Gibson Lake Trail

MODERATE 22 reviews
#42 of 144 trails in

Gibson Lake Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jefferson, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.4 miles
1561 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers


Directions from Bailey: From Bailey drive west on Highway 285 for 14.3 miles. Turn right (north) on to Park County Road 60. This road is also designated as Forest Service Road 120, and commonly called the Hall Valley Road. Travel on 120 6.5 miles to the trailhead. At mile 5 immediately before Hall Valley Campground bear left at the fork in the road. The last 1.4 miles above Hall Valley Campground are very rough, and may be classified a four-wheel drive road.

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Beautiful Hike! Just enough snow to add to the beauty! Winds at Gibson Lake were definitely 50+ miles an hour so we took a few pics and heading back.

2 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

A lot of elevation gain, but well worth it for the views. Bring your water or a filter and a lunch for the lake. High clearance vehicle required to get all the way to the parking lot. If you only have a low vehicle, expect 1-2 miles extra just to get to the trailhead (didn't get a read on the exact distance). Great camping along the drive up too. Fishing looked good at the lake. Stream was a bit small.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This trail is not for the faint of heart. It is a 12% grade climb all the way up. The mileage is off a bit, I GPS'ed this at about 3.25 miles 1 way from the trail head. It is a challenge and I do not recommend this if you are out of shape. The road to the trail head requires a high clearance 4WD vehicle. It is very steep, rocky and rough on the last 1.6 miles up to the Trail head via the road with a small parking lot at the trail head. 4-5 cars max. I had a 30 lb pack and it took 2.5 hours up and 1.5 down. Well worth the time and effort to get there. All in all a great trail but definitely not an easy one. Gorgeous backpacking camp sights at high altitude.

Monday, September 12, 2016

We are new to Colorado; only lived here a week, but we consider ourselves in-shape. This trail gave us a small run for our money. Being from Eastern South Dakota we are definitely not used to the elevation. That said we loved this hike. The Gibson Lake and the views that accompany it are amazing. This was a good way to get our feet wet in the elevation game; with a goal of a 14er in the not too distant future. Gibson Lake is at 12,000ft. We parked 1.6 miles down the road from the trailhead to avoid the rough road.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

I've seen varying info on trail length. Sign in lot says 3 miles. Alltrails says 2.2. Somewhere else online mentioned 2.4. My GPS said 2.97. Road was pretty rough but not technical. There was Subaru Outback parked next to us but I'm guessing they scraped a bit.

Hike was fairly steep and rocky. Beautiful views at the top. Next time I'll aim for Whale Peak summit.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Unbelievable view at the top of the lake! Highly recommend -

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Beautiful day to hike this trail . We parked down the road from the signs for the camping fees so we had quite a long walk round trip. The creeks were running and there were still some leaves on the Aspens. Lovely little lake with fish jumping to snatch insects.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pretty hike but I would rate it more moderate than easy. Lots of loose rock makes it a bit challenging. Most of the trail follows a creek up to the top where the lake is.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

With another adult took 4 Scouts with back packs to spend Saturday night. Found a suitable campsite at about the 11,000' elevation, below timberline of course. We hiked up to the lake Sunday morning before breakfast. I, being the slowest took about 2 hours to get to the lake and well worth it. Beautiful views and flowers were gorgeous. Bugs weren't too bad but repellant still required.
We parked near the split in the road to Handcart Gulch, so added about an additional mile to overall hike.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Great day hike up to Lake Gibson. Road is rough after the last fee area camp ground. Advised high ground clearance vehicles to the trail head. Some fallen tress across the trail up to the lake but all were very manageable.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Snowshoed to top. cold and windy 2004-March