Shelf Lake Trail

MODERATE 69 reviews
#2 of 15 trails in

Shelf Lake Trail is a 6.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grant, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2152 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

A beautiful hike to a lake on a high bench above timberline. The lake is often ice-bound until the end of June. The trailhead is at an old smelter site. The trail climbs steeply at first into a hanging valley, then climbs gradually up the valley to finish with a final short, but steep climb onto the shelf where the lake sits.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

I love this hike. I do it once or twice a year. This was my first time in 2017 and I hiked it Saturday July 1.

Was on the trail by 730 am and didn't see a single person until coming down from the summit. I made it to the lake in 2 hours flat, but could've done it in shorter time if the snow drifts had been melted. You have to scramble around them/up them the best you can to find the trail. It's still very wet, make sure you have water proof hiking boots or your feet will get soaked from some of the run off.

Once the snow drifts melt, this hike will be wonderful.

Harder elevation gain in the beginning, levels out through most of it, then elevation gain at the end signifies you are close to the lake. Enjoy!

hiking
18 days ago

Amazing trail and plenty of dispersed camping near by. The trail head is not a traditional trail head but Google maps brings you there. the trail marker is before you cross the stream when driving there.

20 days ago

Is there a place to park at the head? Do I need to go to the ranger station first or can I just go? ( first timer, duh)

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Trail head is a bit hard to find. If you use google maps, it will take you to the exact spot, however there is only one tiny sign that's easy to miss. It's located next to a pile of black rocks. We made it about 2.5 miles in, but lost the trail due to snow. Gorgeous area! I would recommend stopping in the valley and turning around at the river until the snow clears up; about 2 miles in.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Really beautiful, but with the new snowfall it's nearly impossible to complete without snowshoes or even some prior knowledge to the trail. We loved it for what it was today: a 1.5 mile walk in the snowy woods.

fly fishing
3 months ago

Cuts, small but fun

hiking
5 months ago

Nice trail that can be a bit challenging in places. The switchbacks at the beginning can be a bit tedious, but worth it once you clear them. Trail can be difficult to see with the leafs on the ground. For the 4X4 fans. the road leading to the trail head and beyond is fun.

hiking
8 months ago

Tips to find the trailhead -- its easy to miss! Our car clocked 2,9 miles from the entrance sign at Geneva Park Campground, but there isn't a recognizable parking area and the small sign is on the right in the trees facing away from you as you go up the dirt road. We went passed it and didn't see the sign until we were driving back down (on the left as you go down). We'll be back to hike it - it ended up starting to snow so hard we decided to save it for a better day.

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

Pictures show an inconsiderate jerk with dogs off leash.

hiking
8 months ago

amazing when you get to the top.

9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

great hike! We only passed 4 groups of people the entire trail. Beautiful lake. The road is a little sketchy to get there. I have an outback and it did fine, higher clearance would be nice, but I also saw some little non four wheel drive vehicles on the road. Also, if you put the trailhead in googlemaps it should take you right there. The trailhead is not well marked, but googlemaps did a good job.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

We went on a Sunday and only saw 3 other groups. Make sure you have a vehicle with high clearance, the road is really rocky to the trail head.