the way up and set up shop. It was very peaceful up there, and would definitely recommend it to backpackers of all skill levels.

hiking
8 months ago

Difficult trail but beautiful view at the top, even saw some mountain goats!!

hiking
8 months ago

Nice hike! It took the group I was in about three hours to ascend, and about an hour to descend. There was still a lot of snow at the higher elevations. Some of it was packed, and much of it was deceptively soft so you would walk a few steps on packed snow, then sink sometimes very deep into slush. That will take your energy very quickly. The sun was out and I only needed a light jacket at the beginning and for a half an hour at the top where the temp dropped quickly (to me) when wind rushed down from the close peaks.

The lake was still mostly frozen, and no hiker the group encountered was going to bother with the upper lake since it would be even more frozen. I rated it as 4 stars because of the lake still being frozen. Just my preference.
Instagram; sirenamusic for photos.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Don't miss the turn up to the peak. If u make it to the upper lake you've gone too far.

Very pretty hike. Did it solo. Took 2hr 45 up and 1hr down.

hiking
Wednesday, October 05, 2016

It was uphill the entire hike in and the last half mile is pretty much straight up the side of a mountain but it was totally worth it. We stopped at the falls which is right before you have to go up the mountain and they were gorgeous. The lake at the end of the trail is so worth the trek. The views are amazing!

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Very nice alpine hike. At the beginning passes through a pretty spruce forest, so no beetle killed trees around. Hiked this from Francies Cabin October 1st and you quickly move into alpine meadows. If not going all the way to the upper lake then just go a few switchbacks above the first lake for outstanding views, including a classic and very impressive rock glacier.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Really quite stunning once you get above the tree line. Second lake is VERY high and the trail flirts with 13,000ft. Among the best non-summit hikes I've ever done- it's a 4x4 road much of the way that might turn off some but, the reward 1st and 2nd lakes are soooooooooo worth it

hiking
Sunday, September 18, 2016

Very steep first mile or so but don't be put off because after that it's a steadier climb to superb views across the valley and lovely lake settings. Very quiet even on a beautiful Fall Saturday - we saw just 10 people and 2 vehicles on the whole route.

hiking
Friday, September 16, 2016

Good trail, fairly steep the whole way but pretty short. Great lake once you get up there. A lot less crowded than Mohawk Lakes out of same trailhead.

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