Waterdog Lakes Trail

MODERATE 63 reviews
#7 of 104 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
1076 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.

hiking
2 months ago

Very hard to find! And don't count on GPS. I followed another reviews directions and I passed it a few times before finding it. Great uphill hike!! great views, and a beautiful lake at the top. That and the creeks were all frozen over. (12/6)

2 months ago

Is there enough snow on the trail for snowshoeing?

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike today with the kids (7 and 9). We didn't all have necessary gear so we stopped a little over half way to the lake. Just a couple of inches of snow toward the bottom and closer to 6" where we turned around.

4 months ago

Beautiful with creek running alongside the trail at first. Quiet and heavily wooded pathway. It was quite steep and very rocky. The view of the lake was worth the effort.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a nice, short hike. Only about 2 miles 1 way, straight up. Very lush with a nice creek towards the bottom and the beautiful lake up top.

hiking
6 months ago

Had trouble finding the trail head so I thought I would share knowledge. In short, there is no sign for trailhead, but I was able to find it with the below directions:
From the east take U.S. Highway 50 out of Poncha Springs and pass through the small areas of Maysville and Garfield. After passing through Garfield you will pass quite an extensive abandoned mining area on the left. After passing the mining area the Waterdog Lakes signed trailhead will be on the right within a short distance with roadside gravel parking on the left between mile markers 202 and 203. If you reach the Monarch Park campground road you have gone to far.

Thought this might help the next person. BTW, beginning of trail is super steep.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a steep, rocky out-and-back route through a fragrant fir forest. The lower lake is nice, but the upper lake is even better, so head on up after you catch your breath. The trail from the lower lake to the upper one crosses a boulder field. We had to riff that section but the trail was easy to pick up after we got to the top. The trail head sign is not visible from the highway.

hiking
6 months ago

Trail starts off with a beautiful stream, you hit a nice elevation gain about 1/2 way in and are rewarded with a very pretty lake. Fairly strenuous for a short hike due to 1,100' gain in elevation.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful little trail. Trailhead is a bit tricky to locate but not all that hard. My 58 year old wife, our Brittany dog, and I made this hike with some difficulty. We are Texans on a hiking vacation and are not well acclimated to the altitude. If you are visiting and thinking about this one I would recommend it. The lake is postcard perfect.

hiking
7 months ago

easy little trail to do. hard to find trail head for first timer. beautiful views. short and sweet trail close to Salida.

7 months ago

Wonderful trail to hike. Lots of water and shade along the trail for your pooch too!

hiking
8 months ago

Lake is still frozen and trail is completely covered in snow. Will come back in summer as I'm sure it would be very pretty!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This is a great trail. Well marked, well traveled, steep in places but great views at the top!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Great!

fishing
Monday, August 29, 2016

Steep most of the way up. Upper lake is much prettier and easier to fish than the lower lake. Worth the extra bit of distance. Lovely spot.

Monday, July 25, 2016

wonderful lake at the end. woodpeckers and wildflowers. parking is on other side of highway and trailhead slightly hidden.

hiking
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Moderately steep with ample water/creeks
Not for everyone, based on starting elevation and vertical gain
Mix of hikers, fisherman
Pretty at the top, did see one "water dog" too
Fun, esp. as scenic workout and 2 - 2.5 hour round trip

hiking
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Up, up and up! Dogs were beyond excited to get to the lake! Only ran into a few groups of people.

hiking
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Steep! But so much fun. Took our kids, 2, 8, 15 and they had a blast. Was a slow journey and a tough one - lots of breaks since we come from the flat lands of Kansas! Great work out :)

hiking
Monday, July 11, 2016

Hiked this trail a few days ago with my husband and children 8 & 10. The trail is very rocky and pretty steep most the way up. We hiked up past the first lake to the second which is even more beautiful then the first. Very nice hike but be prepared for a very rocky climb and descent.

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