Cathedral Lake Trail

Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness Area, Colorado

Distance2.9mi
Elevation Gain2,238ft
Trailhead Elevation9,909ft
Top11,911ft
Elevation Min/Max9909/11911ft
Elevation Start/End9909/9909ft

Cathedral Lake Trail

Cathedral Lake Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Pitkin County, Colorado. It is within Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness Area and White River National Forest. It is 2.9 miles long and begins at 9,909 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,238 feet. This trail connects with the following: Electric Pass.

Cathedral Lake Trail Reviews

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9/5/2009
We went backpacking on this trail with our dog.It's very popular day hike trails.This trail is very nice, steady hike up hill, nice waterfall.It is a very nice hike for fall as well because there are thick forest of Aspen.There are several backpacking camp spots just between first & second junction trails before reach Cathedral Lake & to Electric pass on your left side.We found one that are hidden and far from trail and close to waterfall.Highly recommend for backpacker on this trail. Cathedral Peak is amazing looking peak and reflection of the lake.There are still a lot of old mine still left there.Next day we hiked up to Electric pass. It's also a very nice trail up the pass, great view you can see Castle Peak and Collegate Peaks. We were there for 2 nights and only saw another group of backpacker the morning we packed out. Mostly crowded for day hikers. Highly recommend for either for a day hike or backpacking.
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8/2/2009
I really like this hike. It's 1,800 ft of elevation over about 3 miles (to Cathedral). The view at the lake is incredible with the bright blue water and pretty flowers. I recommend this hike.
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10/4/2007
The trailhead is at the SECOND trailhead sign off Castle Creek Road, the first one past the Ashcroft Ghost Town. Depending on how you read the directions from the trail guide, you might go the the second trailhead after 12.1 miles, which is at the end of Castle Creek Road. There are even camp sites there that might lead you to searching for the trailhead. Turned around by weather halfway up, but it was a exhilarating hike up. Heard the lake was beautiful, but it'll have to wait for next time.
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6/4/2007
Excellent hike. According to my GPS it was about 3 miles to the lake. 2,017' climb. I took this hike on June 2nd in the early afternoon. The last half mile I was post-holing in snow to my waist(6'1' tall). Good workout.The lake is still frozen but beautiful and well worth the effort. Plan on a 2.5 to 6 hour trip.
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7/30/2006
Just an awesome hike. If you go for the views, then go for this trail. The first half mile the trail winds through a grove of aspen, so no vistas there; but from that point on its great scenery. The best views in my opinion come after the turn off to Cathedral Lake, as you work your way up to Electric Pass. From the top you get expansive views of three different watersheds.
My only criticism, and indeed it is a small one - the first half mile (and of course the last half mile) is a bit buggy.
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6/20/2006
Excellent early season hike (June 7, 2006). We left the trailhead at 5:30 am (sunrise) and made it to Cathedral Lake by 8:00 am. The hike was relatively easy with only a few places where the snow was knee deep. Even with that, the trail to the lake was easy to find. It was a little harder to get over the Cathedral Peak route. The miner's trail around the lake must have been covered with snow because we never found it. Because of the drainage off the lake, this forced us to retrace our route until we were able to get to the small railroad tie bridge over Pine Creek. We then had to bushwhack our way back on the other side. When we finally got to the southern gulley, we scrambled up and still managed to summit before 10:30! It was a beautiful day and the view was great. During the whole trip, we only saw one other hiker while we were descending and amazingly never saw any wildlife at all. Pine Creek was roaring and the flowers were blooming. It was a great morning. We were back to our car by 1:30 pm.
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Cathedral Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness Area
Parks
Aspen District, White River National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Hayden Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018