Upper Lake and Stone Lake via Roaring Fork Trail

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Arapaho National Forest

Upper Lake and Stone Lake via Roaring Fork Trail is a 12 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Lake, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 12.0 miles Elevation Gain: 3,891 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly


nature trips






2 months ago

Good exercise hike today. Warm, windy and wet snow. Great day. Kept my ankles busy.

*VERY* steep and rugged terrain, particularly on both sides of Irving Hale Pass. However, the payoff is absolutely worth it. Unparalleled vistas of Indian Peaks Wilderness, Hell Canyon, wildflowers, Roaring Fork Creek, and the two alpine lakes. We stayed at a developed site to the NE of Stone Lake, just off trail and across it’s inlet. Best suited for minimum 3 days so that you have the time to explore the lake area and prepare for the return trip, which is relatively equal in difficulty as the hike in. Trail is in good condition and fairly easy to follow, but (as mentioned in previous reviews) there is one particular spot that can easily get you off trail. A picture of this fork is posted above. The trail leading right (or forward, if returning from the canyon) is well developed and will gradually take you down into the canyon. It’s easy to accidentally head this way if you’re not paying attention and are pleasantly fooled by the downslope while hiking out. It’d be very difficult to tell you’re off trail using map and compass until you’re pretty far down the false trail, so check GPS frequently.

9 months ago

From the top of Irving Hale Pass, I bushwhacked toward Round Lake and then scrambled down to Stone Lake and Upper Lake. Round Lake was my favorite, but Stone Lake and Upper Lake were pretty as well, even in the pouring rain. There are a couple places where it would be easy to lose the trail on the way out of Hell Canyon, so a gps would be handy. Overall, very beautiful scenery, would definitely do again.

11 months ago

hello today is 06/10/2019 you can make only until middle or less a lot of deep snow, you can use the stone of the river for go up but ... Bring a drawing or gps if you go tomorrow and also snow shoes . its very beautiful trail maybe the best that i did but i didn't see the lake...(_) Check the weather before go to this trail can be dangerous with bad weather . Regards

Sat Sep 08 2018

Wouldnt recommend if you aren’t a savage hiker. But it was awesome!! Very steep trail for most of it but views are incredible! First mile is very steep then mellows out but once you get to the fork for watanga lake, roaring fork is very steep again for at least another mile. You end up by mt. Irving hale which i thought was really cool and it looks like you can climb it from the top of the “pass”. it descends very steep again soon after the top and then its a pretty mellow hike again to the lakes once you are down in the canyon. I will say i kinda lost the trail at one point on the decent to the lakes. There is a down tree that is very large and you have to go under it (you wont miss it) I blocked the way that messed me up shortly after the downed tree with some sticks so it should be more obvious where to go.

Mon Sep 03 2018

Really tough hike!! But Lake and views are gorgeous! Very steep hike!

Sun Jul 29 2018

Hard is an understatement...we thought it was because we’re flat landers, but the rangers we ran into said they don’t even do it that much. We did 3 nights in backcountry, went off-trail but used this as our first day hike. Spectacular views make it worth it, including all the critters you’d imagine you’d run into. Epic.

21 days ago

7 months ago

recorded Recording - Aug 04, 1:51 PM

9 months ago

10 months ago

Fri Oct 26 2018

Sat Sep 22 2018

Sun Sep 27 2015