Gilpin Lake Trail

MODERATE 57 reviews

Gilpin Lake Trail is a 8.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Clark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, fishing, and fly fishing and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1991 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

trail running

lake

views

wild flowers

Directions from Steamboat Springs: Take HWY 40 west of town and turn right on to County Road 129. Travel north about 18 miles to the Seedhouse Road (Forest Road 400; also County Road 64) and turn right. Continue for about 10 miles to parking.

2 months ago

Beautiful trail with many streams and varied terrain. One of the best in the Zirkle Wildernesses

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Wow! Trail was not too bad. Got steep about the last mile as you are nearing Gilpin Lake.

backpacking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

long but awesome. saw a grizzly so bring blow horn or pistol. bring lunch. jumped into the snow melt lake and lasted 5 seconds but refreshing.

3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

I hiked from the Slavonia trailhead to Gilpin Lake and back. It was 10.5 miles roundtrip. Took about 4.5 hours hiking plus 1.5 hour relaxing at the lake. Pretty highly trafficked. When you get to the fork just past the trailhead, go left (counterclockwise) to head towards Gilpin Lake. The first 4 miles up were easy, the last 1.25 pretty strenuous (more difficult due to altitude). Be sure to drink and bring ample water and snacks! Absolutely STUNNING hike! Crossing streams, meadows with wildflowers and aspen groves! My favorite hike all time!!

If you get the chance - swim in the lake! Such an amazing experience. Cold but so refreshing for the hike back down! This is a MUST DO in steamboat!

hiking
4 months ago

For a group of flatlanders (MN) this was a tough hike. Altitude played a bit of an issue. There are some streams you will have to cross, so be prepared to possibly get wet.

Also, the last 1/2 mile is the steepest.

Good time, but I clocked more like 9.5, so plan accordingly

backpacking
4 months ago

The loop going counter clockwise had some amazing views! Swam in both Gilpin Lake and Gold Creek Lake. Camped in this gorgeous valley. Plenty of water the whole way.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Started hiking from Slavonia trailhead with lots of beautiful wildflowers along the path to start out. All the vegetation was super lush and green throughout. Too many stream crossings to count in all and easily crossable with the exception of the Gilpin Creek crossing. Water was too wide to cross so we had to take off boots and socks and wade across the freeeeezing cold water but the current was manageable. The incline up to Gilpin lake was easy the whole way. There was a bit of snow remaining just before Gilpin Lake but easy to get through. Gilpin Lake itself is magical and we had the place entirely to ourselves. You're following alongside the rushing waters pretty much the whole time up and back down to the lush vegetation and wildflowers. Wonderful amazing hike!! One of the best we've done in Colorado for sure! Wubalubadubdub!!

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked July 5. Of all trails in Seedhouse area, Gilpin was our favorite. Gorgeous hike! Not many hikers that day, several relatively easy creek crossings, one more difficult, but very doable, creek crossing 1 mile from lake. We crossed barefooted, and yes, water was cold but bearable. Last mile was very wet and muddy, last 100 yards or so was uphill in a couple feet of soft snow, lake was 90% melted, Worth the 10 mile round trip hike. Didn't see any bears, mountain lions or moose. Lots of chipmunks and columbines. Our favorite hike in the Steamboat area.

hiking
5 months ago

Went on Monday, July 3rd. trail head was crowded but we found a decent spot. The first 1.5-2 miles of the trail are amazing! Wildflowers everywhere. After the big blow down area and burn area the trails gets more and more wet. About .5 miles from the lake is stream crossing that was up to my upper thighs and well since it's snow melt, ice cold. I made it across find but my wife who is under 150lbs was having a hard time with the current. I would be EXTREMELY careful with this crossing with kids or dogs, the water is in the 40s and fast moving. The rest of the trail after that is a giant mud mess and the last 200ft is 4-5ft of snow. The pass to do the Zirkel circle is not passable unless you have the right equipment.

hiking
5 months ago

only made it 2 miles because I was nervous about my dog crossing a rapid with only a tree bridge. We saw a mother moose and baby in the pond about 1.5 miles up the Gilpin lake trail

5 months ago

Made it 4 miles to gold creek which was too high to cross. I ended up wading across the creek, which was a loss since the trail was covered up by snow the rest of the way to gilpin lake (1/2 mile left). I ran into park rangers who said the snow generally lasts until mid-July, so would recommend doing this hike later in the summer!