Our hike to Columbine Lake was a hike of discoveries around every corner. The first part of the hike was uphill and under trees. Beyond the climb to the first hill, the views opened up. Red mountains to the right, jagged mountain tops just yonder all framing a blossoming meadow. Eventually we caught sight of a creek which eventually led us to a waterfall which fell from none other than Columbine Lake.
On the way to Columbine Lake, Colorado
Columbine Lake on the horizon, Colorado
We arrived at the trailhead of Columbine Lake fairly early in the morning. The trailhead was not so obvious. Parking was alongside the road. We actually parked a ways away from the trailhead because we did not find any suitable safe parking spots that did not block passing cars in this one lane unpaved road. We started our hike just before 7am. As thunder started roaring, we made it back to the tree line and back at the trailhead just after noon.
Walking along the shores of Columbine Lake, Colorado
The view of Columbine Lake from one of the hills above, Colorado
|Features:||After an initial uphill climb, enjoy a stroll in an alpine meadow with beautiful views, to arrive at a blue lake nestled under rocky hills|
|Our Hike:||8 miles rt (from TH), 2700 ft gain, initial uphill climb on switchbacks, then a walk in a flowering meadow (seasonal) with views, High elevation hike - Columbine Lake is at 12,700 feet elevation|
|Directions:||From Silverton, go north on Hwy 550 about 5 miles, turn off on Ophir Pass Road on the left. Follow Ophir Pass Road approximately 0.4 miles to FR 820 on your right. The unmarked trailhead is approximately 3/4 miles down FR 820. Trailhead is not obvious aside from a slightly hidden wooden sign on the left, trail goes uphill somewhat parallel to the road. Parking at the immediate trailhead is limited. Parking near the turn off to FR 820 and hiking the 3/4 miles to the trailhead is best.|