Beginner Trail on beautiful Lower Cataract Lake Loop An adventure for both young and old. The perfect casual day hike or beginner snowshoe trek.

I am sharing this trail in late spring for those looking for an easy hike this summer in Colorado’s mountains. (photos from a September hike)


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Our hike was in early Sept, and the fall colors were starting to turn. So, we started on the left fork of the trail and went clockwise around the lake, hearing that is the best hiking experience.
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Anticipating a quick, not too-exciting trail, only to be pleasantly surprised at the beauty surrounding us while wandering through thick, shimmering Aspen grooves and eventually into a dense spruce-fir forest.


We often spotted views of the lake winding in and out of the trees. One of the most popular waterfalls in the area is located at the wood bridge along the trail.

Sadly, this is late in the season, and we missed it. A large waterfall normally thunders down the mountainside in late spring and early summer.





Hiking out of the dense forest, the trail passes by the lake’s marshy area, where fishermen enjoy the waters. Ascending onward to the trail’s highest point, things got a bit rockier and narrow, giving us a touch of moderate hiking.

Impressive views of the Gore Range with the lake below had us often stopping to take in all the breathtaking views.

Leaves floated aimlessly as we passed under large Aspens trees and hiked through colorful sage bushes until the trail merged with a road that led us to the end of the loop.

Six Moon Designs Hiking Umbrella – Ultralight for sun and weather

Hiker Hunger Trekking Poles, Collapsible, 100% Carbon Fiber

Osprey Backpacks – A day hiking favorite pack

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One of those trails that you’ll never get bored on and perfect for a laid-back day in any season. Find a waterfall in summer, colorful Aspens in fall, and a beautiful snowshoe trek in winter.


Finding the trailhead: From Silverthorne: Travel north on Hwy 9 out of town towards Green Mountain Reservoir. Just before the reservoir turns left onto Heeney Rd. Travel 5 miles, turn left on Cataract Creek Rd. The road is dirt and slightly narrow and rough in spots but passable. Go past the Surprise Lake Trailhead to the Lower Cataract Lake Trailhead and parking.
2.5 miles loop

Rated: Easy

Trail # 57

Family and dog friendly

Open to: Hiking, Snowshoeing, Fishing

Start Elevation: 8,652’ Minimal elevation gain


Eagles Nest Wilderness

White River National Forest

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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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