Home | Getting Started | Gift Center | Gear Store | Topo Maps | My Wildernet | Newsletter Signup

Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > Leadville Ranger District

Quick Facts

Timberline Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,000 Feet (3117.2 Meters) Timberline Lake Trailhead
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 855 Feet (266.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,855 Feet (3383.7 Meters) Timberline Lake
Length, One-way: 2.2 Miles (3.67 Kilometers) Timberline Lake
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 126 Holy Cross, Ruedi Reservoir

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This trail accesses Timberline Lake in the Holy Cross Wilderness. This is open to foot traffic only. The native Greenback Cutthroat Trout has been reintroduced into this lake, fishing is catch and release only.

Directions from Leadville: From Harrison Street in Leadville turn on to West Sixth Street for 1/2 mile. Turn right on to Turquoise Lake Road (Forest Road 104) and follow it approximately 10 miles past the dam to May Queen Campground. Follow signs to the Timberline Lake Trailhead, which is used as access for the Colorado Trail as well.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through September (NOTE: Snow may obstruct the trail during the Early Summer months.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Jenny Swick (Leadville, CO)
Time of Day: afternoon
Length of Time: 3 hours to the lake; 2 hours down
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My husband and I walked up with 4 kids under 5. We had to take turns carrying them through the river crossings. There's a great place to eat past the lily ponds. Its a big flat rock on the left. We all sat on it and had a picnic. The lake is absaloutely beautiful. We'll do it again. (Maybe without kiddos next time)
Conditions: It was a bit tough at points. The rivers were very full. Expect to get your feet wet. We had to leave the trail close to the lake to get around snow banks.
Water Availability: We took 4 bottles of water for the day. By the end we wished we had more but were fine. We didn't think of it at the time, but we could have gathered snow to refill our water bottles at the lake.
Recommended Clothing: shorts and long sleeve shirts on the way up. Sweats on the way down. Bring extra socks.
Suggested Accessories: A hiking stick would have been nice especially crossing through the rivers.

Filed By: Jacilyn (Denver, CO)
Time of Day: 8:00 a.m.
Length of Time: close to 3 hours to hike to Timberline Lake
Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This trail was beautiful. At the beginning it was difficult to breathe deep, but as we hiked farther it got easier. We rested quite a bit on the hike up. Towards the end/top of the trail it got steep, which was pretty difficult for myself. Just rest and you will be fine!!! Don't forget WATER!!! When you accomplish the trail and get to the lake, it is soo awesome!
Conditions: Lots of fallen trees AT Timberline Lake. Trial was somewhat rocky, but you just take it slow. You are exposed to the sun, but I never really got super hot. Sat. night it got cloudy and sprinkled lightly on our camp.
Water Availability: I packed 1 1/4 gallon and had to come down the trail before we wanted to because we were getting low on water. No place to get water besides the lake.....EWWWWW!
Recommended Clothing: pants since it was cool with a short sleeved shirt. Temps got cooler at night and had to bundle up good. Will need sun protection.
Suggested Accessories: Hiking stick sure came in handy at the steep portions of the hike. Hatchet also came in handy in cutting wood. Forrest gets very dark at night, don't forget the flashlight!!!

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Fishing Timberline Lake - catch and release only
ICON Hiking & Walking Timberline Trail

Related Activities
ColoradoTrail (Tennessee Pass to Turquoise Lake) - This segment of the Colorado Trail leads users through lodgepole, spruce-fir and aspen forests. It consists of moderately difficult terrain.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Leadville Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 2015 North Poplar , Leadville, CO, 80461, Phone: 719-486-0749, Fax: 719-486-0928


About Wildernet |  Email to a Friend  |  Disclaimer |  Privacy |  Contact Us  | Comments & Suggestions
Advertisers & Sponsors |  Owners & Operators |  Tourism Promotors
©1995-2019 Interactive Outdoors Inc. All rights reserved.