Crater Trailhead


Trail sign at Crater trailhead

Crater Trailhead serves as the northern access point for the Blair Lake Trail #2048, which enters the Flat Tops Wilderness. Blair Lake Trail runs 6.2 miles south from the Crater Trailhead, passing several scenic lakes and ending at the Patterson Creek Trailhead. The northernmost lake (Crater Lake), is locating approximately 1.4 miles from the Crater Trailhead. The trail is open to hiking and horseback riding; motorized and mechanized uses are not allowed in Wilderness areas. 

At a Glance

Fees No fee
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Motorized and mechanized uses are not permitted in Wilderness areas.  
Closest Towns: Glenwood Springs, CO; New Castle, CO
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Rifle Ranger District: (970)-625-2371

General Information


For high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicles: From Glenwood Springs (north of I-70), follow W. 6th Street to Traver Trail. Take a right onto Traver Trail and in 0.4 miles take another right onto Transfer Trail (Forest Road 602). Follow Transfer Trail to the parking area at the Forest boundary. From here, continue following Transfer Trail for another 20 miles to Forest Road 601. Turn left onto Forest Road 601 and proceed approximately 14 miles up over Blair Mountain to Cow Lake. Turn right onto Forest Road 601.2F and proceed 1.5 miles to Forest Road 647. Turn right and drive 1 mile to the trailhead.  

For a less rugged approach: From the West Elk Trailhead, follow Forest Road 245 (Buford-New Castle Road)12.5 miles north to Forest Road 601 at Hiner Spring. Turn right and follow Forest Road 601 for 10 miles to Cow Lake. Turn left onto Forest Road 601.2F and proceed 1.5 miles to Forest Road 647. Turn right and go 1 mile to the trailhead.  

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