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Columbine Lake Out-and-Back

Difficult
 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An alternate trail from Ophir Pass to Columbine Lake Trail.


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Map Key

8.1

Miles

13.1

KM

Out and Back

12,671' 3,862 m

High

11,501' 3,505 m

Low

1,588' 484 m

Up

1,589' 484 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Lake · Wildflowers

Overview

This alternative route to Lake Columbine bypasses the steep switchbacks on the Columbine Lake Trail #509. This trail is generally above the treeline, so the views are much better than the trail up from Route 550.

Description

Coming from the east, off of Route 550, you would not need a high clearance 4x4 vehicle to access the trailhead. But if you come up from the west, across the pass, you would need a high clearance 4x4. The turn for the road to the trailhead is just below the parking for OPUS Hut. Follow the an unnamed dead-end road east. You can park along the road near the trailhead.

The Ruby Drainage Traverse Trail is at and above the treeline, providing great views of the valley below. At about 1.5 miles, the trail begins climbing up and out of the Ruby Creek drainage. This part of the trail may require some routefinding, but the way is generally marked by cairns. The trail eventually crosses over a ridgeline and connects with Columbine Lake Trail #509 for the remainder of the way up to the lake.

Contacts

Shared By:

Don Smith

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Ophir Pass

#1043

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Ophir Pass

#202

in Colorado

#1,043

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4,104 Since Aug 19, 2018
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Photos

Paintbrush in Mill Creek Basin.
Aug 11, 2017 near Telluride, CO
Columbine Lake
Aug 11, 2017 near Telluride, CO
Looking across the valley towards Silverton and the Grenadier range.
Aug 11, 2017 near Telluride, CO

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