Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Willow Lakes Trail

MODERATE 144 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: 2,864 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

cross country skiing

fishing

hiking

rock climbing

skiing

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

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. Note: Signs at the parking lot state that overnight parking is not permitted.

hiking
2 months ago

Very boring (and long) hike for a very beautiful destination. Not too sure if it’s worth the trek to be fully honest.

hiking
2 months ago

More difficult than I had expected but this was my first overnight hike so we had packs. Worth the wait going up all the way to top. I would recommend an early start.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful, challenging backpack! The fall colors are amazing. I’d definitely recommend Salmon lake for the extra 30 minutes. The view is great from the smaller lake right before the last lake/ end of the trail too. I parked my car at the Dillion ranger station and Lyfted up for $10 each way.. You can also start from Rock Creek TH that allows overnight parking but it adds 4 or so miles.

2 months ago

Was hard for me, newer hiker, but glad I kept going. Moose warning was a little scary for solo hiker. Did not see any other people,, Wednesday hike

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail with gorgeous lakes at the end. the deaf trees take away from some of the summer though.

hiking
2 months ago

Wow! Didn’t expect such an epic hike today..perfect amount of sun and shade, incline and decline with incredible views! Best solo birthday hike so far!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great trail and a good steady climb. Loved the views and the alpine lakes. Hiked on Saturday 9/14 with a group of friends and we only saw a few other people along the way and at the top. We got the last 2 parking spots near the trailhead around 8:15am so get there early.

hiking
3 months ago

I have to say, five miles into this hike I was wondering if I was going to see anything at all. I’m so glad I kept going (12.4 total). These lakes are worth it. Several backpackers and tents around, but I had the big lake to myself. It was remarkable. Utterly indescribable. Just do it. I wish I would have stayed the night so I could have had more time at the lake!

hiking
3 months ago

Trailhead parking is a bit scarce with only 14 spots of so and you're not allowed to park on the nearby neighborhood streets. Instead overflow parking is available in a big dirt lot at the bottom of the road about a mile from the trailhead. The beginning of the hike is through beautiful aspen groves with stream crossings and then you work into the post-fire band of forest with lots of downed trees and new growth. Gradual incline through the burnt section can get kind of boring but once you get to the top the green forest features return and its all worth it! Beautiful clear ponds and springs surrounded by wildflowers and the final lake has an incredible backdrop. Timing lucked out to see a herd of mountain goats come down from higher elevation to take a drink from the water's edge close by. A long journey for one day but you can camp near the top as well to break it up and enjoy more time at the best areas.

hiking
3 months ago

Totally worth it! The views at the end are incredible.

hiking
3 months ago

I can't report on the quality of the trail. I went to the trailhead this morning planning on camping at Willow lakes for the night. Unfortunately the trailhead parking states that there is no overnight parking and violators will be towed. Drove 1 mile down the road to the overflow parking which also stated there was no parking between 10pm and 6am. A little disappointing that this information was not posted anywhere online, hopefully this helps someone in the future before you get all the way up there like I did!

hiking
3 months ago

Very sustained elevation gain through gorgeous diverse scenery. Tons of spots to stop for a drink and to stare at the view. Loved it!

hiking
3 months ago

Trail was clean. On every step You could meet birds, squirrels and other animals. At end off trail by the lake i met big mountain goat men. Hiking take 5 hours 30 min.

hiking
4 months ago

Started out going up to Salmon Lake. Once that was completed took a detour to visit Willow Lakes as well. And it was definately worth it. A couple of water crossings were tricky, but nothing too difficult. Added maybe an hour to my trip, but absolutely beautiful, very quiet and serene.

hiking
4 months ago

there are quite a few mosquitoes so take your bug spray. one person on the trail saw a mother and calf moose, another mountain goats. Sweet.

running
4 months ago

Start at Heritage park, $3 fee, run trails out and back to south side. We turned around 2.5 for a 5mile run. Occasional nice views of lake, light use by walkers and a few mountain bikes on a Saturday.Footing was good and basically flat.

hiking
4 months ago

My FAVORITE hike up here! Long but not too strenuous. Streams, wildflowers, meadows, spectacular waterfall , Aspen & wildlife! We saw 2 Colorado Mountain Goats close by the waterfall! This was our second attempt to hike this - first time there was no parking (it’s very limited).

hiking
blowdown
muddy
off trail
rocky
snow
5 months ago

This short review is for those who would like to know what the current trail conditions are. About a half mile after the turnoff before the Willow Creek Falls, the trail is about 95% snow covered but still easily passable with hiking boots. Another 1/2 mile or so there is an avalanche debris field and an even larger shortly after that. I made it to the far side of the second debris field and turned around because the trail wasn’t obvious and I would have had to have walked through standing water to continue on. I was about 5 miles in at that point. The views from the avalanche fields were fantastic!

5 months ago

We didn't make it to all the way due to waist deep snow on the last few miles before the lakes. We just came from here, early June. We were in normal hiking shoes and didn't want to walk back with wet feet so we turned around, after much effort to find a non-snow covered route. Snow shoes would have been helpful. Still an awesome hike. But it was disappointing that we couldn't get to the lakes.

hiking
Wed Oct 10 2018

This hike is one of my favorites. The beginning of the trail is lined with many dead trees. But, the ground cover and aspens are gorgeous in the fall! There is about a mile of steep incline. Otherwise the trail is fairly moderate. The last lake is about a mile from the first lake, but it is definitely worth the time and steps!

backpacking
Sat Sep 29 2018

No overnight parking at the trailhead. There are signs posted at the parking area, and Silverthorne police does patrol and enforce.

Wed Sep 26 2018

Wonderful hike. We stayed the night at the very furthest lake. We are missing our tent poles though.. if anyone has found them on the trail please contact me my email is shea.marie1432@yahoo.com

Wed Aug 08 2018

The views down by the lakes were incredible. The beginning of the hike is not as scenic, but was worth the wait.

hiking
Tue Jul 31 2018

What an amazing trail. We followed a river the whole time... my dog had a blast. No bikers, very few people - the falls at the top: beautiful

Sun Jul 29 2018

Just awful. 1. TH starts in residential area 2. No views until 5 miles in.. 3. Until you’re 5 miles in, you’re walking over debris and dead trees.. 4. Steady incline with no promise of a view at the top took the fun out of it

hiking
Tue Jul 17 2018

This was a fun and beautiful trail! We hiked 3.5 miles before we decided to turn around. We were hiking with our kids, 4 and 7 and they loved all the streams! It would be fun to do the full hike some day and see the lakes.

Load More