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    Hardscrabble and Williams Lake Hike

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    9.3 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    402 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Hardscrabble and Williams Lake Hike is a challenging adventure in Colorado that will take you through the Elk Mountains to visit a series of woodland lakes. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill through the forest and work your way along a ridgeline, before arriving at the serene locations of each lake. Hikers should take note that this route is located in bear country, so make sure to bring bear spray and observe all best practices.

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    Route Description for Hardscrabble and Williams Lake Hike

    Situated in the Elk Mountains near the imposing Capitol Peak, the Hardscrabble and Williams Lake Hike is a challenging adventure for those looking to experience the rugged landscape of the Colorado backcountry. While this route is difficult, it is not long or technical, making it a great option for those looking to push themselves.

    Setting out from the trailhead, you will head to the west and immediately begin climbing up the hillside, working your way along a zig zagging trail before it enters into the dense cover of the forest. Here, the route will bend to the southwest and follow along a ridgeline, before passing by Hardscrabble Lake.

    Keeping on to the southwest, you will eventually break away from the ridge and climb slightly further uphill to the west to arrive at the serene shores of Williams Lake. Take some time here to relax and appreciate the natural setting, before returning along the same trail that you came in on.

    Getting to the Hardscrabble and Williams Lake Hike Trailhead

    The starting point for the Hardscrabble and Williams Lake Hike can be found at the Capitol Creek Trailhead on Capitol Creek Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Hardscrabble and Williams Lake Hike Elevation Graph

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    Hardscrabble and Williams Lake Hike Reviews

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