Hike the Silver Dollar Lake Trail

Silver Dollar Lake Trail

Enjoy 3 beautiful lakes in one easy hike. Along the hike you'll also get great views of 14ers Mt. Evans and Mt. Bierstadt.

Guanella Pass, which connects the charming and historic town of Georgetown in the north to the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Grant to the south, is a recreational outdoorsman’s dream. Volumes could be written on what this 22-mile scenic byway has to offer.

Silver Dollar Lake Trail is just one tiny portion of the area, but this little 2-mile stretch of trail is packed with such beauty that you feel like you hit the (silver dollar) jackpot. Once you start to breach the timberline, you will catch tantalizing views of Naylor Lake down below. (Naylor Lake is private property so you won’t be able to enjoy it other than by looking at it.) You will be able to see this lake for nearly the whole hike. In addition, the creek rushing down the mountainside in the distance makes for a great soundtrack to your hike.

After about 1.5 mile, you’ll approach Silver Dollar Lake, a stunning aqua-colored alpine lake sheltered by Square Top Mountain (13,795 feet). The spillway makes an attractive little waterfall lined with wildflowers. Just beyond the lake is a high concentration of wildflowers, and those combined with views of both Naylor and Silver Dollar Lakes—and Mts. Evans and Bierstadt in the distance!—make for quite the breathtaking view.

Journey on up the hill another half mile, and you come to Murray Lake. The trail ends here, but the area is open and ripe for exploration. Argentine Peak (13,378’) is to the west of the lake, and Mt. Wilcox (13,408’) is to the north. I did not see any large wildlife on my hike, but I did see “evidence” of them, so you could be lucky. Look for mountain goats and bighorn sheep on the valley’s high walls and ridges, and elk and moose in the alpine meadows. If you are adventurous, in good physical shape with no balance issues, and have the time, you could scale one (or more) of these mountains while you’re up there.

Silver Dollar and Murray Lakes both offer excellent fishing. The beauty of this hike is that it is even more amazing going down than going up. In short, Silver Dollar is a short hike long on beauty.

Notes:
Parking—The trailhead is located about 1 mile up Naylor Road, a rough dirt road lined with campsites. There is a small parking area near the trailhead. If this is full, parking is available where Naylor Road intersects with Guanella Pass. This will add about 0.7 mile and 335’ each way to your hike.

No bathrooms are available at the trailhead. The nearest bathroom is at Guanella Pass Campground. Another is at Clear Lake Campground to the north.

Pack List

Day pack- Snacks- Water- Trail shoes or hiking boots- Poles (optional)- Sunscreen- Hat with brim- Lip balm- Binoculars- Camera- Book on Colorado flora if interested in wildflower species

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RT Distance 4 Miles
Elevation Gain 1060 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Running, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Stunning Hike

We hiked this trail in July. It is great trail for beginners. Bring the bug spray as there were lots of misquote on the lower part of the trail. The first lake on the trail is Naylor Lake. It is private, so enjoy the view but you can't explore. We didn't actually make it too Silver Dollar, as part of the trail (we were maybe 1/2 mile away) was still snow packed. We chose not to cross the ice/snow because we had my 60 year old mother with us who was not wanting to slip and fall off the cliff;-) Even so, this hike was stunning and worth it!

Awesome!

Great Views For Such A Short Hike! Family Friendly My Almost Four year Old Completed The Entire Trail On His Own!

Beautiful alpine hike

A great hike that avoids the crowds on Mt. Bierstadt. If camping at Guanella Pass for a weekend, this is an excellent day hike, with moderate elevation gain and beutiful views.


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