Hike to Lone Pine Lake (Grand Lake, CO)

11 miles 1494 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Dani Rodriguez

This is a slightly strenuous hike on the East Inlet Trail that leads the great reward of a beautiful lake to look out upon.

Starting at the East Inlet Trailhead, with an elevation of 8,391 feet, the trail is on a nice dirt path and you're immediately greeted with the sight of Adams Falls on your right, just 0.3 miles in. After continuing on after Adams Falls, the next 1.5 miles lead you out into the sunlight with breath-taking views of a river against the backdrop of three mountains. For many people, this is the turn-around point, since it offers a wonderful view without a strenuous hike. However, sometimes with harder effort, the reward is greater, and this is definitely one of those times. Keep going along the trail, and in another half mile you'll be in shade, with many little streams going around the path. 

Around three miles in, there will be a nice cliff where you can rest and look out over the trees. I especially like this point as a nice resting area, because it offers a nice view of Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake in the distance. The next 2.5 miles will be the most strenuous in the whole 11-trail, simply because they are mainly uphill. You'll be mostly in shade, and there are points where the trail nears some rocks along a river where you can take breaks as needed. The last 0.5 mile is the homestretch where there will be a lot of climbing uphill, but nothing too hard. The hikers on the way down (if you happen to see any) will be happy to tell you how close the lake is, and how much it's worth it. 

Finally you've made it (hopefully)! You should see a sign that says Lone Pine LakeThere will be a trail leading to the right of it which lead around the lake (if you would like to find a different spot to view it) and to Lake Verna. However for immediate satisfaction, I recommend walking towards the rocks that are directly behind the sign, which will bring you into a clearing that shows the lake in all its glory. Additionally, the rocks that you are standing on/next to create a nice seat for you to eat your lunch that you've brought. Don't worry about the trek back to the Trailhead. It is far easier since it is mainly all downhill. 

As a novice hiker who wasn't sure to expect on this hike, I was pleasantly surprised with how I managed it. I hope that anyone who is on the edge about doing this trail ends up doing it, because it really is a beautiful and rewarding view.  

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Lake
River
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Incredible!

I may not have hiked the entire trail, but I don’t remember it being very strenuous. The view at the lake is SO worth it. And there’s lots of fun scenery along the river on the way.

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