Forest Lakes Trail

MODERATE 68 reviews
#1 of 9 trails in

Forest Lakes Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rollinsville, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and fishing. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.8 miles
1541 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips






wild flowers



Directions from the Forest Service Website: From Nederland, travel south for 4.5 miles on Colorado Highway 119 to Rollinsville. Turn west onto the gravel Gilpin County Road 16 and continue eight miles to the Moffat Tunnel. A large parking area is available at the East Portal Trailhead.

11 days ago

Hiked 3/8. Snow from the Moffat Tunnel mostly packed down first half. Lots of snow second half, recommend show shoes. We made it to the top without, with lots of post holing. About 2/3 into the hike, you come into an opening with 2-3 different paths, stay to the right, you will soon hike in between 2 sawed-off tree stumps, continue up hill through the small canyon to the lake! Amazing hike, beautiful trail! Ps Watch out for cross country skiers.

21 days ago

Did this hike today 2/28. Trail was packed down until about a half mile from the lake. You can use just boots, slick in some spots so I used micro spikes. The lake is completely covered in snow. You can snowboard down the majority of the way. Lots of tree cover.

4 months ago

-- Needed spikes for boots
-- Snowshoes are a very-nice-to-have
-- Orange hat/bright colors good to have as the hunters are present
There are multiple trails once you get past the meadow so be mindful of your direction.

Great hike with good views. Never disappoints.

5 months ago

I loved this trail. You won't regret hiking this trail, whether it be a day or three.

6 months ago

Nice steady climb through fairly thick forest with a nice lake at the top. There is a trail around the lake and some nice spots for lunch. The parking lot is huge so even if the trail is crowded you should be able to find a spot to park. It was very busy in the parking lot over Labor Day weekend. However the lake at the top was pretty quite. Overall a nice hike.

6 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful Forrest views the entire way. Nice steady incline and lots of streams. The lake at the top was gorgeous, however I don't think we made it to the farthest lake?.. the flies at the top were kind of bad. The hike we did was at least 8 miles.

7 months ago

Upper, lower Forest Lakes- not the prettiest lakes I've seen. Trail also is not my fav. Compared to Indian Peaks, which I love, James Peak wilderness is just ok, imho.

Moderate trail climbs steadily uphill, not particularly steep, meandering thru forest. No views. Not much views at lakes either. Lotsa pesky gnats made it unbearable to stick around the lakes for long. Wildflowers on the trail weren't that great but were somewhat better at the lakes. The paintbrush- scarlet & rosy, were beautiful. Other noteworthy flowers- Elephant Head. Fireweed & raspberry plants right at the beginning junction & Bog Wintergreen at the early marshy part.

Overall just an avg hike. Seen much better.

8 months ago

I love the forests in Nederland. It smells wonderful, you get tree cover, and the pine needles make the trail nice and soft. This hike is easy to get to and beautiful the whole time. The columbines were pristine, and the lake is beautiful. The trail is extremely well kept and it allows for fast moving. The only downside is that there are never really any mountain views. Mostly forest.

8 months ago

Beautifully maintained trail. There are river crossings over streams that barely need them.
No real views until the lakes. It's definitely worth it to go to the upper lake. It's a little over 8 miles round trip if you do.
No mosquitos. There were a lot of gnats for the first 1/4 mile, then no bugs.

8 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous. Hardly any snow, regular hiking boot will do just fine. The waters are full, views still snow capped, and I would go in the next 1-2 weeks- the flowers are just beginning to bloom. Will most definitely be doing this one again!

8 months ago

nice trail with a beautiful Lake view.

8 months ago

Any mosquito information? How bad are they?

8 months ago

This has always been one our favorite hikes. The trail is clear and awaiting all comers. Enjoy

9 months ago

Still pretty snowy up there- once above the straight portion passed the crater-forest split, its snow hiking for the rest of the way

9 months ago

Went in early May. Pretty challenging because of the deep snow which was pretty consistent the whole trail. Would love to go back when it's warm.

9 months ago

Attempted this yesterday with no luck. 1 mile in and you're already walking on 3 feet deep piles of snow. Then it dried out for a while until about 2 miles in, the trail was all snow packed and hard to distinguish. Not worth getting lost.

9 months ago

Beautiful hike in early June. Gets a bit slow-going on the second half without snow shoes or crampons but it's still doable with hiking boots.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Nice hike, quiet. Went during the summer. Worth the climb for the lakes, looked like a great place to set up camp, quite a few people fishing.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Nice snowshoe hike. Followed skier trail. Quite a bit of incline towards the end with deep snow.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Beautiful Hike. Didn't bring snowshoes today. Stopped when we started post holing about 1/2 mile from first lake. Will definitely go back.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Only ran into a few people on a Saturday!!! Loved the solitude!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Nice hike. Easy on the feet/legs/knees for the most part. I only ran into ONE other person after the turn for Forest Lakes. The colors in the trees look amazing this time of year. Be sure to go past the 1st lake onto the 2nd. There is a lot of parking, but by the time i finished (1pm), it was PACKED. I think most of the people that park there go to crater lakes trail though.

Monday, August 22, 2016

We did this hike last Saturday (8/20/2016) and it exceeded high expectations. We set out from the trailhead at about 10 and ran in to very few people on the way up. Make sure to not stop at the first lake, like this trail map shows. The second lake is about 15 more minutes up the trail and is much more beautiful. Highly recommend this trail

Monday, July 25, 2016

Madi Austin Mama

Monday, June 27, 2016

Great hike - I went this past weekend, and most of the snow was gone. Still pockets of it here and there once you get within the last mile on the way up to the lakes, but we weren't post-holing which was a plus. Steady climb for most of the hike to both lakes. I would recommend getting an early-ish start - we started at 7:30 and barely saw anyone, until our way down, so that's always nice.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Beautiful trail, climb is straight up to the lake. Still a little snow but not enough to stop you from reaching the lake.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Great hike, but there's still lots of snow, especially past the waterfall and the ground is saturated and the trail often had water running down it. We couldn't make it all the way due to post holing and slushy, slippery conditions. A few people passed us that made it a bit beyond where we turned around, but said the snow was just too deep and the meadow was flooded. The volunteer trail guy said all snow should be gone in about 2 weeks. can't wait to try it again.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Beautiful hike. Is on easy side. Very gradual climb. Elevation gain is 2000 feet from parking lot till the top where it meets the dirt road from where you can see the James peak. The trail is entirely through woods, so wind is not an issue. We did it in 1st week of october and it was amazingly beautiful - green and misty, fall showing it's colors. Aspens bright and yellow, moss all around! There were already some light snow patches above 10000 feet. And we spotted a moose!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Great trail - on the easier side. I went on Labor day and actually was the only one on the trail until I got to the lake where there were some families backpacking. Will be back to go past the first lake :)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Beautiful trail

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