Crystal Lake Trail

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.
14.8 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.
920 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Be the first to add a review!
Directions to Trailhead

The Crystal Lake Trail is a beautifully scenic, albeit very challenging, hiking route in Lake City, Colorado that will take you uphill for gorgeous views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. While out on the trail, you will work your way uphill through meadows and sparse aspen groves along a steep trail that offers little in the way of a reprieve from the elevation gain, before arriving at the shores of Crystal Lake. Bring plenty of water for this hike, as the route is almost entirely exposed to the sun and is unrelenting in its steepness.

Guide-book quality info for over 8,000 trails

View Crystal Lake Trail on Map

View Map

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Route Description for Crystal Lake Trail

Whether you are physically fit enough to easily handle the rigors of this trail or are a glutton for punishment, the Crystal Lake Trail is a relentlessly steep hiking route that will allow you to fully experience the natural beauty and rugged nature of the San Juan Mountains.

Setting out from the trailhead, you will make your way to the west and immediately begin climbing up the steep mountainside. Here, you will largely traverse the open hillside that is exposed to the sun, although there will be a few aspen groves along the route that will provide a bit of shade.

After slogging your way uphill through the nearly relentless slope of the mountainside, you will arrive at the scenic shores of Crystal Lake situated below Crystal Peak. Take some time here for some much deserved rest and to experience the amazing scenery, before heading back down along the same trail to return to your starting point.

Getting to the Crystal Lake Trail Trailhead

The trailhead for the Crystal Lake Trail can be found along Rocky Springs Drive in Lake City, right next to the New Cemetery.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Crystal Lake Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

Check Area Weather

Crystal Lake Trail Reviews

Add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Nearby Trails

Nearby Regions

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers