Willow Lakes Trail

MODERATE 42 reviews

Willow Lakes Trail is a 11.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverthorne, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3083 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

rock climbing

skiing

snowboarding

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Two trails start here; the Wilowbrook trail links to Mesa Cortina following South Willow Creek, The Ditch Trail goes directly to the Gore Range Trail following North Willow Creek. The destinations one could reach from these two trails are too numerous to mention. Two trails start here; the Wilowbrook trail links to Mesa Cortina following South Willow Creek, The Ditch Trail goes directly to the Gore Range Trail following North Willow Creek. The destinations one could reach from these two trails are too numerous to mention. It is possible to link the two trails along the Gore Range Trail to make a loop returning to the same spot.

backpacking
6 days ago

HARD! But awesome. I accidentally went the wrong way because the trail is not labeled on signs. I started at Willowbrook Trailhead, then took the gorge/cantina trail west rather than the ditch trail which takes you Northwest and along the route to willow creek trail. Although I added miles to my hike, it was significantly more beautiful than the ditch/willow creek way. I recommend that route if you are backpacking and can do the mileage, it's worth it. There is also about a two hour uphill section that is brutal, so pace yourself and rest if needed. The last mile or two was insanely beautiful.

11 days ago

Beautifully scenic and super fun! Mellow elevation gains and long distance made this a pretty manageable but challenging day trip. Started at 9am, made it as far as Upper Willow Lake for a 20 minute rest, and returned to the trailhead at 4:30pm. The sights were worth every minute!

13 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

26 days ago

Amazing trip! did it solo this am and it took 5 hours. Steady incline to the final lake. Beautiful and worth the 13 miles :)

27 days ago

The upper lake is the best; tons of wildflowers just downstream of the last lake and a very friendly herd of Mountain Goats. They want to lick the salt off your pack and hiking poles! It's just shy of 13 miles round trip to the upper lake.

28 days ago

can't recommend it enough. a few things to note:

1. Some of the bridges are busted as hell, but still passable.

2. It's an 11.8 mile round trip to *the first * of the Willow Lakes. It's probably closer to a 13-mile trip to the last one

3. Some people complained about signage, but I thought it was pretty good. Trouble is you can't find this trail on MOST maps. It is, owever, on the 2016 USFS Maps on CalTopo.com

4. It is flippin gorgeous. LOUSY with wildflowers.

hiking
1 month ago

It's a long walk, but definitely worth it! The trail itself is gorgeous! It's not the best marked trail, and there are some less than stable bridges you have to cross, but it's an incredible trail!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

The trail isn't super amazing but the destination sure is! Backpacked here July 4th weekend and had it to ourselves. Still plenty of snow at final mile. Would have liked traction. Was glad to have GPS track from prior visit as Trail was a bit lost getting to lower and upper Lake. Best sites and view at lower Lake. Saw family of white goats in distance. Climbed over 28 downed trees on trail. Took us about 6 hours to hike in, 4 to hike out. Nice flowers!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Amazing trail but it's a whole day. 3 hours in 1 hour at the lake up top and 2.5 back. Great stream crossings the whole way. Got to salmon lakes and got a bit lost due to the snowfall but follow the stream up and you will see the wood logs lined up that will take you to willow lakes. I stopped at the middle lake and it and it's views were incredible!!

1 month ago

Amazing trail but it's a whole day. 3 hours in 1 hour at the lake up top and 2.5 back. Great stream crossings the whole way. Got to salmon lakes and got a bit lost due to the snowfall but follow the stream up and you will see the wood logs lined up that will take you to willow lakes. I stopped at the middle lake and it and it's views were incredible!!

1 month ago

Great hike! Lost the trail about halfway between Salmon Lake and Willow Lakes due to snow but made it to the top lake easily enough following the stream up on the south facing slope. Awesome lakes filled with little trout!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Nice trail, got confused and went up the wrong path. 7 miles round trip

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful trail that is pretty appropriately rated. I took the Willowbrook trail that linked to Mesa Cortina trail to Gore Range trail towards the lakes out and back, which ended up being a little longer in miles (15) compared to the one marked on the map. You will see "Willow Lakes" etched on signs to help you. It was a beautiful hike with lots of streams and differing scenery to keep things interesting; I never once felt bored. I ended my hike at Salmon Lake, which was pristine, peaceful, and lovely since I wasn't able to reach Willow Lakes due to trail blockage by a large, fallen tree and rushing water from a small waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago