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blueBlack Thunder Lake Trail


5.0 mile 8.0 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 116' 35 m
Descent: -2,304' -702 m
High: 11,630' 3,545 m
Low: 9,439' 2,877 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 53% (28°)


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Trail shared by Brian Smith

An steep trail leading to two lovely alpine lakes.

Brian Smith

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


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.

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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
Jul 14, 2018
Mike J
Aug 10, 2017
Brad Strathman
Steady hike with great views of Copeland Falls enroute to Thunder Lake from the Wild Basin Trailhead. Ouzel Falls and Calypso Cascades are treats. 13mi
Jul 29, 2017
Luke B
Oct 1, 2015
matt poker
It was a great hike!

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 15 votes


in Wild Basin


  4.3 from 15 votes
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in Wild Basin


in Colorado


155 Views Last Month
1,902 Since Jan 15, 2015
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