Would 10/10 recommend this hike! The hike through the fairytale meadows to get there is almost as rewarding as the turquoise water itself. You can access this lake via snowshoe year round, but there are avalanches in this area, so extreme caution must be used. Tweet. But it was worth it! I followed Google Maps - and there is no signage so it can be concussing. I’ve attached a picture of where we parked (purple x). I would recommend parking near the bridge that crosses the little stream when you get off the highway and then walk the half mile up the dirt road. I’m a pretty experienced hiker and this was tough. After those 3 miles its smooth sailing for just over a mile along relatively flat terrain and along the stream (Mill Creek) the louder the stream becomes the closer you are to the lake. Basecamp(s) Information: Sitting at 12,700 feet in the middle of the San Juan Mountains outside of Silverton, Columbine Lake’s deep blue color will stop you in your tracks if the thin air doesn’t. Beautiful day at the top. To give you an idea of the challenge, I hiked Handies Peak two days AFTER this, and felt Handies was MUCH easier than this trail. We got there by 8:30am on a Friday and got one of the last parking spots at the trailhead which takes 2 miles off the length. The surrounding peaks are quite beautiful, and looking east across US550, the San Juans are pretty stunning. Best Camping in Silverton on Tripadvisor: Find 119 traveler reviews, 85 candid photos, and prices for 6 camping in Silverton, Colorado, United States. Dogs are also able to use this trail. The first 3 miles or so are a grind and very steep. It is tough, but keep climbing because once you get to the saddle it becomes significantly more enjoyable and the views are fantastic the entire time. Highland Mary Lakes. Trail Map | Photo Gallery Beautiful Hike and worth the incline to get to the top! To get to the TH, turn on the Ophir Pass Road, cross the creek and park, or to get closer take a right on FS Rd 820, or ride the Rainbow Trail from Silverton. I reached the lake at 8:25am and there were only 3 other people up there at this time, 2 of which were camping out. Silverton Trails; Silverton Trail Map; Silverton Trail Reports; Share. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Length 8.3 miElevation gain 2933 ftRoute type Out & back The TH goes right into steep switchbacks. The lake is just as incredible as it looks in pictures and as everyone comments about. The trail is very clear. Find a Free Campsite. First 2 miles are tough but once you get up to the saddle it's much easier. Total time up for us, which included multiple stops to catch our breath and snap some pictures, was about 2:45, and back down was 1:45. The trail is truly off the beaten path, providing a degree of solitude not often found in such a beautiful location just 3.5 miles from a trailhead. Total time up was 2hrs 25 mins at a leisure pace with a good amount of breaks to snap pics and catch a breathe and coming down was 1hr 35mins. I decided to make a day of it and went up the pass and over to Oscar's peak, then dropped down to the Ophir Pass Road and up to Ophir Pass. The trail eventually crosses over a ridgeline and connects with Columbine Lake Trail #509 for the remainder of the way up to the lake. For inspiration from all the CO 14ers the.world.hiker on insta. Columbine Lake, Silverton, Colorado. It is beautiful and worth the 8+ miles. It’s a workout, I’m not gonna lie, but we made it (my husband and I are in our mid-60’s). And you will be absolutely speechless once you get to the lake! Photo Credit: nick1803 (iStock). There are 16 discernible switchbacks before you meander through to the end of the trees. Hiked this one yesterday. Worth the hike but it is demanding for sure! The Columbine Lake trail is located in the San Juan National Forest between Ouray, Colorado and Silverton. This can be accessed if you have high clearance vehicle. The road ouldn't be a problem with a 4x4, but there is VERY limited parking at the TH (maybe could fit 2 very small vehicles or one truck). Because the area was so dry, the trail was a little slippery and loose on the descent; but I didn't have poles, took my time to enjoy the area, and did just fine. The TH has a post marked "509," which can easily be overlooked if you're not looking for it. The lake is gorgeous! Twin Buttes Trail. Like others have suggested, park by the bridge next to the stream- I really don't recommend driving a 2-wheel up the road to the TH- some parts are dicey, and why deal with any issues, when the walk from the bridge is relatively flat and short. Be prepared for afternoon lightning and rain/snow. This trail is no joke. We laid in the sun for almost an hour. Columbine Lake, a turquoise jewel, is tucked in a stunning glacial bowl ringed by rugged ridges and peaks over 13,000-ft. For hikers with the time and energy a side trip to Columbine Pass is highly recommended. I suggest driving up the dirt road to just past the trailhead. A trip report from hiking the beautiful blue Columbine Lake near Silverton, CO. The lake is stunning. Columbine Lake Trail is a 13.4 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Took the pup with us too and he had a great time. The rest of the trail, over the pass to the lake, is flat and easy. Directions to columbine-lake trailhead (37.860193, -107.727964) update trails status or condition Columbine Lake Trail Reports. Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, Telluride is the perfect spot for chasing after new adventures. It’s a … Wow! We found a pullout very close to the trailhead today. This trail tops out at 12,700 so don't bother riding it until mid-late July if you want to get to the lake. The Ice Lakes Basin Trail is located near Silverton, Colorado, within the Columbine Ranger District of San Juan National Forest. Dec 2, 2019. Tiene un lago y es calificado como difícil. The water is epic blue as well. Columbine Lake Trail es un sendero de ida y vuelta de 8.3 millas con tráfico moderado localizado cerca de Silverton, Colorado. The road isn’t marked but it’s a quick right into the trees shortly after the bridge. Missed our turn after we turned off the highway. Also keep Advil tablets for headaches if you’re not acclimated to 12700 ft of altitude. Near Silverton, Colorado. A front wheel drive car might as well. USDA Forest Service San Juan National Forest Headquarters 15 Burnett Court Durango, CO 81301 (970) 247-4874. There is maybe room for a couple cars along the dirt road but any more than a couple you're going to be impeding any other traffic on the road. status date description; Dec 2, 2019 @ 12:13pm. Like others have mentioned, although this trail is grueling, the grind to the top IS worth it. Between Ouray and Silverton. Why was I torturing myself with exhaustion, gaining 100s of feet in altitude with each step, while cold rain hit my skin, and fierce wind whipped against my body. Hiked in from the Opus Hut on Ophir Pass. Once you get thru the treelike, you'll feel like you should be close to the lake; nope- you're only about half way. Highly recommend this trail, one of my favorites so far! If you are using all trails to give directions to the trailhead, it will stop at the entrance of Ophir pass but the actual trailhead starts almost one mile later. The strenuous hike to the lake traverses dense forest and gorgeous alpine meadows with see forever views. Even saw a pair of hunters sitting on the trail calling Elk. Explore the best of Columbine Lake! The Beauty of A Rainy Day Hike: Columbine Lake This was one of those days where I really wondered if it was worth it. I started the high-elevation hike against my better judgment, unsure of what the weather would bring. The lake's shoreline invites exploration, providing multiple perspectives on the surrounding peaks. It is very difficult! If you’ve got a 4WD vehicle and can be there early its worth it. An amazing hike! Parking might be a problem if you arrive late(after 8:30 am) After the saddle the trail was easier but still challenging with the high elevation. The pass is located on the ridge to the northwest of the lake. San Juan National forest, near Silverton in Southwest Colorado, View toward the western end of beautiful Columbine Lake, This little known hike climbs steeply through forest and beautiful alpine meadows to a stunning glacial lake set amid a backdrop of rugged 13,000-ft. peaks. Sports & Recreation. I highly recommend trekking poles on the way down. Columbine lake trail is a 13 4 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near silverton colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is 7.6 miles in total if you start from the trailhead which falls on the left of the dirt road. This extraordinary alpine lake is surrounded by several 13ers, including 13,761-foot Fuller Peak, 13,894-foot Vermillion Peak, 13,780-foot Golden Horn, 13,738-foot Pilot Knob and 13,767-foot U.S. Grant Peak, looking from left to right. I am an intermediate hiker and struggled to the top, although once you get there, it is worth it. Deer Ridge - $205 avg/night - Columbine Lake - Amenities include: Internet, Pets Welcome, TV, Satellite or cable, Washer & Dryer, Parking, Heater Bedrooms: 1 Sleeps: 7 Pet friendly Minimum stay from 2 night(s) Bookable directly online - Book vacation rental 705280 with Vrbo. With its more popular neighbor to the south - Ice Lakes - attracting most visitors, the lesser known Columbine Lake Trail still offers the best that the alpine backcountry has to offer. Must do hike! The first few miles is an uphill slog. The Ice Lakes Basin trailhead begins from the dirt parking lot across the road from South Mineral Campground. This is a popular mountain biking trail, but it is also a beautiful place to hike. Whether you want to experience the city like a tourist or follow the locals, check out this great resource for your trip. The views are amazing once you leave tree line and even more so once the incline evens out a bit at the top. The 16 switchbacks(1 mile long) is not the hardest part, the challenge arises when you’ve got to hike on the steep mountain for 1.2 miles. I would recommend parking close to the bridge and hiking up to the trailhead because the road to get there is not made for vehicles that are not 4x4 capable. It's only missing mermaids. Perched high in the San Juan Mountains, Silverton, Colorado RV Parks enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery you'll find anywhere. There are a couple really wide pullouts and you’ll only have to hike a tenth of a mile to the trail. The trail begins off of Forest Road #820 a short distance from Highway 550, on the south side of Red Mountain Pass. Keep going! Make sure you have enough water for you and your dog if they are joining! This trail is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it is absolutely worth it. It is fairly steep for the the next 2.5 miles but the views once you reach the tree line are great. One of the more difficult hikes I’ve done due to the steepness of the trail, especially out of the trees through the basin to the saddle. Watch out for the beginning of trail from the unpaved road on the left, it is easy to miss because it is atleast 1.5 feet higher than the unpaved road. Columbine Lake Trail in San Juan National Forest My route of the Columbine Lake Trail I arrived at Silverton’s Columbine Lake Trailhead on an ominously overcast afternoon with dull thunder rumbling overhead and cold rain sprinkling down. Amazing hike with wildflowrrs, bright blue lakes and streams- oh my! This is BY FAR, the toughest part of the hike. Columbine Lake, a turquoise jewel, is tucked in a stunning glacial bowl ringed by rugged ridges and peaks over 13,000-ft. For hikers with the time and energy a side trip to Columbine Pass is highly recommended. Columbine Lake is a siege of ever-changing, iridescent color that will not be pinned down: cobalt, indigo, sapphire, turquoise. Although it is not the longest, the elevation makes it extremely tough. Enjoy the journey. But keep going; once you get to the saddle, and cross over the pass, the trail is VERY enjoyable and you'll have a major sense of accomplishment- not to mention amazing views from every angle. © HikingWalking.com. An alternate trail from Ophir Pass to Columbine Lake Trail. Featured trails in the area include Rainbow Trail, Kendall Mountain, Stony Peak, Kendall Peak, Highland Mary Lakes, Columbine Lake and Pass, Ice Lakes, Porphyry Basin, Bear Creek National Recreation Trail, and Spencer Basin. Parking can be difficult and a higher clearance vehicle is preferred to park by the trail head. When you start hearing the running water, you only have about 10 more minutes to the lake. El sendero ofrece una serie de opciones de actividades y es accesible todo el año. Columbine Lake Trail is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Didn't see anyone else until hitting the tree line on the way down around 10:30am, after that I saw 20+ people heading up so I'd say the earlier you go the better. The pass is located on the ridge to the northwest of the lake. Don't be lazy and just walk the extra half mile ;) Starting from the stream its a half mile up the dirt road to the where the switch backs begin. Panoramic views from nearby Columbine Pass encompassing Bridal Veil basin and the Sneffels Range.Read Full Description. Sweet hike up to the alpine Lake. Though daily traffic is not as heavy at Highland Mary’s as at Ice Lakes, there's … Once you top out of the trees, the trail continues on a steep incline until you get to the saddle. So worth it! There is shade up to tree line. There are no signs kept so it can be a bit rough to navigate but follow google maps coordinates. Trailhead is not marked with a name but just a post marker so have your map. Columbine Lake is a turquoise jewel set in a stunning glacial bowl ringed by rugged ridges and peaks over 13,000-ft. Lookout Peak (13,661-ft.) rises above the southwestern end of the lake. The whole area was super dry and at times I felt like I was dangerously in a tinder box. Silverton / Ouray, Region Information: The first two miles to the saddle are killer. Your knees will thank you! Columbine Ranger District 367 Pearl Street Southwest Colorado. The last mile or so is flat and beautiful with range views and a nice stream where you can fill a filtering water bottle for fresh mountain water. It was gorgeous and worth it!! This trail seriously kicked our butts. After you get through the switchbacks in the forest you’re rewarded with open mountain and beautiful views, but beware its even steeper from here. The hike to Columbine Lake outside of Silverton, Colorado could well grace the pages and star in such a fanciful tale. I’d say any 2WD truck would make it. Pin. But prepare well for it and take poles if you have issues walking up hill. There were 4 other people up there. At about 1.5 miles, the trail begins climbing up and out of the Ruby Creek drainage. One of the most brutal yet most rewarding hikes i have done till date. Do not attempt to drive up to the trailhead if you don’t have a 4WD/AWD. Did Oct 16th. It was a challenge, at least for me, but the views are unbelievable! Columbine Lake Trail: A must-hike gem near Silverton, Colorado Though I only spent 24 hours hiking and backpacking along the Columbine Lake Trail, my adventure into the breathtaking San Juan National Forest was unforgettable. The lake is beautiful and on par with Ice Lake's coloring. The first 2 miles are through the trees with very difficult switchbacks but the harder part is once you hit the tree line, it is pretty much straight up. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Its crystal clear and bright blue. So warm. Whether you prefer to hike, snowshoe, or Nordic ski, exploring Telluride’s trails is the perfect way to enjoy a day off the slopes. Oh the places you'll go! Once you’re on it, the first 3 or so miles are all uphill. 6. Downtown Telluride in the Spring. The part that is in the trees includes (like a previous review said) 16 switchbacks ranging in length and steepness. Jaw dropping. Views from the pass extend west encompassing Bridal Veil Basin, Mt Sneffels (14,150-ft.) and the Sneffels Range. - $340 avg/night - Columbine Lake - Amenities include: Internet, Hot Tub, Pets Welcome, Fireplace, TV, Satellite or cable, Washer & Dryer, Children Welcome, Parking, No Smoking, Heater Bedrooms: 3 Sleeps: 8 Pet friendly Minimum stay from 3 night(s) Bookable directly online - Book vacation rental 877358 with Vrbo. Well worth it! However, what I would consider the toughest part of the trail is the mile or so that is in between the tree line and the saddle. Camping is available but the alpine meadow is fragile, so tread lightly and move your tent often. My friend's daughter recently titled a set on facebook the name of this whimsical Dr. Suess Book. Shade for the first couple miles and then you are in the wide open. Mother nature held back its worst, and I soaked in the beauty of Southwestern Colorado as if I were living in a postcard. Probably my favorite of blue lakes, ice lake and this one. I did this trail solo, but with my dog, around October 20th, right after the fire at South Mineral broke out. From there the trail climbs steeply up a series of switchbacks through a coniferous forest for more than a mile. As the days shorten and the snow covers the alpine lakes here is one last salute to summer above treeline. I’ve done my share of backpacking to insanely colored lakes, but Columbine Lake was a real shocker. I got to the tree line at sunrise and the sun coming over the mountains was amazing. My thighs, calves, & glutes were getting a real work out today! Columbine Lake in Colorado is a hidden treasure nestled among towering mountain peaks. 6 likes. Was amazing! Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we've got you covered.You can simply use your smart phone's GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.. Our community provides the best free camping information available. Enjoy Our Beautiful Mountain Home In The Heart Of The Colorado Rockies! Stony Pass, ATV Trail 821, and Cinnamon Pass OHV Route. Check in with the Forest Service before snowshoeing. All Rights Reserved. Even more beautiful than picture. The lake is cobalt blue and it’s extremely soothing and you’ll not find many people on this trail so it’s definitely more enjoyable and feels rad to do it. This opinionated guide includes all the hikes in the Ouray, Telluride, Silverton and Lake City sections of the website plus info on local services and nearby attractions. lots of slippery, deep snow. The remaining 1.4 miles is straight with some ups and downs and crossing a creek. Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO. This part of the trail may require some routefinding, but the way is generally marked by cairns. Now that it has snowed, some microspikes or poles will help on the higher elevation while coming down. Take your time. Highly recommend the lake and exploring the adjacent basin. See my adventures on insta @cdesmondtravel. Other hiking trails found near Silverton include Columbine Lake, Handies Peak, Highland Mary Lake, and Redcloud Peak. The water is unbelievably blue, and I would recommended taking a lunch or snacks to sit and enjoy the views. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Using all trails maps for the trail is better if you are starting early in the morning. We went in not realizing the difficulty but very happy we pushed through. When the snow starts to fly, Telluride transforms into a winter wonderland. Columbine Lake (11,060') is located 3.4 miles from Junco Lake Trailhead on the west side of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The parking lot is at N 37 48.394, W … Los perros también pueden usar este sendero. With a 40 minute stop at the lake it took us about 5.5 hours. It gets better! The views are breathtaking on this 1.2 mile route. Then the lake is the real show stopper! I saw a total of 8 other hikers on this trail; 4 of which came from another TH. then you will need to park little further from trailhead. Getting to Columbine Lake involves a steep climb and the trail to the pass some route finding skills but it is well worth the effort. There were lots of stops and took about 5 hours total. Would totally do it again. Luckily the wind was blowing out of the northwest so we had clear blue skies and no smoke. Camping near Silverton,Colorado. And for more bad news, the toughest part of the hike is still ahead of you, hiking up through the exposed basin to the saddle. Pack a lunch and hang for a while. Pretty epic route as I looped back down to the trailhead for a 15 mile loop. Park at the entrance road down below and hike up 1.4 miles to trailhead. It lies under Mount Neva (12,814') in a broad treeline basin ringed by level meadows, tree-topped knolls and alpine terraces. Columbine Lake Hike, Silverton, Colorado. As others have said, the hike up through the treelike is brutal (but absolutely beautiful) if you take your time. nick1803. hard but fun. The road is pretty smooth. No wonder this is such an extremely popular hike! If you park down on the main road you will add about 2 miles round trip. Trailhead is hard to find and the road to get there somewhat rough, but doable. Silverton, Colorado offers a variety of moderate to difficult high country trails. Much less crowded than island and blue lakes. We only saw a handful of people on the trail, and that was really nice. Telluride. Take your time as it definitely is a lot of elevation gain. 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But follow google maps coordinates Veil basin and the snow starts to fly, Telluride is the perfect for. The whole area was super dry and at times i felt like i was dangerously in a postcard can this... To difficult high country trails grace the pages and star in such a fanciful tale located in the coming... Trail calling Elk what the weather would bring perfect spot for chasing after new adventures ; Share probably my of... Columbine-Lake trailhead ( 37.860193, -107.727964 ) update trails status or condition Columbine lake Reports! It can be there early its worth it probably my favorite of blue lakes, but doable so had!, Mt Sneffels ( 14,150-ft. ) and the sun for almost an hour ringed by level,. And gorgeous alpine meadows with see forever views fire at South Mineral.! Of which came from another TH will add about 2 miles round trip July... Is just as incredible as it has snowed, some microspikes or poles will help on the left the... 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