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

hiking
2 months ago

This is a constant climb to the lake. Beautiful views of Lake City, aspen groves, and the Mountain View’s are beautiful. But the climb is up 99% of the time...so beware!!! If you’re not in the mood for a 4 mile ascent, this is probably not the trail for you.

One of my favorite places! The wildflowers are so good. Pretty easy hiking but super busy.

hiking
2 months ago

We only hiked 2.5miles in, but it was a very nice hike. Great fishing as well and we were lucky enough to see 3 moose! Bring bug spray.

hiking
10 months ago

The start of the trail follows an old road for a couple miles which isn't the most interesting thing to walk on but makes for a nice warm up I suppose. Shortly after crossing the wilderness boundary you're in the woods and there you'll stay until you get above the trees at the final mile or two. The setting where the lake is situated is one of the most stunning I've seen. It sits almost as tall as the next highest point around. Walking around the lake to the ridge behind offers an even more impressive view along with a view of the valleys and peaks on the other side. I imagine in the summer this would be rather moderate like Peter mentions but doing it in December created quite the challenge. Some deep snow made trail finding near the top impossible but it's impossible to get lost walking between these two giant plateaus so finding the lake wasn't an issue. Worth ever amount of effort.
by the way... the gate was still open when I went so you can drive all the way to the trailhead.

hiking
10 months ago

Really great hike. I'm sorry Kevin below didn't enjoy it as much but I thought it was really spectacular. The Aspen forest was huge, one of the largest I've seen, and the lake was gorgeous, although frozen and snowy in parts which might have added to the beauty. Perhaps early December is the time to go, if you don't mind snow. The dirt road leading to the trailhead has a few forks along the way, take the first left and stay straight the rest of the way. Also, this trail does not actually make into the wilderness boundary. Still feels like wilderness though.

snowshoeing
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

snow-shoed this a couple years ago. was amazing and a groomed trail. you get ridiculously close to the 13ers there. huge, amazing mesa. definitely check it out.

backpacking
Thursday, September 07, 2017

fantastic place to get away from society. My dad and I spent a week here backpacking and the trails were great and there is plenty of spots to get water. Slide Lake isn't really a lake anymore but it's great hiking. And the fishing is good. caught some rainbows and brookies.

on American Basin Trail

off road driving
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

We rented a Jeep in Silverton and drove over Cinnamon Pass to American Basin arriving around 11:30 AM. We spent some time walking the trail to the south, taking lots of pictures of mountains and wildflowers. We were in a monsoon weather pattern so our time here was cut short by rain, but it was well worth the journey. The flowers were amazing, expecially the Columbine. There were quite a few people here on July 21, 2017. I'd love to come back and spend some time in this photographer's paradise.

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Loved it

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Loved it

hiking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

We have spent many summers hiking in Colorado and seen many beautiful lakes (Ice, Columbine, Blue Lakes) and gone on many beautiful hikes. Unfortunately, this was not one of my favorites or one that I would recommend. The lake was pretty, but there are prettier lakes & waterfalls to see in town. You do go through a large aspen forest, but other than that, the trail views are average. As an experienced hiker, I would say this hike leans more toward hard rather than moderate. You gain 3,000 ft in elevation quickly. We took a group of inexperienced hikers with us and it was a mistake. They really struggled. It's always fun to spend a day in the mountains, but I would say look into other hikes if possible!

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Trail was great but if you're staying at the big blue campground near the trailhead its even better. 2 roads in, take alpine road if you're feeling really crazy, 1 lane with tight switchbacks, a much shorter drive in, but not for those afraid of heights.

backpacking
Monday, September 26, 2016

Absolutely stunning trail in the Autumn...The hills were on fire with color ...& then snow. Beautiful!!!
Steady climb to be sure but worth it!!

on Silvercreek Trail

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Listed as easy but it is up all the way

on Silvercreek Trail

walking
Friday, August 12, 2016

OK but I would probably suggest something else in the area.

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Incredible view if you continue 1/2 mile above the lake!

hiking
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I returned to this trail recently after a botched attempt at a thru-hike from Williams Creek in 2014. Last year we came up Williams Creek and found snow on the Alpine Gulch side that completely obscured the trail down from the ridge line. My wife and our dogs went down a false trail and ended-up bushwacking off the mountain.

On this successful attempt we started our Alpine Gulch hike early in the morning. The sun was not yet shining into the gulch and there was ice on the trail. There were numerous water crossings, but we managed to cross all of them with little difficulty. Some were crossed via logs, while others were made via stepping stones or just carefully stepping across via shallow-water pools.

The trail was initially well-worn and easily identified. Only one sign at the trail head and another after a few miles and water crossings. As we entered a large gulch we had to search carefully for the trail due to thick brush. It appeared that we should head off to the right up one gulch, but we found more tracks and signs leading to left up a different (and correct) gulch.

Entering the forest again we began climbing through a forest filled with flowers and fallen trees. This eventually put us onto a ridge and ultimately onward toward a descent via Williams Creek. The trail was easy to identify through this area. Look for large (5 foot tall!) cairns along a treeless trail once you are above the treeline.

We then reached a point where the trail ran-off into the grass and simply stopped. Looking behind us, and to the right, we could then see another well-worn trail leading up a steep ridgeline. Retracing our steps we found stones in the trail in an attempt to "point" us into this direction through the tall grass.

It was a strenuous climb to the ridge marked cairns. Sometimes the trail wasn't evident, but the cairns marked the way.

The views were spectacular. Strenuous, but well worth the effort.

hiking
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We have hiked and snowshoed this trail several times. North of town and off the beaten path, we never encountered another person while on this trail. Some portions are steep and strenuous, but overall the trail is light-moderate. The trail was not well-defined as we neared Devil's Lake and traveled over rocky terrain. Maybe we were off course. Our map and GPS let us know that we were headed in the right direction. Some signs of old hunting camps along the way, but otherwise completely undisturbed. Depending on the time of year that you access this trail, you might have to park prior to the bridge and hike (or snowshoe) to the trail head during the winter.

hiking
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This was one of the first trails that we hiked when we first moved to Lake City. The trail head is easy to find along County Road 20, and very close to the Hard Tack Mine. On our first trip the water level was rather high, so this made the numerous water crossings difficult. Our dogs were with us on this trip, and the current made it difficult and dangerous for them -- we had to help them across several crossings.

This is a beautiful tree-lined trail that connects to the Williams Creek trail. We have not completed a through-hike from this direction -- only out-and-back hikes and runs.

Would not recommend this hike for children or folks who have unsure footing. The water crossings an be difficult of the water flow is high and fast.

hiking
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We hiked this trail last year with our dogs. Strenuous at times on the way up, but easy enough to jog down some sections if you are a running. Varying terrain and scenery, and the view of the lake and surrounding mountain peaks is absolutely worth the hike. This would be a great place to camp overnight on an out-and-back trip, or connect to some of the other trails and continue through the wilderness on your next day.

hiking
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We hiked an out-and-back portion of the Big Blue Trail yesterday with our 2 Australian Cattle Dogs. The drive to the trail head was not too bad. We were in a Jeep, used the 4x4 on the way up and back, but nearly any vehicle could have made the drive without problem. The only exception to this were several large puddles of water .25 miles from the parking spot. These were significant and deep due to a recent rain.

This trail is predominantly surrounded with trees for the first 4-5 miles. We did not get into the open until around mile #6. Big Blue creek is almost always nearby, and can bee seen or heard almost always. We saw very few signs of deer, elk, or other animals on this hike, but many species of birds were observed and heard.

There were a few trees across the trail, but all were easy to go around or over. The trail is well-work from years of use, but the trail appeared to be used very little in recent years. We did not see any signs of bicycles, camping, trash, or anything else that would indicate heavy usage.

According to other online reports and map study, this trail will connect to the Uncompahgre Trail, and then out of the wilderness via Nellie Creek. This could be done in one day, but would certainly be a long-haul. We hiked to "Slide Lake" as some folks call it, then for another 30 minutes to get clear of the trees. One day we will return to complete a point-to-point hike and go out the other side.

Great hike for kids or folks who are looking for a less strenuous hike. Just go in as far as you want, then turn around and come out.

hiking
Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hard but great! Worth it!

hiking
Sunday, July 12, 2015

The wildflowers were just starting to bloom on the lower slopes on 4th of July weekend. The best time to catch the flowers in full bloom is late July to early August. This is one of the most beautiful basins I have been to in Colorado. Endless scenery, and just getting there is 4X4 fun. Can't recommend it enough.

camping
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

This is my Favorite place to go when camping in Lake City. Lots of waterfalls and great views of the Mountains. You can hike a 14er and see Salon Lake.1999-2010 always in the fall for great aspen color.

hiking
Sunday, March 29, 2015

Great scenery and a lot of waterfalls and mountains. 2001 Sept. 17-27

camping
Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hiked this trail twice. First time made it to one mile away from lake. But the views were great. Second time didn't make it to far ,but still had great views. I camped in my favorite spot when ever I go to Lake City.2003-

Sept.22-27

on Big Blue Trail

hiking
Thursday, July 03, 2014

Great trail with tons of adventure. Moderate hiking with multiple stream crossings. Went early in season and little streams were big streams with run off but that kept more people away. Gorgeous and worth every step!

hiking
Sunday, April 13, 2014

I didn't hike all the way to Handie's Peak, just to Sloan Lake. The lake is a good place to stop and rest, you'll need it. The hike itself is not too bad just the elevation gain is what got me. The trail levels off in spots which made it manageable. The waterfalls provide great pictures and plenty of wildflowers in the area. For more pics visit my website Writingwithlightphotography.com

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