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. Also keep Advil tablets for headaches if you’re not acclimated to 12700 ft of altitude. There is shade up to tree line. When you start hearing the running water, you only have about 10 more minutes to the lake. 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. 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. The first two miles to the saddle are killer. 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. Photo Credit: nick1803 (iStock). Missed our turn after we turned off the highway. Explore the best of Columbine Lake! 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. First 2 miles are tough but once you get up to the saddle it's much easier. This part of the trail may require some routefinding, but the way is generally marked by cairns. The lake is stunning. My thighs, calves, & glutes were getting a real work out today! Well worth it! 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. The road is pretty smooth. Hiked in from the Opus Hut on Ophir Pass. Downtown Telluride in the Spring. Now that it has snowed, some microspikes or poles will help on the higher elevation while coming down. The views are breathtaking on this 1.2 mile route. Pretty epic route as I looped back down to the trailhead for a 15 mile loop. 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. Silverton / Ouray, Region Information: Wow! The strenuous hike to the lake traverses dense forest and gorgeous alpine meadows with see forever views. Also, wearing sunglasses is better as it has snowed feels too bright on eyes. Length 8.3 miElevation gain 2933 ftRoute type Out & back Trail Map | Photo Gallery I got to the tree line at sunrise and the sun coming over the mountains was amazing. The TH has a post marked "509," which can easily be overlooked if you're not looking for it. I did this trail solo, but with my dog, around October 20th, right after the fire at South Mineral broke out. Once you’re on it, the first 3 or so miles are all uphill. The pass is located on the ridge to the northwest of the lake. The water is epic blue as well. 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. ... Silverton. The lake is just as incredible as it looks in pictures and as everyone comments about. Not a bad idea to go next season/in colder weather with fire activity. Columbine Lake Hike, Silverton, Colorado. There were 4 other people up there. Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, Telluride is the perfect spot for chasing after new adventures. 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 views are amazing once you leave tree line and even more so once the incline evens out a bit at the top. Hiked this one yesterday. Parking might be a problem if you arrive late(after 8:30 am) When the snow starts to fly, Telluride transforms into a winter wonderland. Sweet hike up to the alpine Lake. We went in not realizing the difficulty but very happy we pushed through. Whether you prefer to hike, snowshoe, or Nordic ski, exploring Telluride’s trails is the perfect way to enjoy a day off the slopes. One of the most brutal yet most rewarding hikes i have done till date. The first 3 miles or so are a grind and very steep. 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. Tweet. Mother nature held back its worst, and I soaked in the beauty of Southwestern Colorado as if I were living in a postcard. But prepare well for it and take poles if you have issues walking up hill. Would totally do it again. At about 1.5 miles, the trail begins climbing up and out of the Ruby Creek drainage. The trail is 7.6 miles in total if you start from the trailhead which falls on the left of the dirt road. Its crystal clear and bright blue. It gets better! The trail eventually crosses over a ridgeline and connects with Columbine Lake Trail #509 for the remainder of the way up to the lake. 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. The Ice Lakes Basin Trail is located near Silverton, Colorado, within the Columbine Ranger District of San Juan National Forest. We only saw a handful of people on the trail, and that was really nice. 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. Located in the San Juan National Forest outside Silverton, Colorado, Columbine Lake is a stunning mountain lake. I am an intermediate hiker and struggled to the top, although once you get there, it is worth it. 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. My friend's daughter recently titled a set on facebook the name of this whimsical Dr. Suess Book. 6 likes. Camping near Silverton,Colorado. The water is unbelievably blue, and I would recommended taking a lunch or snacks to sit and enjoy the views. 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. Shade for the first couple miles and then you are in the wide open. 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. 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. lots of slippery, deep snow. 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 offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. We laid in the sun for almost an hour. There are a couple really wide pullouts and you’ll only have to hike a tenth of a mile to the trail. Columbine Lake is a siege of ever-changing, iridescent color that will not be pinned down: cobalt, indigo, sapphire, turquoise. Views from the pass extend west encompassing Bridal Veil Basin, Mt Sneffels (14,150-ft.) and the Sneffels Range. I suggest driving up the dirt road to just past the trailhead. All Rights Reserved. The Columbine Lake trail is located in the San Juan National Forest between Ouray, Colorado and Silverton. Jaw dropping. Southwest Colorado. Probably my favorite of blue lakes, ice lake and this one. Columbine Ranger District 367 Pearl Street The whole area was super dry and at times I felt like I was dangerously in a tinder box. I’d say any 2WD truck would make it. Once you top out of the trees, the trail continues on a steep incline until you get to the saddle. Silverton, Colorado offers a variety of moderate to difficult high country trails. 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. No wonder this is such an extremely popular hike! The parking lot is at N 37 48.394, W … Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Check in with the Forest Service before snowshoeing. The rest of the trail, over the pass to the lake, is flat and easy. The Beauty of A Rainy Day Hike: Columbine Lake This was one of those days where I really wondered if it was worth it. Highly recommend this trail, one of my favorites so far! 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. 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. 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. Pin. The lake's shoreline invites exploration, providing multiple perspectives on the surrounding peaks. 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. 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. Even saw a pair of hunters sitting on the trail calling Elk. 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. It was a challenge, at least for me, but the views are unbelievable! An alternate trail from Ophir Pass to Columbine Lake Trail. The TH goes right into steep switchbacks. 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. Be prepared for afternoon lightning and rain/snow. 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. Whether you want to experience the city like a tourist or follow the locals, check out this great resource for your trip. The lake is gorgeous! Los perros también pueden usar este sendero. The remaining 1.4 miles is straight with some ups and downs and crossing a creek. The pass is located on the ridge to the northwest of the lake. From there the trail climbs steeply up a series of switchbacks through a coniferous forest for more than a mile. I started the high-elevation hike against my better judgment, unsure of what the weather would bring. 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 hike to Columbine Lake outside of Silverton, Colorado could well grace the pages and star in such a fanciful tale. 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. So warm. Silverton Trails; Silverton Trail Map; Silverton Trail Reports; Share. The part that is in the trees includes (like a previous review said) 16 switchbacks ranging in length and steepness. Even more beautiful than picture. 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. Must do hike! This trail is no joke. 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. Park at the entrance road down below and hike up 1.4 miles to trailhead. Telluride. Then the lake is the real show stopper! 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. This is BY FAR, the toughest part of the hike. It is very difficult! Between Ouray and Silverton. 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. There are 16 discernible switchbacks before you meander through to the end of the trees. I’ve attached a picture of where we parked (purple x). Perched high in the San Juan Mountains, Silverton, Colorado RV Parks enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery you'll find anywhere. Other hiking trails found near Silverton include Columbine Lake, Handies Peak, Highland Mary Lake, and Redcloud Peak. Panoramic views from nearby Columbine Pass encompassing Bridal Veil basin and the Sneffels Range.Read Full Description. Luckily the wind was blowing out of the northwest so we had clear blue skies and no smoke. There are no signs kept so it can be a bit rough to navigate but follow google maps coordinates. Basecamp(s) Information: The road isn’t marked but it’s a quick right into the trees shortly after the bridge. The surrounding peaks are quite beautiful, and looking east across US550, the San Juans are pretty stunning. Camping is available but the alpine meadow is fragile, so tread lightly and move your tent often. Find a Free Campsite. I highly recommend trekking poles on the way down. 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. It is fairly steep for the the next 2.5 miles but the views once you reach the tree line are great. But it was worth it! The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. I followed Google Maps - and there is no signage so it can be concussing. We found a pullout very close to the trailhead today. The trail begins off of Forest Road #820 a short distance from Highway 550, on the south side of Red Mountain Pass. Beautiful day at the top. With a 40 minute stop at the lake it took us about 5.5 hours. After the saddle the trail was easier but still challenging with the high elevation. It is beautiful and worth the 8+ miles. Columbine Lake (11,060') is located 3.4 miles from Junco Lake Trailhead on the west side of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. It’s a workout, I’m not gonna lie, but we made it (my husband and I are in our mid-60’s). 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. This is a popular mountain biking trail, but it is also a beautiful place to hike. This trail is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it is absolutely worth it. The lake is beautiful and on par with Ice Lake's coloring. Take your time. hard but fun. © HikingWalking.com. 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