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    Duck 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.
    10.9 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.
    354 m
    User Ratings
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Duck Lake Trail is a fantastic hiking route in Colorado that will take you through the San Juan Wilderness to reach the shores of a charming lake. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill through a dense stretch of forest and scenic meadows, before the final push up to Duck Lake. Hikers should take note that the road leading up to the trailhead is quite rough and will require a 4x4 high clearance vehicle. Alternatively, you can park at the nearby Elk Creek Campground and walk in.

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    Route Description for Duck Lake Trail

    While it isn’t an overly difficult hiking route, the Duck Lake Trail does feature some fairly steep switchbacks through the forest that will be sure to give you a bit of a leg burn. Even though it has its challenging moments, this is an exceptional adventure with some beautifully scenic lakeside views.

    Setting out from the trailhead, you will head southwest through the forest and immediately begin climbing uphill. Here, you will traverse a series of switchbacks and experience the natural beauty of the woodland landscape, before exiting the tree cover into a serene meadow.

    Take some time here to appreciate the surrounding views of forests and peaks, before making the final push through a few switchbacks to access the shores of Duck Lake. This is a great place to pause for a quick rest ort hop in the water for a refreshing swim, before heading back down along the same route on the return leg into the trailhead.

    Getting to the Duck Lake Trail Trailhead

    The Duck Lake Trailhead can be found along Forest Service Road 128, just beyond the Elk Creek Campground.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Duck Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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    Duck Lake Trail Reviews

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