Twelvemile Lake from 4x4 Trailhead

Fairplay

Salida

Hike to a little-visited alpine lake from a trailhead on a 4x4 road

Hiking Moderate

Distance
4.4 km
Ascent
134 m
Descent
134 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
3.3 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
Twelvemile Lake from 4x4 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.

Description

While some Colorado 4x4 roads are very easily passable to Subarus or stock SUVs, sections of the road to get back to the Twelvemile Lake trailhead are truly burly. You won't be able to get away with a subbie here.

Once at the 4x4 trailhead, 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.

Difficulty

Moderate

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.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

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