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Crater Lakes Trail #819

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.4 (28)

This is a great place to camp on a hot summer day. Come for the views, but stay for the cool water and the upper lake.


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Map Key

1.1

Miles

1.7

KM

Point to Point

10,663' 3,250 m

High

9,976' 3,041 m

Low

700' 213 m

Up

13' 4 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views

Family Friendly Kids may struggle for a short time making the climb to the lakes, but it will all be worth it once they are there.

CAMPFIRES ARE NOT ALLOWED. Permits are not required for overnight stays inside the
James Peak Wilderness. However, other wilderness regulations apply.

Description

Not to be confused with Crater Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Crater Lakes Trail is in the James Peak Wilderness.

The Crater Lakes Trail turns right (north) off the South Boulder Creek Trail at the junction sign. It climbs for a mile into a wide valley before crossing the narrow spit of land between the two main lakes. To reach the fantastic upper lake, follow the steep fisherman's trail up the headwall and down a talus field to the lakeshore.

In June and early July, this valley can be full of deep snow and the trail may not be visible.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 28 votes

#177

Overall
  4.4 from 28 votes
5 Star
43%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#42

in Colorado

#177

Overall
21 Views Last Month
4,805 Since May 4, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
63%
19%
19%
0%

Photos

Crater Lake
Jan 21, 2020 near Winter…, CO
Crater Lakes Trail
Aug 13, 2019 near Winter…, CO
Crater Lake Trail
Jan 21, 2020 near Winter…, CO
Crater Lake.
Jan 20, 2018 near Winter…, CO
FInal crest approaching the Crater Lakes
Apr 1, 2018 near Winter…, CO
Crater Lake approach June 2019.
Jun 16, 2019 near Winter…, CO

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Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Aug 6, 2021
Matt Culpepper
From East Portal via South Boulder Creek Trl. Camped above South Crater Lake. Includes hiking up the Waterfall trail to Upper Crater Lake (7.5/1900) 3.5mi
Jul 9, 2021
Cynthia B.
Sep 26, 2020
Mike Kruger
Krugers and Andersons. Beautiful lakes 5.5mi — 5h 15m
Sep 5, 2020
Allie Petersen
Very steep, but worth the views!! You hit 2 lower lakes first, then it's another very steep! ~1/4 mile up the creek to waterfalls and 2 more lakes.
Aug 23, 2020
matt lazio
Aug 9, 2020
Mandy S
Jul 15, 2020
Patrick Csongei
1.1mi — 1h 00m
Jul 1, 2020
Caitlin Kinnett
Great for a quick one night backpacking trail. Great for fly fishing too! 3mi