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blue Cathedral Lake Trail

  4.6 ( 8 ) Favorite

Trail

5.5 mile 8.8 kilometer out and back
Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 2,098' 639 m
Descent: -2,098' -639 m
High: 11,897' 3,626 m
Low: 9,922' 3,024 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 15% (8°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Sarah Baker

A steady climb to a beautiful lake in a high alpine basin.

Sarah Baker

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildlife

Overview

The route offers great views of a high alpine lake surrounded by towering peaks in the Elk Range. Expect a gradual climb the entire way to Cathedral Lake with some rocky sections. During the fall, this route is a great way to view the yellow aspens, but is also very crowded.

Description

From the trailhead, the route gradually climbs through groves of aspens (which are amazing in the fall) with views to the south along the Castle Creek Valley. Eventually, the terrain starts to open up, passing through groves of aspens and firs and boulder fields. The trail continues to climb paralleling Pine Creek.

The first view into the upper basin can be seen at approximately 1.5 miles from the trailhead. This point is approximately half way to Cathedral Lake and is a great place to take a break before continuing the climb to Cathedral Lake. As you gradually ascend into the basin, the views continue to open up, with more views of Malemute Peak and Cathedral Peak.

The final climb to the shelf where the lake is located is very steep, with many steep switchbacks. At the top of the switchbacks, there is a fork which leads to Electric Pass. Follow the trail to the left towards Cathedral Lake.

After another half a mile, the deep jade blue of Cathedral Lake will come into view. Cathedral Peak towers over the lake and is aptly named for its cathedral-like appearance.

If you decide to backpack into Cathedral Lake, there are plenty of camping spots just below the lake where there is tree cover and access to a stream.

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Check-Ins

Jun 15, 2019
Colleen Rasch
The trail is completely covered by an avalanche about 1 mile up. At 2 miles it is completely covered by snow. 5.5mi — 3h 15m
Sep 4, 2018
Laura Hadar
Solo hike up to the lake. Short run at bottom .
Jul 29, 2018
Daylene York
5.6mi
Jul 19, 2018
KJ Hamre
Great trail!! The rocky terrain really adds to the fun and the view at the lake is spectacular. Make it up and back in under 3 hours 5.5mi
Jul 6, 2018
Malcolm Seamans
6.2mi
Jun 22, 2018
Til T
Nice hike, very ‘uppy.’ Lots of trout getting ready to spawn. 5.6mi
May 30, 2018
Tess Harris
May 12, 2018
Carolyn C

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 8 votes

#1043

Overall
  4.6 from 8 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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Rankings

#185

in Colorado

#1,043

Overall
136 Views Last Month
2,871 Since Oct 10, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

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