Ouzel Lake Trail

MODERATE 77 reviews
#28 of 145 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
1614 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

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

hiking
1 month ago

Mostly dry trail conditions with only a few patches of ice in the early morning made this gradual incline hike quite easy. The furthest trailhead is still open for parking. The lake is starting to ice over. Add on a side trip to Bluebird Lake if you have some extra time.

hiking
1 month ago

Just a few stretches of snow on the trail, of which the longest was probably 10 yards. Windy up top but otherwise great fall hike.

2 months ago

furthest lot was still open yesterday. pretty empty past ouzel falls. snow add ice on the trail were minimal. great views of longs, meeker and other peaks after ouzel falls. great pine forest and smaller water falls up to that point. lake itself is partly frozen at this point

hiking
3 months ago

The best part of this hike are the falls in the first 2-3 miles. There are better high-altitude, alpine lakes to hike in RMNP. But the falls are spectacular and worth while by themselves. Save the last 3 miles of the hike for other alpine lakes.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike has lots of attractions. Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, Ouzel Falls, Ouzel Lake, wooded areas, and open vistas. Ouzel Lake is located in a marshy area and very wooded, so don't expect a lot of sitting areas. Since the flood, you'll have to do a little bushwacking to get up close and personal with Ouzel Falls.

hiking
3 months ago

This was an amazingly beautiful hike! It is an easy hike, with some rocky spots. We encountered an elk, and a moose on our hike. The trail was well maintained and easily marked. There were only a dozen or so people hiking this trail for a Tuesday in late August. I would recommend this scenic trail with the river parallel to the trail, and breathtaking waterfalls.
Raquel

hiking
4 months ago

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

5 months 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
5 months 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.

5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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.

5 months ago

Beautiful journey with many opportunities to appreciate nature. Lots of wildlife

hiking
5 months ago

Did Ouzel Falls onto Ouzel Lake and attempted to press on to Bluebird Lake. About A half mile to a mile the snow was too deep to safely continue but it was beautiful! We saw two bull moose one between Bluebird Lake and the trail junction from Ouzel Lake and then another about 10 feet from the trail, we had to wait him out to continue! Saw a third (a young cow) on the way back from the falls. What a fantastic hike, it was a bit crowded on the lower parts but to be expected on a Saturday.

hiking
6 months ago

Not a bad little hike from the falls. Still some snow about a quarter mile out from the lake but manageable, I just had hiking shoes, a pole would have been helpful but not necessary. It was a little tricky to find the trail but we managed. Plenty of people came up after us so there may be good tracks to follow now. Beautiful crystal clear lake.

hiking
6 months ago

Arrived on Friday morning around 9:15am and grabbed one of the final 3 parking spots. Trail head parking lot has room for about 50 cars. Somewhat crowded on trail up to Ouzel Falls. River and falls were running high from snow melt. Pretty empty on hike up to Ouzel Lake. Had to cross a few short snow patches. Trail up to Ouzel Lake becomes a little difficult to follow because of the snow and mud. Snow around the edges of the lake. Overall an amazing hike that I will do again.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked on Sunday, beautiful falls with lots of snowmelt. Last 1/2 mile was fairly snowy, hiking poles would have been helpful.

hiking
6 months ago

Got to trailhead at ranger station at 8:00 and only a few parking spots left. The creek and falls are running fast. No snow until you get about 1/4 mile from the lake. Just bring your tracks. Snow/ice around the lake and beware of collapsing snow. Ouzel Lake never fails!

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