Hike to Chapman Lake

Rate this Adventure Colorado Chapman Lake Trailhead

Added by Mike Fennell

Enjoy a short serene hike through the White River National Forest to a beautiful lily pad covered Chapman Lake. Popular in the summer for fishing, and in the fall for the foliage.

From downtown Basalt, drive up the Fryingpan River Road 28 miles and turn right on CR #504, also known as Elliot Way, just before Norrie Colony. Drive across the river and up the switchbacks for approximately 3 miles. Take the left fork, continue 1 mile and take the right fork approximately 1/2 mile to the trailhead on the left side of the road.

The hike from the trailhead to the lake is 0.8 miles. It begins with a steady northward climb across rocky slopes but levels off upon reaching the ridgetop. The trail then twists it's way Southeast past a large grassy marsh and a willow creek, before it opens up to Chapman Lake. The amount of lily pads is quite fascinating, and they appear to fill the entire lake. You can choose to lay low on the east side of the lake and enjoy some quiet fishing, or you can follow a trail around the perimeter of the Lake and explore the west side. The lily pads are mostly vacant on the west side, but the views open up more to a few high peaks from the Continental Divide in the distance.

Pack List

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Water
  • Fishing gear
  • Camera
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Chillin, Fishing, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running, Swimming

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



1.6 Miles


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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Added by Mike Fennell

Travel and Nature Photographer. 18 months into living in my self built Sprinter Van and exploring North America.

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