Silver Dollar Lake and Murray Lake Trail

MODERATE 370 reviews
#6 of 145 trails in

Silver Dollar Lake and Murray Lake Trail is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,062 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

cross country skiing

fishing

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

snow

Directions from Georgetown: From the Georgetown I-70 exit, #228, follow the signs for Guanella Pass through Georgetown. On the first dirt road past Guanella Pass Campground (9 miles) turn right. (At this point if you do not have a 4 wheel-drive vehicle, please park your car here) Go up this dirt road about 1/4 mile to the trailhead.

hiking
16 hours ago

Lots of wildflowers and beautiful vistas- took off a star because of the bags o poop situation. Forever dragging my own dog away from them- pack it out or don't bring your dog!! It makes it gross for everybody! Would rate this hike easy-moderate- we didn't find it as challenging as some hikes in this area

hiking
20 hours ago

beautiful trail, with some very satisfying high alpine and lake views after a short ascent. Only 4 stars because this trail was crowded with both people and dogs. There are no indications that dogs need to be on leash for this trail, but I got a lot of dirty looks from folks that were leashing their pups. I would do this hike again if I had out of town guests that weren't that acclimated, but wanted to see some nice vistas.

hiking
22 hours ago

This place is amazing! 3 lakes, beautiful mountain views & a ton of wildflowers. Parked at the lower trailhead, so it does add a little less than a mile to your hike, which was no big deal. Got an early start, so hardly anyone on the trail when I started, the crowds started to come as I was heading back down. Not too long of a hike, I tracked it at 6.3 miles.

1 day ago

Definitely a bucket list hike! Beautiful wildflowers. Make sure you bring your hiking poles. Very steep in some areas. Worst part of hike was roadbed from parking lot to trailhead.

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail and gorgeous scenery. Three awesome alpine lakes and some good photo ops. Trail very well maintained. Great for families too.

hiking
2 days ago

My boys and my dogs did this trail yesterday. It was so beautiful pretty easy hike. It was irratatting to see bags of dog poop left up there.. we packed out someone else's...if your not going to clean up after your dog then don't put it in a plastic bag and leave it! Be a responsible pet owners and clean it up and take it with you. I find the laziness frustrating. I have two dogs and if they poop we take it out with us. It is not that hard. I see this all the time on our hikes..grr

hiking
3 days ago

Really gorgeous trail! Easy-moderate rating from me except for the last little bit before the third lake. It seems straight up and I had to stop several times to catch my breath.

There isn’t a lot of parking at the lot or the trail head it’s self. We arrived right before 8 am on a Thursday and there were two spots left that filled before we finished getting our stuff out of the car.

Super dog friendly but after the first 1/2 mile or so it’s very exposed and there isn’t a ton of water until you get to the first lake. We were fine getting there early in the AM but I could imagine it being really hot in the afternoon.

Tons of wild flowers out now and lots of spots to stop for pictures and get some sweeping views.

hiking
6 days ago

I loved this trail! Did this as a solo hike on a Monday. I parked in the first lot before the dirt road. I saw one small car driving on the road. The road is not rocky, but it has a lot of dips, especially in the beginning.

The hike is beautiful. You get to see three lakes, and sit up close to two of them. The wildflowers were gorgeous. The elevation gain is nicely spread out on the way up, although the hardest part is right before the last lake. Definitely would do again. Nice way to get used to hiking at high elevation.

7 days ago

As an out-of-towner and only casual hiker, this trail was a good fit. Challenging (I'm not used to the altitude), but really fun with incredible views of the lakes, mountains, and wildflowers. We didn't make it to the third lake, but the second lake is still really cool and above the tree line. Trail started getting busy and hot as we were leaving (around noon). After the hike, we ate at the Happy Cooker in Georgetown.

7 days ago

Go here! Trust me - while marked as moderate, it’s an easier moderate. Flowers are out. Water is perfect. Trail is super easy to follow & you won’t regret it!

7 days ago

Nice trail, amazing views. Get there early or else...

hiking
7 days ago

This trail definitely lives up to all its five-star ratings. Hiking through Arapahoe National Forest at this time of the year feels like walking through the enchanted forest from any fairytale. Everything was lush and green, the creeks were full and flowing, and the wildflowers were absolutely incredible. And the flowers get even prettier as you get out of the the forest and higher up into the mountain, nearing the timberline. Husband and I ended up hiking to just under 12,000 feet, and then a storm was beginning to roll in. Not wanting to risk the potential danger of lightning on the side of an exposed mountain, we sadly turned around but we’re very grateful for all the incredible picturesque views we enjoyed along the way. If you are able to muster the strength and stamina to keep parking pass the first week, by all means do it! The scenery just keeps getting better. Be forewarned - there is still a snow pack covering a portion of the trail just past the first leg, and I slipped and busted my butt on the first step I took! I even had on trekking boots. But the snow is still melting, so it is very slick and compact where it still exists. Had a good laugh and kept going. We hiked this trail on July 7th. Definitely go early in the morning if you can, there is limited parking at the trail head. You can either park right off Guanella Pass, or if you have a four-wheel-drive you can go another 3/4 mile up an unpaved road. But parking is very limited along the way, so husband and I just decided to trek the additional mileage.

hiking
8 days ago

Completed this hike 7/7. So beautiful! A higher clearance vehicle is needed to reach the lot by the trailhead. You can park at the lower lot but it adds another half mile each way to your trip. Bring BUG SPRAY!! We suffered because we forgot it.

10 days ago

Filled with beautiful wildflowers! We got to the trail around 12:30 on a Thursday and there was plenty of parking. Not too difficult of a trail.

hiking
10 days ago

Did this hike on 7-3-2018. Started out early and there were only two cars in the upper parking lot and by the time I left around noon, the lot was completely full. Lower parking lot only had a few cars. The dirt road to the upper parking lot isn’t too bad with only 2 or 3 ruts, but it does require vehicle with clearance.

Gorgeous hike with three lakes and the views of the first lake once you pass it and get up in elevation are the best. If you’re unable to make it up past the second lake, I wouldn’t say you are missing out on much, but it was worth the extra trek if you’re able. There are two short areas of the trail that cross partially melted snow fields, but it was not difficult to walk on. As other reviewers have said, trail is narrow, so I spent a fair amount of time stepping to the side of the trail with my dogs, waiting for people to pass as I was coming down when the trail got busier. Trail is also rocky most of the way, but not obnoxiously so. If you’re a mosquito magnet like me, BRING BUG SPRAY!!! I was bit on the face twice (!) from stopping to take pics by the streams.

hiking
10 days ago

This was a great day hike. The road up to the trail head was a little rough but with any road clearance you will be ok to make the drive which will save you about a half hour of walking up the road and more time on the mountain to enjoy the great views.

10 days ago

Beautiful hike with incredible wildflowers. Layered elevation going between lakes offers nice lookouts. Good hike with dogs. Some of the footing is unsteady at times (narrow path with many boulders), but nothing prohibitive. Loved this hike and will definitely return!

hiking
10 days ago

Hiked this trail on July 4th early morning. Beautiful flowers and great conditions. This is one of my favorite hikes. I arrived around 7:30 and explored the Murray Lake area a bit before returning to my vehicle around noon. This trail was very crowded by the time I left. It's super dog friendly but there were almost too many later in the morning...it was difficult to navigate narrow sections of trail.

A note for the access road. I have a two wheel drive older RAV4 and I made it up to the upper parking lot with no problem. In dry conditions, 4WD is not necessary; however, a higher clearance vehicle IS.

10 days ago

Beautiful lakes and wildflowers ! Saw a cute marmot on the snow field.

11 days ago

Gorgeous hike! Perfect amount of incline and such a pay off. The wildflowers are popping right now.

hiking
12 days ago

The trail would be 5-star except for the 2 dozen or so brightly colored plastic bags filled with dog droppings lining the trail. What ever happened to carry out what you carry in? The wildflowers and scenery are great.

5 miles from lower lot to silver dollar lot. A little harder and longer than I expected, but beautiful lakes and wildflowers!

15 days ago

This hike is breathtaking. Arrived around 2 in the afternoon and weather was looking a bit sketch. Rain held off and only saw maybe 10 other folks, all headed back to their cars. A few snow patches along the way. Made it up to the final lake and were the only people there and it was worth it. Sprinted back as thunder started. Saw tons of marmots and pikas along the way. Definitely need 4WD for the upper lot, made it just fine in a Subaru.

15 days ago

Amazing hike. The wildflowers were out of this world. Glacier lakes were beautiful. A must hike for the beauty you will experience.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked this today. We arrived at the trailhead at 5:15am. We were the first ones to the lakes. On our way back down between 7:45-8:20am the more people were on the way up. At the parking lot at 9am both the upper and lower lots were full. I highly recommend this hike. After Silver Dollar Lake the trail gets steep but has beautiful views. Will do this again. Oh and as for needing 4x4 to get to the upper lot, well we saw an Elantra car in the upper lot so, no you don’t need 4x4 but it’s nice. There are some ruts you just need to navigate. Go do this hike. Go early for sunrise or go in the evening for sunset!!

16 days ago

Spectacular hike! Wildflowers were beautiful and it was the perfect getaway from the hot city.

16 days ago

Beautiful flowers and lakes! Not too long of a hike for a grand reward!

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful hike! We got there a little after 8am and there were already a few cars in the lower parking lot (where we parked), and in the upper parking lot. You need a 4WD vehicle to get to the upper parking lot, or at least a higher clearance vehicle. The views throughout the hike were amazing! There were 3 lakes, each better than the last! Does get a little steep as your making your way to the last lake, but only for a short period of time. We didn't run into many people until we started heading back down. Highly recommend this trail and suggest an earlier start. (the upper parking lot was full by the time we got down.)

hiking
18 days ago

Moderately busy trail but well worth it for the lake views. Trail is well defined even across the snow packed sections. Parking can be found even past the trailhead with a vehicle with reasonable ground clearance. Lots of space to spread out and have lunch at each lake.

19 days ago

Nice hike! It was cloudy most of the way, and we almost decided to turn back when we were about 20 minutes from the lower lake. Glad we didn't! The sun came out for about two minutes as we made our way to the upper lake. Just as we got there, clouds came over the ridge and we heard thunder. We got to make our way back to treeline quickly while getting blasted by peasized hail.

The road to the trailhead does not require 4WD, though I'd suggest high clearance (7+ inches) and at least AWD. We made it in a Volvo XC90 easily, and save a Rav4 up there. On the way down, someone in a Toyota Corolla was almost to the top...

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