Crystal Lake Trail

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 80517

Elevation Gain667ft
Trailhead Elevation11,068ft
Elevation Min/Max10994/11552ft
Elevation Start/End11068/11068ft

Crystal Lake Trail

Crystal Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Larimer County, Colorado. It is within Rocky Mountain National Park. It is 1.2 miles long and begins at 11,068 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 667 feet. The unnamed tarn water can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Lawn Lake Trail and "The Saddle" Trail.

Crystal Lake Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This lake carved into the flank of Fairchild Mountain jostles musical ice crystals when surrounding snow and ice fields melt in summer.

Standing on the shore of Crystal Lake, I have been delighted by the tinkling music of ice shards bumping against one another in the water, like crystals knocking together on a chandelier disturbed by wind through an open window. I do not know if something about the way glaciers plucked Crystal Lake’s deep basin from the flank of Fairchild Mountain causes its ice to melt into natural music. Perhaps this magic music
occurs in other tarns on some days."

"Crystal Lake is a high-altitude, remote 25-acre lake at the top of the Roaring River drainage near the north rim of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The long hike in and the coldness of the water at 9,500 feet make Crystal Lake a natural for spin-fishing gear, particularly a fly-and-bubble rig, though the banks are open and the east side of the lake is wadeable for standard fly-fishing.

Key Species: Greenback cutthroat trout."

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Trail Information

Rocky Mountain National Park
Nearby City
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80510; (970) 586-1242;
Local Contacts
USGS Trail Ridge; Trails Illustrated Rocky Mountain National Park
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018