Explore the most popular lake trails near Carbondale with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
6 months ago

While moving towards the trailhead you enter a aspen tree tunnel, and as it clears you are greeted by grand views of forest, creeks, and Capitol peak in the distance. The trail as some points I found a bit confusing to follow, due to cattle grazing trails in the area, but it is not hard to stay oriented in the direction you need to go. Beautiful open fields filled with flowers, delicious snow melt creeks, and towering rocks made this an unforgettable hike for me. I just went for the day, but it seems like a great place to stay overnight. Also the road to the trail was under-repair, so it may be nicely paved by now. Cheers

Did this -many times in 70s- 80s -90s don't get any better. Check out the little lake on top the gem-it has ice all year. I believe is Siberia lake. Nice to see young ones have the same taste- once stayed till ran out of supplies-(15 days)

hiking
8 months ago

Tough hike, stated 5.5-6 miles to the lake seems MUCH longer but I guess not. If you don't enjoy steep ups and downs use Ditch TRAIL which cuts into Capitol a few miles in, not as much water for the dogs though.

Great trail! Once you pass the tree line be very careful! Especially coming down! Can be just tough footing. Defiantly recommend! Be conscious of the signs your body is telling you such as altitude sickness and shaky legs! Amazing view and wonderful challenge.

hiking
8 months ago

This is my Favorite 14er so far amazing hike in to base camp. Nice gradual gain for carrying in all your gear to drop at camp. We summited the following morning leaving camp around 4:45 and Summiting around 9 am. The hike to the summit is not for the faint of heart very difficult and technical and has lots of loose rock. Crossing Knife Edge is the most talked about part, but I found it to be not as bad as the traverse across the back of the summit and climb up the ridge to the summit. All in all great hike and climb. I would recommend a 2 day trip as we did to make the summit round trip a success.

backpacking
9 months ago

I would definitely do this again, but be warned: on the west side this is a very lightly used trail with few markers and many obstacles. Fallen trees, overgrown brush, and many times the trail abruptly stops and you may spend time searching for the path further along. Make sure you have a map and compass, though the most updated map has incorrect ISO lines.

The east side seems to be more traversed and easier to navigate, coming from Capital Creek.

We went west to east from Avalanche, up over the pass, then down to Williams Lake. A beautiful hike, through meadows, past waterfalls, and breathtaking views at the top. We tried to leave markers as we went, many had toppled over.

It took us about 6 hours, spending 1 hour at the top to admire the views. It can be done in about 4.

hiking
9 months ago

Breathtaking!!! Kicked my butt BUT worth every struggling breath I took and 4 toenails I lost...time to hike the beauty again soon...can never get enough! ❤

love this hike. This was third time for me, and second fort my daughter. Real challenge with nothing but beautiful sites.

hiking
9 months ago

Absolutely amazing! We hiked up to Geneva Lake from the trailhead the quick way. Camped out in spot number three with beautiful views of Snowmass Mountain. We hiked up to Little gem lake and that was well worth it. Even took a dip in the lake. Afterwards we headed out to complete the loop. Strenuous and 3 creek crossings, but I loved it.

hiking
10 months ago

Really beautiful hike. We hiked in four miles to enjoy both lakes, then back down. Highly recommend. Very dog friendly hike as well.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice backpacking trip, with beautiful meadows and nice little lake at the end. While 'moderate' for most of the hike, the switchbacks at top were fairly taxing. Fished along the creek and at the lake as well. The trail is labeled as 'heavy use', but we didn't see a soul between miles 4 and 11. Be advised that in this area you are required to have a 'hard sided' bear container, and non-compliance is 'no more than $5000 fine'.

Great hike! The last mile at the top was rocky and tough. Started at 6:00 am and got to the summit in 4 hours. Lots of bikers, dogs and fellow hikers.

The snow has melted enough to make it to the top. Wear sunscreen

Avalanche Lake trail is a great getaway nature hike that features the Crystal River and a local campsite. It is a great change of pace for someone used to hiking the dry hills areas near the valley. It is highly forested and is very moderate. I would suggest it as a relaxation hike and suggest camping and fishing here.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked 6.6.17 watch the weather storms move in late a.m early pm but last 30 minutes or so stay protected in forest it'll pass river is awesome , meadows beautiful look @ the back side of maroon bells great warm up hike for more difficult terrain

We hiked 8.5 miles in and out. Beautiful hike. Not very crowded. Incredibly hot!

hiking
Thursday, May 11, 2017

We've hiked this a few times in the Autumn. We go for about an hour and then head back. Gorgeous and not strenuous.

hiking
Wednesday, January 04, 2017

dogs are currently not allowed and the locals are pretty serious about enforcing

hiking
Friday, October 14, 2016

We never even made it to the trailhead. In the "getting there" section describing this hike, the road description of "a fairly difficult 4 wheel drive road with some steep drop offs" should be rewritten. It is NOWHERE near an easy place to get to. The road is badly rutted & uneven, rocks jutting everywhere, steep incline, teeth rattling, gut wrenching ride. Be forewarned. The hike may be terrific but getting there could potentially do damage to your vehicle.

hiking
Saturday, October 08, 2016

really nice in the woods

hiking
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Very nice day hike, started off easy and became more difficult around the fork with the hell roaring trail.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

awesome 4x4 driving up and down to the trail head, be prepared to take it slow. The trail itself offers amazing view of the Maroon Peaks and a waterfall. Once you arrive at the lake, hop on a rock and enjoy one of the best views in Colorado

Sunday, June 19, 2016

beautiful area. the wild flowers were amazing

hiking
Sunday, May 29, 2016

One of our favorites for a moderately challenging hike! Also great fishing once you get to Duley park. Perfect blend of shade, sun, water and views.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

My first time in Colorado and last day of my 5 day vacation this was focus of trip to make it to the top. I scouted out the area and parking lot the day before to make my trip easier.

I have to say I did not realize how long it takes to get to the top. I would recommend to purchase hiking poles if you are older. It is very steep and rocky at the top there are not very good trails marking once start getting to the top. So it better to go when hikers are ascending to the top early in the morning to see the path they are taking to the top. I started at 8 and arrived back at my car 6.

The hike thru the forest and the two lakes are amazing, they really keep the park clean and natural. Once you reach the top the views are amazing. Please bring food that will give you energy like fruits or power bar. Also drink plenty of water if you do it during the summer. One thing that thru me off at the start of the hike was going thru a gate that was closed and had chain but it part of the trail it kept closed to keep the cows in. I had great time and meet alot of friendly hikers. Thanks for making me feel invited Colorado for my first visit to the state. I will be back.

camping
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

what a trip! Did an overnight pack trip and had a blast. definitely not for someone wanting a nice stroll as the elevation gain can be kind of tough. the view is worth it though.

hiking
Thursday, August 21, 2014

This might be the most beautiful trail in Colorado. You DO NOT have to climb the peak to have an amazing time. The trail to Capitol Lake is 12 miles RT. The trail conditions are amazing. The hike is moderate with some ups and downs.

hiking
Wednesday, April 09, 2014

An awesome hike that has a waterfall,and some great scenery all the way up the trail.The fishing is good for brook trout. Great place for photography.

hiking
Friday, September 14, 2012

Awesome and beautiful hike. Very tough if not in shape. We rode horses and had to stop often as it is a pretty consistant climb. We didnt get to the 14er peak, but did the loop below and that was tough enough. Good trail for the most part. Great hike to get your heart pumping. Great views and plenty and streams to cross.

hiking
Sunday, September 18, 2011

Difficult trail but it's worth it when you get to the top and see the most amazing views!! Make sure to start really early if your doing a day hike!

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