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Crater Lake Trail

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Basics
Location:
North of Durango
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
11 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
5 to 6 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
10800 feet
Elevation Change:
800 feet
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall

Description

The Crater Lake Trail is an excellent long day hike or an overnight trip. The lake itself is nestled in a basin at the base of Twilight Peak, making the peak readily accessible. Snowdon Peak is also accessible from the Crater Lake Trail. Climbing either of these peaks affords a spectacular, panoramic view, including the Needles, the Grenadiers, and the distant town of Silverton. The beginning section of the trail switchbacks up a 500-ft. rise, but once that has been ascended, the rest of the trail proceeds gently through alternating heavy timber and open meadows. Toward the end of the trail, one will encounter several marshy ponds and the trail becomes somewhat indistinct, but with a keen eye, the trail is discernible.

Crater Lake offers fly and spin-casting fishing. It is rated fair for cutthroat trout. Please check the fishing regulations regarding limits, allowable lures, and restrictions on certain lakes, rivers, etc.

Books

Explore the world-famous Maroon Bells, the Grottos of White River National Forest, the banks of the picturesque Roaring Fork River, and much more.

Location:
North of Durango
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
11 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
5 to 6 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
10800
Elevation Change:
800
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall
Useful Map(s):
USGS Quad: Snowdon Peak
Basic Directions

About 45 miles north of Durango on US 550, take the Andrews Lake turn-off. This dirt road is 1/2 mile north of the Lime Creek rest stop, on the eastern side of US 550. The turn-off road is roughly one mile long and terminates at Andrews Lake, where there is fishing and plenty of parking. Restrooms are also available here. The trail leads off from the southern end of the lake. Please park in the upper parking lot.

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