Crystal Lake Trail

MODERATE 10 reviews
#5 of 20 trails in

Crystal Lake Trail is a 9.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake City, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.2 miles
3,018 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips


trail running


bird watching




wild flowers




Four mile hike to an alpine lake. The hike is a steady climb of around 3000 ft. Can be hard in spots but the views make up for it.

7 months ago

This is a constant climb to the lake. Beautiful views of Lake City, aspen groves, and the Mountain View’s are beautiful. But the climb is up 99% of the beware!!! If you’re not in the mood for a 4 mile ascent, this is probably not the trail for you.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Really great hike. I'm sorry Kevin below didn't enjoy it as much but I thought it was really spectacular. The Aspen forest was huge, one of the largest I've seen, and the lake was gorgeous, although frozen and snowy in parts which might have added to the beauty. Perhaps early December is the time to go, if you don't mind snow. The dirt road leading to the trailhead has a few forks along the way, take the first left and stay straight the rest of the way. Also, this trail does not actually make into the wilderness boundary. Still feels like wilderness though.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

We have spent many summers hiking in Colorado and seen many beautiful lakes (Ice, Columbine, Blue Lakes) and gone on many beautiful hikes. Unfortunately, this was not one of my favorites or one that I would recommend. The lake was pretty, but there are prettier lakes & waterfalls to see in town. You do go through a large aspen forest, but other than that, the trail views are average. As an experienced hiker, I would say this hike leans more toward hard rather than moderate. You gain 3,000 ft in elevation quickly. We took a group of inexperienced hikers with us and it was a mistake. They really struggled. It's always fun to spend a day in the mountains, but I would say look into other hikes if possible!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday, September 26, 2016

Absolutely stunning trail in the Autumn...The hills were on fire with color ...& then snow. Beautiful!!!
Steady climb to be sure but worth it!!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Incredible view if you continue 1/2 mile above the lake!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We hiked this trail last year with our dogs. Strenuous at times on the way up, but easy enough to jog down some sections if you are a running. Varying terrain and scenery, and the view of the lake and surrounding mountain peaks is absolutely worth the hike. This would be a great place to camp overnight on an out-and-back trip, or connect to some of the other trails and continue through the wilderness on your next day.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hiked this trail twice. First time made it to one mile away from lake. But the views were great. Second time didn't make it to far ,but still had great views. I camped in my favorite spot when ever I go to Lake City.2003-


Monday, November 20, 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017