Crystal Lake Trail is a 8.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Breckenridge, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and ohv/off road driving and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length8.4 miElevation gain2,568 ftRoute typeOut & back
Hikingohv / off road drivingDog friendlyForestLakeViewswild-flowersWildlifeRocky
Description
Waypoints (1)
Contact
Getting There

This is a beautiful route including both the Lower and Upper Crystal Lakes in the White River National Forest. If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can drive to the Lower Crystal Lake, at which point the trail becomes a hiking trail. From there you'll have to hike to the Upper Crystal Lake. If you do not have a 4WD vehicle, you can park at the trailhead marked on this page, and hike all the way up!

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

Take Spruce Creek Rd., south of Breckenridge, off Hwy. 9, next to the Goose Pasture Tarn, and follow it to Crystal Creek, off to the right.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (269)
Photos (416)
Recordings (210)
Completed (620)
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Aubrey Arnold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 26, 2020
Hiking

snowshoes/spikes not needed if you're driven enough, but would be helpful in some parts. beautiful out there

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Claudia Pohl
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Hiking
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Shari Schwarz
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HikingGreat!Snow

We hiked on Sunday morning 11/22 and just went to the first lake. It was cold at first but we warmed up quick and it was a beautiful day without wind. We had on trail running shoes and had no problem with the packed snow and a few slick spots. It was much less traveled than Mohawk lakes so that was nice. The views are incredible once you get to tree line. So worth it!

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Aubrey Arnold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 15, 2020
HikingSnow

Fresh snow makes it hard. Snowshoes are needed about 1.5 miles in.

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Kathryn Boyce
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 8, 2020
HikingIcySnow

Great trail, little icy at the beginning but opens right up about 2 miles in Ice spikes would’ve been helpful! Saw three moose, one bull which was a great treat

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Tim Holloway
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 7, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike. Some icy patches around a mile in but we were able to make it without spikes. Went all the way up to the upper lake and would reccomend it despite what other reviews say. I would say if you just do the lower lake it’s more moderate and not a difficult hike.

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Patrick Hill
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Hiking
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Jon Hill
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Hiking

Lower lake is great. Started at 8 on a Friday and there were only a few cars in the lot. Didn’t see anyone on the way up and not too many on the way down. When I got back to the car there were lots of cars in the lot and along the road. I agree with an earlier review that the upper lake isn’t that great. I would have given this a 5 if not for the road/trail.

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Ingrid Hockenberry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2020
Hiking

Crazy to see it without snow, snowshoed this in April. Awesome hike, attempted Crystal peak but couldn’t figure it out. Upper crystal isn’t really worth it in my eyes, but the views on the way up are.

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Kim Freitas
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Hiking

Started at 7:15am and only saw one truck / one hiker. The first mile is steep, then it is a more gradual incline. The lake was windy, peaceful and beautiful. Stopped at the lower lake today.

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James Keenan
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Hiking
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Zachary Chaffee
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Hiking
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Lindsey Culberson
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Hiking

This starts off as a jeep trail and continues to be a jeeping road until you reach the first lake (The waterfall is there but it’s just a trickle). Once you pass the first lake it turns into a single trail.. It was a beautiful day not a cloud in the sky. The leaves have already changed (mostly). As I was heading up to the second lake a spontaneous decision was made (Based off of how much water I had left and the beautiful day) to veer right and head up to Crystal Peak. While heading down I decided to also go to Peak 10. On top of that peak I could see a service road and radio tower, thanks to alltrails I figured out that it linked up with a bike trail that I passed while hiking up to the first lake and I can make a loop. I got to the trail head around 730. There’s tons of spots, but when I write back to the car lot and side of the road was packed (1:30 ish)

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Thomas Groh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 18, 2020
Hiking

Starts as a 4x4 trail and then turns into single track at the lower Crystal Lake. No snow on trail 9/17. I went up to Crystal Peak. Going to Crystal Peak the trail is not obvious. Follow the map and stick to the ridge while ascending. Overall a good hike with moderate grades if you can stay on the trail.

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Matt Marino
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Hiking
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Alex Meyers
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Hiking

Completed 9/12/20. Path up to Lower Crystal Lake follows a 4x4 road, although we didn’t encounter much traffic. Trail is much less crowded than the Mohawk Lakes trail, which can start in the same location. Climb to Upper Crystal Lake was a little sketchy because of recent snow, but not bad. Mohawk Lake is probably more beautiful, but this was a nice climb and not too crowded. Would do again.

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Tom Pileggi
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Hiking
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Garrett McAlister
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Hiking

The lower lake was nice once you got there but there are many other options nearby which are just as rewarding without such a grueling climb up a 4x4 road.

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John S
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Hiking

Hard hike to the lower lake. Good trail and more reasonable to the upper lake.

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Michael Phelan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
Hiking

Difficult uphill hike the most of the way up. It was very rewarding to make it to the upper lake. I recommend leaving early, as we encountered afternoon rain and lightning, which made the rocky, narrow upper portion of the trail rather treacherous.

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Rob Humphrey
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OHV/Off-road driving

Really challenging in spots but great drive in a stock Rubicon JL. Being new to this trail was not sure the plan if you run into another vehicle. I’m sure there is some “rule” not sure

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Jordan Kruger
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HikingGreat!

Got there 7:30a 8/29, had to park on side of the road but was very easy. This trail is straight up the entire time, incredibly hard but very rewarding. Took 4 hours roughly to complete

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Jeff Stevens
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Hiking
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Christopher Nace
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Hiking

This is a very rigorous hike. I think the prettiest parts are the valleys leading up to the lower lake. The hike to the upper lake has some stunning views too. But get up early and go — weather can get bad!

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Sai Kalaga
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking

Steep trail. A good challenge. This is coming close to the end of the hiking season so water was low in both lakes. All trails was very helpful as we would have taken the wrong route to lake 2. If you want a hike with no soul in sight this is the hike to be on. We started pretty early and when leaving at 12:30 pm there were a lot of cars as this trail head is common for Mohawk lakes as well. So get to the trail early.

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Charles S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

We hiked Crystal Peak. It's challenging and beautiful! I recorded 5.10 miles to the peak. You'll definitely want to be comfortable on a class 2 boulder scramble; otherwise, stay with the main trail and enjoy the Upper Lake. We began at the trailhead, and hiked the fairly steep 4-wheel road to the first lake. We started on the trail to the second lake. If you plan to hike up to the saddle and summit Crystal Peak, keep an eye on the alltrails map and look for a carin and a cleared path to take you to the saddle - it's your marker to leave the trail that leads to the Upper Lake. The trail to the saddle briefly disappears into the rocks (for maybe 20 ft) but look for another carin and you'll be back on the trail. The trail pretty much runs out at the saddle. As we began the final 0.5 miles to the summit, we briefly stayed to the left of the ridge (you'll see a trail on the topo but we quickly veered right to gain the ridge - or at least close to the ridge). It's all boulders - a steep (almost 600 ft in elevation) Class 2 boulder scramble to the top. Take your time, wear hiking gloves, and enjoy the 0.5 mile scramble to the peak. The views are spectacular - Father Dyer Peak, Pacific Peak, Atlantic Peak, Fletcher, Quandary, NorthStar, Democrat, Lincoln, Cameron, and much more!

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