American Lakes Trail

Jackson County, Colorado

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American Lakes Trail is a hiking trail in Jackson County, Colorado. It is 3.5 miles long and begins at 9,830 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,687 feet. Near the trailhead there is a parking.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
American Lakes Trail is a hiking trail in Jackson County, Colorado. It is 3.5 miles long and begins at 9,830 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,687 feet. Near the trailhead there is a parking. This trail connects with the following: Thunder Pass Trail and Michigan Ditch Trail.
Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Jackson County
Distance: 3.5
Elevation Gain: 1,687 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 9,830 feet
Top Elevation: 11,241 feet
Driving Directions: Directions to American Lakes Trail
Elevation Min/Max: 9820/11241 ft
Elevation Start/End: 9830/9830 ft
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This trail provides easy access to a high, wide alpine meadow experience. It travels through Colorado State Park State Forest, on the western side of the Continental Divide. The trail begins on an old logging road and climbs through evergreens and past small, snow-fed, swollen streams. To the north are views of the Diamond Peaks in the Medicine Bow Range, which extends into Wyoming. The Never Summer Range is seen to the east and south. The American Lakes, sometimes called Michigan Lakes on older maps, comprise two easily accessible lakes. A third lake, Snow Lake, involves a rocky scramble. Depending on spring temperatures, the trail may not be easily navigable until late June or July.

The Nohku Crags (from the Arapahoe hoh’onookee, meaning “Eagle Rocks”) form the western boundary above the lakes and shade the lakes from the late afternoon sun. As you enjoy the panoramic views of peaks and tundra, look for wildflowers like the glacier lily in late June. Other Never Summer Range views on this hike include Static Peak, with Mount Richthofen in the background, and Lulu Mountain and Thunder Mountain, all part of the Continental Divide bordering on Rocky Mountain National Park.

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May 2018