Lake Fork #2172


Photo taken from the Lake Park Trail showing a nearby foothill

Lake Fork Trail is 2.3 miles long. It begins at an intersection with Cayton Gulch Trail #2162 and ends at Little Muddy Road (Forest Road 842). The trail forms part of 6-mile loop opportunity with the Cayton Gulch and Little Muddy Trails (described below).

To access the Lake Fork Trail, begin at the Cayton Trailhead. Follow the Cayton Gulch trail south for a short distance to the green cattle gate; the Lake Fork Trail takes off to the right just past this gate. From here, follow the trail along the hillside as it alternates between scrub oak and dark timber. Be sure to enjoy the impressive views back toward the Ranger Station as you make your way northwest. At 0.9 miles the trail will make a left turn and will continue following the contour of the ridge for the next mile. Along this stretch, the trail will cross through dense brush and navigation may be difficult in certain places.

At 2.1 miles from Cayton Gulch, the path will reach an intersection with the Muddy Creek Trail #2172.1A. Take a right turn to continue following the Lake Fork Trail, which will end at the Forest Road in 0.15 miles. To continue the loop, proceed straight ahead onto Trail #2172.1A. Follow this trail for 0.4 miles to East Fork Trail #2172.1M. From this intersection, take the left fork on Trail #2172.1M, follow it for 0.9 miles, and then turn left onto the Cayton Gulch Trail. Proceed north on the Cayton Gulch Trail to complete the loop.

Lake Fork Trail is within the habitats of bear, mountain lion, and elk. The trail is likewise located on rangeland, and visitors may come into contact with cattle. Please take precautions, and do not approach wildlife or livestock that you encounter on the trail.

Lake Fork Trail is open to horseback riders and hikers. A .pdf trail map is located here.

At a Glance

Fees No fee
Closest Towns: Silt, Colorado
Water: No
Restroom: Toilet at Cayton Trailhead
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Rifle Ranger District: 970-625-2371

General Information


From Silt, CO cross over Interstate 70 (at Exit 97) and turn left. After a short distance, turn right onto 16th Street (County Road 311), proceed over the Colorado River, and make another right onto Dry Hollow Road (County Road 331). Follow Dry Hollow Road for 7.5 miles and then bear left onto County Road 324. Follow County Road 324 for 1.5 miles and then turn right onto County Road 342 (Fairview Drive). Follow Fairview Drive for 3.2 miles and then turn left onto County Road 344. Proceed on County Road 344 for 8.5 miles (becomes Forest Road 800 at the Forest Boundary). Shortly after passing the roadside kiosk, turn right onto Forest Road 814 and proceed for 1/2 mile to the Ranger Station. Forest Road 814 is very rough and rutted.

As you drive from Silt to the Ranger Station, pay careful attention to road signs; there are numerous cross streets and driveways, and it is easy to get lost!

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Show detail SHOW

Horse Riding & Camping

Hide detail HIDE

Horse Riding


Show detail SHOW

Outdoor Learning

Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
2.3 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
7,500 feet - 7,900 feet


picture of different recreation quicksheets

Recreation Quicksheets