Native Lake Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Leadville, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.2 miles Elevation Gain: 2,047 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

A hike mostly through forest with views of Turquoise Lake below, and the continental divide above. The mile at the top is above the tree line.

hiking
2 days ago

tried to do it today and couldn't make it to the trailhead. would have had to walk about 2 miles up, but I didn't have snowshoes which absolutely would have been necessary. looks beautiful though, I will be back!

hiking
off trail
8 months ago

As others have stated, the all trails route is not correct. The trail is clearly marked so don’t worry about the discrepancies. It is 4 miles to the lake but if you don’t want the incline at the end the view right after the long meadow of the lake and mountains from above is actually preferable! Beautiful scenery, quiet trail.

hiking
8 months ago

really nice hike! well maintained and a nice steady climb. I didnt go down to the lake since it looked way swampy and the view from the trail above was just too nice. I would highly recomend if you are in the area. The stream washout was also amazing. Wildflowers everywhere and hummingbird moths were so neat. The highlight was the big valley above the lake. such a sight felt like you are really in the mountains!

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail. Once you get to the lake, take a left turn toward the lake. We took a right and continued another 2 .5 miles but it’s not a loop. It was pretty with a running stream but finally hit a point where we really could not cross. About 10 minutes later after we turned around I heard growling coming from bushes maybe 30-40 feet away. I have never had that experience before hiking so I did not know what to think but we hurried along. Total hike with extension was 10.4 miles.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike with gorgeous wildflowers, especially at the many spots where the trail crosses over the mountain streams. No snow on the trail. Keep an eye out for small, delicious strawberries on the descent down to Native Lake. Camped over the weekend at the lake and hardly saw anyone else. On the hike back there was quite a bit of horse poop on the trail.

hiking
9 months ago

5 stars, no mosquitoes which I thought was going to be a problem. you might want to camp in a low-lying area or an area behind trees as the wind did pick up a bit during the day making campfires really fun. other than that the weather was great the mountains were super green and plenty of wildflowers and small animals to see. We did have a run-in with a mountain lion which was very surprising for me is this was my second time backpacking and my wife's first backpacking camping Excursion. I do want to make a note that the mountain lion although near our campsite was actually tracking a deer that showed up a few minutes later. He did not seem threatening at all but was hanging around in the area for a few minutes around 9 pm. We did fire a few shots to scare him off and he finally disappeared or at least we thought so. We have reported this to the authorities so they can make it known to other hikers and campers. I suppose everyone should always know that a mountain lion may be in the area. He did seem very healthy and this was good news for humans as there seems to be plenty deer in the area. Other than that we had a fantastic hike up and down and even a one-day Excursion up to Rainbow Lake which was a little bigger than native Lake and just as nice.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Hardly any snow on the actual trail anymore. Very beautiful hike and not too challenging. My watch did calculate the trail to be closer to 8 miles.

hiking
9 months ago

Wild flowers are still beautiful for late season. Still a few patches of snow on the side of the trail for anyone looking to nag some August snow!

hiking
snow
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike today, mostly acclimation for tackling Mt Massive and Elbert Friday and Saturday. A couple of Wisconsinites and a Flatlander (Illinois), all over 50, good shape but no marathoners in the group. Beautiful mountain streams, switchbacks, wildflowers, and minimal traffic. Good workout and no altitude issues at just under 12,000 feet. Made Native Lake and it’s bug party in just under 2 hours, and finishing whole hike in around 3:20.

hiking
10 months ago

anyone know if the lake has ice? snow fields? thanks!

hiking
Mon Sep 24 2018

A very nice half day hike to treeline , beautiful views 360. The lake was frozen mid September, and very little snow left on mount massive.

hiking
Thu Sep 13 2018

it's a nice gradual trail, a bit rocky on top. wonderful views when you get there. beautiful fall colors. if I can do it, everyone can. I'll be 73 soon.

Sat Aug 11 2018

The 2K feet of gain was pretty gradual and easy on this hike. I agree that the better view is before you start descending to the lake than at the lake itself. Fun easy jaunt, took about 3 hours with a 15 min break at the lake!

hiking
Tue Jul 31 2018

Great hike with beautiful wildflowers, a good balance of open space and trees, and a decent sized lake at the end of the trail. Only saw about 5 different parties of people on the whole excursion. Started the hike around 9AM and took our time getting to the lake, arrived around 11:30AM. We ate lunch by the lake where there are TONS of mosquitos, but we did have bug spray with us and left almost unscathed. When we hiked up out of the valley where the lake is located we got back to the massive open space where the 14ers surround you from almost all sides. The second we stepped foot in that high meadow we heard rumbles of thunder. Needless to say we knew we had to leave quickly and get to the other side of the trail asap. It was a little scary as the thunder got louder and louder. It rained a bit, but not a heavy amount, on our decent to the parking lot. Note of caution: Definitely start your hike earlier than you think, especially in summer. We were at the open space before 1PM and we could hear rumbles of thunder. Definitely a hike we'll never forget.

hiking
Wed Jul 25 2018

Drove here for a day trip from Denver, worth the extra drive to avoid a crowded trail. Wildflowers galore! Wildly beautiful views. The trek down to the actual lake wasn't worth it for the view, but provided extra mileage/another big climb back up from the lake. Bug spray a necessity at the lake! Recommend bringing a snack & taking about 4 hours for the trek.

Mon Jul 23 2018

Awesome hike. About 8-9 miles round trip- different GPS apps measured differently. Forest. Wildflowers. Awesome views. Lake in beautiful mountain forest setting. Highly recommend for those who are experienced hikers on a moderate trail. Switchbacks make elevation change easier.

Fri Jul 20 2018

Trail was awesome, one of the best we’ve hiked in Colorado! Well maintained, long switch backs....and the flowers were outstanding.

hiking
Sun Jul 08 2018

THE BEST. Completed on 7/4/18. This is an absolutely tremendous hike. Well marked and well taken care of trail. I did track closer to 8 miles than 7 however, no parts of this trail were overly exerting. At a nice steady pace and lunch at the lake, we completed in 4.5 hours. I would highly recommend bug spray for once you get to the lake. Views are jaw dropping. Wildflowers growing out the wazoo! This easily became a new favorite trail. Highly recommend 10/10.

Mon Jun 25 2018

Beautiful wildflowers, streams. Cool, mossy forest to start, coming out to open fields. Great way to spend 3 hours.

hiking
Wed Aug 23 2017

A very nice hike, starts under canopy with a moderate ascent thru a series of switchbacks. Elevation is consistent but not overwhelming. you break tree line at about 12000' to some spectacular views. Shortly thereafter you get the first look at your destination. A moderately rocky descent to the Native Lake. Excellent hike with some impressive views.

hiking
Sun Aug 13 2017

A little muddy in places, bring some waterproof shoes, starts out awesome rainforest like, cross over lots of wildflowers and a skinny waterfall a few times. nNot too steep anywhere except for end down to lake, shaded mostly, great views even if you don't go all the way down to the lake! One of my favorites in Colorado so far! Took us 4 hours and we stopped and turned around at the lake overlook.

Sun Jul 30 2017

Beautiful! Loved this hike. Went on a weekday and only saw a handful of other people.

backpacking
Wed Jul 26 2017

Worth the trip. Beautiful.

Mon Jul 03 2017

This is one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done in Colorado! The open wilderness space was breathtaking with 14'ers all around! The hike itself is not too difficult and we managed it with a 3 year old and 1 year old! There is some area of snow and one area that the trail is actually a small stream right now; however, we were able to find way around! Highly recommend if you are in the area!

Fri Sep 23 2016

Wow! Beautiful views, wild flowers, and a stunning lake at the end.

hiking
Sun Sep 11 2016

Excellent trail up one side of the mountain and back down to the lake. Very peaceful and not too crowded with awesome views!

Sat Aug 20 2016

Absolutely Beautiful!! My husband and I have lived in Leadville all our lives. This has to be the most beautiful hike that we have taken.

hiking
Thu Jul 21 2016

Ive only lived in CO for 2 years, so there is still a lot to see, but this hike was probably the most beautiful hike i've ever done in my life. When we got to the tundra i actually almost cried because it was so breathtaking! The hike wasn't very hard, the altitude made me struggle more than the actual hike. You gain over 1000ft in elevation on switchbacks that are not very steep. There was only 1 stretch on the beginning of the switchbacks that made my stomach turn because of the skinny trail and huge drop (lol)! The drive up on the pass to the parking area freaked me out a little because my husband likes to drive too close to the edge and i was beginning to wonder if there was even going to be room for parking, but alas we found it! It was beautiful and i will definitely do it again!

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