Lake Charles Trail

HARD 31 reviews
#53 of 194 trails in

Lake Charles Trail is a 8.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Eagle, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

8.4 miles
1,745 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



cross country skiing


horseback riding


trail running





wild flowers



Directions from Eagle: Follow the Brush Creek Road, south of Eagle for 10 miles. Turn left onto the East Brush Creek Road, FDR 415 and drive another 6 miles. The last mile of FDR 415 is very narrow with some rocks. There is a parking lot just past the Fulford Cave campground. At the trailhead, there is an information board and a register box. A vault toilet is available for use in the campground.

28 days ago

awesome hike well worth it!

1 month ago

Pack it in, pack it out- including dog poop bags. Follow fire restrictions- no fires if there is a ban. Hard trip but peaceful destination.

6 months ago

This was a great challenge with a huge payoff!

10 months ago

first time backpacking in Colorado. very scenic hike that follows a stream for a good portion. lake was really relaxing and stunning with the snow capped mountain in background.

11 months ago

Awesome hike! Had a yellow belly marmot come right up to me while sitting on a rock overlooking the lake.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Great hike, well marked trail. A few backpackers & day hikers. In and out in 7 hours with an hour at Mystic Island Lake. I would rate it as a hard hike. Had a great weather window then a brief hail storm hit while at the top.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Super beautiful. Honestly one of the nicest trails I've hiked in Colorado. The whole thing is gorgeous.

2 things to note. The trail is only 5.5 miles and is not difficult as stated in the description. It's medium difficultly at worst. There two really pronounced ascents, but the rest is really steady uphill. My comparison is to other trails in the area that are way harder.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June 16th -lakes are spectacular, partially covered in ice. The trail in is a bit of a mess- lots of dead and down trees to maneuver around. On upper 1/2 of trail still lots of snow patches that were firm in the morning but softened up quite a bit by afternoon. With the warm weather lately snow seems to be melting quickly and there were patches of snow we used as snowbridges in the morning that were melted by the time we came back through. The runoff is flowing down and covering large sections of the trail and there are a lot of stream crossings.
Be prepared for water, mud, and snow. All that being said, this was still a fantastic hike and well worth it for the views once you get to the lakes!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Awesome trail...I think? In all seriousness, this was an awesome hike. We 100% needed snowshoes and I'm glad that we brought them. Not sure how long the snow will stick around up there, but be sure to keep an eye out for sawed logs as we lost the trail a few times do to the amount of snow. If you follow the creek/river you'll make it to the lake. Also, the road up to the Fulford Campground was closed, so we camped in Yeoman Campground and hiked to the trailhead - fairly simple incline to get there. Looking forward to going back and making the trek past Lake Charles to Mystic Island Lake without all of the snow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Was a good day. A little windy and cool. But typical for this season. A long hike into some dense areas. A few areas were a little tough to climb, but not difficult. There are a couple of down trees blocking the path, but easily able to walk around it. You will be ascending in some areas and once you get to the lake it is all worth it.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Great trail,it is pretty difficult but worth it - lots of tree roots and rocks to navigate. We didn't see many people during the hike but there were a few other groups camping at the lake. Overall beautiful spot and a great place to camp.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

We decided to backpack an overnighter at Mystic Island Lake, so our trip was a little longer than this route. My gps tracked almost exactly 6 miles all the way to where we made camp at Mystic Island Lake. Trailhead is in the middle of the Fulford Cave Campground. Scenery at the start of the trail is mostly aspen low growth forest, you'll pass by a few talus fields. First 2 miles are mostly flat, then comes a series of steep sections. Section between Lake Charles and Mystic Island Lake is mostly flat as well, so if you get all the way to Charles with ease, don't be afraid to keep pushing higher. Climbing parts can be misleading also, as you can't simply look uphill where the trail is taking you. Lots of water features along the way: creeks, waterfalls, natural wells, and obviously the lakes themselves. Overall a beautiful trail, and a wonderful place for an overnighter, especially during the Perseid meteor shower!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

great one day hike

Monday, September 14, 2015

An absolutely beautiful hike. I started on a Friday night and stopped to camp for the evening just before the Holy Cross Wilderness boundary. The next morning I continued the trip to Lake Charles. It get quite steep at about mile 4, but nothing dangerous, and nothing overly rigorous. There are multiple places to camp near Lake Charles, and when I was there I only saw a handful of people, maybe 10 at the most. The alpine lakes are just breathtaking at all hours of the day. I will definitely do this hike again. The hike back was much easier and I made excellent time, leaving the campsite at 8:30 and arriving back at my car before 11 am.

Monday, July 20, 2015

We took the Lake Charles Trail down from Lake Charles to the Fulford Campgrouns as we backpacked the Ironedge Trail up to Lake Charles. It was raining, and had been raining for quite some time so the tail we very wet, muddy, and slick, I am pretty sure we each slipped at least once. That being said, it was BEAUTIFUL. It is a very steep descent down at the beginning for about 1.5-2.5 miles. It then become much more gradual. Everything was so green. It follows the river the entire way and it was just beautiful. Absolutely recommend. Hope to try it out when it is not so wet next time!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Just hiked the trail to Lake Charles (4.4 miles one way).
Started at 7:30 am; first 2.5 hours there wasn't much sun and the trail was wet and slippery (rocks, mud, and tree roots). Several small stream crossings.
The last mile or so, there were a lot of wildflowers (not as many during the first part of the hike).
No one at the lake when we got there (took 3hrs and 15min, but we did stop several times).
We did see several hikers coming up when we were coming down.
Coming down was easier as there was a lot more sun and trail had dried out in many places.
Overall, hike was nice and lake was beautiful. The trail follows East Brush Creek.
Lots of mosquitoes-bring bug spray!
It probably won't be on my annual hike list, but would do it again some time and would be a great place to camp.

Friday, July 10, 2015

I love this hike. It's fairly difficult but never dangerous. During spring runoff, there can be a lot of postholing in the pull to the lake. I've never seen more than 5-10 people on this hike.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Heavy usage. Way more people than expected. Do not go on a weekend.

Friday, June 13, 2014

One of my favorite hikes in the area.

11 months ago

11 months ago

11 months ago

11 months ago

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Monday, October 03, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Friday, August 22, 2014

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