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Talk about a great hike up a beautiful drainage! Earn stunning views of the East Thorn.

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Out and Back

11,289' 3,441 m


8,988' 2,739 m


2,415' 736 m


2,415' 736 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The parking at the Willowbrook Trailhead is limited. There is overflow parking at the bottom of the subdivision (1.1 miles from the trailhead). On-street parking is NOT allowed near the trailhead or anywhere in this neighborhood.


This heavily forested approach reaches a high alpine lake, along they way, take notice of the entire Gore Range, it won't be hard to miss! Work on those high knees as there may be numerous downed trees.

The trail can be a burden in the rain as it becomes a running creek. Try to hit it on a warm clear summer day. There are rocks strewn about the trail, so your foot placement will need to be calculated.

Once you arrive at Salmon Lake, you'll get a beautiful view of the East Thorn and its gnar-ness. If you're really feeling adventurous, go for a scramble up the East Thorn and get your exposure on!


The trailhead is located at the top of the Willowbrook neighborhood and is forested pretty much the entire way to the lake. There are a few lookout areas facing east where you can see the mountains on the divide.

Be prepared for a steady climb to the high alpine Salmon Lake. There is not much in the way of respite (is there ever in the Gore Range?), but it's beautiful the entire way. At about 3.8 miles, you'll head left to stay on the North Willow Lake Trail and veer off of the Gore Range Trail. Your next junction will be shortly after 4.5 miles when you split right and head up to Salmon Lake, this is well signed. Once you reach the lake, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the drainage you just conquered, and, of course, the East Thorn.


Shared By:

Matthew Coye

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 11 votes


  4.4 from 11 votes
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in Colorado


8 Views Last Month
13,634 Since Mar 14, 2015



Staring up into the abyss that is the East Thorne!
Mar 19, 2015 near Silvert…, CO
Enjoy intermittent views to the southwest heading on the Salmon Lake Trail.
Jun 26, 2017 near Silvert…, CO
Enjoy the view looking out over Salmon Lake.
Jun 18, 2017 near Silvert…, CO
The East Thorne gnar hanging in the clouds
Mar 19, 2015 near Silvert…, CO
Heading up on the North Willow Lake Trail, views of the neighboring peaks abound.
Jun 26, 2017 near Silvert…, CO
Stream crossing
Aug 5, 2022 near Silvert…, CO


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Jun 29, 2021
Kate Lee
Great hike! Dry the entire way, although the lake was swarming with mosquitos. Beautiful wildflowers at lower elevations, and the views of Red great. 10.8mi — 5h 56m
Aug 14, 2020
Warren G
Got slowed down by SO many huckleberries — 5h 00m
Jul 11, 2020
Maria Nielsen
Great fishing, awesome views at the lake. Long day hike 10.7mi
Oct 4, 2019
Amy Navvab
Solo hike day before we got Harrison
Jul 1, 2019
Jonathon Kent
Sep 23, 2018
Patrick Csongei
hiked up to salmon lake first and then made my way up to north willow lake. jogged some on the way down 14mi
Aug 23, 2018
Liz Rice
Aug 6, 2018
Jordan Frdnmkr
Added onto willow lake trail 1mi