Shelf Lake Trail

MODERATE 87 reviews
#2 of 16 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.

25 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

Great hike, but as others have stated there are a couple places that are no joke. Beautiful views with a lot of wild flowers still in bloom.

28 days ago

the original trailhead for this trail (634) is closed. A larger parking at the TH for trail 600 is now where you park for shelf lake. Apparently there is a connector trail from the parking lot to shelf lake trail 634. Again, I'm posting this cuz I couldn't find the TH until the afternoon and too late to hike.

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Hiked this yesterday with our dog. Very beautiful trail with some creek crossings to stop and water the dog and cool down. We live here and hike quite a bit and it was a DIFFICULT hike. Steep grades the majority of the way and cairn route finding the entire way above tree line made the way up a slog. Once we passed the false summit, traversing to the lake was beautiful with wildflowers and snow. 1.2 miles after reaching the "top" AKA the false summit. Lake is nice but nothing spectacular. There was a little snow, which was fun. Again, steep loose trail had the legs burning on the way down. Only saw 1 other group on the trail. The camping nearby was also a plus, but some spots are much, much better than others. Overall a fun but difficult hike with a lake and hiking above tree line.

1 month ago

The wildflowers we're stunning. Literally tens of thousands of wildflowers!

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Don't pick this hike unless you have a high clearance vehicle. The road is about 3 miles, covered in rocks and many steep dips.

As for the hike, it is a great moderate hike. Forests, wildflowers, views, and the lake is beautiful as you can see from all the pictures.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Beautiful and just the right amount of challenging.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked yesterday. This has been one of the prettier hikes I have done recently. I would highly suggest it and do it before the wild flowers are gone! The initial mile can be quiet challenging as it is pretty much uphill with lots of rocks and steep grade. If you're not used to Altitude / steep grades take it slow. Do not get discouraged by this, make it to the valley you will not be disappointed!! Numerous wild flower fields, that lead to one more steep incline. Once you arrive at the lake enjoy the solitude and beauty. While out yesterday only came across 5 parties (all going down the trail). The FSR you take the trailhead can be a bit rough, make sure if you have decent clearance!

hiking
1 month ago

The wildflowers were beautiful and amazing! I loved the trail, but it was a difficult one for an older flatlander. There is a new trailhead that makes this a 7.8 mile roundtrip hike. You can still get to the old smelter site trailhead, but the signs make it sound like there is no trail access, so we used the new one.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago