Lily Pad Lakes Trail is one of those hikes you will do again!


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Lily Pad Lakes Trail is an easy day hike to a fairy tale like setting with possible sightings of moose and an abundance of wildflowers in summer.

One of our favorites easy hikes…


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The trail starts off kinda funky, up a steep service road for a very short distance until turning into an easy-going path with amazing views of Dillon Reservoir and surrounding mountain peaks. 




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Soon we are into the trees among Colorado’s pines, spruces, and aspens hiking along a gentle soft path with a sprinkling of early summer wildflowers, and lush alpine terrain, so green from leftover snowmelt, (and a bit of mud!).

Not far after entering the forest, we passed into the Eagles Nest Wilderness boundary and a couple of creek crossings along the trek added to our inner child. 


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About a ½ mile after we passed the Salt Lick Trail sign (veer to the right at this sign) we came upon the first lake. It’s small, more like a pond, and covered with lily pads. We are early in the season to see the blooming lilies, but it’s still picture perfect.

 The best time to see the lilies in full bloom is in mid to late June.




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Meandering past the lake, we kept going on the trail and shortly found the second lake, which was much bigger with a beautiful view of Buffalo Mountain. 


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This is the lake to hang out at and hike around.  

Running into an old friend along the hike, she went on to tell us how she saw a moose swimming across Lily Pad Lake early that morning. Say what! It left me looking in every direction to see a moose. Did I see one? nope.

 I’m not sure I would have been scared or enthralled if I did see a moose… 


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Lily Pad Trail is one of Summit County’s most popular trails for families and visitors, especially in summer. If local try late fall for more solitude and easier parking.

We love Lily Pad Trail for a quick, happy, easy get outside day, even in winter, it is a perfect snowshoe trail.




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The Trailhead is to the left of the Browns Cabin Trailhead. 

Located: at the top of Ryan Gulch Road in the Wildernest community of Silverthorne, CO. Parking is limited! Come early. Another option is the Summit Stage Bus, it’s free and will drop you at the Trailhead.

Want more easy day hikes? Read our post Easy Trails in Colorado’s Wilderness and find some of our favorites.


3.2 miles out and back

Rated: easy

Trail # 50

Start elevation: 9,928 ft. 

End elevation: 10,009 ft.

Open to leashed dogs & horses

Bikes not allowed

Fishing is permitted in the second lake with valid Colorado fishing license

Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest – for camping information

Dillon Ranger District – 970-468-5400, for the latest trail & weather conditions 

Nearest Town: Silverthorne & Frisco



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