Buena Vista, Colorado

Backpack to Lake Ann

3.8 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Tyler Wandry

Enjoy a beautifully colored alpine lake surrounded by high, rugged peaks. This trip will not only inspire, but allow you to take a step back and enjoy the hidden beauty that’s offered to us by Mother Nature.

Lake Ann is located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness between Leadville and Buena Vista and is surrounded by breathtakingly tall, rocky peaks. The trek is 7.6 miles round trip with 1,251 ft elevation gain. 

To get there you need to get on Hwy 390, a well marked road with a sign and is south of Twin Lakes heading to Buena Vista. You will pass through the ghost town of Winfield, an old mining town, and then you can either park or continue on the 4X4 road. If you have any high clearance vehicle you should be fine to continue because the alternative is to walk the extra two miles to the trailhead. It isn't a very technical drive, but it's a bumpy ride for sure. Lots of steeper holes and a few stream crossings. There is a parking lot at the end of this road as well and that's where you can start your adventure. It can get really crowded because it is the same parking lot used to hike Huron Peak, one of Colorado's many 14ers, so don't worry it doesn't get crowded at the lake. 

The trailhead is very clearly marked so just follow the signs so Lake Ann. At 1.6 miles you will come across a fork and there will be a sign that clearly states that Lake Ann is to the right and the Apostle Basin is to the left. Go right to Lake Ann. The Apostles are the three peaks that dominate the view and you can see two of them from the lake as well as Huron. From this point on it is a moderate uphill hike until you come to a small waterfall at 3.2 miles. The trail crosses the creek right below it so if you decide to do this trek in the spring or during high runoff years the water could be moving faster. I did this hike in late July and had no problems. After this small waterfall the trail climbs a steep ridge until you break out over the trees and come to another fork. Go left to the lake and if you go right you will head to the top of the pass on the Continental Divide. Amazing views up there and would recommend it as a day hike. There is fishing at the lake although I did not personally fish.

Read More


Dog Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Twin Lakes, Colorado

White Star

Overview Picturesque White Star Campground lies at the foot of Mt. Elbert, Colorado's highest peak, among fragrant ponderosa pines. The campground provides convenient access to Twin Lakes Reservoir...

Twin Lakes, Colorado

Lakeview Campground

Overview Lakeview Campground, with wonderful views of the Twin Lakes Reservoir, offers a large space with options for tent, RV and group camping. Located about 29 miles north of Buena Vista, Colora...

Gunnison County, Colorado

Lakeview Gunnison

Overview Lakeview Campground is located on Taylor Park Reservoir, at an elevation of 9,400 feet. Visitors enjoy the area for its fishing and boating, and abundant off-road and biking opportunities....

Buena Vista, Colorado

Collegiate Peaks

Overview Collegiate Peaks Campground is located 11 miles west of Buena Vista, Colorado, along Middle Cottonwood Creek near the top of Cottonwood Pass. The campground offers well-spaced campsites an...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Huron Peak

    If you have a 4WD vehicle, drive 2 miles from Winfield along a dirt road to the trailhead. If you don't have a suitable vehicle, you can park before the road gets rough and hike the rest of the road to the trailhead.Starting at 10560 feet of eleva...

    6.5 miles

  • Summit Mount Huron

    There are some dispersed campsites along side the 4x4 road that leads to the trailhead. Ideally you can sleep here to get an early start to your hike in the morning, to avoid the afternoon storms that frequent the mountains. The 4x4 is rough in sp...

    6 miles 3500 ft gain

  • Summit Two 14ers: Belford and Oxford

    You'll being your ascent at the Missouri Gulch Trailhead, which is located a few miles up Chaffee County Road 390, at around 9,600 feet. The trail is very clear and very well maintained, but is steeper than most trails (even quite a few of the 14e...

    13 miles

  • Hike Missouri Mountain

    Getting there: The trail begins at Missouri Gulch TH. If you are a car camper or are trying to snag a sunrise summit, there are many many drive off sites in trees and near water before and after the trailhead. The road to get to the trailhead is n...

    10.5 miles 4500 ft gain

  • Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

    "I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town. The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Aspen is a place to explore and a place to recharge. Breathe in the crisp mountain air while you discover our wide-open spaces by footbike, or horse. Restore your mind, body and spirit as you reconnect with nature and loved ones in Aspen’s great outdoors. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

    Learn More