Hiking The American Lakes Trail

The 37th most popular hiking trail in Colorado.

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West of Fort Collins and east of Walden, the 71,000 acre Colorado State Forest State Park has 70 miles of non-motorized trails through unaltered forest, jagged peaks and alpine lakes. There are a variety of hiking trails that lead to Ruby Jewel Lake, Kelly Lake, Clear Lake, Agnes Lake and American Lakes. The American Lakes Trail is a 5 mile one-way route leading from forest to meadow to alpine tundra with spectacular views of spire peaks and on into the Rocky Mountain National Park.

To reach the Colorado State Forest from Fort Collins, head west on SR14 for 75 miles across Cameron Pass. About 5 miles beyond the pass, look for the turn off to Crags Campground for access to the American Lake Trailhead.

Overall, American Lakes Trail is the 37th most popular hiking trail of all 72 hikes in Colorado.

American Lakes Trail in Colorado State Forest

American Lakes Trail in Colorado State Forest

American Lakes Trail Hiking Map



Local Contact(s):  Colorado State Forest State Park (970) 723-8366; CO Visitors (800) COLORADO; North Park Chamber Of Commerce (970) 723-4600.

Recommended Book:  "Hiking Colorado" from Maryann Gaug

Best Season:  Jun. - Sep.

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  Crags Campground; Bockman Campground; North Park Inn (970) 723-4271; North Michigan Cabins (303) 470-1144

Luxury Loding:  None

Breakfast Restaurant:  Moose Creek Cafe, Walden

GPS:  40.504482, -105.883873

Date Published:  12/25/2015

Date Updated:  8/19/2016

ID:  15343

American Lakes Trail Hiking Map


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For hiking the American Lakes Trail in Colorado, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.