FATMAP by Strava

Capitol Creek Circuit: Capitol Lake to Geneva Lake

A lengthy, spectacular day of hiking through the Rockies.

Hiking Difficult

25 km
1.4 km
1.6 km
7-8 hrs
Low Point
3 km
High Point
3.7 km
Capitol Creek Circuit: Capitol Lake to Geneva Lake Map

Day two of the Capitol Creek Circuit packs a punch. This section features the most elevation gain and mileage of any day along the circuit so be prepared. That said, the scenery more than makes up for the difficulty of the route.


Despite the difficulty, this segment is extremely rewarding because you begin the day at a gorgeous alpine lake (Capitol Lake) and end at another gorgeous alpine lake (Geneva Lake)!

You get some picturesque vistas shortly after leaving Capitol Lake. The outline of the day's trail comes right into view up ahead. You then descend quite a bit down to the Avalanche Lake junction. Adding Avalanche Lake to the route only takes about fifteen minutes, so the detour is easily worth it. Avalanche Lake is a good spot for a snack as it is one of the prettiest lakes in the area. You could also camp here.

The trail then features a good bit of elevation gain as you make your way over Avalanche Pass. This section of trail is spectacular. You have nearly 360-degree views for a few consecutive miles. Take your time through this magnificent stretch! Pay close attention to the weather, because you are exposed for a decent stretch.

You will eventually reach the junction with the jeep trail. This dirt road has a steep decline in just a few miles. The dirt road features some of the highest concentrations of wildflowers found anywhere (depending on the time of year). The myriad of colors from the flowers is just astounding!

The last section of the route features one more climb up to Geneva Lake. You will eventually catch a glimpse of Maroon Peak in the distance, providing a sign of what's to come. Geneva Lake features numerous campsites, and the lake is located in a spectacular area. Night two of the circuit features another fantastic camping spot!



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between June and October


  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area