Barr Lake Trail

Adams County, Colorado

Distance10.2mi
Elevation Gain226ft
Trailhead Elevation5,102ft
Top5,111ft
Elevation Min/Max5064/5111ft
Elevation Start/End5102/5108ft

Barr Lake Trail

Barr Lake Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Adams County, Colorado. It is 10.2 miles long and begins at 5,102 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 226 feet. Barr Lake Nature Center, Nature Conservancy, and other parkings can be seen along the trail. There are also piers, a water, and restroom along the trail.

Barr Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes in Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Scott S. Warren
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"Situated in the plains northeast of Denver, Barr Lake offers an interesting oasis for people and wildlife alike. With its 1,900-acre surface area when full, the lake serves as a stopover for a variety of migratory birds. It is also home to some interesting species of mammals, and in recent years the lake has served as one of a few known bald eagle nesting sites along the Front Range region of Colorado. This hike follows a 9-mile trail that circles the entire lake." Read more
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Denver and Boulder (Menasha Ridge Press)
Kim Lipker
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"The Lake Perimeter Trail at Barr Lake offers a rare opportunity to explore a major prairie reservoir in Colorado. The lake is lined with cottonwoods, marshes, and aquatic plants. Its southern half has been designated as a wildlife refuge to shelter animals and birds, including the 350 species of birds that have been spotted here." Read more
Hiking Colorado's Front Range (Falcon Guides)
Bob D Antonio
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"A beautiful, easy hike along the shoreline of Barr Lake offers great views of the Indian Peaks and Rocky Mountain National Park. You can see for a hundred miles to the north and south along the Front Range. This hike offers a different experience than most hikes along the Front Range and is a welcome relief from the steep trails along the foothills and the mountains. This is one of the best spots along the Front Range for wildlife viewing, and there are several spots along the trail where you can stop and look for the many species of birds and mammals that call this special place home. This is a great hike for the whole family to get out and enjoy some excellent hiking in a wonderful wildlife area." Read more
Best Loop Hikes Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Steve Johnson & David Weinstein
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"Relating his views of honking geese at his Wisconsin farm, Aldo Leopold said, “ . . . and in this annual barter of food for light, and winter warmth for summer solitude, the whole continent receives a net profit of a wild poem dropped from the murky skies upon the muds of March.” At Barr Lake State Park, this wild poem is heard throughout winter, and there is much, much more. Geese, eagles, hawks, owls, and cormorants make up five of the 350 species of birds that have been spotted within this park. A bird-watcher’s paradise, this hike takes an 8.8-mile journey around the lake, through a wildlife refuge, across an elevated dam with endless views, and provides shelters for bird-watching and picnic areas, too." Read more

Barr Lake Trail Reviews

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5/4/2012
Great hike in close proximity to Denver and at doorstep of Golden. Good wildflowers and views of the front range, denver and golden. Will definately be back!!
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7/26/2009
great trail, excellent & breathtaking views. It does seem a little boring through. Stick through it, once you've hit the loop it really picks up.
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6/7/2009
This is a great trail with really nice views of the Continental Divide off in the distance. Perfect for a quick day hike.
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3/20/2009
Perfect quickie close to Golden. When you get to the loop if you head right you get to climb up a large rocky area. If you go to the left you climb down the rocks. I go to the right as it is a little more difficult. There is not a lot of parking and it fills up on the weekends. If it is full keep driving and hit up Golden Gate Canyon or White Ranch open space.
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9/9/2008
I've made this trip often, it is a great family trip for young and old. Reasonably flat paths and some fun encounters (from squirrels to deer/coyote to waterfowl, hawks, eagles and more.) One trip (a father's day I think) we saw tonnes of spinning fish happily spawning, quite astonishing. The bald eagle loved this. The "train" ride is a must for the kids. http://wildobs.com/map/Barr-Lake-CO
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8/21/2008
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7/26/2008
Very nice trail with nice ups and downs and rocky sections. Good views most of the way around. Only complaint would be that the narrow trails with sharp grades on either side make it difficult to pass others on the trail, and there was about 15 other sets of people walking on the Saturday morning that we went, so we did a fair bit of passing people.
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4/21/2008
Ok walking trail around the Barr lake. Just a flat walk, however, and not super interesting. Seemed to attract a lot of photographers b/c of the Bald Eagle nesting area, I presume. Seemed good for families with kids and older adults.
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6/4/2007
This is an excellent trail close to Golden. The views were excellent and it was nice and secluded. A wonderful, short hike.
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8/7/2006
This was a very nice, easily accessible trail with very pretty views. Easy enough for our two small dogs, the loop took about an hour and a half. It was a great way to escape the scorching heat of Denver without traveling too far into the mountains.
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Trail Information

Adams County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Barr Lake State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Brighton, Mile
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018