Frying Pan Lakes

Hunter–Fryingpan Wilderness Area, Colorado

Elevation Gain1,271ft
Trailhead Elevation9,978ft
Elevation Min/Max9967/11030ft
Elevation Start/End9978/9978ft

Frying Pan Lakes

Frying Pan Lakes is a hiking and horse trail in Pitkin County, Colorado. It is within White River National Forest and Hunter–Fryingpan Wilderness Area. It is 4.0 miles long and begins at 9,978 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,271 feet. Near the trailhead there is a pipeline. This trail connects with the following: Lily Pad Lakes.

Frying Pan Lakes Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Colorado's Western Slope (Falcon Guides)
Bill Haggerty
View more trails from this guide book
"Total ascent: 1,708 feet. Total descent: 1,476. There’s a lot of up and down to this Fryingpan Lakes Trail, but your rewards are well worth it. The scenery, the lakes and the jagged peaks of the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness all help make this a fabulous hike. The river was named for a fryingpan hung in a tree to mark the spot of a wounded trapper in a fight with native American Utes. This area has a proud history of trapping, mining and life on the Colorado frontier, where legends of wealth continue to grow." Read more

Frying Pan Lakes Reviews

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We took llamas up North Fork Lake Creek to the pass and then hoped to hike over the pass to Frying Pan Lakes. The trail is well marked and beautiful up to the pass. On the other side of the pass the trail is not maintained and is marked with cairns that are easily missed. I think it is possible to willow bash and follow the cairns without llamas. We ended up camping above the lakes because we ran out of time trying to pick our way down. The valley is beautiful and we hope to backpack in from Basalt to Frying Pan Lakes next year to see if we can find the trail to where we camped. I wish the whole trail were maintained because it is a wonderful hike. Barb
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The trail was well marked and maintained and clean. Lakes, valley view of mountains and wild flowers made for a perfect overnighter. Camped between the lakes at 11,000 ft. We had a moonless, cloudless night to see the stars. Got down to below freezing over night at the end of July.

Frying Pan Lakes Photos

Trail Information

Hunter–Fryingpan Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Hunter–Fryingpan Wilderness Area
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
White River National Forest Service, Sopris Ranger District, 620 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623, (970) 963-2266;
Local Contacts
White River National Forest Service Map; #127, Aspen/ Independence Pass
Local Maps