Forest Lakes Trail


Photo of Forest Lakes taken from the peaks above on the Continental Divide Trail

From the East Portal Trailhead, follow the South Boulder Creek Trail around the north side of the train tunnel. The trail soon enters James Peak Wilderness Area.

It is 1.2 miles on the South Boulder Creek Trail to the signed Forest Lakes Trail junction. Turn right as indicated.

The Forest Lakes Trail cuts across the front of a steep ridge on an old road for a half-mile until it intersects Arapaho Creek. It follows the creek for about another mile before it turns away from the creek to the northeast following a gentle grade to the lower of the two lakes. The trail leads around the lower lake and continues west to the upper Forest Lake, finally connecting to the Moffat Road another quarter-mile past upper Forest Lake.

At a Glance

Permit Info: No permits are required at this time.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: James Peak Wilderness restrictions apply:
  • Motorized and mechanized vehicles are prohibited.
  • Pets must be on a hand-held leash at all times.
  • Campfires prohibited.
  • Campsites must be at least 100 feet away from water and trail.
  • Group size is limited to 12 (people and livestock combined).
Fishing and hunting: permitted in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Rollinsville, Colorado
Water: South Boulder Creek, Arapaho Creek; treat water for drinking
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301, Phone 303-541-2500, Fax 303-541-2515; Contact Us

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.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Lake and Pond Fishing

River and Stream Fishing


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Horse Riding & Camping

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Areas & Activities

Campgrounds At-A-Glance


  Area/Length : 
From East Portal Trailhead to: Forest Lakes Trail - 1.2 miles; Forest Lakes - 4 miles (one way).

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,200' - 11,020'