FATMAP by Strava

Twelvemile Lake from 2WD Trailhead



A long day hike to a little-visited alpine lake.

Hiking Moderate

24 km
727 m
727 m
6-7 hrs
Low Point
3.1 km
High Point
3.4 km
Twelvemile Lake from 2WD Trailhead Map

Twelvemile Lake is a crystal-clear alpine lake with a gorgeous mountain backdrop that sees very little traffic. This remote lake requires some work to reach. Either you'll have to drive deep into the mountains via a rough 4x4 road to reach the trailhead, or you'll have to hike many miles from the closest two-wheel-drive trailhead. Whether you use a motor or not, the approach is long.


If approaching from the 2WD trailhead, you'll begin by climbing a short stretch of 4x4 road to reach the Sheep Creek Trail. Sheep Creek is a gorgeous, narrow singletrack trail winding its way through magnificent aspen groves. This stretch of trail serves as one of the best fall color hikes in all of Central Colorado!

After a few miles of hiking, you'll arrive at a T junction. Take a left to follow Twelvemile Creek for several miles to reach the 4x4 trailhead. This trail isn't nearly as well-defined of a singletrack as Sheep Creek, but it's still easy to follow. You'll gain elevation slowly on a rocky trail as you follow the creek.

Once at the 4x4 trailhead, the grade kicks up significantly. The trail climbs steeply up a few rocks and ruts as it heads deep into the hills. But after a half-mile or so of climbing, the grade mellows out as the trail enters the first of several alpine meadows. Now, the views of the Mosquito Range truly open up, providing epic panoramas for the rest of the hike.

A few sections of the trail pass through tight willows and ford mountain streams. Late in the season, the streams are small, but in the spring you can expect to wade through deep, frigid, rushing water. Be prepared.

After cresting one final hill, you'll drop down to Twelvemile Lake itself. Walk a short way along the bank to reach incredible views of the lake flanked by the majestic Mosquito Range.



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

between July and October


  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area