Kroenke Lake Trail

MODERATE 53 reviews

Kroenke Lake Trail is a 8.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Buena Vista, 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 July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1702 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

From Main St. in Buena Vista, go west to North Creek Rd., turn right and follow it to the trailhead.

10 days ago

On 5/12/18 backpacked up to the lake. The snow made it pretty miserable for the last 1.5 miles. We were falling in waist deep. There was hardly any areas without snow to camp out at, but found a spot surrounded by trees to help block out some wind. We were the only souls out there that I know of. No one or animal in sight. The next morning walked to the lake to enjoy the gorgeous view. The hike back was not as bad because we already made the footprints to step in and the snow hardened so at times it was ok to walk on top of.

10 days ago

Didn’t make it all the way to the lake because of snow making the trail hard to follow. Beautiful

11 days ago

beautiful hike, about 3 miles up ran into deep snow drifts and turned around. Need to go back in a couple months.

camping
27 days ago

awesome overnighter hike to take it easy. theres sites close to the lake. beautiful crystal clear streams feeding the lake and draining. I made it a 2 nighter and went up to bear lake the next day. camped in the horn fork basin area..breathtaking views of the collegiate peaks when you get up to bear lake. from bear you can summit mt. Harvard. one of my fave hikes in the collegiate peaks. plenty of water sources.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike to get the blood flowing. I got a late start Friday the 27th. I was hoping to make it to the lake but with the heavy pack and not being acclimated to this Colorado elevation, it took its toll. Luckily there are multiple camping spots along the way. The last mile and a half seemed to have fewer camping spots though so just a heads up. Plenty of places to get water and the elevation gain is steady. I made it to the lake the next morning. It is already starting to freeze over. Was hoping to fish but it was too windy to cast and it was at least 15 degrees colder than 1 trail mile down. Great looking spot though! My dog lived the hike too!

hiking
7 months ago

Decent work to get there and the pay off once there well worth it. Fur kids enjoyed it too!

hiking
8 months ago

This was such a lovely hike. Mostly shaded trail, and lots of water crossings. Steady incline so it was work but you couldn't really tell. Lake at the top was pretty with lots of camping. Way back down isn't too bad on your knees because of the gradual hike. Would do this again for sure!

backpacking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike.
Most of the trail is tree covered.
Many water crossing, bridged and natural. I think I counted around 7.
Camping spots near the lake, however I believe some are too close.
Firewood is scarce.
If you have any questions I'm on Facebook messenger.

hiking
8 months ago

A great trail with a very pretty lake at the end. The trail is in good shape and a long but steady climb. Not real difficult but not easy either. Good day hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Excellent hike on a great trail! Several stream crossings on logs...hiking poles come in very handy. A few muddy/boggy areas but passable. It seemed much longer than the listed mileage. Ptarmigan Lake is an easier hike for sure!

10 months ago

One of the favorites with the family

10 months ago

Well maintained, very forest-like but when views opened up it was prodigious. Not as hard as the ptarmigan lake trail, less steep (or at least it felt like it).

10 months ago

Great hike, was planning it as a quick overnight backpack trip, ended up doing it as a day hike; 1.5 hours up and 1 hour down (no pack) and we were at a good clip. Beautiful hike not very strenuous and amazing views at the lake. Great morning.

Hiked on 7/21/17, previous comments about trees etc, trail crews have clearly been working here, no problems, there are a couple stream crossings and muddy areas, I was just in trail runners and returned home with dry feet (though could have easily slipped in if not careful.)
Also, got to trail head in a Prius, couple spots were slow going but nothing bad. Have fun!

10 months ago

Great trail had some obstacles that need clearing but all good. The lake made the whole hike worth it!! OMG so freaking beautiful!!!!!!!!

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike. The two river crossings at the top of the hike were very very sketchy. Be prepared to get your feed wet. Cold snow melt but worth it. Just be careful. The top of the trail was still really snow covered. Post holed a few times, but not so bad. Just an extra exhausting step at the end of the hike. The lake was a bit swampy but amazing! Also there were a lot of newly downed trees so lots of climbing off trail to get around.

11 months ago

Great day for a hike (6/10/17)! We got most of the way up, but then had to turn back at the river crossing. I'm assuming it was a crossing based on a carin and what looked like logs laid strategically across the water. The river was raging! We probably could've crossed, but because we've never hiked this trail before we weren't sure what the trail conditions were beyond that. Plus there's a good amount of snow remaining, which wouldn't be any issue except that it caves in near logs and water. Definitely excited to come back and try this trail later this summer. The road going up to the N. Cottonwood Creek trailhead isn't bad, only a couple deep grooves and scattered rocks.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked June 3, 2017. Still quite a bit of snow on the trail in spots. The first two miles weren't so bad but there was a fair amount after that so we had to turn around.

There were several people on this trail at 10am and the lot was fairly full when we got there. Try to get an early start.

11 months ago

We didn't make it to the trailhead because the road was bad. It would've been helpful to know itv was more of a four wheel drive road to get there.

hiking
Friday, February 24, 2017

I nearly made it to the lake on this trail, before a storm hit. I was then pelted with some good size hail, so a lightning strike, and got myself a bit wet. Overall it was good steady incline and easy to follow. I would warn people that there are some sketchy crossings and muddy parts that were not easy to traverse. I am planning to go back and start earlier this time.

Note the road leading up to the trailhead is passible, but does get slick when it rains. I recommend 4WD, but I had no issues with clearance in my Subaru Impreza.

camping
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Long hike in and some parts of the trail aren't marked great but when you get to the lake, it's all worthwhile. Camped up there for three days. Only ran into about 4 other people the whole time. Hike out took about half the time as up!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

It's early October and a little snow fell a couple days ago, but today was perfect and some of the snow had melted, so no issue there. Got going around 9am, took our time going up to the lake (about 2 hours+). Then hustled down. all in all a beautiful hike. Pretty long hike and pretty much goes up the whole way, but not steep, just gradual. All in all a good solid hike and we're tired.

hiking
Monday, September 12, 2016

Awesome Spot! Absolutely beautiful views after a very mellow hike in and out. We ended up doing the hike on Saturday afternoon, and then returned to the trail head to camp in our car. We liked the hike so much that we actually got up at 4am to catch the sunrise at the lake. I would highly reccomend this hike to any novice campers or hikers. It's a very mellow hike that is well kept. Enjoy!

backpacking
Monday, August 15, 2016

Great day hike or beginners backpacking trip. Due to the number of people at the lake it, it felt more like a campsite then backcountry, giving it a 4 not a 5. However, the overall hike was great. Lots of shade and running water. The incline was steady until the last push, but the lake is worth it. If you are camping or have a little left in you, continue another 0.5 mile up towards Brown's Pass. The overview of the lake is breathtaking. If you have even more energy continue 1.5 miles and 1300 ft of elevation gain from the lake to the top of the Brown's Pass for some killer views of the surrounding 13ers and 14ers.

** I would recommend hiking shoes just due to the number of water crossings on this trail. I would also suggest arriving early in the day due to the number of backpackers and limited spots.

hiking
Sunday, October 18, 2015

Awesome Hike! Gorgeous views, many streams and interesting landscapes. LOVE LOVE LOVE this HIKE! Arrived at the lake at 11:30 pm and there was only one group camped right on the lake, the only other people we saw were 4 other couples on our way down. The lake was clear and beautiful surrounded with majestic mountains! Brown's Pass is only 2 more miles away. Must get some gear for NEXT time to stay longer and do some serious exploring:)

hiking
Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Awesome trail. Nice a steady elevation and beautiful destination. Not crowded on the trail but parking can be a little tight.

hiking
Friday, August 14, 2015

My dogs and I loved this trail! Very beautiful and not crowded at all. Take the Cottonwood Trailhead and the trail will split after about 3/4 mile. No other signs indicate you are on the right trail from the parking lot. The lake is clear and beautiful but the area is pretty crowded with people once you get up there as many opt to camp at the lake.

hiking
Monday, August 18, 2014

Great trail. Not over crowded. Parking at North Cottowood fills up fast since several trails come out of there. Kroehnke lake is beautiful as is the creek on the way up. Trail well maintained . Great views of Mt Yale. Elevation gained is more like 1650'.

hiking
Friday, October 18, 2013

This was a great trail for a nights backpacking in the mountains. Sparsely used by people so we had the area all to ourselves. We enjoyed a beautiful night by a quiet mountain lake, watching the big horn sheep on the ridge above us. Great time with my hubby.

hiking
7 months ago

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