alpine lakes in colorado

7 Beautiful Alpine Lakes in Colorado and How to Get to Them


Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and everyone seems to be obsessed with the lakes’ beauty. But what about Colorado’s magnificent lakes? There may not be as many—but what they lack in quantity, they make up for in radiance. Many of the gorgeous lakes in Colorado are located high in the mountain ranges, and they make for beautiful ending destinations for your summer hikes. Here’s how to get to the most beautiful alpine lakes in Colorado.

1. Blue Lake - Telluride

Blue Lakes Trail
Round-Trip Distance: 5.25 miles
Elevation: 12,400 feet

This hike, which begins in Telluride, has everything you could ever want in a hike. Explore the history of Telluride as you pass abandoned mining cabins, waterfalls, and wildflowers before coming to the exquisite Blue Lake. You won’t want to miss the beauty of this hike.

2. King Lake - Nederland

Hessie Trail
Round-Trip Distance: 11 miles
Elevation: 11,500 feet

Hiking to King Lake via Hessie Trail is a dazzling experience. You’ll maneuver through some loose rocks and a pretty steep incline as you explore the beauty that nature has to offer on your way to the lake.

3. Maroon Lake - Aspen

Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
Round-Trip Distance: 3 miles
Elevation: 9,700 feet

This reflective lake is flanked by Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, known together as the Maroon Bells. The Maroon Bells is the most photographed place in Colorado, but the photos hardly do justice to the beauty you’ll find there. The scenic trail offers spectacular views of the area, which truly epitomizes the magnificent quality of Colorado’s mountains.

4. Crater Lake - Aspen

Crater Lake Trail
Round-Trip Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation: 10,076 feet

If you want the Maroon Lake experience—but without the crowds—take the trek up to Crater Lake instead. The illustrious beauty of this lake comes from the serene nature and the untouched surroundings. The open shore is a perfect spot for enjoying a quick lunch as you take in the views.

5. Mills Lake - Estes Park

Glacier Gorge Trail
Round-Trip Distance: 6.2 miles
Elevation: 9,240 feet

On your way to Mills Lake, you’ll get to see one of the more popular hiking destinations in the park: Alberta Falls. The hike to this alluring alpine lake will also take you through a quiet forest, which is home to abundant wildlife. Start your hike later in the day to see this beautiful lake at sunset.

6. Ice Lake - Silverton

Ice Lake Trail
Round-Trip Distance: 7.6 miles
Elevation: 12,257 feet

Located in the San Juan Mountains, Ice Lake is the perfect destination for those looking for a moderate day trip with a breathtaking ending. Follow the twists and turns of the trail through waterfalls and meadows that display the beauty of Colorado.

7. Savage Lakes - Meredith

Savage Lakes Trail
Round-Trip Distance: 5 miles
Elevation: 11,040 feet

Surrounded by massive pines, the Savage Lakes feature an absolutely stunning hike. Much of the hike takes you through the massive trees of the Holy Cross Wilderness. The lakes are far from paved roads, adding to the beautiful scenery and unbelievable lakeside hangouts.