Grizzly Lake is a 5.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Nathrop, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.1 miles
1,177 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash





nature trips

off road driving





wild flowers




washed out

Take Chalk Creek Rd. west just south of Nathrop, follow it quite a few miles to the trailhaead.

3 months ago

From what I can discern there are two trail heads for this trail. We started from the western side which is the parking lot marked with a “P” mentioned in an earlier post. The western leg of the trail is strictly a hiking trail and lasts for about 3/4 of a mile. You hike through a great Aspen forest before you merge with the eastern leg which is an ATV trail. After the two trails merge the trail is not so great. Lots of rocks including two long stretches across rock fields. You have to watch every step and concentrate. The lake is very nice and the views of the mountains at either end of the valley are great.

4 months ago

I'd rate it as moderate for anyone in moderate shape. I'm 61 years old and didn't find it too stressful. There is a path and a separate parallel dirt road. If you stay off the road, you won't be bothered by ATVs/Jeeps. Footing is a bit challenging over the rock field sections. The lake is beautiful and I am told offers great fishing.

5 months ago

First off, I’d just like to state that there is a sticker in the St. Elmo General Store that says “I survived the Grizzly Lake Trail!”, so if that doesn’t tell you something about this hike, I’m not sure what will.

I am young and mildly out of shape, but the first mile of this trail was absolutely hellish. I took about 2 hours (with 2 older women) to reach the lake, including plenty of rest breaks in the shade. Keep in mind, about a year ago I had an ACL replacement, and my knee was swollen up a half mile into this hike. The view at the end was definitely beautiful, but I wouldn’t attempt this trail again till I was much more physically fit.

The majority of the trail is a loose boulder field in the open, so wear plenty of sunscreen and bring lots of water, because it was very hot around midday. However, it was very interesting because there are lots of open mining pits (careful!) and old cabins to explore.

My main take away was this: this trail requires a physically fit person who is prepared to walk the majority uphill and who can carry lots of food/water. Do not attempt this if you think you might be unprepared, there is no cell reception and it is very lightly traveled.

5 months ago

This trail head is hard to find because the GPS directions in this app don’t take you all the way there and because there isn’t a sign. We asked in the St Elmo general store for directions and found out we had been at both trailheads without actually knowing where the TH was. You can start at the bathrooms just before the town of St Elmo (before the fork in the road) and follow the creek up which we didn’t do because the guy at the general store said it’s hard to find and follow the trail. So we took the local TH which you can find by following the directions in this app (left at the fork in the road towards Hancock) and then just keep driving a little further until you see a very small pull out on your left (room for about 5 cars) that is marked with a small P brown sign. From the lot the trail is very rocky to the left and follows parallel to the road you just drove. Then there is a sign after about 50 yards to go left to Grizzly. Then not much further you see a spray painted old metal container that says Grizzly. Shortly thereafter you pass an old house. The trail eventually spits you out on an ATV rough rocky road that you stay on to the lake. The whole hike took us an hour and 15 minutes up and about the same down. We did this today and there was almost no snow to be seen but there were lots of
Mud and water pools you could mostly avoid by either finding bigger rocks to walk on or walking around the trail. Was very windy at the lake. Beautiful hike and lake. Loved it. Pretty steep overall and a couple areas near the end that are rock fields to cross. Just be sure to pay attention where to get back on the trail from the road if you hike from the trail off the Hancock road.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The first half mile is the hardest. It's incredibly steep and rocky. But once you get past this, it's a beautiful trail with great views and Grizzly Lake is worth the hike. We camped up there for 2 nights, we were the only people up there for one night. We went in August - Be prepared to get ur feet wet, we crossed 2 streams and the only way pass them was through them. The trail seems more popular for 4x4s so expect to see people drive up for the day.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

OK, I'm old and not in good shape. I did not make it past, oh, 1.5 miles into the hike. If it wasn't for this great app, I would not have found the trail. The first part was easy, following an ATV rocky trail. Watching the ATV's work was fun. The trail, not long after that seemed to disappear. No semblance of where to go was visible and scrambling among the rocks and semi-verticle mountain was very dangerous. Maybe my choices of where to go weren't the best but I likely fell 5X trying to traverse the thorny bushes and the rocky terrain. One rock cleaved the upper part of it when I stepped on it giving me a free slide into the river. Only a large abrasion resulted. The trail I left which I saw on my garmin was hilarious. I think I doubled my distance walked due to my non-linear trek. I wondered, before the hike, why it was ranked "hard" with only 1200 feet in elevation. Now I know and I hope you will give this trail the respect it deserves. Attention: after reviewing my tracking on this site, it appears that I did not cross the creek when I should have. This was likely the reason that there was "no trail". Don't make this mistake, there are no indicators on where to cross.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Steep and rocky hiking. There are two ways up, one from the end of the main street of St. Elmo and another from the bathroom area just before Iron City CG. The first is a little easier, prettier, and shorter. The trail ends at one of the most beautiful landscape scenes I've ever encountered.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Steep and rocky, but worth the effort. I hiked in early June and the top half of the trail, where the foot path meets the jeep trail, was a stream from the snow melt. The jeep path was blocked by snow and debris about 2 miles up. Hiked up Friday afternoon, spent the night camped by the lake, and came back down Saturday morning. Didn't see anyone else the whole time.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Fantastic hike. Very steep but rewarded with magnificent alpine beauty.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

We hiked this trail on an overcast, rainy day. The first bit of the trail is steep and rocky and there is an initial creek crossing. As hikers, this took some maneuvering, but if you're in a jeep, no worries. There are spots to camp along the road and by the lake.

In my opinion: The views of the surrounding mountains aren't as splendid from this lake as they are from others nearby (Pomeroy, Billings, etc.) because it is much lower in elevation. Still worth a visit.

10 days ago

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5 months ago

Friday, July 07, 2017