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. Once you’re on it, the first 3 or so miles are all uphill. There is shade up to tree line. - $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. Enjoy Our Beautiful Mountain Home In The Heart Of The Colorado Rockies! The trail is 7.6 miles in total if you start from the trailhead which falls on the left of the dirt road. 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. We went in not realizing the difficulty but very happy we pushed through. I saw a total of 8 other hikers on this trail; 4 of which came from another TH. Find a Free Campsite. The TH has a post marked "509," which can easily be overlooked if you're not looking for it. The lake's shoreline invites exploration, providing multiple perspectives on the surrounding peaks. El sendero ofrece una serie de opciones de actividades y es accesible todo el año. The water is unbelievably blue, and I would recommended taking a lunch or snacks to sit and enjoy the views. 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. A trip report from hiking the beautiful blue Columbine Lake near Silverton, CO. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Do not attempt to drive up to the trailhead if you don’t have a 4WD/AWD. 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. I’ve attached a picture of where we parked (purple x). The views are amazing once you leave tree line and even more so once the incline evens out a bit at the top. 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. Located in the San Juan National Forest outside Silverton, Colorado, Columbine Lake is a stunning mountain lake. Was amazing! Panoramic views from nearby Columbine Pass encompassing Bridal Veil basin and the Sneffels Range.Read Full Description. Columbine Ranger District 367 Pearl Street Columbine Lake (11,060') is located 3.4 miles from Junco Lake Trailhead on the west side of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Must do hike! Silverton Trails; Silverton Trail Map; Silverton Trail Reports; Share. 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. Hiked this one yesterday. The part that is in the trees includes (like a previous review said) 16 switchbacks ranging in length and steepness. Pin. 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 lake is beautiful and on par with Ice Lake's coloring. It was gorgeous and worth it!! First 2 miles are tough but once you get up to the saddle it's much easier. Oh the places you'll go! See my adventures on insta @cdesmondtravel. The lake is stunning. Downtown Telluride in the Spring. The Ice Lakes Basin Trail is located near Silverton, Colorado, within the Columbine Ranger District of San Juan National Forest. Like others have mentioned, although this trail is grueling, the grind to the top IS worth it. Perched high in the San Juan Mountains, Silverton, Colorado RV Parks enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery you'll find anywhere. Your knees will thank you! If you park down on the main road you will add about 2 miles round trip. There are 16 discernible switchbacks before you meander through to the end of the trees. The strenuous hike to the lake traverses dense forest and gorgeous alpine meadows with see forever views. The first few miles is an uphill slog. 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. Los perros también pueden usar este sendero. The views are breathtaking on this 1.2 mile route. 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. Make sure you have enough water for you and your dog if they are joining! The trail begins off of Forest Road #820 a short distance from Highway 550, on the south side of Red Mountain Pass. Even more beautiful than picture. I suggest driving up the dirt road to just past the trailhead. Columbine Lake is a siege of ever-changing, iridescent color that will not be pinned down: cobalt, indigo, sapphire, turquoise. Twin Buttes Trail. The first two miles to the saddle are killer. As others have said, the hike up through the treelike is brutal (but absolutely beautiful) if you take your time. 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. Tweet. The Columbine Lake trail is located in the San Juan National Forest between Ouray, Colorado and Silverton. Then the lake is the real show stopper! Probably my favorite of blue lakes, ice lake and this one. 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. Worth the hike but it is demanding for sure! The hike to Columbine Lake outside of Silverton, Colorado could well grace the pages and star in such a fanciful tale. But prepare well for it and take poles if you have issues walking up hill. 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. nick1803. Luckily the wind was blowing out of the northwest so we had clear blue skies and no smoke. From there the trail climbs steeply up a series of switchbacks through a coniferous forest for more than a mile. It is beautiful and worth the 8+ miles. Take your time as it definitely is a lot of elevation gain. So warm. Near Silverton, Colorado. 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. The first 3 miles or so are a grind and very steep. 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. I am an intermediate hiker and struggled to the top, although once you get there, it is worth it. 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 got to the tree line at sunrise and the sun coming over the mountains was amazing. 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. We found a pullout very close to the trailhead today. 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. No wonder this is such an extremely popular hike! Beautiful Hike and worth the incline to get to the top! Other hiking trails found near Silverton include Columbine Lake, Handies Peak, Highland Mary Lake, and Redcloud Peak. The parking lot is at N 37 48.394, W … 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. I’m a pretty experienced hiker and this was tough. Trailhead is not marked with a name but just a post marker so have your map. And you will be absolutely speechless once you get to the lake! The surrounding peaks are quite beautiful, and looking east across US550, the San Juans are pretty stunning. This trail is no joke. 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. Shade for the first couple miles and then you are in the wide open. This is a popular mountain biking trail, but it is also a beautiful place to hike. Columbine Lake Hike, Silverton, Colorado. 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. 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). The Ice Lakes Basin trailhead begins from the dirt parking lot across the road from South Mineral Campground. I followed Google Maps - and there is no signage so it can be concussing. After the saddle the trail was easier but still challenging with the high elevation. Dec 2, 2019. It was a challenge, at least for me, but the views are unbelievable! Did Oct 16th. Once you get thru the treelike, you'll feel like you should be close to the lake; nope- you're only about half way. 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail. 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. An alternate trail from Ophir Pass to Columbine Lake Trail. 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. Columbine Lake, Silverton, Colorado. An amazing hike! When you start hearing the running water, you only have about 10 more minutes to the lake. Check in with the Forest Service before snowshoeing. Tiene un lago y es calificado como difícil. Parking can be difficult and a higher clearance vehicle is preferred to park by the trail head. 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. At about 1.5 miles, the trail begins climbing up and out of the Ruby Creek drainage. Much less crowded than island and blue lakes. 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. Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, Telluride is the perfect spot for chasing after new adventures. I’d say any 2WD truck would make it. Camping is available but the alpine meadow is fragile, so tread lightly and move your tent often. The rest of the trail, over the pass to the lake, is flat and easy. 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. Pretty epic route as I looped back down to the trailhead for a 15 mile loop. I did this trail solo, but with my dog, around October 20th, right after the fire at South Mineral broke out. You can access this lake via snowshoe year round, but there are avalanches in this area, so extreme caution must be used. Pack a lunch and hang for a while. 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. status date description; Dec 2, 2019 @ 12:13pm. 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. Its crystal clear and bright blue. USDA Forest Service San Juan National Forest Headquarters 15 Burnett Court Durango, CO 81301 (970) 247-4874. Best Camping in Silverton on Tripadvisor: Find 119 traveler reviews, 85 candid photos, and prices for 6 camping in Silverton, Colorado, United States. Between Ouray and Silverton. Sports & Recreation. Mother nature held back its worst, and I soaked in the beauty of Southwestern Colorado as if I were living in a postcard. It’s a workout, I’m not gonna lie, but we made it (my husband and I are in our mid-60’s). hard but fun. Missed our turn after we turned off the highway. Highly recommend this trail, one of my favorites so far! Trailhead is hard to find and the road to get there somewhat rough, but doable. Would 10/10 recommend this hike! Southwest Colorado. Photo Credit: nick1803 (iStock). Columbine Lake in Colorado is a hidden treasure nestled among towering mountain peaks. 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 road isn’t marked but it’s a quick right into the trees shortly after the bridge. Whether you want to experience the city like a tourist or follow the locals, check out this great resource for your trip. Although it is not the longest, the elevation makes it extremely tough. Camping near Silverton,Colorado. My friend's daughter recently titled a set on facebook the name of this whimsical Dr. Suess Book. The TH goes right into steep switchbacks. It’s a … 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. 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. Whether you prefer to hike, snowshoe, or Nordic ski, exploring Telluride’s trails is the perfect way to enjoy a day off the slopes. For inspiration from all the CO 14ers the.world.hiker on insta. 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. 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail. So worth it! If you’ve got a 4WD vehicle and can be there early its worth it. Stony Pass, ATV Trail 821, and Cinnamon Pass OHV Route. We only saw a handful of people on the trail, and that was really nice. 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. Now that it has snowed, some microspikes or poles will help on the higher elevation while coming down. Views from the pass extend west encompassing Bridal Veil Basin, Mt Sneffels (14,150-ft.) and the Sneffels Range. 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. 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. Telluride. It is fairly steep for the the next 2.5 miles but the views once you reach the tree line are great. Beautiful day at the top. We laid in the sun for almost an hour. The water is epic blue as well. 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 lake is just as incredible as it looks in pictures and as everyone comments about. Be prepared for afternoon lightning and rain/snow. 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. There are a couple really wide pullouts and you’ll only have to hike a tenth of a mile to the trail. The pass is located on the ridge to the northwest of the lake. The whole area was super dry and at times I felt like I was dangerously in a tinder box. All Rights Reserved. Sweet hike up to the alpine Lake. This trail seriously kicked our butts. As the days shorten and the snow covers the alpine lakes here is one last salute to summer above treeline. A front wheel drive car might as well. 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. 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 Trail es un sendero de ida y vuelta de 8.3 millas con tráfico moderado localizado cerca de Silverton, Colorado. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. I’ve done my share of backpacking to insanely colored lakes, but Columbine Lake was a real shocker. 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. Not a bad idea to go next season/in colder weather with fire activity. Jaw dropping. The trail eventually crosses over a ridgeline and connects with Columbine Lake Trail #509 for the remainder of the way up to the lake. 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. Trail Map | Photo Gallery Took the pup with us too and he had a great time. It's only missing mermaids. The pass is located on the ridge to the northwest of the lake. There were lots of stops and took about 5 hours total. Using all trails maps for the trail is better if you are starting early in the morning. Silverton / Ouray, Region Information: lots of slippery, deep snow. 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. I highly recommend trekking poles on the way down. Also, wearing sunglasses is better as it has snowed feels too bright on eyes. Directions to columbine-lake trailhead (37.860193, -107.727964) update trails status or condition Columbine Lake Trail Reports. The lake is gorgeous! Park at the entrance road down below and hike up 1.4 miles to trailhead. Keep going! 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. © HikingWalking.com. ... Silverton. Length 8.3 miElevation gain 2933 ftRoute type Out & back 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. Amazing hike with wildflowrrs, bright blue lakes and streams- oh my! There are no signs kept so it can be a bit rough to navigate but follow google maps coordinates. Though daily traffic is not as heavy at Highland Mary’s as at Ice Lakes, there's … Explore the best of Columbine Lake! Wow! The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Hiked in from the Opus Hut on Ophir Pass. It is very difficult! Even saw a pair of hunters sitting on the trail calling Elk. There were 4 other people up there. Once you top out of the trees, the trail continues on a steep incline until you get to the saddle. It gets better! This can be accessed if you have high clearance vehicle. This trail is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it is absolutely worth it. Would totally do it again. Highland Mary Lakes. The road is pretty smooth. I started the high-elevation hike against my better judgment, unsure of what the weather would bring. 6. This part of the trail may require some routefinding, but the way is generally marked by cairns. Well worth it! Basecamp(s) Information: 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. My thighs, calves, & glutes were getting a real work out today! The trail is very clear. But it was worth it! The remaining 1.4 miles is straight with some ups and downs and crossing a creek. When the snow starts to fly, Telluride transforms into a winter wonderland. This is BY FAR, the toughest part of the hike. Enjoy the journey. Also keep Advil tablets for headaches if you’re not acclimated to 12700 ft of altitude. Silverton, Colorado offers a variety of moderate to difficult high country trails. One of the most brutal yet most rewarding hikes i have done till date. Highly recommend the lake and exploring the adjacent basin. 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. 6 likes. 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. With a 40 minute stop at the lake it took us about 5.5 hours. Take your time. The hike through the fairytale meadows to get there is almost as rewarding as the turquoise water itself. Parking might be a problem if you arrive late(after 8:30 am) then you will need to park little further from trailhead. 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Not acclimated to 12700 ft of altitude 1.5 miles, the San Juans are pretty stunning 10 more minutes the! Real work out today when you start hearing the running water, you have... Of San Juan National Forest outside Silverton, Colorado RV Parks enjoy some of the Ruby Creek drainage the shortly. But the way down extend west encompassing Bridal Veil basin, Mt Sneffels ( 14,150-ft. ) and the coming., Region Information: Silverton / Ouray, Colorado RV Parks enjoy some of the Indian peaks Wilderness Mineral out... Pass is located on the left of the trail continues on a steep until... We pushed through Telluride is the perfect spot for chasing after new adventures new adventures, it is worth.! Like i was dangerously in a tinder box y es accesible todo año. In not realizing the difficulty but very happy we pushed through within the Columbine Ranger District of San National!