Thomas Lakes Trail

MODERATE 115 reviews
#20 of 194 trails in

Thomas Lakes Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Basalt, 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 but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,627 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

Directions from Carbondale: From Carbondale travel south on Hwy. 133 for approximately 1.4 miles. Make a left turn on Prince Creek Road and go about 6 miles to the fork in the road. Take a right at the fork and follow it for 2 miles. The trailhead is 1/4 mile before Dinkle Lake.

hiking
11 days ago

So beautiful! One of my favorite Alpine lakes now. Can’t beat that turquoise water with a mountain backdrop. The road was a little bumpy to the trailhead, but not as bad as I anticipated. My car made it just fine. Lots of cattle on the trail and I saw a terrified adolescent bear cub. Made me kinda sad at how scared he was. :(

hiking
15 days ago

Last couple of miles to trailhead were uphill, unpaved and rocky with lots of potholes Trailhead is well marked and there is a parking lot. When we arrived, there were lots of cows all around the start of the hike—lots of cows=lots of cow pies. Long hike to get to lake—we never made it. We stopped an hour in when we passed other hikers who said it was another 1 1/2 hours to the lake. There were some pretty vistas along the way. Was a cloudy, drizzling day so views could have been even better.

25 days ago

Consistent pitch for hiking up and down. Not to strenuous. Hiked up past upper lake and then reversed course. GPS had hike back/forth at 9.5 miles which took 3:30 to complete

28 days ago

did it yesterday. love it!! lakes are refreshing after a long hot hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. Lots of diverse wildflowers and trees. The lake is a perfect spot for a picnic lunch. Some small, steeper sections but lots of flat traverses as well.

camping
1 month ago

My dog and I hiked up to the lakes mid-afternoon and spent the night before heading back down the following morning. I did this mid-week and while we crossed paths with 6 or so other groups on the trail, all 12 camp sites at the lakes seemed to be available when we arrived in the early evening. Good option for an overnight trip to a remote spot with relatively short hikes in and out. The road to the trailhead is in good shape and easily passable in a two-wheel drive.

1 month ago

If you have opportunity for just one hike in the Roaring Forks Valley/Aspen-Glenwood-Carbondale-Basalt area, this would be an excellent choice. Stunning mountain, lake, and valley views, abundant and varied wildflowers, a gentle slope that will get your heart pumping a bit with just a few short sections that are more strenuous, and alternating wooded and shady/open and sunny stretches. To get to the shore of the second lake, follow signs to campsite 6 and follow the short trail leaving it. Bring a camera, a liter of water per person, and a jacket or fleece—it can get chilly at the top even when it’s very warm at the base. Should take a person in decent shape about 4 hours round trip, including a 1/2 hour stop at the lakes.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hike this trail on 06/07/18 for our 10th wedding anniversary. Trail wasn't too busy and camping around the lake we were the only ones there as far as I could tell. Scenery up the trail is incredible. Being from Georgia and not experienced hikers, this was a pretty challenging hike for us (we also packed way too much crap in our packs). Steady climb up made for some sore muscles the next day but the views from the lake and the peace and quiet made it so worth it. I'd love to start earlier next time and just do a day hike all the way up to Mount Sopris. No way we would have made it with our packs.

2 months ago

This is a beautiful hike. not to many people on a Sunday. will go back to camp during the fall! Early crop of wildflowers up there.

hiking
2 months ago

I do this at least once per year. It's a great workout with beautiful views.

backpacking
2 months ago

My husband and I hiked this with our 5 year old and camped for 2 nights this past weekend. It was challenging and gorgeous and definitely worth it!! Hiking poles are a must! We drank water from the uppermost creek (using just a steripen), caught trout for dinner, and enjoyed the perfect weather. Up toward the end, the trail is more rock than dirt which was a bit tricky. The campsites are well marked and well spaced. We didn't encounter any wildlife other than birds and squirrels. It was quite windy at times but otherwise lovely. Wildflowers abound as the trail weaves through open spaces with spectacular views to aspen groves.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail took about 90 minutes to get up, was gradually steep with a big incline at the top. View of Mt Sopris by the second lake was amazing! Lake was not crowded at all which made for an amazing day hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked 5/29/18. Trail is clear with only a few snow patches off to the side at the top. Lake is unfrozen. Rocky trail with steady climb. Not crowded with an amazing payoff view at the top.

2 months ago

Amazing hike!!

backpacking
3 months ago

Took a little over two hours to hike up to the lakes. Lake is still mostly frozen over and lots of snow. There were plenty of dry spots to setup camp for the night though. Our camp got snowed on for about two hours during the day but then the sun came out strong. Great in and out trail for a one night backpack.

hiking
11 months ago

A pleasant hike and one of the best areas for aspen in the autumn.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Long but not too strenuous, great views and lovely clear lakes at the finish line!

hiking
Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Scenic trail with lots of wildflowers, aspen groves, and some nice vistas along the way. By August 5th, some of the flowers had already died off below 10,000 feet, but were still in full bloom as you got closer to the lakes. We had clear skies in the forecast, but did get caught in a brief hail/lightning storm on the way up. Fortunately there is only a stretch of about a 1/2 mile where you're out in the open without any tree cover. I would agree with others that this felt closer to moderate than easy. We went on a Friday and only came across three groups on the trail and about 20 cars in the parking lot. Maybe it's more heavily trafficked on the weekend?

hiking
Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fantastic trail with consistent beautiful views. Hiked this two weeks ago and It was our first solid hike of the season. While the elevation gain isn't crazy, there are a few steep inclines. Very rocky in some areas. I would classify this as moderate as opposed to easy. So if you're looking for a fairly challenging day hike, this is perfect.

hiking
Friday, July 28, 2017

Fun trail

Friday, July 21, 2017

Beautiful wildflowers along the way up to 2 scenic lakes. Steep in parts but a wonderful hike!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Wonderful trail, beautiful flowers and have done it many times and I have enjoyed it so much

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Very nice views, beautiful lakes, easy grade. If the lakes are too chilly for a swim, try the Dinkle Lake picnic area near the trailhead.

trail running
Friday, June 16, 2017

Great views of Sopris about half way up. Nice run, but rocky in a few places.

hiking
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Great

hiking
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Great

hiking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Little sloppy and muddy towards the lower parts of the trail, but by the lakes it was snow with some hard pack to trek on. Lots of skiers out there having fun!...hiked in late April.

hiking
Monday, February 27, 2017

Really nice views up to the lakes, and definitely worth the hike. Wear good hiking boots! Rocky trail and no mountain bikes past the meadow.

hiking
Monday, December 05, 2016

We did the Thomas Lakes Trail hike for our 20th Anniversary celebration at the end of October. Clear skies and temperature in the 40's. The hike was a steep ascent up to the meadows, then it leveled out a little bit for about 1/2 a mile or so. Once again the ascent became steep, with a mix of dirt and lots of rocks on the trail and an abundance of trees. The ground had frozen overnight making the mud hard as cement. Thomas Lakes was breathtaking to say the least. There was no one on the trail but the 4 of us, except for a tent set up on the far side of the lake near the bottom of Mt. Sopris summit, so we had the scenery all to ourselves. Would do this trail again in warmer weather, so we can camp at Thomas Lakes overnight and summit on the next day. Well worth the strenuous ascent to catch a glimpse of this jewel!

hiking
Thursday, November 03, 2016

This is a moderate trail, without a doubt. Steady incline all the way up. That being said, it is worth the trip. Stunningly gorgeous lakes with one framed by Sopris. Definitely dog friendly as we saw lots of pups.

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