Lily Lake

Red Wing, Colorado 81089

Lily Lake

Lily Lake Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This is a popular trail to a very scenic high lake. A turnaround is available for parking at the Lily Lake Trailhead. There are plenty of camping spots along the road between the Huerfano Trailhead and the end of the road, but camping is best after a short backpack up the valley along the first gentle mile or two of the trail.

From the trailhead, descend along the right (west) side of the Huerfano River valley to a broad meadow and up the Lily Lake Trail into the forest ahead. Continue south up the valley and into a smaller open meadow. Just as you enter the trees, watch for a fork in the trail and continue up to the right. If you cross over to the east side of the river, you have taken the wrong fork. The trail is almost fl at as it leads through an open meadow before curving sharply to the right (northwest). Hike toward the east edge of the meadow and follow the trail as it switches back sharply to the left, then begins to climb gently but steadily up the right (west) side of the valley. As the trail continues to climb to the south, the views of Blanca Peak’s north face become more impressive."

Lily Lake Trip Reports

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Absolutely gorgeous hike. The lake is at about 12500 ft, so be prepared for high altitude hiking. The views of Mt Blanca's head wall are amazing. The trail can be a little hard to follow, we printed the trail description from here, so we able to find it. Watch for the intersection with "Lily Lake" scratched on the rock!
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When the trail description described that the road to the trail head could be rough, they were not kidding. I rode my dual sport motorcycle to the trail head and I was glad that I traveled of that type of vehicle. However, there were several cars and trucks parked at the trail head so it was evident that you can make it there with four wheels as well.

The trail was just picture-perfect. The views over alpine meadows with the massive mountain peaks in the background were just awesome. With the addition of wildflowers it looked like a little paradise.

However, the trail was somewhat hard to follow. I missed the turnoff to the right which was supposed to send me up to the lake (via switchbacks). There was a post with a rock on top at the turnoff. It seems like there used to be a sign attached to the post, but it was missing now. So I walked straight and ended up at the headwaters of the rivers. On my return I took a closer look at the rock on the post and found that someone had written "Lily Lake -" on the rock, but it was hard to read.

I was out of time, so I left the hike to the lake for another day. However, even without the lake it is an awesome hike.
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We bushwacked south of the established trail to climb to Lily Lake. Not a big mistake and it was fun, but I wished we'd stayed on the trail. Typical Colorado beauty everywhere on this hike. Am planning another trip in 2009.

Lily Lake Photos

Trail Information

Red Wing
Nearby City
1,500 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Day hike or backpack
Best July to September
10,700 feet
Trailhead Elevation
12,200 feet
Top Elevation
Rio Grande National Forest, San Isabel National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Blanca Peak
Local Maps

Trail Log