Linkins Lake Trail is short, steep, gorgeous, and packed with everything Colorado on such a small adventure. So take a break on the drive over Independence Pass, and take in this beauty that starts above the treeline to an Alpine Lake.

More trails leading in several directions from Linkins Lake make this an adventure.


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



The Linkins Lake Trail and Upper Lost Man Trail start where you find the Roaring Fork River flowing down to the lower regions of Independence Pass. It’s a beautiful start! Just to the west of the Roaring Fork River, you will find the Trailhead signpost.



Not far from the Trailhead, we came to the turn to Linkins Lake Trail and started our ascent. After passing a few Blue Spruce Trees, we were high above in minutes, and the views were breathtaking in every direction.

Looking back, we could see Independence Mountain and the rugged Peaks of the Collegiates Peaks Wilderness.





After several switchbacks and rocky paths, we are at Linkins Lake. It’s marshy and buggy but still beautiful. The tundra is full of different colors and looks delicate as we attempt to stay on the trail around the lake.





A well-defined trail to our right leads us up one rocky side of the lake to take in views from above. From here, we can see a trail leading up to the other side of the lake.  What looks like an old cabin is barely visible near the top ridgeline.


CLICK HERE > for practical gear that we love at Crazy About Colorado and have in our backpacks on every hike.



Looking below is a sea of green with sprinkles of wildflowers enveloped by high peaks as other hikers head out on the Upper Lost Man Trail. A must-do in the future on our never-ending list of hikes!





It is an old cabin with an old mine behind it. Yup, had to make the other trail to see what was up here. So happy we did. This turned out to be one of my favorite adventures.





The tundra, the views, and the glacier ponds just beyond the cabin were mind-boggling. Absolutely stunning. We hopped large rock faces so as not to disturb the tundra and could not believe how amazing it was up here.

NOTE: Please stay on the trail. We found where others have traveled and were extremenly careful in the tundra. Just a few bootsteps cripples vegetation. Alpine terrian is fragile & can take years to regrow.

Getting Serious About Hiking? Items I never leave without.

First Aid Kit

Emergency Blanket

Nuun Tablets

Bear Bell



Heading back down, I kept stumbling as I could not take my eyes off the views ahead.

This was a spectacular hike for anyone acclimated to the attitude and having hiked a bit before. Short hike to Linkins Lake and steep short hikes on upper trails next to the lake. Read here for more info  >High Altitude Warning Signs

Know the weather forecast – before hiking above the treeline – a good source is to search Independence Pass on


Trail #1979

1.6 mile out & back

Rated: moderate

Lake elevation: 12,008′

Popular for fishing

Aspen Ranger District

Independence Pass Travel Info


18 1/2 miles from Aspen, CO, on Hwy 82. On the last switchback before reaching Independence Summit, you will see a dirt parking lot on the north side with a restroom. Easy to find.



Hunter Creek Trail is an Aspen Favorite!

Hope Pass via Willis Gulch Trail is Unbeatable!


Colorado Hikes, 23 Awesome Trails!


Day Hiking Essentials, What to Bring in Your Backpack



Connect with me on Instagram! I enjoy hanging out there and leaving tidbits of trails I’ve hiked in Colorado. Follow me and say hi – send me a message! Follow other hikers and be inspired!

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