Ouzel Lake Trail

MODERATE 65 reviews
#28 of 135 trails in

Ouzel Lake Trail is a 9.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Allenspark, 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.

DISTANCE
9.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1781 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Take Hwy 7 south out of Lyons past Allenspark, to Wild Basin Trailhead.

hiking
1 day ago

7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful hike. Don't miss the little pond near the campsite filled with green lily pads!

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

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16 days ago

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22 days ago

24 days ago

29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

I loved this hike! I got to the trailhead on a Monday morning around 8am and it wasn't too crowded. Steady climb for the most part all the way to the lake. The trail is very rocky, be sure to wear good footwear (saw lots of people hiking in sandals?!). Beautiful, diverse scenery. Be very careful not to get caught on the ridgeline between the falls and the lake during a storm - I saw dozens of trees that had been struck by lightning!

hiking
1 month ago

First of all, this is a very, very, very, very heavily trafficked trail. Before reaching the parking lot at 7:45 a.m., another hike waved from the roadside and indicated it was full. I parked in a pull-out roughly 100 yards from the main parking lot--which also filled while I was putting on sunscreen and collecting my backpack--and found the lot teeming with hikers of various ability upon my arrival.

The trail was absolutely gorgeous, easy to follow, and well marked. It follows a large, gushing stream much of the way, and there are several well-orchestrated crossings, bridges, and large waterfalls and cascades. The first three miles are very similar in this manner with few steep climbs and easy to follow paths. the trail continues on for about a mile after the last waterfall through the woods, then you reach a fork with one path leading to Ouzel Lake and the other leading to Thunder Lake. At this point, I found the first part of the trail so easy that I considered going on to Thunder Lake, another 3.7 miles (Ouzel Lake is 1.3 from here). Ultimately, I chose to stick to the plan of going to Ouzel Lake and immediately recognized that I would not have been prepared to for a hike to Thunder Lake if the terrain had been the same as that to Ouzel.

Over the next mile or so, the trail went up a steep and rocky incline then marched on through an open area under direct sun. The terrain was rough, and I personally didn't enjoy it much: there wasn't much to look at in comparison to the trail beginning, and it seemed to plod on forever. Finally, the scenery began to favorably change about a half mile from the lake and became more green and forested. The last little bit takes you down to the stream that feeds out of Ouzel Lake and is very beautiful to look at. The lake itself offers great photo opportunities, but there is a tremendous amount of bugs as the area is quite swampy. Traffic in this area was fairly heavy as well, but there were several places to sit along or near the stream and eat lunch or take a break without being eaten alive.

The hike back out went fairly quickly, but the march through the rocky mile or so was quite taxing. I have mixed emotions about this hike, and would definitely give the first three to four miles 5 stars; however, that last mile to mile and a half was loathsome and I would not repeat it. Ultimately, I would return to this trail to hike the front end again and would encourage others to do so. Given the range of hikers I saw on the trail and how easy I personally found it (I'm relatively new to hiking), I would say that it's more easy than moderate up to that fork. After that, you decide.

1 month ago

Get there early and beat the traffic, and you wont be disappointed. Great diverse scenery! We spent time at the Lake alone and it was incredibly peaceful.

hiking
1 month ago

My new favorite trail 100% due to the fact that I saw a moose about .7 miles away from the lake. The whole trail from Wild Basin Trailhead is gorgeous and well kept and there isn't a dull moment. Waterfalls, cascades, babbling creeks, mountain views...what more could you ask for?

I will agree with several other reviews, if you don't want to get caught in a throng of hikers (SO MANY KIDS!!!) go early. Despite the parking lot nearing capacity at 6:30AM, I barely saw anyone (aside from the mule deer and moose and one snake!) on the trail past the falls. Do bring sunscreen and reapply frequently though!

hiking
1 month ago

I really enjoyed this trail. Not too strenuous. Saw a lot of kiddos up to the falls. It is a pretty busy trail. The view near lake ouzel is amazing! Will be doing it again.

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked here June 16-18. Very busy trail for day hikers and a couple non-permitted backpackers showed up, too. Snow hiking above 9900 at that time and traction devices and poles were needed.Permitted site was pretty snow covered. Got a talking to from rangers for camping on dryer areas. But gorgeous setting! Nice hike up, lots of falls. Saw moose in the parking lot.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

If you want a wonderful easy-moderate day hike in relative solitude, do this, and go EARLY! I arrived at trailhead at 6:30am, and got back in my car around 12:30pm. Huge slowdown as you come back, though - very crowded with inexperienced hikers, and etiquette is very poor, causing lots of hangups.

Bring waterproof boots for mud and water. Moderate snow on the last 0.5 miles of trail, so I advise caution and walking sticks if you have them.