Hunt Lake Trail

MODERATE 39 reviews
#7 of 117 trails in

Hunt Lake Trail is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Salida, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

4.3 miles
1,079 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly




horseback riding

nature trips

off road driving






wild flowers




Hunt Lake Trail is a short hike below the Continental Divide north of the summit of Monarch Pass and east of Salida, Colorado. The hiking trail passes beautiful Boss Lake Reservoir and offers great views as it makes its way up to Hunt Lake at 11,476 feet. The turnoff for the trail is directly across from the Monarch Lodge on Highway 50. The road to the trailhead requires a 4 wheel drive with high clearance. The trail to Hunt Lake starts on the left of the Boss Lake Trailhead sign. Fishing is limited to "catch and release" in order to allow for the recovery of the endangered Greenback Cutthroat trout. The lake is covered in heavy snow until late May or early June.

23 days ago

Attempted today. I'm forever recovering from breaking my leg. The 4wd road to the Boss Lake trailhead (there is no signage for Hunt Lake) was fine to just walk on. It was very lush. Lots of wild flowers and sounds of water. As others have said this road is uphill and very rocky.... so my foot was getting a workout. I made it to the trailhead GO LEFT. Right is road 230. I love those tree made bridges! I started on the true trail. Lush. Flowers. Water. Mosquitoes. So I turned around. I'll bring spray the next time, which will give my leg more healing time.

off road driving
26 days ago

Trail closed to motor vehicles so no star would be better

1 month ago

Backpacker and stayed two nights. So secluded and quiet! Somewhat strenuous, but nothing too crazy. Can't wait to come back!

2 months ago

My wife and I, daughter and son-in-law and two grand kids 9 and 14 arrived at the gravel road off hwy 50 at about 2:30 pm. There is private property on the right as you enter so be sure to pull into the road past that and park along the side. There were two other cars there when we arrived. Another gravel road off to the right goes up to the trail head for Boss Lake Res. This is kind of a rough unmaintained road which most people go by foot - 1 mile up to trail head, we did too. We only hiked to Boss Lake. Our elevation gain from where we parked our car was close to 1,100 ft. The trail has some segments of steep climb. Weather was cloudy and in the 50"s quite windy at times. Nice hike, out and back was about 4hrs. June 3, 2018

9 months ago

Started hiking where we parked next to the snowmobile place up this dirt road that you definitely need high4x4 clearance to get up some of the first curves and rocky parts and we walked the road in the forest until you get to boss lake trailhead and then it’s not too far to boss lake from there. Crazy windy by boss lake and got pretty snowy going up higher to continue on towards hunt lake. Didn’t end up making it to hunt lake because of deep snow. Great views looking back to the valley and around boss lake.

10 months ago

Wonderful hike with the fall Aspens in bloom. The trail head is a bit further up the forest service road than the marker indicates. The lake was crystal clear and we were the only ones there.

10 months ago

Nice out and back. Be prepared for changing weather.

11 months ago

it was awesome. We climbed with our kids, 9 and 7, out of shape Xbox boys.
The forest road leading to the trailhead is rough. We drove a Grand Cherokee 4x4 with suspension I can lift 11 inches and I had to put it in low 4x4 in many places. the road is not too steep but there are many big rocks you need to clear and two sharp switchback. overall 4x4 required but not too difficult if you have one.

thr trail itself is great. well marked and cleared. steep climb at the beginning, then eases up before boss lake. boss lake is beautiful and it was well worth it. it is actually a dam... how did they build it I cannot imagine. very cool. bring a fishing rod, I saw many fish jumping in August.

we continued the climb to Hunt lake l. easy at first and a bit harder later but not bad. We made it half way to the lake but turned around at 3pm out of concerns of having to drive down the road in the dark.

it took us 3 hours to climb and 1.5 hours to desend with the kids. deduct 60 min if you are in good shape.

we started the hike at noon. start earlier and you will make it.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Great short hike. Only made it to boss lake before turning back. Parked near snowmobile shop and hiked up trail to boss lake trailhead then to boss lake. Round trip was a little over 2 hours for an out of shape person like myself. Great views along the way! You can definitely drive up to boss lake trailhead and skip first chunk of hike if you have a 4x4 vehicle and are careful of medium sized rocks driving up there.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Parked by the snowmobile shop and hiked 1 mile up a steep, rocky road to the Boss Lake trailhead. Hiked the trail to Boss Lake which was beautiful! Didn't make it all the way to Hunt Lake but overall an amazing hike. Only crossed paths with 2 other hikers on the trail and this was on 7/4/17.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

After parking by the snowmobile shop, it's a steep strenuous half mile or so to the boss lake trailhead. Of the two trails visible from the parking area, you take the one on the right, uphill. When the Trail begins to split, stay to the left and cross the stream and the real fun begins!
It's beautiful scenery. The Trail winds and you come to a small pond/lake. (I'm not sure if this is boss lake and hunt lake is the larger one above?.. no one has been able to clarify this.)
You'll hear the water the whole last half of the hike. Hunt lake (I believe) is another half mile or so and it is breathtaking! Windy and cold but so worth it! We found a little shelter among the rocks and had a picnic

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bridge at beginning of trail is " out". Actually one horizontal log and its rail remains. I thought of trying to use that, but knew my dog would try to follow me and might fall off the log the 4+ feet from the log to the creek. Walked back to car and got water shoes. Had I known the bridge was out I could have brought water shoes to start with. Just a thought if you are hiking with your dog or small child.
Rest of hike was good. Thunder started at level of Hunt Lake just after noon.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Great hike. I parked at the snowmobile shop and hiked up to the trailhead. A couple fairly steep but short stretches on the initial stretch to Boss. Beautiful views of the valley from Boss Lake and watched some people fish for a bit. I kept going up to Hunt and nobody was up there. Very peaceful and the colors up there are remarkable. Dog had a nice cool down in the lake and we headed back. May try to camp it next time.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Hiked with my daughter this afternoon. A great hike and beautiful views!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This hike is similar to Waterdog Lakes in difficulty and beauty. Great hike! However, I had the luxury of skipping the first mile to the Boss Lake trailhead in a high clearance (lifted) SUV. I wouldn't take this road in a standard SUV or pickup...but you'll figure that out in the first 100 yards or so from the snowmobile shop when you bottom out. I'd recommend skipping the first mile if you are able. If not, just add 2.2 miles to the listed distance for this hike. Hunt Lake was more beautiful than Boss Lake. You can apparently drive all the way to Boss Lake using a different 4WD road not shown on AllTrails (we saw a few vehicles going fishing that had driven right up to the lake shore). After another mile up to Hunt Lake, the single track trail keeps going beyond (to Southwest) to the Continental Divide Trail that continues above Waterdog Lakes to Monarch. It looks like there is another alpine lake around 12,000ft., but I turned around just too soon to find it. Next time!

Saturday, July 09, 2016

It was very steep at times so might not be great for children, but 4x4-dog did great!
Many drove up the trail to Boss Lake and some locals had their ATVs up there. We hiked the entire way from the snowmobile shop. It was rough at times but what a view! Barely saw anyone up at the lake. Had it to ourselves at night. Cold lake was great for dog. Nice breeze, lots of shade, relaxing sound of water, amazing starts at night.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Absolutely perfect. Parked by the snow mobile store and walked in. Could have driven. The extra mile was easy, but up hill. The trail itself was fun. Technical at times, but so worth it once we arrived at Boss Lake. Trail to Hunts Lake was closed. Great hike overall.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

snows mostly down lakes are still frozenish up though totaly worth it

Saturday, May 14, 2016

still snow packed, but a great hike nevertheless

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

this climb was steep, but completely worth the effort. bring good boots and don't forget the water.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The road is way to0 rough for a passenger car, so we parked our car behind the snowmobile shop off of 50 and hiked up to the trailhead which added another 1 mile each way with a pretty good elevation. We made it to Boss Lake and the views are spectacular. Bad weather chased us back before we could make it to Hunt Lake. Nice, well marked trail with good views at the end!

Friday, July 24, 2015

This hike was very enjoyable. Well marked, well maintained and just perfect for a beginner like myself. The views were breathtaking.

Monday, June 23, 2014

This was a fantastic day hike and it would be a great place to backpack. This review is just to Hunt Lake passing Boss Lake but the trail continues west and then sound and you can cross the Continental Divide. Boss Lake is rimmed with the pointy shale rock with an amazing view of the valley. The hike has a diverse range of scenery. We were the only people there that day but the trail is not overgrown. I would recommend this to anyone in the area or wanting a great day hike.

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