Slater Lake Hike

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Easy
Duration
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.
2-3h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.0 km
Elevation
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.
329 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

We love a good mountain adventure, and the Slater Lake Hike delivers just that. Hike up the OHV road up to a cluster of shimmering alpine lakes nestled between snow-capped, craggy peaks. This adventure offers activities for all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts, hike it, bike it, or even drive up the Slater Lake Trail.

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Route Description for Slater Lake Hike

The Slater Lake Hike is a scenic hike through the Arapaho National Forest. Though this trail can be completed year-round, the changing foliage in the autumn adds to the charm. Hike up the shared OHV and bike route to Slater Lake and round the lake’s shoreline. This route is easy to navigate as you travel the Jeep Road, but there is no explicit trail around the lake—use the trail GPS or walk around the shoreline to avoid getting off track. It is also worth noting that the road up to the trailhead is a bit rugged; a 4x4 vehicle with ground clearance should have no issue but drive the road at your own risk.

It is worth noting there is no parking lot for this adventure, so visitors will have to park alongside the road. From the end of Rainbow Road, take the Jeep Road northwest. Track up the dirt road hemmed with aspen trees. As you ascend the route, you will notice Fall River Reservoir on your right-hand side. Continue hiking up the road, and the trail will deliver you to the bundle of lakes. Lower Chinns Reservoir will be on your right and the Upper Chinns Reservoir on your left.

At this point, the route will come to its end at the Upper Chinns Reservoir, where there will likely be several campers set up along the shoreline. Continue up the more primitive path over a ridge and up to Slater Lake. Revel in the grandeur of the towering peaks that flank the lake and trek around the shoreline. After you loop around the lake, retrace your steps back along the trail to your vehicle.

Getting to the Slater Lake Hike Trailhead

The Slater Lake Hike begins at end of the Rainbow Road in the James Peak Wilderness

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Designated Dispersed Campsites

  • When to do

    April-October

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Slater Lake Hike Elevation Graph

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