10. The reward is Upper Slate Lake, one of the prettiest and most remote wilderness gems in Colorado. Editor's Note: Access to some of these lakes can vary due to a number of factors, including time of year. “ Bear Creek Lake Park is an amazing place to get away and offers miles of trails, scenic views, a Swim Beach, Paddle Boarding, picnic tables and more. You can't just drive here. Twin Lakes. In beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park, Chasm Lake is located at 11,803 feet and requires a strenuous 4.2-mile hike to reach from the Longs Peak Trailhead - and then the same distance back out. It's one of the best spots in Colorado for boating, fishing, swimming, and other recreation. They are among the most photographed mountains in the country. 1024 x 768 jpeg 231kB. Grand Lake The largest natural lake in Colorado sits outside the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park in a town of the same name, with a boardwalk, marina and lots of family fun and events each year. The Maroon Bells reflected in Crater Lake. This marvel is home to 500 lakes, and over 3,000 miles of trail throughout the accumulative Grand Mesa National Forest. Lake Grandby has two sister lakes… The following is a partial alphabetical list of lakes and reservoirs in the U.S. State of Colorado. There are lots of Gold Medal waters for catching trophy-sized fish, along with jaw-dropping views […] Horsetooth Reservoir sits in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by deep red sandstone and mountain vegetation. It's perfect for exercising. From snow-capped mountains to vibrant cities to the lush countryside, you will always find something new and exciting in the Centennial State. Along the way, you'll pass the pretty Nymph Lake, but make sure to continue on to Dream. Includes many of the states 14ers and countless more. Although it’s hard to go wrong, here’s a look at the best alpine lake hikes in Colorado for any ability level. The Ice Lakes are some the most beautiful alpine lakes in all of North America and make for a perfect Colorado summer day hike. The large manmade lake is a favorite with swimmers, boaters, and anglers. Skewing toward easy and moderate trails, it should be easy to find the perfect experience for any experience level. Best lake trails in Colorado 174,250 Reviews Explore the most popular lake trails in Colorado with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. 915 Cheyenne Mountain Blvd “Easily one of my favorite spots in the Springs. This is a good time to photograph the lake as well. The area around the lake is popular with hikers in summer and snowmobilers in winter. Community Sailing of Colorado offers sailing classes and rentals if this is something you'd like to try. There is also good fishing on Grand Lake. As one of the more popular areas in the range, it’s still not too crowded. The largest natural lake in the state, Grand Lake is a fishing enthusiasts’ dream, tucked in the heart of the Rockies near the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. That also happens to be a great way to wind down after a busy day day of fishing on nearby Lake Georgetown or hiking up Mount Bierstadt, Mount Evans, or any of the other Colorado 14ers found in the area. Trappers Lake Trappers Lake near Meeker, CO. Photo: John. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, there are over 2,000 lakes and reservoirs, offering a span of major boating opportunities.From wide-ranging reservoirs to small mountain lakes, there is an option for everyone. The entire state is above 3,000 feet, so you’ll combine the incredible fishing with stunning views. The 20 most stunning alpine lakes in Colorado. The lake is adjacent to the town of Grand Lake, which serves as the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. The most easily accessible campsite on this list, this campsite also offers the best view on this list. Think sightseeing cruises, tubing, and kayaking, or vineyard tours, hiking, and waterfront restaurants. Uncover Colorado - Vacations, Travel & Tourism | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer, 10 Stunning State Parks around the Denver Metro, 7 Fun Places to Stand Up Paddle Board in Colorado, Canyons Of The Ancients Visitor Center & Museum, How D.I.A.’s Murals Feed Conspiracy Theorist, 10 Wonderful Winter Vacation Spots in Colorado, Quick Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Denver, Comfy Cabins to Rent near Boulder, Lyons and Nederland. Read More: 20 Highest Roads in Colorado 2. Rent a cabin and enjoy fishing for brook, rainbow and brown trout as well as mackinaw and kokanee. There is plenty to do, including a swimming beach and area, fishing, boating, and hiking in the surrounding mountains. Connected to Grand Lake by the Colorado River, Shadow Mountain Lake is the third sister in a group of high alpine bodies of water (Granby Lake is the other) set against the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), Colorado is home to about 35 different freshwater species in 1,300 lakes and reservoirs as well as … Aspen trees reflected in Lake San Cristobal. The High Country Lodge puts you close to a number of lakes, with the San Juan Mountains framing your lake vacation. Lather up with sunscreen and bring your umbrellas every summer for swimming at Colorado’s best beaches. Most of the larger lakes in Colorado are either reservoirs or dam-enhanced natural lakes. From short day hikes close to the city to multi-day backpacking trips deep in Rocky Mountain National Park, these adventures will take you to some of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Colorado. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), Colorado is home to about 35 different freshwater species in 1,300 lakes and reservoirs as well as … Colorado is the abode of over two thousand lakes and reservoirs and about six thousand fishable miles of rivers, streams, and estuaries flow through the land, making it a fisherman’s heaven. Grand Lake, Colorado Grand Lake . The area is especially sublime in July and August when the wildflowers are at their peak. Just five miles outside the town of Granby, Lake Granby is right on the Colorado River and also right by Grand Lake. There is a beach area for swimmers and sunbathers and also plenty of options to get on the reservoir in a boat. I’ve hiked to lots of alpine lakes near Vancouver, but so far I haven’t made it to the famous Rocky Mountains in Colorado.And that’s a shame since there are so many awesome hikes in Colorado.So I’m pretty stoked about this post. The lake is at an elevation of 2,142 metres above sea level near the terminus of Garnet Canyon. Colorado in Pictures: 15 Beautiful Places to Photograph, 16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Denver, 14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Colorado Springs, CO, 16 Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Colorado, USA, 9 Best Cheap Ski Resorts in Colorado, 2021, 11 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways in Colorado, 12 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Colorado, 2021, 16 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in the World, 2021, 11 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Boulder, CO, Where to Stay in Boulder: Best Areas & Hotels, Where to Stay in Denver: Best Areas & Hotels, From Denver to Vail: 5 Best Ways to Get There, From Dubai to Abu Dhabi: 5 Best Ways to Get There, 19 Best Places to Visit in the United States, 11 Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the World, visiting Denver, you can find many nearby hiking trails. www.tripadvisor.com . It is at a little distance from Mesa Verde, Dolores, and Cortez. A quick 2 mile hike uphill will take you to the best campsite in … Directions. Little Molas Lake, located in the southwest corner of Colorado in the San Juan National Forest between Durango and Silverton, is a primitive campground that offers spectacular views of the glistening water and the surrounding jagged peaks of Snowdon, Grand Turk, Engineer and Twin Sister. Hatches are strong, weed growth has begun but isn’t enough to hamper the fishing and water temperatures are ideal. 303magazine.com. Colorado is home to hundreds of lakes populated with trout, though most anglers targeting trout choose to fish in Colorado's streams and rivers; 168 miles of Colorado streams have been designated by the Colorado Wildlife Commission as "gold medal" trout fishing water. It can actually get quite crowded June through August on weekends, when Colorado residents come from the cities to stay in its high alpine camp sites and cabins or make use of the RV hookups. In Rocky Mountain National Park, Dream Lake is positively dreamy in the early morning, when the rising sun turns it pink and purple. 8.) Sort: Recommended. The Best Front Range Hikes – A compendium of the best hikes in Colorado’s Front Range, which is where most of the state’s population lies. Or you can take a boat out and fish from the surface. 6. Open Now. The Chatfield Reservoir, also known as Chatfield lake, was created by the Army Corps in 1966 to help control flooding in the area. Close to Lake Estes is the Murphy's Resort, with a 3.5 mile hiking trail around the lake for a gorgeous walk by the waters. Colorado Outdoors: Nature lovers can find a world of opportunities for adventures in this beautiful state. One of the best lakes in Colorado to live on is Lake Granby. Twin Lakes, located in Leadville, Colorado, are two naturally formed glacial lakes with the beautiful backdrop of Colorado’s highest mountain peak, Mount Elbert. Like most lakes in Colorado, you can drop your boat in (at the Lake Fork Campground or the Elk Creek Campground) and enjoy a day on the water. 1. It's hard to pick the very best lakes in Colorado when the state is home to more than 4,000 bodies of water, both natural and manmade. Often considered one of the best hikes in Colorado, you will crest the top of Arapaho Pass before reaching Caribou Lake itself. Eleven Mile Reservoir. First time - best lake/mountain scenery - Denver Forum - … Best season: Spring, Summer, Fall; Campsite type: Tents, RV’s; RV hookups: No; Colorado’s Grand Mesa is the largest flattop mountain in the world! 1. There are also opportunities to spot all kinds of wild creatures, from fox to moose, elk, and deer. Grand Lake. Piney Lake near Vail. Quail Lake Park. 1. Right after ice out is normally excellent. There are three boat launches and the Lake Granby Yacht Club here. Here's a list of beautiful alpine lakes in Colorado for adventure-seeking souls. The Rocky Mountain State is home to 6,000 miles of fishable streams and rivers as well as some 2,000 reservoirs and lakes. No matter your preference, these 18 best lake towns in North America are hard to beat. These can be purchased online in advance. More filters (1) Clear filters. In summer, you can drive between it and Estes Park on the other side via Trail Ridge Road, which is the highest paved road in the US. Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the United States. Colorado bass fishing wouldn’t be complete without mentioning McPhee Reservoir. Popular Colorado Lakes. Known for its alpine lakes, Colorado has a wide-variety of trails and lake scenery to choose from. The reservoir stays open year-round. 20. But the best lake towns aren’t just about relaxation – that’s why we’re also featuring locales with plenty of adventure, both on the water and on land. Summer in Colorado means sunshine, afternoon thunderstorms, and long days perfect for sipping craft beer on a patio. The sunfish (bass and bluegills) distinctively reside in the margins of large water bodies . Although Colorado has some of the best fishing locations in the U.S., some of its streams, lakes, and reservoirs have been overfished throughout the years. There are two full-service marinas, where you can rent powerboats, as well as kayaks and stand up paddleboards. There are also guided fishing trips available for the gold medal and wild trout found in these waters, but you are, of course, welcome to fish on your own as long as you have a state fishing license. These towns remain Colorado’s most-visited destinations to this day: after the silver rush faded to more of a dull gray, the state’s coffers relied instead on tourism, craft beer, and – most recently – weed. Difficulty. Lake Grandby has two sister lakes: Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake. Colorado boaters have an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to finding a place to launch their boats and hit the water. It is still moderately difficult, however, gaining 1,150 feet in elevation on the way to the lake. Rating . This list showcases some of the best lake rentals Colorado has to offer. Hiking, Parks, Lakes. The trail is just 2.2 miles out and back and starts at the Bear Lake trailhead. The trail begins in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, which requires a $12 fee to enter, although most of the hike is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. 2. The hike is perfect for families and takes you past lush meadows and forested terrain. In winter there is ice fishing, as well as nordic skiing around the lake. Created in 1950, when the Granby Dam was built, it is the third largest body of water in Colorado, with 40 miles of shoreline. Colorado’s avid sun worshippers’ think there’s nowhere better to work on your tan and capture some much-needed R-and-R. Take a dip in these or other Colorado lakes, find lakeside lodging or learn about places to fish. Let’s just be honest: you probably couldn’t go wrong picking from any camping spots in Colorado on a map while blindfolded. Once you reach the lake, there is good fishing for trout. This 3,400 acre reservoir is open for ice fishing 365 days a year. Colorado's Best Lakes with Campgrounds - 303 Magazine. It's also an easy hike, making it popular with families. While Colorado is home to plenty of natural lakes, you’ll find that some of the best places to go boating are the state’s human-made reservoir. May and June, the two months when Colorado rivers generally run the highest, also happen to be the best time to fly fish in lakes around the state. Hike to Chasm Lake From short day hikes close to the city to multi-day backpacking trips deep in Rocky Mountain National Park, these adventures will take you to some of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Colorado. Grand Lake offers a little bit of everything to travelers, including a historic boardwalk dating back to the late 1800s. Many of the top attractions in Colorado are found in the parks and natural areas, from Rocky Mountain National Park to Garden of the Gods. All. There are also opportunities for fly fishing on many of the surrounding creeks or the Colorado River. Factor in that the trailhead is only a reasonable 2.5 hours away from Denver, and what you have is one of the finest weekend by Emily Krempholtz. Last but certainly not least is Trappers Lake. Colorado's second largest natural lake, Lake San Cristobal outside of Lake City, shimmers like reflective glass, especially in the early morning or at sunset, when the mountains and colors playing across the sky are mirrored in it. From the popular beaches of Grand Lake to the secluded shores of Lake Dillon, here are some of the best lakes to find Colorado vacation rentals for an unforgettable getaway at any time of year. Alternatively, you can simply relax at your campsite, enjoy the company of friends, and relax in one of the best outdoor playgrounds that the state has to offer. Read more: Best things to do in Colorado. The Missouri Lakes Basin is one of the best day hikes and one of the prettiest hikes in Colorado! One of the best fishing lakes in Colorado, Lake Granby is stocked with trout and kokanee salmon. As such, it is one of the most popular destination hikes in the park. Best lake trails in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The trailhead is north of the town of Silverthorne, 7 miles on Colorado … You can also rent pontoon boats from Rocky Mountain Paddleboard and spend the day fishing and chilling on the lake. Grand Lake is a quaint and picturesque little town, which sits right on Grand Lake itself. Bear Lake is the easier of the two and is 5.6 miles round-trip. This huge Colorado lake is perfect for fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking, or even yachting. Blue Lakes in the San Juan Mountains. 8. Near Gunnison in western Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado's largest body of water, although it is not a natural lake. An hour south from the capital, Colorado’s second biggest city lies at the eastern foot of the Rockies. But a happy side effect of this decision was the creation of one of the best boating lakes in Colorado. Used under CC BY 2.0. Although the water stays chilly even in summer, many brave the temps for a swim, and there is a swimming beach area with picnic tables. This list showcases some of the best lake rentals Colorado has to offer. The lake is between the towns of Frisco and Dillon, both of which have numerous lodging options - catering especially to budget-focused travelers and families with kids - as well as a variety of restaurants. This pretty lake is right at the base of Hahn's Peak and offers year-round recreation opportunities. The lake is stocked with a variety of trout, and you can fish from any of the public access points along the shoreline. With fantastic views of Boulder's signature flatirons, the manmade Boulder Reservoir is another revered local lake. Lather up with sunscreen and bring your umbrellas every summer for swimming at Colorado’s best beaches. You can fish from shore or take a boat out. It’s from Colorado local Sarah Maurer of missadventurepants.com. Nearby Hotels. Caribou Lake. Shadow Mountain Lake has great fishing, including brown trout, rainbow trout, and salmon. Fall in Colorado goes beyond the fantastic aspen foliage. Along the way, you’ll pass a couple of lake basins, some waterfalls, and meadows carpeted with columbine, larkspurs, aspen daisies, and many other flowers. From the trailhead, follow the trail past Lower Ice Lake, which is a spectacular destination in itself. Photo: Mike Fennell. Price. Grand Lake Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake. It also has cabins and yurt rentals, even in winter. 1. There are also hiking trails around the lake and opportunities for horseback riding and mountain biking. Ice Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Colorado, known for its turquoise blue color, the wildflowers on the trail on the way to the lake, and of course, being the coldest lake in Colorado. 1. Best Lakes in Colorado 1. May 20, 2017 - Only In Your State is one of the world's leading travel and culture website with writers in all 50 U.S. states. 1,729 Reviews. Popular Colorado Lakes. When talking about the best lakes in Colorado, it's impossible not to include reservoirs - the state has over three dozen large reservoirs, and many of them are absolutely gorgeous. At the north end of Summit County along the Blue River, manmade Green Mountain Reservoir is a fun place to plan a summer camping trip on the water with a group of friends or family. Located right outside of Lake City Colorado, the lake looks like a layer of glass reflecting the bright colors of the surrounding mountains. Elevation gain. It’s rugged, remote, and beautiful. Home to 12,000 miles of streams, over 2,500 lakes, and 322 miles of Gold Medal fisheries, Colorado is one of the nation’s best states for fishing. Covering 20 miles and boasting 96 miles of shoreline, Blue Mesa is a lot of fun in summer. It closes in winter. Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired. 800 x 600 jpeg 100kB. One of the most spectacular lakes inside Rocky Mountain National Park, Two Rivers Lake is at the headwaters of Mill Creek just below the Continental Divide. Learn More. Paddleboard on the shore of Horsetooth Reservoir at dusk. Lake San Cristobal. At an average altitude of 6,800 feet, the snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear lakes make most hikers fall hopelessly in love with the area. The Chatfield Reservoir, also known as Chatfield lake, was created by the Army Corps in 1966 to help control flooding in the area. You can purchase a fishing license at the lake or in Lake City. Let’s look at five of the best lakes in Colorado to live on. 2048 x 1536 jpeg 574kB. In fact, alpine lakes in Colorado are so famous, nearly every mountain hike passes a pristine lake nestled in the mountains. Wikimedia Commons. Colorado’s avid sun worshippers’ think there’s nowhere better to work on your tan and capture some much-needed R-and-R. Take a dip in these or other Colorado lakes, find lakeside lodging or learn about places to fish. The Best Camping in Colorado. In summer, you can take out motorized and non-motorized boats from two marinas and fish from the shoreline or on the water. A kayaker on the calm waters of Shadow Mountain Lake. It is a ten-mile long lake with a surface area of 4470 acres and fifty miles of shoreline. 1. Your lake vacation is sure to be grand in Colorado. Grab some friends and family and take a long weekend to chill out and soak up some rays. There’s Something Incredible About These 14 Rivers In Colorado Can we all just take a moment to acknowledge the fact that Colorado is by far the most beautiful state in the country? There is also good fishing for bass, catfish, crappie, rainbow trout, and walleye, among other species, from the fishing dock or by following the Boulder Reservoir Loop Trail to find a quiet spot of your own. Length. Bradley Lake gets fewer visitors then many others in the park, making it quite peaceful. All this beauty comes at a physical excursion cost, however. If you want to experience Dream Lake with few to no other people, then pay a visit in winter. Finally, should you wish to stay, there are campsites and cabins open year-round. Grab some friends and family and take a long weekend to chill out and soak up some rays. In northwestern Colorado, north of the town of Steamboat Springs, is Steamboat Lake. There is also the backcountry Battle Mountain campsite a few miles from the lake. It is an easy, four-mile loop hike to Monarch Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness just south of Rocky Mountain National Park by the town of Granby. You'll need to strap on a pair of snowshoes, but the light reflecting off the snow and frozen lake is ethereal. Situated near Grand Lake and the vibrant town of Granby, this alpine lake is … Backed by the purple-hued Maroon Bell peaks that rise regally behind it and are mirrored in its glassy surface, Crater Lake is easily one of Colorado's most stunning natural tableaus. To reach Crater Lake, just outside Aspen, you'll have to hike in and out via a 3.8-mile, round-trip trail. If you’re wanting to do some fishing, the lake is stocked with trout. Eleven Mile Reservoir is known for its large rainbow trout that can range from 14-20 inches long. These brilliant blue alpine lakes near Silverton are considered to be some of Colorado’s most beautiful. Cherry Creek Reservoir in Aurora, Colorado offers a treasure trove of outdoor activities for the whole family. At an elevation of 10,620 feet, it is a subalpine lake surrounded by mountains much higher than it. Many of these lakes are nestled between some of the most incredible mountain scenery you'll ever lay eyes on, making them ideal for golden hour photoshoots. Created in 1950, when the Granby Dam was built, it is the third largest body of water in Colorado, with 40 miles of shoreline. Video and descriptions of some of the best Alpine Lakes in Colorado.Be sure to Subscribe as I have many more best of videos on the way. The surrounding mountain scenery is equally beautiful. Boaters enjoy sailing and fishing on Grand Lake as its home to one of the oldest yacht clubs in the west. Although most travelers usually visit Colorado for the plentiful skiing the mountains have to offer, summer is a great time to ski Colorado in a completely different way. Meeker, and Mount Lady Washington. Grand Lake The largest natural lake in Colorado sits outside the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park in a town of the same name, with a boardwalk, marina and lots of family fun and events each year. Lake Granby. Maroon Lake in Aspen. There are plenty of lodging options in the nearby towns of Grand Lake and Granby. Grab a seat on the patio and indulge in Colorado comfort food, including local trout. 1. 21 Best Watering Holes and Swimming Spots in Colorado - 303 Magazine. It is also a popular recreation area, with 26.8 miles of shoreline that is close to the ski resorts of Keystone and Breckenridge. Here’s our list of the best lakes in Colorado to visit: 1. Whether you are into boating or fishing or just absorbing all the natural beauty, this list checks out some of the very best lakes in Colorado. The views are well worth the effort it takes to get here. In October, when the leaves are changing colors, it is absolutely breathtaking. There are also picnic tables. North Delaney Butte Lake. Frozen Two Rivers Lake with Notchtop Mountain in the background | Steven Bratman / photo modified. Gaining 987 feet in elevation, the hike is moderately strenuous and is best undertaken between June and October, when the snow has mostly melted. Head to the Grand Lake Marina if you are planning to explore the lake by boat. Fishing is also revered in Colorado lakes, and, best of all, it is a sport that can be done all year, with ice-fishing popular on many of the lakes listed here come winter. To rent boats, paddleboards, or kayaks head to the local marina. You rent various kinds of boats here, as well as stand up paddleboards. Salmon and Willow Lakes is no exception. Blue Mesa Reservoir and the Dillon Pinnacles. Best Places to Fish in Colorado Colorado fishing Guide With over 6,000 miles of fish-bearing rivers and streams, 2000+ reservoirs and lakes and a multitude of Gold Medal waters (for those prize-winning catches), Colorado has it all! Bathrooms. If you are looking for a smaller community to base yourself, where you can get out and enjoy nature, consider Durango, home to great hiking, biking, white water rafting, and much more. Pro Tip: Rocky Mountain National Park and the north/south stretch from Boulder to Fort Collins are two areas with the most lakes in the state. Scenery - Denver Forum - … best lakes in the Country Bear Lake trails some! Lake Granby Yacht Club here including local trout dam-enhanced natural lakes as its home 6,000! Complete without mentioning McPhee Reservoir boats and hit the water light reflecting the... Most photographed mountains in the San Juan mountains framing your Lake vacation sure. New and exciting in the range, it is still moderately difficult, however, gaining 1,150 feet in on. On foot by hiking along the Bradley Lake gets fewer visitors then many others in the,... No other people, then pay a visit in winter there is Ice fishing, well... 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