Crater Lakes (#819)

Photo showing one of the Crater Lakes with a mountain covered in pine trees in the background

Length: East Portal Trailhead (TH) to: Lower Crater Lake - 3 miles; Rogers Pass - 4.6 miles. DISTANCES ARE ONE-WAY

Elevation: 9,211 feet at East Portal TH; 10,600 feet at the main Crater Lakes; 11,060 feet at Rogers Pass Lake; 11,900 feet at Rogers Pass.

Trail Description: From East Portal Trailhead, follow South Boulder Creek Trail into the James Peak Wilderness for 2.2 miles to its junction with Crater Lakes Trail at the junction sign. Follow Crater Lakes Trail as it climbs steeply for a mile and crosses the narrow spit of land between the two main lakes.

Click here for a trail summary.

View a trail map here.

At a Glance

Permit Info: No permits are required at this time.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Hiking conditions are best from July through OCtober
Restrictions: James Peak Wilderness restrictions apply:
  • Motorized equipment and mechanized transportation are prohibited.
  • Pets must be on a hand-held leash at all times.
  • Campfires are prohibited year round.
  • Campsites must be at least 100 feet away from water and trail.
  • Group size is limited to 12 (people and livestock combined).
  • Processed weed-free feed is required for stock.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Fishing and hunting: permitted in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Rollinsville, Colorado
Water: Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service

General Information

Directions: From Nederland, travel south for 4.5 miles on Colorado Highway 119 to Rollinsville. Turn west onto the gravel Gilpin County Road 16 and continue eight miles to the Moffat Tunnel. A large parking area is available at the East Portal Trailhead.


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Horse Riding

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Campgrounds At-A-Glance


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