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Thunder Lake Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (18)

A steep trail leading to two lovely alpine lakes.


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Map Key

5.0

Miles

8.0

KM

Point to Point

11,630' 3,545 m

High

9,439' 2,877 m

Low

116' 35 m

Up

2,304' 702 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

53%

Max Grade (28°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

From the Wild Basin Trailhead, follow the trail to a junction with the Bluebird Lake Trail and Thunder Lake Trail - keep right to start up the Thunder Lake Trail.

The trail climbs up the North Saint Vrain Creek drainage between Mount Orton and Mahana Peak. The initial grade is manageable, but it steepens significantly after about one mile. As you continue paralleling the North St. Vrain, the trail ascends higher up the drainages northern wall flank.

At about 1.75 miles in, the Lion Lake Trail will branch off to the right (north). Continue on the Thunder Lake Trail for roughly one more mile and you'll crest a ridge before descending slightly to the shores of Thunder Lake.

Enjoy the views of the lake and decide whether to continue on, or turn around. The next portion of trail leading to the Lake of Many Winds is certainly the most difficult. However, this beautiful alpine lake is a fraction of the size of Thunder Lake and sits directly below Boulder-Grand Pass - beautiful.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 18 votes

#2

in Wild Basin

#597

Overall
  4.3 from 18 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#2

in Wild Basin

#111

in Colorado

#597

Overall
55 Views Last Month
2,866 Since Jan 15, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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6%
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Photos

West Shore Thunder Lake with permission from ottomandude
Jan 15, 2015 near Grand Lake, CO
A view of the ranger hut on Thunder Lake.
Jul 2, 2019 near Grand Lake, CO
Boulder Grand Pass from Lake of Many Winds. The "trail" is on the right side of the pass.
Jul 13, 2019 near Grand Lake, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 43 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Sep 16, 2020
Paul DAuria
Great trail with minimal crowds 14mi — 6h 00m
Aug 13, 2020
Jeff Gibbs
6mi — 3h 00m
Oct 19, 2019
Russ Ney
Aug 8, 2019
Holly Lawson
Jun 10, 2019
Joshua Sauder
Trail is lost in the snow for the last 1.5 miles. Make sure to have an offline map with GPS or it will be very difficult to find the lake.
Sep 24, 2018
Jeff Meyer
Aug 29, 2018
Lizzie Clark
The trail is 6.8 miles to Thunder Lake if you go by Ouzel Falls. It’s a steady climb and the Lake is beautiful! 7mi
Jul 21, 2018
Jack Bauer
NOT 4.4 miles. It's almost 7 miles to Thunder lake from the ranger station. Another 1-1.5 to Lake of many winds. 16mi