So warm. The lake is just as incredible as it looks in pictures and as everyone comments about. From the trailhead marked by a blaze on a tree (see driving directions), the trail ascends steep switchbacks through spruce-fir forest. This unofficial but well-defined path winds steeply to a small saddle with stunning views over the Cabin Creek drainage (4.05 miles : 11,485'). This is a 7.7 mile out-and-back hike with 3000 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 3-5 hours to complete. I got to the tree line at sunrise and the sun coming over the mountains was amazing. The trail starts with a forest inclining into a meadow, then you walk up the meadow into a valley and follow the creek and you will find the lake. Highly recommend the lake and exploring the adjacent basin. Beautiful day at the top. 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). 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. Comments. 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. There were 4 other people up there. Even saw a pair of hunters sitting on the trail calling Elk. After a mile, the road forks and the right-hand fork leads to several tumbled down log cabins beside Meadow Creek. Continue on CR 84 (Meadow Creek Road) to a short spur for the Junco Lake Trailhead (10.9 miles from HWY 40). Permits must be picked up in person at either Ranger Station, or ordered in advance by mail. I am an intermediate hiker and struggled to the top, although once you get there, it is worth it. The views are breathtaking on this 1.2 mile route. For inspiration from all the CO 14ers the.world.hiker on insta. The trail begins off of Forest Road #820 a short distance from Highway 550, on the south side of Red Mountain Pass. The Columbine Lake hike wastes no time gaining elevation. Several large meadows along the way provide great views of Neva and places to camp. Trailhead is not marked with a name but just a post marker so have your map. But prepare well for it and take poles if you have issues walking up hill. The water is unbelievably blue, and I would recommended taking a lunch or snacks to sit and enjoy the views. An amazing hike! Elevation Gain: 2,195-ft. Trail Map | Photo Gallery The trail is 7.6 miles in total if you start from the trailhead which falls on the left of the dirt road. Only used to identify you to ProTrails. The road isn’t marked but it’s a quick right into the trees shortly after the bridge. I highly recommend trekking poles on the way down. The Columbine Lake hike wastes no time gaining elevation. 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. Probably my favorite of blue lakes, ice lake and this one. Trip Report. Governing Documents; Board Meeting Minutes CLCC; Architectural Applications and Forms; Admin & Miscellaneous; Communications. Recommended Season Spring Summer Fall Winter Use: Light Difficulty: Most difficult USGS Map (s): Ophir and Silverton Starting Elevation: 10,200' Mineral Creek Ending Elevation: 12,800' 13000 12000 11000 10000 9000 8000 Feet Miles 5,545 ft (1,690 m) Population • Total: 24,280 • Density: 3,662/sq mi (1,414/km 2) Time zone: UTC-7 • Summer : UTC-6 : ZIP Code: Littleton 80123. Columbine Lake Trail specs: . With its more popular neighbor Ice Lakes, the Columbine Lake trail is a lesser known hike which still offers the best that alpine backcountry has to offer. My thighs, calves, & glutes were getting a real work out today! Worth the hike but it is demanding for sure! There was a nice rocky area that had been made as a tent site. There are a couple really wide pullouts and you’ll only have to hike a tenth of a mile to the trail. Permits are required for backcountry camping in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, June 1 - Sept. 15. The nearest weather station for both precipitation and temperature measurements is GRAND LAKE 6 which is approximately 15 miles away and has an elevation of 8,288 feet (2,778 feet lower than Columbine Lake). Stay at this 3-star cabin in Grand Lake. Stony Pass, ATV Trail 821, and Cinnamon Pass OHV Route. Trail Description: At the Junco Lake Trailhead, the trail begins as an old jeep road. Click here to download the Indian Peaks Wilderness Permit Application, Fourth of July Trailhead: Arapaho Glacier and South Arapaho Peak, 10,090' - 11,060' (11,076' max elevation), +970' net elevation gain (+1,220' total roundtrip elevation gain), "Drone footage of the top: https://youtu.be/IyccN8k7XAI", "This is one of the prettiest lakes in the Indian Peaks - I wish it wasn't such a long drive! Well 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. Do not attempt to drive up to the trailhead if you don’t have a 4WD/AWD. Fires are not permitted at Columbine Lake: The trail begins on a rocky jeep road that steepens to an unmarked fork; keep left (1.0 mile : 10,350'). After 14 days, the campsite must be moved a minimum of three miles. Elevation: 10,406 - 12,678 feet Cellphone: 0 bars Time: 5 hrs. Columbine Lake Trail #509 Length: 5 miles (8 km.) Columbine’s remote feel is due in part to the lake lying on the east side of 11,630-foot Sawtooth Pass, one of a handful of ridgetop keyholes leading into Sequoia National Park’s expansive backcountry. I recommend heading up to the pass described in this article. Discover genuine guest reviews for Columbine Cabins along with the latest prices and availability – book now. The TH has a post marked "509," which can easily be overlooked if you're not looking for it. Fishing is permitted at Columbine Lake and along Meadow Creek with a valid Colorado fishing license. Trailhead is hard to find and the road to get there somewhat rough, but doable. Parking might be a problem if you arrive late(after 8:30 am) Camping at Columbine Lake. Use established sites whenever possible to minimize impact. Take your time as it definitely is a lot of elevation gain. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a spa tub. Not a bad idea to go next season/in colder weather with fire activity. There were lots of stops and took about 5 hours total. Hiked in from the Opus Hut on Ophir Pass. Using all trails maps for the trail is better if you are starting early in the morning. Le sentier est principalement utilisé pour la randonnée et la randonnée à sac à dos et sa meilleure utilisation est de juillet à octobre. By Danielle Steffens. Must do hike! 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. Would totally do it again. Starting right in on the switchbacks, the trail gains its first 1,000 feet of elevation in no time as it ascends the expansive and heavily wooded eastern arm of Lookout Peak. I suggest driving up the dirt road to just past the trailhead. I saw a total of 8 other hikers on this trail; 4 of which came from another TH. The Plan. www.hikingwalking.com/.../destinations/co/co_sw/silverton/columbine_lake The Caribou Pass Trail rises gently along Meadow Creek to the Columbine Lake Trail, which turns SE on a moderately steep, shifting path to its source at the lake. It turns right and crosses the meadow to join the creek, where it steepens on a shifty path through a high alpine forest to Columbine Lake (3.4 miles : 11,060'). Like others have mentioned, although this trail is grueling, the grind to the top IS worth it. To reach the pass, continue to the SW corner and look for a trail heading up. The lake is stunning. Was amazing! Below are weather averages from 1971 to 2000 according to data gathered from the nearest official weather station. Will not show on comments list. Permits are $5 per party. So worth it! Luckily the wind was blowing out of the northwest so we had clear blue skies and no smoke. From here, you can continue up the arduous scree covered slopes to Columbine Pass for a new perspective on Lewis Lake and Mine. This trail is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it is absolutely worth it. 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. Check in with the Forest Service before snowshoeing. The trail arcs around the meadow, veers left at a re-vegetation sign (1.55 miles) and switchbacks up to the Caribou Pass - Columbine Lake split (1.95 miles : 10,570'). The trail starts with a forest inclining into a meadow, then you walk up the meadow into a valley and follow the creek and you will find the lake. The first 3 miles or so are a grind and very steep. We laid in the sun for almost an hour. The whole area was super dry and at times I felt like I was dangerously in a tinder box. We only saw a handful of people on the trail, and that was really nice. Columbine Lake Fire Fund. Print Trail Just before the town of Tabernash, turn right onto 84 Road (later known as FR 129) and follow the signs towards Meadow Lake. 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. Group size is limited to 15 individuals. 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. Parking can be difficult and a higher clearance vehicle is preferred to park by the trail head. It was gorgeous and worth it!! But prepare well for it and take poles if you have issues walking up hill. There is shade up to tree line. Would 10/10 recommend this hike! The trail is well maintained and heavily traveled, though snow may linger into July and conceal quick, counter-intuitive turns on the Columbine Lake Trail segment. 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