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




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Grand Lake, Colorado Map
18 hours ago

Well maintained trail & not many people! Summit views are stunning!!!

Hiked 9/15. This is a hidden gem. The scenery is spectacular, and you’ll pretty much have it all to yourself (I started at 9 AM on a Saturday and only saw two other hikers during the entire round-trip). Plenty of parking at the roundabout of the trailhead. As others have mentioned, it’s not an easy hike. Most comments mention the steepness of the first mile. I didn’t think that part was too bad – seemed short-lived (with fresh legs, at least). After that, it mellows out for a stretch and follows the Roaring Fork. When the trail splits with Wantanga Lake to the left and the Roaring Fork Trail to the right, keep right. That’s where it got tough for me. It was a long and steep ascent up Mt. Irving Hale. I had to stop numerous times to take a breather. But you’re rewarded for your efforts at the top – you’ll come to a big grassy clearing with an incredible view of the Indian Peaks.

I was nervous about the descent, since I read the trail was easy to lose. There was really only one part that threw me off. You’ll crouch under the arch of a fallen tree, hang left around a boulder, then come to a spot where you can either go right or left. You want to go left – not sure where the other path leads. Shout out to the reviewer CJ below me who partially blocked the trail to the right with a rock and some sticks – I probably would’ve gone right had I not read him comment beforehand. From there, it’s pretty easy to follow down to Stone Lake (although the trail pretty much becomes matted down grass in some spots). The scenery down in the canyon and at the lake is phenomenal. I tried to follow the trail to Upper Lake, but the trail seemed to disappear…either I missed something, or the trail doesn’t quite go all the way. Saw it from afar, but decided not to go off-trail.

Going up Mt. Irving Hale again on the way back was tiring, but then it’s all downhill the rest of the way. Since you have to cross the mountain twice, be mindful of afternoon storms. I specifically picked a day without storms in the forecast for that reason.

1 day ago

We started by 7 am on 9/16/18 and had the trail to ourselves. We finished by noon and that included a lot of downtime at the lake which was spectacular. Loved this lake. The trail itself was underwhelming. Dense forest mostly. Not difficult for us. However, the beauty was the lake. We loved it, and having it all to ourselves was bliss. We also saw a lot of moose. It was a wonderful hike.

Short, great views of the falls.

We tried the perimeter trail from the trailhead st the dam of Shadow Mountain Lake. The views of the lake and surrounding peaks are incredible! The devastation of the pine forest by pine beetles is regrettable and mars the beauty of this area. The lake was also being used by fishermen and boaters (loud outboard motors and the smell of their exhaust also detracted from an otherwise beautiful location.

The perimeter trail is mostly flat with a few downed trees and some end-of-summer growth beginning to encroach. We did not attempt the steeper climb up to the viewpoint.

We just hiked this trail yesterday and loved it. Getting there would be my only concern in the future - we had an OHV and had no issue but I would not have taken a vehicle even with 4WD all the way to the trail head.

Other than that, beautiful hike, very secluded.

2 days ago

Used this trail to access Timber Creek Backcountry site about 3 miles in. Trail is very well marked and easy to follow. Uphill the entire way out, but not particularly strenuous. Great views of aspen trees changing color, but a little too wooded to get great views of the mountains in most spots. The only difficult part was the landslide area. It's very short (maybe 100 yards total), but the loose sandy soil, downed trees, and steep slope make it something you should be slow and methodical for.

The campsite was nice with great access to the creek, but it is an EXTREMELY active moose area. In addition to the deer we had coming through our campsite all evening, we had several bull moose come through the area throughout the night. They didn't bother us, but they did come within about ten feet of our tent and easily could have caused damage if they wanted to. Take necessary precautions to make sure you're safe during moose rutting season, but an extremely enjoyable trail and campsite.

4 days ago

Pretty hike on a gorgeous Colorado day. Nice and easy.

4 days ago

Great trail. Easy to get to (even with detour) and we hiked to top of the falls and saw another hiker swim in the river!

This trail looks terrible. I understand now there was a fire and it’s very apparent. Do not waste your time walking through the dirt and ash this year.

High mountain lake, nice easy trail.

Very challenging but rewarding with views. My wife and I saw 2 cows and one calf moose.

7 days ago

mother nature made me work for this trail, especially on the alpine tundra portion— exposed and windy and brief rain. took ~5.5 hrs.

8 days ago

Super easy, beautiful hike!! Fall is a great time to see the aspens changing!!

We hiked this to flattop mountain on a day hike. A little longer then we expected and then further got delayed by having a bull moose on the trail who would run at us when we tried to pass, ended up waiting 30 minutes for him to move on. Lots of wildlife 2 bull moose, elk, mule deer, beautiful views and lots of water. 22 miles total for us in 10 hours. Not to bad

Wouldnt recommend if you aren’t a savage hiker. But it was awesome!! Very steep trail for most of it but views are incredible! First mile is very steep then mellows out but once you get to the fork for watanga lake, roaring fork is very steep again for at least another mile. You end up by mt. Irving hale which i thought was really cool and it looks like you can climb it from the top of the “pass”. it descends very steep again soon after the top and then its a pretty mellow hike again to the lakes once you are down in the canyon. I will say i kinda lost the trail at one point on the decent to the lakes. There is a down tree that is very large and you have to go under it (you wont miss it) I blocked the way that messed me up shortly after the downed tree with some sticks so it should be more obvious where to go.

Nice trail. Be sure to past the Falls to see the creek upstream.

Spectacular Lakes! I have hiked the world's mountain ranges- easy for the distance. What a pay-off!


14 days ago

beautiful trip, not too tiring. the slope is not very steep. keep something warm to wear bc the last hr of walk is exposed to wind.

Nice, fast hike.

Trail was well kept until the last mile to the lake. Trail was not well marked and had to traverse rock field the entire time. But the view was worth it.

unlike what the description says.. this is actually more like a 22 mile hike. the first seven to eight on the out are pretty easy with great scenery. once you hit the 7.5 mile mark the real ascending begins. You will have good tree coverage for most of the hike. The lakes are nice and serene with cold clear water

Really tough hike!! But Lake and views are gorgeous! Very steep hike!

16 days ago

Awesome hike! Beautiful views, was near a lake or river for most of the time. Saw 2 big bull moose in one of the meadows and lots of deer. There was some fallen down trees across the trail but not difficult to manage.

on Shadow Mountain Trail

16 days ago

Great hike! Definitely worth the view!

Great trail to see Moose and Elk! No crowds on the trail so you practically have the lake to yourself.

Fun hike and views from the tower were awesome. Sad to see so much beetle kill. Especially good as our house is directly across the lake

This hike was nice and shady, and I didn't experience running into bugs at all! There is a steep uphill going out on the trail, and it definitely took me (and my parents) more time to go out than come back downhill. We hiked to the end and had lunch on a big rock overlooking the meadow. On the way down, we saw a moose and several elk! Tip: these animals are SO quiet! Even when they are pretty close to you. Keep your eyes open for wild life! I'd especially recommend this hike on a hot day since you're in the forest with a lot of shade.

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