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

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 9/15. This is a hidden gem. The scenery is spectacular, and you’ll pretty much have it all to yourself (I started at 9 AM on a Saturday and only saw two other hikers during the entire round-trip). Plenty of parking at the roundabout of the trailhead. As others have mentioned, it’s not an easy hike. Most comments mention the steepness of the first mile. I didn’t think that part was too bad – seemed short-lived (with fresh legs, at least). After that, it mellows out for a stretch and follows the Roaring Fork. When the trail splits with Wantanga Lake to the left and the Roaring Fork Trail to the right, keep right. That’s where it got tough for me. It was a long and steep ascent up Mt. Irving Hale. I had to stop numerous times to take a breather. But you’re rewarded for your efforts at the top – you’ll come to a big grassy clearing with an incredible view of the Indian Peaks.

I was nervous about the descent, since I read the trail was easy to lose. There was really only one part that threw me off. You’ll crouch under the arch of a fallen tree, hang left around a boulder, then come to a spot where you can either go right or left. You want to go left – not sure where the other path leads. Shout out to the reviewer CJ below me who partially blocked the trail to the right with a rock and some sticks – I probably would’ve gone right had I not read him comment beforehand. From there, it’s pretty easy to follow down to Stone Lake (although the trail pretty much becomes matted down grass in some spots). The scenery down in the canyon and at the lake is phenomenal. I tried to follow the trail to Upper Lake, but the trail seemed to disappear…either I missed something, or the trail doesn’t quite go all the way. Saw it from afar, but decided not to go off-trail.

Going up Mt. Irving Hale again on the way back was tiring, but then it’s all downhill the rest of the way. Since you have to cross the mountain twice, be mindful of afternoon storms. I specifically picked a day without storms in the forecast for that reason.

2 months ago

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.

backpacking
2 months ago

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

3 months ago

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.

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
Thursday, July 27, 2017

hiking
Sunday, September 27, 2015