Shadow Mountain Trail

MODERATE 73 reviews
#43 of 164 trails in

Shadow Mountain Trail is a 9.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Lake, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 9.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,748 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

paddle sports

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

no dogs

hiking
7 days ago

26 days ago

Like all the other trails on here, this was definitely a "moderate" trail, the path often had a downed tree but you just had to climb over it or go around, and the snow this time of year was easy enough to go through or around. only reason I don't give a 5 is that the fire tower at the end of the trail is closed, and as a photographer I was hoping to get up there so less trees would block the amazing view.

hiking
muddy
29 days ago

Absolutely beautiful views! The last stretch is challenging! But definitely worth it! There was snow at the top but it was easy to get around.

hiking
1 month ago

5-23. A little muddy in spots by SM lake but thats normal even during the summer. Otherwise. Trail is clear of snow and mud except the north facing stuff at the very top. But it’s easy to get around. It snowed on us on the way out but it’s probably melted by today.

hiking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Hiked on 5/24/19 light snow fall overnight left about 1-2 ft of snow over the last 1/2 mile to the top. Other than that there were a few pine trees over the trail. Otherwise was a great hike well worth the views. Took about 2 hours to the top and one hour and thirty minutes back down.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

7 months ago

Went during Thanksgiving week with a few inches of snow. Only did the water front. Winter wonderland!!

7 months ago

Great day hike, not too challenging and a nice steady incline. A good amount of snow was on the trail but it was packed down well, no spikes or poles necessary. Saw no other people and the view at the top was incredible. Very cold and windy at the top.

9 months ago

We tried the perimeter trail from the trailhead st the dam of Shadow Mountain Lake. The views of the lake and surrounding peaks are incredible! The devastation of the pine forest by pine beetles is regrettable and mars the beauty of this area. The lake was also being used by fishermen and boaters (loud outboard motors and the smell of their exhaust also detracted from an otherwise beautiful location. The perimeter trail is mostly flat with a few downed trees and some end-of-summer growth beginning to encroach. We did not attempt the steeper climb up to the viewpoint.

9 months ago

Great hike! Definitely worth the view!

10 months ago

Nice view of the lakes below

hiking
10 months ago

Ok, I feel like I need to "normalize" all the reviews here for this particular trail. It was a great trail and spectacular views, but even if you are in good shape this may be a workout and a half for you. Granted, we are from NY and not used to exercising at 10,000ft... you will notice the slight reduction in oxygen going up this hill. It took us a good 5 hours out and back with several stops to look at the views and a 30 min stop at the top for lunch. We met several other hikers that were having a tough time and one group quit just 30 min from the top. If you are not used to Colorado hiking, bring 2x the water you think you will need and snacks to get you through. Don't get me wrong, it was a great hike but the reviews here make it sound a lot easier than it is :)

hiking
10 months ago

Love this trail. Not too crowded. Saw only 1 other big group after us. Not too buggy by the lake. Very steady incline to the top which is very doable. No scrambling and no treacherous segments. Only a few fallen trees but easy to walk over. Nice view from the top even though the fire outlook is out of bounce. Saw the same deer twice which was really cute. Saw multiple ospreys and one nesting on top of a tree by the lake, which was amazing.

hiking
11 months ago

Out of four hikes I did in the area this week, this was my favorite. Being by the lake allowed us to see so much wildlife, including four otters in the lake. They stayed with us for about a mile and it was such a treat. Highlight of the day!

11 months ago

Completed this trail today, Sunday July 8. The trail was in great condition. You have to step over some trees but it was easy for me, a 5'1 female. With a few stops, we made it up in 1 hour and 55 minutes. It took us 1 hour and 29 minutes to get back to our car. During our trip, we saw a total of eight groups (some single) of people. Very lightly trafficked and BEAUTIFUL views from the top.

backpacking
Thursday, March 15, 2018

We went on this trail in the middle of March. Snow was up to our waists, rather cold, but definitely worth the view. If you go early in the season you definitely need to be fully prepared

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Trudged through knee deep snow for the last half mile. Trail is great, but not for someone who isn’t fully committed.

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

We just did this hike a few days ago. I enjoyed hiking in the trees because we have never done a trail like that. There are spots going up where you get some nice views. The trail does get tough as you get close to the top. There weren't too many trees down across the trail the day we hiked. Even though you can't climb the tower it's still beautiful up there. We saw 2 bears, 3 deer, and an animal that looked like a weasel or a mink. Also, I would recommend bug spray. Mosquitoes got me when we were next to the lake.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Almost gave up a few times climbing to the top especially because the lookout tower was closed, but all the exhaustion is worth it!!! Make sure to bring snacks and water! The views are breathtaking! Also saw some deer :)

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

normally a great path. today however the seasons have brought down many trees.

hiking
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Overall this trail is great. The weather was perfect, not too hot or cold but just a little bit of snow near the top. The grade of the trail was less steep than I was expecting but there were hundreds of downed trees impeding the trail. It took longer to get to the top because of this but made it more of a challenge. The lookout is still closed due to structural issues but was really neat to see up close. Great views without climbing the lookout.

hiking
Thursday, July 14, 2016

great hike, would've given 5 stars if the lookout tower was open to the public (closed for structural reasons, can be fixed)

hiking
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Got to the lookout tower just under 2 hours. Total trip was about 3.5 hours. Very sore ankle from the steep incline. But it was fun and a beautiful day for the hike.

hiking
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fun hike. We got to the lookout tower right at sunset. Great views and we got to see amazing sunset. We hiked down the mountain in the dark which was fun.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Meandering trail with some nice views at the top. Kicks up a bit as you get close. Go brand lookout tower for best views. Tower was closed when we did the hike.

hiking
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Not too steep with elk, deer, chipmunks and lots of birds. The fire tower is locked but it has an overhang for hitting out of the rain.

hiking
Saturday, September 20, 2014

We had a spectacular day with full aspen color as far as the eye could see. It takes about 2 1/4 hours to get from the parking lot to the lookout, less to come back. Figure 4 1/4 - 5 hours round trip. I'd recommend making it a lunch hike with a gorgeous spot to eat at the top. The views are incredible!

hiking
Saturday, July 19, 2014

Very nice hike. Started out by water and then a steady climb to the tower. Although the top has great views, the hike is somewhat boring as it does not open up to any meadows etc, just pine lodge trees.

hiking
Sunday, February 10, 2013

Good hike for someone looking to fill a few hours in a day. We hiked with 4 people and ate a snack at the look out tower and were still able to keep our time under 2.5 hours. Trail mostly switch backs up to the top. Lots of Pine beetle kill in the forest. Watch for falling trees. I saw one large tree drop on our hike. We were hiking on a windy day though. Gust up to 40mph. Trail is well groomed and never gets too steep. Oh, and practice good trail etiquette and dont cut the switch backs like everyone does. They promote erosion and this trail is too nice to ruin.

hiking
Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nice trail, not a lot to see on the hike up, but the view from the top is worth the trip. Great views of Grand Lake. Also views of Lake Granby and Shadow Mtn. Lake from lookout tower.

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