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Crags Campground to American Lakes

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Steep climb up but Ends at the Beautiful American Lakes.


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Map Key

6.5

Miles

10.4

KM

Out and Back

11,214' 3,418 m

High

9,921' 3,024 m

Low

1,348' 411 m

Up

1,347' 411 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fishing · Lake · Wildflowers · Wildlife

This route is accessed via the Crags Campground. Unless you are camping, there really isn't any additional parking available. However, there is a TH you can park at about 1 mile down the road.

Overview

The route starts at the Crags campground so is a great alternative route to America Lakes if you are camping and good 1/2 day out and back hike.

Description

The first 1.5 mi is a steady climb uphill with switchbacks through tree cover along the Crags Campground Trail, until you get to the flat Michigan Ditch Trail. Heavy moose activity in this area. You'll hook a left and cross the trail to continue up a straight steep, rocky climb for the next mile before you get to a nice water source and eastern view of the Nokhu Crags. It flattens out somewhat as you hike through a ridgeline before heading south and into the valley for American Lakes. You'll meet up with the standard American Lakes Trail at about 3 miles and stay right. After about 10 steps in, look down into the valley and you'll probably see 5-6 bull moose, sitting and hanging out.

This is an excellent out and back route with a lunch stop at American Lakes. Pencil in about 2.5 hrs one way. Lots of people fishing and sitting in tubes (super cold) at American Lakes.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers, moose, marmots

Contacts

Shared By:

Patti P

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3957

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#450

in Colorado

#3,957

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Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

American Lakes Trail about a half mile below the lakes.
Jul 16, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO
View of Nohku Crags as you come off the steep climb.
Sep 2, 2020 near Grand Lake, CO
View of Moose Down in the American Lakes Valley after meeting up w/ the American Lakes Trail.
Sep 2, 2020 near Grand Lake, CO
View of Iron Mountain.
Sep 2, 2020 near Grand Lake, CO
American/Michigan Lakes and last winter\'s snow hanging out.
Apr 26, 2015 near Grand Lake, CO
First part of the trail with cow moose company.
Sep 2, 2020 near Grand Lake, CO

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