Surprise Lake is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverthorne, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,489 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

over grown

snow

muddy
3 days ago

Went up 1 mile today. Trail was in decent "Spring shape". Muddy but passable . . . stopped at that first meadow.

hiking
blowdown
4 days ago

Was the most beautiful hike I’ve ever done! With a light dusting of snow the night before it was a winter hike without the winter temps. There were large puddles and downed trees to crawl over that added to the fun.

backpacking
muddy
snow
7 days ago

We did this memorial day weekend and were one of the first people on the trail still It was snowy and steep but by the time we left 30 people had come up and so coming down the trail was a breeze. Little cold at night but the views are amazing and if you bring a fishing pole don't expect anything bigger than 8 inches but it was fun catching them. When you get up there they have a sign that says no fires

hiking
muddy
off trail
snow
8 days ago

Beautifully trail but be advised, there’s a hearty incline for the first couple miles or so. We probably went a few weeks too early for this specific trail. It was mostly muddy, inaccessible due to puddles and half melted snow covering the trail most of the last mile or so to the lake. This would be a great trail in July or August or Fall for leaf peeping.

hiking
blowdown
8 months ago

I measured about 3.2 miles from the trail head to the lake. The first 3/4 of the hike is a steady climb with several small water crossings. At the lake (as others have noted) there are quite a few lily pads in the water but that didn't seem to effect the fishing. Which was pretty good! Most were Brook Trout, about 8-10 inches. Fly fishing from the shore is a bit challenging due to trees and brush. Camping on the East side of the lake is spacious but windier. Camping on the West side is also spacious but all the hikers continuing up the hill will walk past you. No open fires! Please respect this.

Wonderful hike. Thick forest that almost looks enchanted with the color changing on the forest floor. Only saw 5 people the entire hike. Three of them were in a group. The peacefulness on this hike is like no other. The only sounds of the ‘real world’ was the occasion plane in the sky. Taking the trail a bit farther from Upper Cataract to Mirror Lake is well worth it.

Great trail with lots of options. We spent the first night at Surprise Lake, and the second at Upper, and also took hikes to Kat Lake and Mirror Lake. Good fishing at all of them and plenty of options for camping. Beautiful everywhere you go. Lots of dogs on the trail

hiking
9 months ago

Didn't actually do the hike. Warning for backpackers: overnight, 4 vehicles were broken into. Remember not to leave wallets, purses, cell phones, or other valuables in view in your vehicle. Unfortunately, even in places we feel are safe, things like this can happen

recorded Surprise Lake

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike! The lakes were beautiful. Definitely bring mosquito repellent.

hiking
10 months ago

Trail is clear of any fallen trees to climb over! Mosquitos! Steady climb up, take water! I went through 2L. Wildflowers! This trail intersects with Gore Range Trail.

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

Great hike. Trail clear of blowdown all the way to Surprise Lake. Beautiful flowers at the beginning of the trail. Lots of mosquitoes so bring bug spray!!

hiking
snow
washed out
11 months ago

Dedicated hikers ONLY. I planned to go all the way to mirror lake but could barely make it to surprise lake, there were tons of fallen trees blocking the path, pools of water to walk around, and snowbanks to climb through. The first part of the trail has a lot of aspens and that was beautiful, but if I try making it to mirror lake again, I'll wait until august when the trail is hopefully free of snow/water.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
off trail
over grown
washed out
11 months ago

I don’t recommend this trail. It’s washed out and it doesn’t seem like the trees are going to be cut for trail access. I’ve done this trail several years in a row. Last year the down trees were challenging but still worth the trek. My wife and I made it to the lake last night but coming down today we got lost for several hours unable to find the trail because of the amount of down trees piled on top of each other. It’s also just too early in the season, lots of snow, post-holing, the melt is causing significant erosion.

hiking
muddy
over grown
snow
11 months ago

First part of the trail was dry. Second part was extremely muddy. The last half up to the lake there was still lots of snow. Knee deep in places. Lots of trees down. Hard to find the trail.

hiking
muddy
snow
Sat Jun 01 2019

Wait a couple of more weeks, snow up to the knees. Doable but very difficult to navigate and to stay on top of snow.

backpacking
blowdown
muddy
snow
Tue May 28 2019

For the backpackers, I would recommend waiting another 2 weeks at least for more snow to melt. We backpacked to the lake and dug out a spot to camp in the snow (there are a few bare spots, but not great for tents) but it will be way better once the snow melts. Lots of post holing and falling on the way in/out. The view at the top was very pretty. I agree it is a moderate trail and experienced backpackers will cruise right up it, no problem.

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