Columbine Lake (509)

Columbine Lake

The Columbine Lake Trail is difficult to access and steep. It consists of many steep switchbacks, and then eases out into the basin below Columbine Lake. Water is fairly scarce, but it is there. A few camp spots are also there, and tents should be moved if you plan to stay more then two days, because of the fragile tundra. A trout dinner is a consideration for the fishing fan. Only experienced mountaineers should climb the surrounding peaks. As with all high-altitude areas, storms can move in rapidly, bringing severe wind, lightning, rain, snow, or hail any time of the year. Know before you go and plan accordingly.

Fishing: Columbine Lake is rated good for brook trout.

  • Distance (one-way): 5 miles
  • Maximum elevation: 12,800 feet
  • Minimum elevation: 10,200 feet

At a Glance

Best Season: Summer
Closest Towns: Silverton, CO
Water: Purification recommended.
Restroom: None. Practice Leave No Trace.
Information Center: Columbine Ranger District

General Information


From Durango, CO: Approximately 57 miles north of Durango on Hwy 550, turn off on Ophir Pass Road. Follow Ophir Pass Road approximately 0.4 miles to FR 820 on your right. The unmarked trailhead is approximately 3/4 miles down FR 820.

Parking at the immediate trailhead is limited. Parking near the turn off to FR 820 and hiking the 3/4 miles to the trailhead is best.



Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

OHV Trail Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
5 miles

  Elevation : 
10,200 - 12,800