Explore 'The Hidden Gems' of Loch Lomond

Rate this Adventure 4.6 miles 950 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Sean O'Brien

Access not 1, but 4 gorgeous, alpine lakes in 1 day less than an hours drive from Denver. One of the best unknown spots around Denver metro area.

Getting There

From Denver, go W on I-70 and take exit 238 for Fall River Rd. Continue on this road before taking a left on Alice Rd. Continue on Alice Rd. until you see the right hand turn for Steuart Rd. This is where you park. Do not attempt this road in a AWD or 2WD you definitely need a good 4WD. Continue up Steuart Rd on foot to reach the lakes.

Loch Lomond

Each time I have explored Loch Lomond, hardly anyone has been there; especially when compared to the busy trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness and Chataqua. One reason this hike may deter people is because the ascent isn't singletrack. It is a 4x4 road, but don't let this stop you because first of all, the road is a gorgeous hike up. Second of all, once you complete the 2.3 miles in to the first lake – Loch Lomond – you are immersed into an endless alpine wonderland.

The reason I love this place so much is because you have lots of freedom of adventure. Once at Loch Lomond, to get to the other lakes you have two options. Either scurry up the majestic waterfall seen on the  other side of the lake. Or you can take the singletrack trail leading around the lake and up the left side of the ridge. If you decide to make your own route just remember to go up with the water and eventually you will be in a basin surrounded by 3 more gorgeous lakes overlooking Loch Lomond! 

This part of the hike is the funnest and I prefer not taking the trail and instead making my way up the rocky outcrops following the endless cascading waterfalls. Either way is gorgeous though, and taking the trail is definitely the safer, more standardized route.

The first lake you reach in the basin above Loch Lomond is called, Reynolds Lake. From there, gorgeous meandering alpine streams cutting through rock fields covered in grass lead you to the next two lakes. The second is known at Steuart Lake and the third, Ohman Lake. They are all sizeable for their close proximity and altitude and each is more wondrous then the next. Marmot and Rock Ptarmigan are common to see frolicking around the lake's surroundings.

If you keep going up past this basin, you will eventually summit the ridge and make it to another lake – Ice Lake, just below the summit of James Peak. From the top of this ridge you can connect to other great hikes in the area and turn it into an epic backpacking trek. You're allowed to camp out near Loch Lomond and the wonderful basins above it, which would make for some of the most beautiful backcountry Colorado camping, but pack warm because it gets freezing at night here even during summer months.

Keep in mind the 4.6 miles out and back is to Loch Lomond. It is another mile or so to the basin above making it closer to a 7 mile round trip depending on how much you explore and what you make of your adventure. If you choose to drive up the 4WD Rd this would allow you to bring a canoe, SUP board and other fun toys to the lake with you. Have fun and explore there!

Read More

Tags

Stand Up Paddle
Canoeing
Chillin
Camping
Fishing
Photography
Snowshoeing
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Black Hawk, Colorado

Pickle Gulch

Overview Pickle Gulch is a group picnic and camping facility located just off the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway/Highway 119. Visitors enjoy the area for its scenic and off-road driving, and nearby hiki...

Central City, Colorado

Denver West / Central City KOA

Black Hawk, Colorado

Cold Springs

Overview Cold Springs Campground is located on the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest, north of Blackhawk on the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway/Highway 119, in north central Colorado. Visitors enjoy the ...

Idaho Springs, Colorado

West Chicago Creek

Overview West Chicago Creek Campground sits along its namesake creek at the base of Mount Evans and is located off Highway 103 on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in central Colorado. It ...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Loch Lomond

    When you start the hike to Loch Lomond, you'll have a few options for parking. The further up the road you go the trickier it's going to be to get back out. I parked at the bottom of the road and hiked my way up. The first mile or two is mostly el...

    4.6 miles 948 ft gain

  • Hiking James Peak (13,294')

    James Peak is one of 76 13,000'+ peaks in Colorado's front range. On your way up to the peak you will pass St. Mary's Glacier. It is not an actual glacier yet a permeant snow field that is popular among skiers and snowboarders year round. St. Mary...

    8.3 miles 3000 ft gain

  • Hike St. Mary's Glacier

    Just West of Idaho Springs on I-70 take the St. Mary's Alice Exit. Take a right and stay on the main road and follow the signs for about 8 miles (watch on the right side of the road for a surprise pink pig). There are two parking lots for the trai...

    2 miles 467 ft gain

  • Camp and Fish at Loch Lomond

    The trail to Loch Lomond is very rocky. I suggest a high clearance 4x4 vehicle (I did see a small SUV and a Subaru..Not sure how they did it!!!). There are a few campsites at the lake and several along the way. I set up camp by the lake but had to...

  • Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

    "I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town. The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Aspen is a place to explore and a place to recharge. Breathe in the crisp mountain air while you discover our wide-open spaces by footbike, or horse. Restore your mind, body and spirit as you reconnect with nature and loved ones in Aspen’s great outdoors. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

    Learn More