Explore Clear Lake

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Added by Lucas Bremer

Wildflower mecca.

The road to Clear Lake offers wonderful views of the South Fork Mineral Creek, and the San Juan Mountains. Some people make the 9-mile round-trip hike with 2,600 feet of elevation gain, others drive as far as their vehicle will allow and hike from there, and some make the drive all the way up. It is not really a technical drive, but it is not for the faint of heart, and it does require a high-clearance vehicle, preferably with four-wheel drive.

Clear Lake Road (San Juan County Road 12) starts off of NF-585 just over a half mile east of the South Mineral Campground. The first half mile dips into a beautiful Aspen Grove. Over the next 2 miles the road switch backs through the forest right up and over the tree line.  

Once you clear the tree line the trip to the lake is rocky and steep, make sure to give uphill drivers the right of way.  Make sure to stop to view the waterfall that Clear Creek forms as it drops over the almost vertical rocks. The tight basin opens up to reveal a beautifully green alpine lake.  There is good trout fishing at the lake. Also in the summer the lake is good for paddle sports as well. Wildflowers here in the summer are amazing which make for awesome photos. 

In the winter, several back country skiing opportunities open up. Check local regulations.

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Stand Up Paddle
Rock Climbing
Snowboarding
Chillin
Camping
Fishing
Photography
Mountain Biking
Skiing
Kayaking
Snowshoeing
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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