Hike to Meridian Lake

Rate this Adventure Colorado Meridian Lake Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Swimming Hole

Distance: 4.5 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain: 512 ft. Quickest excursion from Crested Butte to a beautiful glacier lake. Good swimming spot. Great views of Crested Butte Mountain. Awesome ridgeline. Nice place to hang out and have lunch.

The trail starts off with a small river crossing. You can find an easier place to cross nearby, or just march right through, if you have waterproof shoes or sandals.

The beginning of the trail is the hardest. You will have a steep incline for about a quarter mile, following switchbacks up to the lake. Trust me, it's worth it! When you approach the lake, you will have an option to either go left or right at the top of the climb, where you will now see the lake.

If you go left, you will have nice views of the lake to your right. The trail is not marked really well, but you will find many different routes. This will amount to about two miles.

If you take a right, you will follow the trail to the end of the lake, then it will slightly veer left up the mountain. This will lead to a beautiful ridgeline with mountain views all around. You can follow this ridgeline all the way to the other side of the lake. Sadly, you cannot do a full loop around the lake because of private property on that side. Your options are to either to turn around and head back the same way, or swim across the lake! The lake is pretty skinny, so it is not too challenging to cross.

For the convenience of access to the lake, this is a must for hikes in Crested Butte. If not a hike or run, it's also a great place for a lunch or nice dinner to watch the sunset.

Getting there: Follow 811 Road until you see see a pullout on the left where you can park. The trail branches off directly from the parking lot.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes or sandals
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Water
  • Swimming suit and towel
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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