Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes are a trio of gorgeous lakes accessible via Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. The more difficult the trail, the better (should mean less pressure on the lake). The third largest body of water in Colorado, Lake Granby features 40 miles of shoreline, and it's next to Grand Lake, giving shoppers the choice of two great lakes for their vacation homes. It’s truly awesome to live where I do here in Colorado. Here are five of our favorite lakes that you don’t want to miss. An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup. The drive is quite scenic with views dominated by 14,150-ft. Mt. At 10k elevation, the lakes in this northwest Colorado region stay pretty chilly in the summertime, and there’s enough of a variety of lakes that some of them can be reached with ATVs or four-wheel drive, but others are only accessible via hiking, biking, or horseback riding. Did you know there are over 300 lakes in Grand Mesa National Forest? accounts, the history behind an article. Click the map and drag to move the map around. You can't just drive … Success! These two glacial lakes reflect some of the highest mountains in the state. From Bear Lake, visitors can explore the following nearby hiking trails: Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake. Steamboat Lake State Park. We'd love to hear eyewitness ... Fort Collins, Colorado 271 contributions 112 helpful votes. Did you know there are over 300 lakes in Grand Mesa National Forest? Once you have reached Highway 72 and Brainard Lake Road (you can’t miss the big brown sign off the highway), travel uphill for about 2.5 miles to the fee station. Here in the Denver area, my backyard is the Rocky Mountains with all the adventure they offer. At this high-altitude reservoir, visitors can enjoy a wide range of recreational activities including hiking, picnicking, non-motorized boating, and fishing. Share with Us. It takes approximately 24h 1m to drive from Colorado to Cold Lake. Just be sure to park in the South Mineral parking lot, they have a sign explaining the trail. Be Truthful. If you visit on a hot day, air drying on a rock slab is a reasonable option. 10 “Drive-to” Lakes and Reservoirs in Colorado, Short video explains why Colorado's snowpack is so dangerous this year, NORAD tracking Santa Claus during Christmas Eve, "A matter of inches": Firefighters rescue litter of puppies after car crashes into Colorado home, Celebrity's son hospitalized after big fall from Aspen ski lift, Manitou Springs painter's colorful portraits are popping all over town, Man shot early Christmas Eve morning near Ruby Hill Park. This ‘town’ (and to call it a town is a bit of a stretch) started life as a mining camp fed by steady stagecoach lines plying the trail between Leadville and Aspen. Find adventure by cooling off at Horsetooth Reservoir. The Peak to Peak Highway is breathtaking. There was an error processing your request. The following is a partial alphabetical list of lakes and reservoirs in the U.S. State of Colorado. Get driving directions Launch map view. To stay on top of the latest conditions, we recommend keeping your plans fluid, researching county and destination websites before and as you travel, and becoming familiar with reservation cancellation policies. From here, separate valleys lead to Upper Ice Lake and Island Lake. These brilliant blue alpine lakes near Silverton are considered to be some of Colorado’s most beautiful. Tweet on Twitter ... You can also take a boat out and fish for rainbow trout or hike the 2.2-mile walking trail that loops around the lake with views of the foothills. If you’re wanting to do some fishing, the lake is stocked with trout. You’ll find beautiful views from every stretch at Blue Lakes, nestled outside the charming mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, camping, and cliff diving. Fun fact: if you follow all the rules, you can even go scuba-diving at Horsetooth. that is degrading to another person. It's a little further from Durango (30 miles away) but it has multiple access spots for fishing, paddleboarding or even a lakeside picnic. This 820-acre city-owned ... Blue Mesa Reservoir: Also known as: Blue Mesa Lake Beautiful mesas, deep canyons, and steep rocky cliffs surround Blue Mesa Reservoir, the second largest lake entirely in Colorado. Horsetooth Reservoir, Photo Credit: Wesley Morley (iStock). If you’d rather enjoy the lake’s splendor from above the water, head to a lake perfect for boating or fishing. The area is especially sublime in July and August when the wildflowers are at their peak. In two miles CR-7 bears right where it meets CR-7A. Blue Lakes. Sign-up for our Free Colorado newsletter. News, travel inspiration, podcasts, & more. It’s also worth mentioning that the town of Grand Lake is home to the less-crowded, western entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park. This will require a brisk hike from Monarch trail head where you will park. 14 Most Swimmable Lakes in Colorado Dillion Reservoir has so much to offer in terms of outdoor recreation. It’s truly awesome to live where I do here in Colorado. Be Nice. person will not be tolerated. Looking for a good trail ride that has a lake I can throw a line in and hopefully have some good luck! Photo Credit: cpw – OutThere Colorado. Whatever adventure you prefer, you’ll find it waiting for you at Green Mountain Reservoir. You’ll find beautiful views from every stretch at Blue Lakes, nestled outside the charming mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Choose one, or hit both in a single extended … Northwest region: During the heat of a Colorado summer, it’s important to have a list of nearby lakes handy. The only downside is they don’t have electricity, so go easy on your electronics. Get an email notification whenever someone contributes to the discussion. Drive west on West Colorado Avenue to Highway 145. Search 10 Best Lakes in Colorado. Located just west of Fort Collins, this massive reservoir sits at an elevation of 5,420 feet and offers a cornucopia of outdoor recreation including fishing, boating, camping, swimming, picnicking, and even rock climbing in several locations around the lake. There’s no need for a long hike or camping gear to see these beautiful water destinations in the Centennial State. Keep it Clean. If you’re really lucky, you might even see some mountain goats lurking around the area. Notifications from this discussion will be disabled. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, There’s also plenty of to do in the winter including ice fishing, snowmobiling, sled-dog racing, and cross-country skiing. Most of the larger lakes in Colorado are either reservoirs or dam-enhanced natural lakes. Turn right onto CR-7. Are there any under those parameters? And of course, they have campgrounds that will accommodate your KuKu camper and offers water, trash removal, vault toilets, picnic tables, grills and fire grates. Plan to arrive early to avoid crowds or take a short shuttle ride to reach the parking lot for access to Bear Lake. In the Ten Mile Range just south of Breckenridge are the glorious Crystal Lakes. Horsepower limits also apply to various bodies of water, so make sure your motors don’t overpower what’s allowed. You can also rent boats like canoes, kayaks and fishing boats in Lake City. If it’s hot enough to dive into these refreshing waters, take note of the lakes that allow swimming. You can even enjoy some right near the water. The Grand Mesa Lakes. One of the best lakes in Colorado to live on is Lake Granby. What makes it special: Colorado's largest natural lake also competes for Colorado's prettiest. Make the short yet incredible drive to Crystal Creek Reservoir, located at the foot of Pikes Peak. 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. “ There are also hiking trails that are well worth the time to explore, among our favorites are Rock Cut, Lava Cliffs, the trail to the top at the Alpine Visitors Center, Lake Irene, and the Colorado River Trail. From the trailhead, follow the trail past Lower Ice Lake, which is a spectacular destination in itself. Lakes in Colorado State Parks. 7. Driving directions from Ouray: It takes 45-50 minutes to drive the 24 miles from Ouray to the Blue Lakes trailhead. The serene waters, colorful blooms, and beautiful natural setting make the perfect backdrop for a family picnic. This beautiful destination offers visitors pristine waters for fishing, waterskiing, swimming, windsurfing, and sailing. Don't knowingly lie about anyone Discover adventure on the waters of Pueblo Reservoir. Maroon Lake in Aspen 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. One of the things I love most about Colorado is the vast mountain lakes that speckle the range. It’s also worth mentioning that there is a $25 fee to enter the park with your vehicle. To help you navigate our five mountain lakes, we've compiled a guide to boating them: Grand Lake. Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates. each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Probably one of Colorado’s most notable lakes for its mirror waters and the Maroon Bell peaks that rise majestically in the background, Crater Lake is a coveted scenic destination by hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and photographers from all over the world, and for good reason. The hike is a few miles, so be sure to bring bottled water and snacks. However, you don't have to be on the showerline to enjoy this lake. Both ways take you through some of … 4. It provides awesome opportunities for jet skiing, boating and canoeing and other on-the-water activities like fishing during the summer, and ice fishing when the lake freezes over during the winter. Just two hours west of Denver and located south of Rocky Mountain National Park, the lake is surrounded by lush green meadows, mountain terrain and wildlife. It is 20 miles long with 96 miles of shoreline. If you do come to Colorado carrying a boat, be sure it adheres to all state licensing before your hull touches water. Don't Threaten. The 41 Colorado State Parks are one of best places to start when looking for boating and other lake activities, check out these locations in the areas you plan to visit: Denver region: • Cherry Creek Reservoir • Staunton Lake. racist or sexually-oriented language. 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. With the high peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park serving as a backdrop — and regular moose sightings in the shallows — Grand Lake is a wonderful place to set sail on a summer's afternoon. The serene waters, colorful blooms, and beautiful natural setting make the perfect backdrop for a family picnic. About 45 minutes north of the town Steam Boat Springs, Steam Boat is hidden jewel and offers campgrounds, cabins and RV parking, as well as snow skiing and snowboarding. Share on Facebook. This scenic drive takes you along the historic railroad and stagecoach routes where the most prominent, populated mining towns were located: Florissant, Victor, Canon City, Florence and nearby Cripple Creek. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a nationally recognized leader in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. Some of the most popular include sailing, motor-boating, waterskiing, river tubing, fishing, and swimming. From the lake, visitors can drive to the top of Pikes Peak for breathtaking 14,000-foot views and freshly baked donuts from the Summit House. Be Proactive. Lake Grandby has two sister lakes: Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake. You'll enjoy the well-maintained trail that leads to this beautiful series of alpine lakes. Not only one of the best lakes in Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir is also the largest body of water in Colorado. Yes, the driving distance between Colorado to Cold Lake is 2056 km. The town this body of water is named after is now submerged deep under its cold waters. Threats of harming another Located near Lake County, Colorado – Twin Lakes offers a peaceful retreat for adventure seekers. The Blue Mesa Reservoir. The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. Distance: 1783.5 km; Duration: 14h 27m; What companies run services between Colorado, USA and Cold Lake, AB, Canada? If you don’t have time to drive the entire Top of the Rockies route, this stretch of Hwy 82 from Twin Lakes through Aspen’s back gate will do just fine. You can also call 1-800-COLORADO … Together the three lakes offer over 150 miles of coastline—forty of them around Lake Grandby alone. The views of the mountains are gorgeous. 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. Located just west of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake offers swimming, sailing, fishing, paddleboarding, and relaxing opportunities on the sandy shores and alpine lake waters. Use the 'Report' link on Eloping in Colorado gives you access to epic views of 15 mountain ranges, 54 peaks over 10,000 feet, alpine lakes, meadows of wildflowers, and a vast variation of gorgeous backdrops. From kayaking to boating to fishing to stand-up paddle-boarding, this gigantic outdoor playground has it all. This is a popular destination for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, camping, picnicking, and hiking. Resting at an elevation of 9,450 feet, it may come as a surprise that this scenic lake is located just 250 feet from the parking lot. Soak in the scenery at these two naturally formed glacial lakes while enjoying the surrounding beauty. Visitors can drive up to the upper lake just below the dam and explore nearby hiking trails. You can hike or drive (4WD only) the roughly 2.5 miles to Lower Crystal Lake which rests at 11,959,' then continue on to Upper Crystal, which is nestled 1.9 miles further, in a cirque below three 13,000-foot peaks. Front Range region: • Barr Lake • Boyd Lake • St. Vrain. Lake Granby . It sits less than a half an hour from both Montrose and Gunnison. You can customize the map before you print! Twin Lakes in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Photo Credit: bauhaus1000 (iStock). Can I drive from Colorado to Cold Lake? It’s a short drive and you’ll soon see the outhouse plus another trailhead, and the road circles around and goes back the way you came. Here in the Denver area, my backyard is the Rocky Mountains with all the adventure they offer. Spud Lake requires a quick and easy two mile hike to access. Just under an hour’s drive from Mesa Verde National Park, McPhee is an excellent place to set up shop while visiting southern Colorado’s incredible historical sites. So pack up your swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, some snacks and beverages and head out to these 14 most swimmable lakes in Colorado! or anything. But at only 9,786 feet in elevation, Lost Lake will have the warmest water compared to the other lakes previously listed. But it is worth it. These scenic drives can take anywhere from two to eight hours and is about 135 miles total. What, in your opinion, are the best lakes for fishing that are with in 2 hours of Denver, and require 4 wheel drive to get to? For information on boat registration and Colorado's boatable waters, contact the Colorado State Park system. A few are out of the way of the main road and require a brisk hike (which is just a bonus in my opinion) while others you can drive right up to in your KuKu camper. If you're bringing kids along, this is a great lake to visit as it never gets too strenuous. The 5 best lakes in Colorado. Position your mouse over the map and use your mouse-wheel to zoom in or out. You can actually swim in this water! One of the things I love most about Colorado is the vast mountain lakes that speckle the range. From the blanket of gorgeous aspen trees and pines that surround the lake to the plentiful wildlife you’ll see, such as moose, fox, elk and bears, you too will see why its beauty draws so many seekers to its banks. Whether you’re from Colorado or planning to visit this summer, here are just a few of our favorite lakes and reservoirs around Colorado that you can practically drive right up to. Sneffels and its neighboring peaks and ridgelines, almost all over 13,000-ft. On a clear day, the lake is like mirrored glass, and you can see 12,129-foot Notchtop Mountain reflected in the shallow basin. Embark on an adventure to find fishing, … With over 4,600 surface acres of water, 60 miles of shoreline, and nearly 10,000 acres of land, visitors can enjoy endless summer activities. To me, there’s no question: eloping to Colorado is the best. 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. Well, technically you can, and should, swim in all of these lakes. Here’s our list of the best lakes in Colorado to visit: Located right outside of Lake City Colorado, the lake looks like a layer of glass reflecting the bright colors of the surrounding mountains. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism Colorado Welcome Centers are open. Twin Lakes is a worthy destination in its own right. The Lake and Surrounding Area You’ll need to pay a fee to get to this one. Steamboat Lake State Park has long been a popular destination thanks to its wide array of year-round activities. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK. Take a casual stroll around the lake on the pathway and take in the incredible views you'll only find in southwest Colorado. Although manmade and less secluded, if you’re looking for a great place to have all your friends gather for a weekend of fun, Green Mountain Reservoir is the place to be. Driving Directions. All this beauty comes at a physical excursion cost, however. As you take in the spectacular scenery, be sure to look to your left for stunning views of Quandary Peak, a popular Colorado 14er for first-timers. To reach the trailhead from the intersection of Highway 550 and the turnoff to Silverton (Highway 110), drive 2 miles north on Highway 550 to County Road 7, located between mile markers 72 and 73. 10 Best Lakes in Colorado - Tripping.com Anytime. At an elevation of 10,620 feet, it is a subalpine lake surrounded by mountains much higher than it. If you're looking for a peaceful, activity-oriented Colorado vacation in the Denver Region, you can't go wrong with Aurora Reservoir. If you only have a weekend to escape there are options to keep busy. Whether you’re approaching from the west or the east, the drive alone to Brainard is well worth it. There’s also plenty of camping opportunities (reservation only), and some great year-round mountain biking and hiking trails. O.K., now that I finally have all that information out of the way, I can tell you about the hike to Duck Lake which is one of the most remote Colorado lakes on this website. Twin Lakes, Leadville: "Can you drive directly to twin lakes, I have an..." | Check out 7 answers, plus see 163 reviews, articles, and 132 photos of Twin Lakes, ranked No.4 on Tripadvisor among 53 attractions in … Error! Head west on Hwy 145 12.7 miles to where it dead ends at Highway 62 in Placerville. There are also some great photo opportunities for those looking to chase down some fall colors. Lost Lake Elaine Elliott. Situated between the Gore Range and Williams Fork Mountains in Central Colorado, the reservoir has some pretty impressive dimensions – where a 309-foot-high dam on the Blue River forms the 2,125-acre reservoir. Visitors can fish for rainbow trout in the mountain lakes of the area, kayak the man-made water park of the Blue River, or sail the “world class” Lake Dillon Reservoir. Take a right (turn east) onto Highway 62 and drive 18.6 miles to County Road 7, marked Dallas Creek (the road use to be marked East Dallas Creek). As you might imagine, the snow-melt water is too cold to swim in, but you'll find that simply hiking near them is thrill enough. Located on the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway, you can drive up to Lost Lake from either Paonia or Crested Butte. Colorado is crowded so visit these 15 destinations that you can reach in under 9 hours. The reservoir is surrounded with camp sites, cabins for rent, and RV hookups for you KuKu camper, and includes a list of activities to do, including fishing, hiking, swimming and camp fires with your friends. Get a taste of the beach and the mountains in one beautiful place – Grand Lake, the largest and deepest natural lake in Colorado with a total capacity of 68,600 acre-feet of water. You have permission to edit this article. Formed by three reservoirs, the Blue Mesa is Colorado’s largest lake measuring an impressive 20 miles long with 96 miles of shoreline. As we approach the last few weeks of the summer season and Labor Day Weekend, you might want to cool-off at some of the best swimmable lakes we have in our beautiful state. Visitors can drive up to the upper lake just below the dam and explore nearby hiking trails. This is where you’ll surrender your hard-earned $11. The mountainous terrain of Summit County, Colorado offers beautiful lakes and rivers for fishing, sailing, water sports, and floating. When you visit, you can take advantage of all that the water has to offer by renting a kayak, paddleboard, or signing up for a guided boat tour. With much sunshine, now’s a great time to grab your camera, pack a cooler and backpack and take one of our KuKu Vans up to visit some of the most stunning lakes and reservoirs within hours of each other. Located off of Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Bear Lakes makes for a quick pit stop. It's hard to imagine any view more quintessentially Colorado than the one you'll find at Twin Lakes in Leadville. At 10k elevation, the lakes in this northwest Colorado region stay pretty chilly in the summertime, and there’s enough of a variety of lakes that some of them can be reached with ATVs or four-wheel drive, but others are only accessible via hiking, biking, or horseback riding. As you go all the way to the Upper Ice Lake it becomes rather treacherous just before the end because of how steep and rocky it is. Bear Lake located in Rocky Mountain National Park. If you’re itching to get away from your campsite for a bit you can drive up Pikes Peak — one of Colorado’s most famous 14ers. Entrance permits are $9 per vehicle ($18 for a vehicle with a boat trailer) and … Hallelujah! The agency manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. Up to the discussion a physical excursion cost, however degrading to another person will not tolerated! N'T go wrong with Aurora Reservoir three lakes offer over 150 miles of coastline—forty of them around Lake Grandby.! To enter the Park with your vehicle playground has it all the pathway take. The adventure they offer just south of Breckenridge, Colorado – twin lakes offers a peaceful activity-oriented! 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