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

10 days ago

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!

21 days ago

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

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

County road 1350 is between mile marker 109 and 110... We ended up too far north, it is across the street from the Blue River Campground. You can stop at the first parking lot or keep driving a little more and it will be a shorter hike by a about two miles. It is a beautiful hike. One of my favorites in the area.

Good trail. Did this for my first backpacking trip and had a great time. Being from the Midwest, it took me some time to adjust to the altitude, which made the hike a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. The first 1.5 miles on the Salmon Lake trail is grueling, particularly after we had hiked close to 8 miles before (we did a portion of the Rock Creek trail in the morning). Found a few great campsites toward the top with views of distant peaks and closer ones. Great for the sunset and sunrise. We even had a moose walk through our campsite. The views at the top are breathtaking and well worth the hike.

There is a point about mile 5 where you are walking in a blown out area filled with dead and fallen trees. The trail remained very clear (had to climb over a few) but I would be wary of doing this section on a windy day for fear of falling trees.

In all, a great experience.

Nice hike to lower Boulder Lake. Park at trailhead and take Gorge Range trail at split. About 3.3 miles to lake. Some aspens which were turning on 9/8/18. Little wildlife seen this time - bow and black powder hunting seasons on. Nice view at lake. Left our packs here and came back later to camp. Hiked on towards upper lake: After 4 miles and cresting a boulder field, we realized we were at least another mile off so we turned back. But a nice hike. Trail obvious in many places though faint in some. Creek crossings, many down trees, some steep climbs. Nice quiet, rugged forest. Mostly along creek. Larger fish the higher you go.

adventurous hike this afternoon - upset moose, hunters and a storm. Comparable in difficulty to Wheeler Lakes near Copper. Start at the trailhead to park, don't walk the road up!

5.9 miles and 2362’ gain from Surprise Lake TH to Upper Cataract lake. Although steep in the beginning, the trail mellows out around 3 miles and it is so beautiful.

We backpacked one night. There’s a permit to fill out at the TH—please read the rules. All of the lakes here have a 100 foot minimum perimeter to camp nearby. Even though you see a spot right next to the lake, you should move back and away from the water.

We observed several groups of people and dogs camping a mere 4 feet from the lake shore. Please follow backcountry rules! Keep it beautiful.

We found plenty of great spots tucked up above the lake and in the trees, you just have to look for them. Great spot for fishing and set in a beautiful basin.

1 month ago

First part of the trail from the lower lake is a steep grade change. Grade calms down after surprise lake, but is still a climb. The Eagles nest route is longer but less of a climb. This trail has become very popular since the first time I hiked it 40 years ago. Beautiful views, while a backpacking trail it can be a day hike, but start early as weather is always a factor.

This was my first experience backpacking and while the trail was challenging it was within reach for a 54-year-old first timer. Varied terrain, stream crossings, waterfalls, and gorgeous views. Spent the night by Salmon Lake, had a clear evening and the stars were amazing. We only passed and few hikers and felt like we had the mountain to ourselves. The forest service did an amazing job clearing down trees and as others have said, mosquitos were aggressive at sunset. What a great experience.

Challenging (moderate/difficult) to Surprise Lake and a more moderate second half to Upper Cataract Lake. We left the TH at 6:30am, arrived at Upper Cataract shortly after 9:00am. We fished with small spinners and spoons and caught four brook trout. Great hike, we will be back to camp at Surprise Lake!

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

2 months ago

Many of the views are very beautiful. However, with all of the pine beetle kill, there are hundreds of downed trees that cover portions of the trail, particularly between the trails near the Cataract lakes in the north down to Boulder Lake. There is evidence that the Forest Service has tried to clear the trails by chainsawing out the dead pines that have fallen onto the trail(s), but they can't keep up with the blowdown.

There is plenty of water, and you never walk more than 2 or 3 miles between decent water sources.

Took the Rock Creek Trail for about 1.2 miles before a fellow hiker told us we were taking the much longer route with lots of bush whacking. Decided to turn around and take the Gore Trail instead. This trail was about 6 miles round trip from the trailhead to the lake. The trail itself wasn’t exceptionally interesting but the lake is well worth the trek. Beautiful views!

2 months ago

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

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

2 months ago

Spent 5 days at Upper Cataract lake. As others have said, the hike is not exactly easy but if I can do it it's not impossible (I was clocking a 40-50 minute mile). The lake is spectacular. Especially the side that has the shear cliffs. That side also has incredible fishing. Caught many brookies, browns, and hybrids.

Mirror lake, in my opinion, is okay but not nearly as nice as Upper Cataract. If you hike to Mirror lake be sure to cross the stream that runs out of Mirror lake even though you probably won't see the trail on the other side. Don't be tempted by the trail to your left unless you really, really like making your way over a very large boulder field. Don't ask me how I know.

3 months ago

We hit the trail around 7:30pm and made Surprise lake just at dusk. Recommend starting earlier as the this section is pretty steep. Surprise is very pretty but the upper lake is pretty stunning.
However, busy season and there were campers everywhere. Campers clean up your toilet paper!
5 star beauty but busy, busy. Not a secluded mountain.
4 stars overall
Easy to hike the 5.7 miles out

3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

Amazing views will deff be back!!

Lots and lots of downed trees on the trail, but the forest service was there on our hike out clearing. From the Rock Creek trailhead up to Willow Lakes, it's lots of up (nearly continuous), but it's a rewarding trail with very little to complain about.

Hard and up hill beautiful

3 months ago

Great hike. Most of the hike is in the trees.....but the payoff is well worth it. Four beautiful lakes (see them all) with gorgeous panoramic views. The trail is full of debris and rocks actually making the climb down a little slower than one would imagine (to save from any ankle rolling). A tad bit of snow left up too but nothing that would prohibit. Such wonderful scenery.

3 months ago

Beautiful hike!! Great scenery, views, lakes and only a moderate incline. Did salmon and all 4 willow lakes, ended up being just short of 14 miles and took about 9.5 hours (with a lot of exploring and a ~1 hr stop at the last willow lake). Only about 10 parking spots at the trail head and signs that say no parking on the neighborhood streets, so get there early if it’s prime hiking season. We arrived at 8:15 am and got the second to last spot.

Bring Bug Spray! Bad mosquito problem the whole way. 6/16/18. But hopefully won't be for long.

Nice trail. Good workout. Several campers along the way. One small snowfield about 30 feet.

The wild flowers were very pretty.

Really beautiful trail and not too hard to get to. Went in early June when water was running heavily through the streams and waterfalls, and it was just incredibly beautiful. Also has the opportunity to go for as short or long of a hike as you want and still see beautiful things.

Used the rock creek trailhead this time and found it’s nothing to write home about. Animal leash-law rarely followed so fellow hikers show little respect. Trail scenery listless and downed pines everywhere from beetle kill. Highly camped before trailhead and at lakeside. Lakes low this season. Not a repeat. I’m local to the county.

Beautiful trail that takes you as much down on the way out as up. Boulder lake is amazingly gorgeous and the changing scenery between pine stands and aspens is great.

I didn’t like this trail and give it 3 stars because of the scenic lake at the end otherwise I’d give it 2 stars. Lots of dead fallen trees (because of the bark beetle) that blocked the trail. Not terribly scenic until the end where you’ll arrive at the alpine lake which is pretty. Very rocky trail too. Drive all the way to the end and park at the trailhead. A regular car might struggle because the dirt road is bumpy with potholes but doable I think. Ok trail- wouldn’t do it again.

Beautiful hike and well worth it! You defiantly need an SUV or a truck to get up the dirt road to the trail head. My dog and I did both the lake hike and the other hike to the old mining place. Took us about 7 hours to do both. If you plan on doing both trail make sure you bring enough water. On our way to the lake we came across a moose when we were about to the lake so make sure to keep your eyes out. My dog and I just hid behind some trees while it passed. The lake with the mountains in the background are beautiful. There are a lot of trees that have fallen that you will have to step over. I saw about 3 people the whole time I was there too. Overall would highly recommend .

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