Explore 'The Hidden Gems' of Loch Lomond

Rate this Adventure 4.6 miles 950 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Sean O'Brien

Access not 1, but 4 gorgeous, alpine lakes in 1 day less than an hours drive from Denver. One of the best unknown spots around Denver metro area.

Getting There

From Denver, go W on I-70 and take exit 238 for Fall River Rd. Continue on this road before taking a left on Alice Rd. Continue on Alice Rd. until you see the right hand turn for Steuart Rd. This is where you park. Do not attempt this road in a AWD or 2WD you definitely need a good 4WD. Continue up Steuart Rd on foot to reach the lakes.

Loch Lomond

Each time I have explored Loch Lomond, hardly anyone has been there; especially when compared to the busy trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness and Chataqua. One reason this hike may deter people is because the ascent isn't singletrack. It is a 4x4 road, but don't let this stop you because first of all, the road is a gorgeous hike up. Second of all, once you complete the 2.3 miles in to the first lake – Loch Lomond – you are immersed into an endless alpine wonderland.

The reason I love this place so much is because you have lots of freedom of adventure. Once at Loch Lomond, to get to the other lakes you have two options. Either scurry up the majestic waterfall seen on the  other side of the lake. Or you can take the singletrack trail leading around the lake and up the left side of the ridge. If you decide to make your own route just remember to go up with the water and eventually you will be in a basin surrounded by 3 more gorgeous lakes overlooking Loch Lomond! 

This part of the hike is the funnest and I prefer not taking the trail and instead making my way up the rocky outcrops following the endless cascading waterfalls. Either way is gorgeous though, and taking the trail is definitely the safer, more standardized route.

The first lake you reach in the basin above Loch Lomond is called, Reynolds Lake. From there, gorgeous meandering alpine streams cutting through rock fields covered in grass lead you to the next two lakes. The second is known at Steuart Lake and the third, Ohman Lake. They are all sizeable for their close proximity and altitude and each is more wondrous then the next. Marmot and Rock Ptarmigan are common to see frolicking around the lake's surroundings.

If you keep going up past this basin, you will eventually summit the ridge and make it to another lake – Ice Lake, just below the summit of James Peak. From the top of this ridge you can connect to other great hikes in the area and turn it into an epic backpacking trek. You're allowed to camp out near Loch Lomond and the wonderful basins above it, which would make for some of the most beautiful backcountry Colorado camping, but pack warm because it gets freezing at night here even during summer months.

Keep in mind the 4.6 miles out and back is to Loch Lomond. It is another mile or so to the basin above making it closer to a 7 mile round trip depending on how much you explore and what you make of your adventure. If you choose to drive up the 4WD Rd this would allow you to bring a canoe, SUP board and other fun toys to the lake with you. Have fun and explore there!

Read More


Stand Up Paddle
Swimming Hole


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

Stay Nearby

Winter Park, Colorado

Sophisticated Ski In/Ski Out W/ 1,471 Square Feet

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Enjoy ski-in/ski-out access to over 3,000 acres of amazing Winter Park terr...

From $119/night

Winter Park, Colorado

Ski In/Ski Out Condo: Balcony, Fireplace & Hot Tub

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. Bookings at this home include a 24-hr buffer between guest stays. •Your char...

From $102/night

Winter Park, Colorado

Ski Haven W/ Huge Hot Tub, 150 Yards To Gondola

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Located at the base of Winter Park Resort, this refurnished studio condo is...

From $112/night

Black Hawk, Colorado

Pickle Gulch

Overview Pickle Gulch is a group picnic and camping facility located just off the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway/Highway 119. Visitors enjoy the area for its scenic and off-road driving, and nearby hiki...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Loch Lomond

    When you start the hike to Loch Lomond, you'll have a few options for parking. The further up the road you go the trickier it's going to be to get back out. I parked at the bottom of the road and hiked my way up. The first mile or two is mostly el...

    4.6 miles 948 ft gain

  • Hiking James Peak (13,294')

    James Peak is one of 76 13,000'+ peaks in Colorado's front range. On your way up to the peak you will pass St. Mary's Glacier. It is not an actual glacier yet a permeant snow field that is popular among skiers and snowboarders year round. St. Mary...

    8.3 miles 3000 ft gain

  • Hike St. Mary's Glacier

    Just West of Idaho Springs on I-70 take the St. Mary's Alice Exit. Take a right and stay on the main road and follow the signs for about 8 miles (watch on the right side of the road for a surprise pink pig). There are two parking lots for the trai...

    2 miles 467 ft gain

  • Camp and Fish at Loch Lomond

    The trail to Loch Lomond is very rocky. I suggest a high clearance 4x4 vehicle (I did see a small SUV and a Subaru..Not sure how they did it!!!). There are a few campsites at the lake and several along the way. I set up camp by the lake but had to...

  • Inspire Your Fall Aspen Trip!

    Autumn days in Aspen are filled with sunshine and nights with crisp cool air. Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Take in the scenery while enjoying scenic drives, hiking through forests, road biking, and exploring our IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognized mountain bike trails. 

    Learn More