Silver Dollar Lake and Murray Lake Trail

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Arapaho National Forest

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

walking

running

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
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
18 hours ago

The conditions are still as others have said with ice, snow, mud, water puddles, loose rocks. But totally doable (I only went as far as Silver Dollar Lake) which was somewhat disappointing, the first lake is much prettier. Also the trek up the service road from the parking lot .7 miles is NOT fun, drive up to the trail head if your vehicle can make it, although it is rough in places some regular cars made it up, next time I am driving it!

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
1 day ago

Always a great hike, no matter the trail conditions. About a half a mile up from the actual trailhead there’s pretty consistent snow. Pretty much from that point, Where there’s not snow, there’s quite a bit of water running down the trail. I can’t imagine hiking this in tennis shoes would go well. Micro spikes would also be recommended. The trail from Silver Dollar up to Murray is pretty deep (and soft) snow.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 day ago

Completed 6/3/2020. Drove to upper parking lot-lots of parking spaces at 8AM. Still a fair amount of snow on the trail once out of tree line. You don't need spikes but they were helpful to feel more stable going over the last snow crossing (I think there are 7 total) and heading up to Murray lake. Silver dollar is slowly melting, but still mostly frozen. Murray is just starting to melt. We hiked straight up the snow patch (where we could see others had gone) and came back down the same way. You can glissade down if you don't mind getting your butt all wet! We came down from Murray the same way we went up--had spikes and poles. One tree down over the trail in the wooded area at the beginning but easy to go around. You will get muddy! Still one of my favorite hikes!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
4 days ago

While fairly short, this trail will keep you on your toes for most of the route. I should preface I'm a novice hiker but there are still several sections of the trail that are covered in snow and very narrow. It's easy to see some hikers were unsure of where to step next and the course of the trail splits a couple times depending on where hikers felt more comfortable. We started the climb about 9:30a and by the time we descended, several patches of snow had started melting which created quite a bit of mud. (to be expected.) Like other hikers have mentioned before me, the second lake requires a steep, snow covered climb and more than likely a sled is needed for the way down. You don't have to make the climb to reap the reward of the climb though. Silver Dollar Lake is gorgeous!

hiking
snow
6 days ago

The road that departs from 381 is unpaved and a bit rough. It's .7 mile from the cutoff to the trailhead itself, so I just parked and walked it. I have a high clearance vehicle and it is certainly passable (I saw an outback at the trailhead) but I decided not to mess with it. Once you reach the first lake, the trail is a bit touch and go as it is covered with snow intermittently. It isn't difficult to find a good foot trail as you make your way across the occasional snow field and you will certainly see a good amount of clear, dry trail all the way up to the second lake. I walked this at 8:30am and the grip was good on the worn down snow, although I did posthole a few times. But all in all, the snow is good to walk on at this time of day. Once I hit the second lake there is a short (50 yards or so) but rather steep hump up a snowfield to the final lake. Again, I had no trouble with micro-spikes as the snow was mostly crunchy- a few moments of slippery surface, but nothing bad at all. Plenty of dry area at the top to rest and enjoy the scenery. Also enjoy the glissade down that same incline back down to the second lake!

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
12 days ago

There was still a lot of snow on the path up to the second lake. At times, without warning my foot would fall through the snow up to my knee or higher. Very challenging hike if you're going up to the second or third lake. Plan accordingly. But overall this was a great hike.. incredible views.

hiking
muddy
snow
19 days ago

Fun hike! I intended to make it to Silver Dollar Lake but I didn't quite get there. Once I got to Naylor Lake, I could see a very steep climb ahead of me. I climbed up to a rock field and rested and then butt-slid all the way down. Then I remembered my spikes were up on one of the rocks so I hiked ALL the way back up, grabbed them, and butt-slid down again! Total blast!

hiking
25 days ago

Hiked the summer of 2019. Felt longer and a little harder than expected but a beautiful hike either way. Went on a morning during the week and the trail was quiet.

hiking
2 months ago

It was amazing today. Beautiful weather. Trail is easy to follow but after that private property when you get to the top it’s gone. I think no one went there in weeks. I took a trail that a skier made that takes you to the top so you can’t get to the lake at least I wasn’t able too. There were two more people on the trail. Spikes came helpful no ice just some deeper snow in places.

snowshoeing
4 months ago

Started with spikes, but switched to snow shoes around tree line. Only went to just past Naylor Lake

snowshoeing
snow
4 months ago

Hiked on 1/5/2020. I made it up to about 1/2 mile away from silver dollar lake then the trail disappears. It was just me and my dog early this morning (no one else on the trail), so I didn’t feel comfortable breaking trail solo. I hope others after me were more adventurous and forged the trail all the way to silver dollar. Even though I didn’t make it to the lake, it was still a beautiful hike with perfect weather (sun and no wind). I wore microspikes up until the vista looking out to naylor lake below, and switched to snowshoes.

hiking
6 months ago

We completed the hike earlier today, 11/10. Gorgeous views! Had to park in the lower lot. My 4x4 truck wouldn't have made it to the upper level parking. We wore snow spikes as some spots on the trail were pretty icy. One of my favorite winter hikes so far!

hiking
snow
7 months ago

There was enough snow on the trail for micro spikes and snow shoes. overall it wasnt to hard of a trail. will go back when there is more snow to use snow shoes the entire trail. some ice on the trail as well.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Loved this trail! Drove up to the trail head and there were some pretty deep bumps in the road but only in certain spots. As long as you have a 4wd, SuV type vehicle, you should be fine. The hike itself was beautiful and can't wait to do it again. It was a bit of an incline to get to Murray Lake at the top, but well worth it! Happy Hiking!

hiking
7 months ago

My 10-year-old went with me and she handled it pretty well. If your looking for an easy to moderate day hike, this is a great trail. If you have 4WD, drive up to the trail head. The hike from lower parking to upper parking really adds no value. It gets pretty chilly & quite windy at the 2nd lake. Bring gloves. Wear layers. We went 9/22 and it was a little too early to see the fall colors...although this is not a hike to see the golden aspens in my opinion.

hiking
7 months ago

Probably my favorite hike in Colorado so far! It’s absolutely beautiful! I went in late September right before the leaves started to change and it was just stunning!!!!

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this Sunday 10/13. Not a ton of people on the trail but got busier as the morning went on. Beautiful hike with some great views. There are 3 lakes in total along the trail. The first you see from afar. The second 2 are pretty close together. Some snow/ice patches on the trail but not enough for micro spikes yet!

Trail is pretty busy on weekends but there is good parking between the lower lot and the trailhead lot (.5 miles). Windy and chilly near the lakes. Definitely check out the 3rd lake! Not good for leaf peeping, but the drive up is pretty! Overall a good hike, not to difficult. Took us about about 2.5 hours with a nice break at the last lake! Enjoy!

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