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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RT Distance 1.6 Miles
Activities Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Running, Swimming, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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