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Lonesome Lake Trail is a 10.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Red Cliff, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 10.1 mi Elevation gain 1,758 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Lake Views Wild flowers Wildlife
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Reviews (55)
Photos (89)
Recordings (38)
Completed (85)
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Adam Jacque
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Well maintained. Had to turn around before the last climb as we went a couple days after the first snow and the snowmelt runoff had the trail pretty sloppy

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Dustin Hamilton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
HikingGreat!

Honestly, a great trail. Easy to follow. Nice incline at the start and then the final stretch up to the lake. Otherwise it’s a very gradual ascent. Very quiet. Lush.

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Shannon Winkel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

Amazing! We scrambled up the mountain opposite Lonesome Lake up to about 12,200 feet. It was a perfect day with stunning views!

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Trifa M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
HikingBugs

Amazing trail. Came across maybe 3 other hiking groups the entire time. Bug spray came in handy. Hidden gem!

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Kimberly Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
HikingGreat!Off trailRocky
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Katja Ostojic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

Well-routed, easy to follow, enjoyable trail with an incredible view of Lonesome Lake. The first ¾ mile is strictly uphill, but once you cross the creek, it evens out with minimal drastic inclines and declines for the majority of the hike until the final stretch. When you see the creek, don’t follow the trail left or right. Take your boots off and cross it! It was a nice refresher both on the way up and down. Overall, extremely pleasant hike with shaded moments in the forest and sunny ones walking alongside the open meadows full of wildflowers. Clocked in closer to 13 miles. Great for dogs! Most people had masks or made sure to keep distance when passing. Bring your mask and use it!

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John Weaver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 12, 2020
HikingBridge outFloodedMuddySnow

Nice early season hike with hardly anyone on the trail. The condition of the trail as of 6/11/2020 very wet, a lot of snow fields, and the creek crossing about 3/4 miles in was difficult. There was not a bridge that we could find to cross the creek, we took off our shoes and walked across the shallow, but swift current. On the return crossing we discovered that you can actually hike around the stream if you follow the stream the direction it is flowing about 200 yards and walk around a small resovior. We made it about 3.5 miles into the hike before we called it, the snow fields were too numerous and deep and we kept losing the trail so we decided to stop. We found a nice sandy beach by the creek and just hung out with no one around for miles, so even though we didn't make it to the lake, it was still a beautiful location. I am guessing the trail will be clear of snow fields by the end of June. Beautiful trail, just letting you know what to expect. Have fun!

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Rachel P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 23, 2020
Hiking

I wanted to do this, but there were too many pockets of snow back in may. not enough for snow shoes and just enough to be annoying!

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John Froetschel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2019
Hiking

7/9/19 less than a mile after the trailhead we came across the first river crossing. water was moving very swiftly but made it across at a low spot, up to our knees. We traveled along the trail around a mile and a half and encountered a earlier landslide. No trail to be found but we did find a perfect campsite for the evening. The next morning we discovered the trail and headed towards the lake. another smaller landslide covered the trail about 3/4 mile from the last river crossing which was raging and impassable. much of the trail about a mile from the Lake was covered in patches of deep snow. beautiful trip! can't wait to go back to the area.

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Margot Timbel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2019
Hiking

7/6/19 East Homestake Creek at the trail crossing was 30’ wide and looked to be 3’ deep. Gushing. We did not cross. Bushwhacked a little way up the east side of the creek. The trail description at the trailhead by USFS doesn’t even mention the trail crossing the creek. Magic. Descended back to road. Hiked up road to the black water diversion pipe and took the hard left fork following the water project. Two steep pitches on the gravel road up to the creek and small catchment. This detour puts the hiker in the west side of the creek from the git go. The “old” trail goes right into the woods. Some deadfall to get around. And then you arrive at the mouth of the valley! Love this place. Still some snow banks in the woods. We did not make it past the first big meadow (beaver flood plain). Lonesome Lake will have to wait for another day. I won’t bother with the “new trail” unless I am sure of very low flow for the creek crossing. Saw one party of six in the four hours we were out. Lots and lots of camping and four wheeling on the ten mile road in. Download the Topo map as well as All Trails map.

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Mathew Standish
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2018

Beautiful trail that runs along a babbling creek about 50% of the time. Lots of shade along the way. This is a challenging trail on the way, mostly uphill the whole time. The lake is gorgeous and well worth the effort. For me, it was 4 hours up, camped and woke up to a pristine setting, and 2.45 hours back down.

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Leslie Padolko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2018
Hiking

This was a beautiful hike! Steady incline at the beginning leading to a beautiful lake at the top where the huts are. My hiking partner and I plan to return in the Fall to hike up and stay in one of the huts. We took the trail leading around the lake on the way down. We went in July on a 90+ degree day but started early. Despite high humidity bugs were not a nuisance.i highly recommended for anyone that hikes moderate trails. Scenic views and wildlife (we saw a doe under the main hut! 歷.

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Paige Krekeler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 24, 2018
Hiking

My friend & I happened by this trailhead and decided to hike it. This was an enjoyable hike. I think late June and July would be better times as the snow was still melting (and in some cases, blocking the trail). There is a fast moving stream a mile or two in where the log people have used to cross has moved (probably by the fast-moving water). The stream isn't too deep but beware of the slippery rocks. The initial climb isn't too bad or long. The hike is very nice and peaceful. When you're about a mile or so from the lake, you start noticing your elevation gain. When you finally reach the end, you're met with small ponds or collection pools. The lake is behind these and is amazing.

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Maren Elnes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 27, 2018
Backpacking

This hike would definitely be more enjoyable later in the summer. We were able to get past the roaring creek runoff from snowmelt, but trudged through lots of knee-deep snow even in late May. Access to the lake (we got about a half mile outside the vicinity) was blocked by too deep of snow to pass. We ended up turning around and camping at the first meadow break (which is still a lovely area!). The trail itself is quite a bit inconsistent, especially with the snow cover, so we ended up having to improvise some of the navigation and constantly re-seek the trail. Lots of moose tracks but did not see one. However we did spot a mountain lion that came into our camp in the middle of the night that wasn’t afraid to curiously hit at our tent! Eek! Overall it’s a beautiful hike with many water features and open areas with great views. Looking forward to coming back at a different time in the season.

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Troy Brodsky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 24, 2018
Hiking

A quarter mile in, we could hear the creek, which was quickly deemed ominous at best. Turns out that the spring run off, as it’s prone to do, turned Elk creek into a raging, wicked cold, death machine. Short of felling a tree or learning how to levitate, were stymied. So, in the grand tradition of good adventures... we backed up off of the creek about 200 meters (so the critters could hear us) and made the best out of it. It was a gorgeous night. Probably best hiked a bit later in the year (we were the first footprints in the May snow drifts)...with wet weather gear and a good attitude about wet socks.

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Ryan Stikeleather
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 24, 2017
Camping

I've written a blog post about this hike @ www.break-trail.com If you'd like to read it, follow this link: https://goo.gl/2LebhB

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Alexander Clayton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2017
Hiking

Exceptional lake hike - and I have hiked dozens of lakes. Huge variety of wildflowers in the meadows, great, undulating trail, lots of water features, and a terrific lake to enjoy relaxing by or exploring around at the end. It's a bit marshy and buggy in places, and the stream xing early on is a bit sketchy (poles help hopping rocks - that angled "bridge" consisting of two wet logs is a no-go), but those are small prices to pay for such a gorgeous, moderate hike. Surprisingly, we saw no moose, but this whole area is like a moose paradise, so keep your eyes peeled if you go, and for heaven's sake, don't become a casualty by approaching them.

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Andrew Barich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2017
Backpacking

Lonesome Lake Trail was a very nice hike. Hiking into the lake was a very manageable hike, with the steepest part being the last half mile to the lake. As you hike into the lake there are multiple false summits that can be pretty demoralizing. Also in some areas as you near the trail becomes difficult to follow. When you are at the lake, the best places to camp are on the west side of it.Lastly, If you are not too tired after the hike, you can scramble your way up the southern end of the bowl surrounding the lake for spectacular views of Colorado's mountain ranges.

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chris hock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 10, 2017
Fishing

good trail.

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Tess Manderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2016
Backpacking

Rolling incline, only couple spots (beginning and end) that had steeper inclines. Beautiful meadows and lake for camping at top.

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Gerald Faughn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2016
Camping

Easy/moderate hike in, I would recommend skipping the trail head and driving further (immediate left after trail head) maybe half mile up this road there is 3 boulders blocking an old access trail. park here, hike up the two inclines. a lot better than the trail head entrance. it meets back up with the trail after the first spillway. Once you are at the lake, you will find multiple camp sites, all secluded from one another. I recommend checking out the ones on the west side. Hammock guys should know, not a lot of trees up here! Bring your bug spray!

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Charlie Collins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2015
Camping

Worth going to. I'd probably suggest going later in the season (late July and on) to avoid any late snows making the ground a marshland. Here are some HD videos of some scenery along the trail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIYq-viqu2s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT5QjQ_xxxA This is a great hike and camp. We did 3 days and 2 nights without any problems.

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DeWayne Hansen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 15, 2015
Hiking
First to Review

A favorite hike.

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Kelly Horvath
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
Hiking
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Pam Roesler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 27, 2020
Hiking
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