Hike the Three Lakes Trail

Beckwith Horse Trailhead

This is an easy to moderate trail with fantastic views of Marcinella Mountain that's perfect for families. This hike features three lakes, great views of Ruby Range, and a short spur trail to a beautiful waterfall.

The Three Lakes trail near Crested Butte is a great loop if you're looking to hit up a couple mountain lakes. At 4.5 miles with moderate incline, this trail can easily be knocked out in under 2 hours. It also is a great hike to admire fall colors as you'll get great views of the Ruby Range and the aspen groves below.

The trail starts near the Lost Lake Campground, so if you're camping here then you absolutely must do this loop. If you're not staying in the campground, then be sure to park in the hikers' lot before you reach the actual campground. If you park further up the road near Lost Lake Slough be aware that it is a fee area.

From the hikers' lot, follow the path for Trail #842, Beckwith Pass. The trail starts by leading you through a thick pine forest and after a couple hundred yards you will reach a stream crossing. Use the fallen logs and stepping stones to ford the creek; the water isn't very deep, but use your balance and well placed steps to get across and avoid wet socks.

About a half mile from the trailhead you will come to an intersection. Bear to the right towards Dollar Lake. The trail will lead you on an arcing swoop around Lost Lake Slough with views of the campground below. From here, a mile of hiking on steady incline remains until the intersection with the spur to Dollar Lake. At the intersection, take a left for a short hike to Dollar Lake. The second of the three lakes sits at the base of East Beckwith Mountain and presents a picturesque scene of lush forests and rugged mountain peaks. Dollar Lake would make a great spot to stop for a snack and take some pictures. Social trails will guide the hiker around the area, so if you're up for exploring, now is the time.

Head back up the spur, this time taking a left when you get back to the intersection. The trail continues along a ridgeline with the forest opening up to present sweeping views of Marcinella, the Ruby Range, and Lost Lake Slough.

Downhill hiking remains and soon you will reach an intersection with a sign pointing towards a waterfall. Take this short detour to admire the multi-stepped cascade of Middle Creek.

Head back to the main trail and continue on to Lost Lake. Cross a logjam to reach the lake, again using social trails to explore the shoreline. From here you can either take your time enjoying the lake, or continue back down to the trail which will drop you off in the Lost Lake Campground.

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Good hiking boots / shoes
  • Light jacket
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Plenty of water
  • Camera or cell phone for taking pictures
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RT Distance 4.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 580 Feet
Activities Fishing, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

One of the best hikes in the Kebler Pass area. Short but sweet, the views from near Dollar Lake are incredible. Dollar Lake also makes a great backpacking spot.


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