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.

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.

backpacking
12 days 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!

hiking
19 days 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

backpacking
20 days 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.

backpacking
1 month 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

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month 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

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month 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 .

snowshoeing
5 months ago

Hiked part of this trail yesterday, the snow was packed enough for sturdy waterproof hiking boots for the first 1/2 hour or so thanks to XC ski tracks, then I threw on my snowshoes for the next hour. There seems to be plenty of side trails if you have GPS. I'm excited to do it in the summer months but will outfit myself and pup in bright colors as it's a hunting area in season.

hiking
9 months ago

Definitely a cool trail but definitely not a winter hike. Managed to do it yesterday but probably took a few hours longer than it should have. Not mad about it at all, just sore from walking in unpacked snow most of the way. Incredible setting where the lakes are situated, which were frozen, just don't do it out of season unless you want a real good workout.

backpacking
10 months ago

Great trail

backpacking
11 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous trail and only moderately difficult. We had some trouble because the signage is terrible and the map we had was garbage. However, despite adding an extra six miles to our hike, we had a great time. Camping near the upper lake was epic. Fishing was great. Very chilly up at the lakes but the trail was warm most of the way up.

Morning hike to Boulder Lake via Boulder Creek Trl., coming in via County Rd 1376 (the old way)... Driving in from this direction (as opposed to Rock Creek) the upper parking lot permanently closed. (Signage indicates the residents prefer hikers use the Rock Creek Trl. to access Boulder Lake which is a mile S on HWY 9). Drove back to the lower TH marker that also indicates street legal vehicles authorized. The Boulder Creek trail is part 4WD trail with dispersed camping, unmarked trail, gravel road via easement, and then upon entering the national forest the trail reveals itself. Fabulous tree colors, deer and chipmunk. Only go this way if you have some navigation experience and respect for private land, but worth it being on a very lightly travelled trail.

backpacking
11 months ago

Beautiful place for a mini backpacking trip! We stopped at Salmon Lake, and had it to ourselves to camp. From the Willow Lakes trailhead, going left at that Willow Trail / Ditch trail fork is a longer route in, but a very forgiving and much more beautiful than the other route to the right. We took the other one on the way back, which made the return hike shorter. I would definitely recommend doing it that way, even though it adds some miles in the beginning! The last 2 hours to the lake is a steady incline, so be prepared to take a lot of breaks. We fly fished at the lake and got into some big brook trout right away!

Backpackers, don't park at the first parking lot unless you want to hike up a dirt moderate 4WD road for 1.5 mi. Drive through the gate and park at the upper lot. The map shows water along the way. Please note that these are small seasonal streams and did not lend to any camping spots along the way (we were with our kids and were looking for less mileage). Also, there is a sign posted at the junction of the gore range trail and boulder lake trail that says no fires at boulder lake. We decided to stay below the lake because of that. If was a nice hike, lots of up and down and nice views at the top of trail. Lots of downed and dead lodge pole, however. Also, what's with all the shooting?? We heard guns pretty much until you start the descent towards the lake. Like semi automatic constant shooting. And it is Bow Season. What??

Did the whole thing in one day as an epic trail run for my 40th birthday.
Actual stats as verified by 2 different gps devices: 44 miles, 12,000 vertical gain if going North to South. North end of the trail is much less traveled and we had just a bit of route finding trouble and more than just a bit of deadfall across the trail. From Boulder Creek on to the south was clear of trees and well marked. Took us 12.5 hrs to do the whole thing.

Started the hike from Rock Creek trail head - trails are moderate, be prepared for constant change of up and down incline. Saw many deer and animals throughout the hike. Upon arriving to Boulder Lake it was absolutely stunning. Best advice is get there early (7-8am preferred) as more hikers show up mid day.

backpacking
11 months ago

Awesome trail. All of the really hard part is in the first 2 miles. We logged this as 6 miles in and 6 out on the GPS. After Surprise lake the trail mellows. We saw lots of mushrooms. No great views until Cataract lake due to dense forest thus the 4 stars and maybe 40 people were up there by Saturday night, we were glad we went Friday as people were struggling to find spots by Sat night. Cataract Lake was hard to fish, nothing bit on good worms in 2 days of fishing. We only caught 3 baby 5 in brookies with metal spoons. Also this is a difficult trail, almost 3,000 ft of elevation gain and 12 miles I'm seeing 8 mile trails with 2,000 ft that are called difficult.

Load More