Waterdog Lakes Trail

MODERATE 166 reviews
#9 of 147 trails in

Waterdog Lakes Trail is a 3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salida, Colorado and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, fishing, and snowshoeing and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,076 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

fishing

hiking

snowshoeing

rocky

Some sites list this trail as easy, but it is very rocky and steep in some places, plus being above 10,000 ft to the tree line. Definitely not a stroll through Garden of the Gods. You will encounter a lot of mosquitos, so be prepared, and wear good trail shoes. Parts are so very lush and green, bring a camera. The trail follows a river part of the way and is very pretty, then winds back through the forest up steep and rocky inclines following a powerline trail. There are a couple river crossings, and you may encounter snow. The lower lake is nice, and the upper is pretty too.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Snowshoed 12/6. Lots of snow! Beautiful hike through the forest up to a frozen lake. We passed one other group and had the lake all to ourselves :). Would recommend and a great workout!

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

Gorgeous and serene winter hike! Nearly empty trail on a mid-November Sunday, but the snow packed path was easy to follow and well worth the views and the ambience. We could have moved more quickly with spikes or poles, but we managed with just our regular hiking boots. Just so pretty! And our husky mix was in heaven.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Had a great time yesterday. Don’t forget to get to the second lake! Followed a game trail over the ridge line and picked up the CDT, took it to Monarch Mountain. Hiked down there and back to the car via 50. Beautiful view from the CDT.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Was very rocky, I’m 62 so had to stop several Times, way up I kept telling myself It was more than a mile and a half, but coming down seemed pretty short. Beautiful views, mountains, some flowers, very easy to follow. Except for finding it. Was headed west, so I thought I was looking for a pull off on the right, pulled into only spot, no trail, so I turned around, luckily there was no traffic at the time. Slowly heading east on large pullout on south side of road, I saw the trail sign in amongst the trees. My 2 dogs loved the trail, didn’t understand why mom had to keep stopping.

hiking
4 months ago

The trailhead is hard to find but after passing Monarch lodge it’s just the next large pull off to the left. The lakes are beautiful and there are a few up there. The trail is easy to find and follow to the first lake and a little more difficult to the others but they are so close it’s pretty easy to get to.

hiking
off trail
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
bridge out
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike!!! AllTrails needs a better rating system though because this trail was on the difficult side of moderate. There are like, two switchbacks the entire 1.5 miles to the first lake. It takes you straight up on jagged rocks the whole way (but this is in the heart of the Rockies so what can you really expect?). The trail was well maintained & easy to follow. The snow has almost all melted except for a few of the glaciers. The wildflowers were unreal - they are EVERYWHERE!!!! Sooooo beautiful!!!! There were a few bugs up by the lower lake around the rim but nothing a little bug spray can’t take care of. Definitely keep going to the 2nd and 3rd upper lakes - they are gorgeous!! I love this hike and will be back to explore more of the area & maybe climb up the rim to be able to look down on all of the lakes. As for parking, the trailhead is hard to find. You need to park on the opposite side of Monarch Pass & cross the road to get to the trailhead. It’s a little hidden but don’t give up - it’s absolutely worth it!

hiking
5 months ago

Very pretty hike, but definitely tough! Pretty much straight up aside from a few switchbacks/flat areas. Rocky; follows a stream part of the way and follows the power lines up the mountain part of the way too. Very pretty lake at the end. Was a nice hike to break up our drive.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Nice short hike to a few high alpine lakes. The ascent is pretty much straight up with few switchbacks and a few flat areas so combined with high altitude will get you short of breath. Parking lot and trailhead are easy to miss on the highway. Once you get to the first lake go left and there are multiple paths that will take you to the second lake - only adds 10 min or so, is pretty easy, and grants you some pretty nice views. Lots of nice campsites scattered around the lake. We were told by some others that the fish were biting. No bugs for us. Descent was rocky/loose gravel - I took a gnarly fall but was wearing running shoes.

hiking
bugs
rocky
5 months ago

This is a great trail for a shorter hike that's still a good workout. You follow the stream for most of the way and there are tons of wildflowers. It is quite steep at parts, the entire way to the lake is uphill. But the view at the top is worth it! Apparently there is another lake but we stopped at the first one. I definitely recommend bringing bug spray, there were quite a few mosquitos. The trailhead is a bit tricky to see from the road but it's there, opposite the side with the dirt shoulder to park in.

hiking
5 months ago

finding this Trailhead can be difficult. if you're headed west up the hill parking is on the left and the trailhead is across Highway 50 to the right and is covered with a beautiful Lush Forest so it's hard to see. the trail starts out at a very good incline and that incline is steady throughout most of the trail. as people have mentioned in the other reviews, bug spray is a must the mosquitoes are absolutely out of control on this Trail. I think the views far outweigh the bugs and the incline and would totally do this hike again and again. we were going to attempt to hike to the second lake but the weather was rolling in on us at 10:30 in the morning as we started out under cloudy conditions to begin with. But we will definitely be back to hike to the second Lake. #happyhiking

hiking
rocky
washed out
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Keep going up to the second lake. It's beautiful.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice moderate trail with a good variety of scenery. A bit rocky but very manageable. The trail was dry...no snow remains. We found a nice group of logs set around a fire pit where we could enjoy our lunch. Bug spray is a must...

hiking
5 months ago

19July2019 Trekking poles would have been nice for the ascent and descent. Magnificent view at the lake. 8/10 mile trail around lake with several camping spots. Lots of wildflowers. One patch of snow as trail reaches lake. Hung hammock and enjoyed the views.

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail. Took us 1:45 to complete. Great view of the lake at the top.

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty great trail. Kinda busy for a Friday morning, but great to wear out pups. Sharper and longer incline than I had planned for, but definitely a great workout! Still a little bit of snow near the top of the trail, but easily passable. The first creek has a walk around to the left of the trail. Nice views at the top, too!

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

This is a pretty nice hike to some nice Alpine scenery for only a mile and a half. All uphill though so seems longer.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Great trail but be ready to go over a lot of rocks

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