Forest Lakes Trail takes you to 2 lovely alpine lakes, one that is tranquil and one that rests among the rugged Continental Divide peaks. Hiking is a gentle wide path in the first mile than an adventure as you hike higher up. Wooden bridges, meadows, and dense forests take you up to a mountain paradise hidden at the treeline.

READ more to find out if this hike is meant for you! It’s a gem.


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You will find the trail at the East Portal Trailhead Parking Lot and begin your hike on South Boulder Creek Trail. Hike past old building remnants through forests and meadows on an easy path for a mile. A signpost for Forest Lake Trail will send you to your right.


After hiking along a high ridge for a 1/2 mile on a wide path we crossed a small waterfall and the real adventure begins. Now the trail is a single rocky path and we have the feeling of being far away and deep in the woods.

The trail is rougher as we step among rocks & tree roots winding our way upward with a few “catch your breath” stops in between. Ascending higher up we begin to get a glimpse of the higher peaks ahead.






Just like that, the first Forest Lake appears. Clear & bright in the sunlight it sparkles as we wander around it. A couple of hikers are fishing, otherwise, it’s quiet and peaceful.




Finding the trail to the Upper Forest Lake was tricky. We eventually located a well-worn-out footbridge at the SW end of the lake. We crossed and from here the trail heads up to the Upper Lake.


Dehydration plus fickle weather is always something to consider when at high altitude. For a look at practical gear that we love and have in our backpacks on every hike. > CLICK HERE



Although this part of the hike has us hiking across large rocks and guessing all the while where the trail was, we loved it. Soon, passing a small waterfall surrounded by the bittersweet end of summer wildflowers, we are almost there. Just seeing the peaks we are heading towards is enough to get me excited!



Forest Lake Trail, Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado hikes



One of those “wow, look at that” moments arriving at Upper Forest Lake! Something magical happens at treeline and this is no exception. It’s stunning.




You will encounter a few overnight backpackers and after being here it’s easy to see why!

NOTE: Talking with a National Forest Ranger – it’s a popular area in the winter months also. He suggests a good GPS device even in early summer when trails are still covered in snow.



8.1 mile out & back

Rated: Hard

Lower & Upper Lakes

Portable Toilets

Elevation Gain: 1,794

Nearest Town: Nederland, CO

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Roosevelt National Forest


East Portal Trailhead Parking Lot


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Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).