Silver Dollar Lake and Murray Lake Trail

MODERATE 484 reviews
#7 of 152 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
3 days ago

Amazing hike and just the right amount of distance to keep the rest of the day open for more adventures!
Got to the upper lot around 630am and there were about 4 other cars there from folks backpacking and also starting early. The first quarter of the drive from the lower to upper lots is the worst of the entire part but it is nothing compared to how bad Grays and Torreys road is. Just take it slow on the bad parts. Even though the lower lots were jammed up, there were a few spots at the top when we finished around 10am.
Great colors with the fall foliage change on the bushes as well as the trees. Silver Dollar Lake(middle lake) was amazing and Murray Lake was about 300ft of elevation gain from there. Dont skip the third lake! There is a rock formation on one side that can be hiked from the backside which will give you a great topside view of the landscape.
As most hiking at this time, start as early as you can! The next few weeks will be jam packed with folks looking at the changing trees. This trail would be incredible with a little snow on the ground.

hiking
4 days ago

Great place!

hiking
4 days ago

My car doesn't have AWD so I parked at the lower lot. When I arrived at 7:45am on Saturday there was still plenting of parking spaces. This trail packs a lot of great views in its short length. I found this trail easy except for the short but steep climb to the third lake, which is worth it for the views from the top. I recommend coming early to this hike, when I left at 10:30am the trail and the parking lots had become very crowded.

hiking
4 days ago

4 days ago

Nice relaxing hike with beautiful scenery, scenic overlooks and wildflowers. The second half of the hike is above the tree line.

Make sure you go all the way to the third lake.

hiking
7 days ago

Silver Dollar Lake was beautiful and definitely tested my lungs! Be careful because there are a few spots where the trail becomes slightly unclear, but thanks to this app, we did not get lost! You will realize it very quickly if you start veering off course anyways. There was a river at a few different points and three lakes along the way to the top! When you get to the second lake, you have the option to continue onto the third, and it is totally worth it if you are willing to exert your lungs! (I have asthma, so it was challenging, but definitely do-able!) This third lake offers a great spot to hang out for a bit and eat lunch! On our way down, we saw 4 wood peckers! I got some great up close shots of them that I will upload later. There are not a ton of aspens on this hike, but there are on the drive to the trail head. The hike also does include lots of bushes that have changed to an orange color which provide great fall color!

11 days ago

Gorgeous fall colors! I couldnt stop taking photos.
I parked at the lower parking lot and its probably 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to the trailhead, not 1/4 like the description says.
The hardest part is from the second to third lake but its short so definitely do it so you can say you made the whole hike!

11 days ago

This was a great hike. We submitted Bierstadt the day before, and this was the perfect, relaxing, beautiful hike to enjoy after feeling worn out from that. Had some fun snowfields we had to cross, which my dog loved, and the trail was saturated and muddy in several places. We made it to the Silver Dollar Lake, which was beautiful, but an afternoon storm rolled in on us and we had to make our way back down, instead of continuing on to the second lake. Would do it again, if ever nearby.

13 days ago

Beautiful, easy hike. Road up to the trail probably needs 4wd.

18 days ago

2 of the lakes were above tree line. But, the first lake, Naylor, looked like a private lake; however that did not stop us from looking or even take nice photos from far. We were glad the second lake, Silver Dollar Lake, and the third lake , Murray, for public use. The surroundings were breathtaking as we came out above the forested area. The brilliant colors of early fall were spotted everywhere. The views were quite beautiful and refreshing.

hiking
22 days ago

Access to the upper trailhead was "as advertised"...take your AWD that has decent ground clearance. Hike itself was great! Beautiful views of the lower lakes. Trail was in good shape and rated fairly as a moderate hike due to a few steeper and rocky sections.

1 month ago

you walk along side a lake up to another lake. a cool and easy day hike with great views.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely listen to the other reviewers and drive to the lot at the start of the trailhead! Also, don’t forget to continue past the second lake up to the third! The view is so worth the climb and you’re practically all alone at the lake. Great spot to enjoy a picnic lunch.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this trail in midJuly with an out of towner (from sea level) who had a tough time adjusting to the altitude change. We AWD our way up to the trailhead which was very rocky but doable in our vehicle. Beautiful wildflowers. First lake is pretty, can’t get to it d/t private property, can see almost the whole trail. Second lake was a bit of the way up, more closed off but beautiful. My visitor didn’t want to try for the third lake so we turned around and headed back.

hiking
1 month ago

I have used AllTrails for a long time, finally purchased it - just saying, why did I wait!

I did this trail today. I was impressed, given the use it gets, how clean it was. Around the trail head and at the lakes there was no trash. It gives me faith in outdoor humanity. It is a lovely hike. Good for young hikers.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views and a well maintained trail. We drive our Outback up to the trailhead parking lot no problem. Few spots where good driving was needed due to drainage ditches. Wouldn't want to take anything with lower clearance than an outback though. Started hiking at 0830 and saw only a handful of hikers. By the time we were done, the lot was full and the trail was quite a bit more populated. Totally worth the hike though!

hiking
1 month ago

I give this hike 3 stars in the summer and 5 stars in the winter. It's a great location, just over an hour from Denver and you get to go through Georgetown and past Idaho Springs which both have fun food/drinking options for post-hike. For summer, the hike is easy/moderate and isn't terribly exciting - ranging from 4 or 6 mi round trip depending on if you're able to take the AWD road or not. People mention wildflowers, but compared to most other hikes in CO, there were next to none. This is a lovely quick hike if you just want to get outside and move for a bit, but isn't particularly photogenic if that's what you're looking for. However, in winter it's spectacular for snowshoeing. We came on a Saturday in April and didn't see another soul til we got to the car. It's more strenuous on snowshoes, so that makes it a little more entertaining. The trees are beautiful in winter and you can't beat walking on a frozen lake.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike packs a lot in 4 miles, forest, meadow, great views throughout and three beautiful alpine lakes. Of course this also make it very popular. While there is not a lot of elevation gain it is over a fairly short distance so the trail is steep and rocky in a few spots. The last push to the top lake is short and up. Keep in mind you will be above tree line most of the hike so be prepared for whatever weather. This is a great hike for those who want a lot of beauty without a lot of mileage.

hiking
1 month ago

Wildflowers, snow pack, Alpine lakes! Awesome hike! It is a very busy trail that at times is hard to pass other hikers so come with patience. The road to the upper lot is very rough. AWD for sure with good clearance, but there was a Mercury Milan in the upper lot so maybe a regular car could make it carefully. Bring bug spray and sunscreen!

1 month ago

The view is amazing! Someone was also kayaking in the Silver Dollar Lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike, great views and perfect weather!

Got there at 8am (Saturday), parked at bottom lot after questioning driving up the dirt road (on my way out there was a crew filling in the holes with dirt to make it more accessible). Only ran into a handful of hikers on my way up (I also try to hike at a faster pace). Could have made it up faster, but the views were too beautiful and I kept stopping to take pictures. On my way down is when I really started to run into hikers with their dogs. Also saw families with young kids and a trail runner. Round-trip took me 3 hours, but I didn't stop and have lunch at the top - only took in the views for a bit, took pictures and then headed back down. The higher you get the trail narrows in a few areas, but wasn't bad - still clearly marked.

If you park at the bottom lot it is a bit more challenging, but I enjoyed the challenge (for me it wasn't too bad). By the time I left both the top lot and bottom lot was full. I was the 2nd person in the bottom lot when I arrived. Within 15min it started to fill up. Agree with previous comments - stop in Georgetown to use a bathroom before you get to the trail - there are no bathrooms or trash cans. Also saw the issue with left dog poop. It was chilly when I started, but by the time I made it to the actual trail head I was fine and the day continued to warm up!

1 month ago

Tough ascent in the beginning but worth it. First hike only see from a view. Once out of the tree then nice view, stream crossing, snow crossing.

Silver dollar is nice but if you went this far then go to Murray. Some other guys made it to silver dollar and turned around (didn't think Murray lake would be better)

On the way to Murray, mostly uphill but here is where all the flowers are!! Making it up, it would have been great to be able to explore but we had rain concerns (caught in rain, hail on the way back).

Did this hike with wife and 2 and 5 year old with child carriers for both. 5 yr hiked once we got above tree line on way up. On my way down she was carried , as we were trying to get out of the rain.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Minus the 12 bags of dog poop on the way up. Was a good time.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice day hike. **Would absolutely recommend driving up the dirt road to the actual trailhead if you can. Our hike up that road was exhausting. For context, even a Prius made it up that road.**
We are from Nashville, TN and are of average fitness (we were accompanied by my parents who are in their mid-60s). The hike from the bottom of the road to the second lake and back I measured at 7.5 miles. This was a very challenging hike for my parents and we took many breaks. We started at 10am and got back to our car at 3pm. The hike into the lakes is completely uphill but is very beautiful. First mile and a half is in the forest and then the rest is above treeline. There were lots of wildflowers and great views. Foot traffic on a weekday was very light. Trail was very well marked. We enjoyed this hike but was more strenuous than we anticipated.

1 month ago

Great hike! In two miles you get to see 3 alpine lakes with moderate incline! The wildflowers and blooming and I even jumped in for a quick swim. Would recommend to all since the trail is well marked and trailhead is easy to get to as well!

hiking
1 month ago

What an awesome day hike within a day's drive from Denver! Parking is free and easy, I think most cars could make it up the bumpy dirt road to the trail head. The dirt road is just past Guanella pass campground. Trail is easy to follow aside from one switchback in the forest, which we missed and another hiker. It is within the first half mile of the trail.

be sure to go all the way past the second lake. You will see a lake down below, but that is not Murray lake or silver dollar. Keep going past the second lake you see to the third, it is well worth the steep incline once you are able to view the mountains and two lakes below. The trail was not too crowded, lots of dogs. All total for us, it was about 5 miles, not 3.9. It took us 2.5 hours with a large break at the very top lake. We were the only people at the top and had the whole place to ourselves! I would def go again since it was a short drive, free, and not crowded! I'm going to check out some more hikes on Guanella pass this year.

1 month ago

great little hike, I would agree with the moderate rating (I'm not particularly fit), but we did see a trail runner, and a handful of young children. there are NO bathrooms in the parking areas, use the bathroom at Guanella Pass campground, or pee in the forest. the first 1/4 of the trail is in the forest, then you're out in the open. it was beautiful: streams, wildflowers, the lakes. definitely will do this one again!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked today, 8/5/18, from the lower trailhead (off main/paved road) up to Murray Lake. Arrived about 9am to clouds/fog, lower lot across road still had plenty of Parking spaces. It was raining so we didn’t start hiking until about 930. Took us about 3 hrs and 20 minutes total, which included several stops for pics, snacks and playing doggies. We never stopped too long, but long enough. Recommend to all levels, as long as you are ready for the incline in the beginning or drive up to the actual trailhead to cut off a lot of time/energy. Beautiful flowers, views, lakes and streams. As others had mentioned, several dogs off leash, but all were great with making sure dogs got along just fine. No garbage cans or toilets, FYI, when packing out.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike and it is nice and easy if you're in decent shape!

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