• Activities:

    Fishing, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    2.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    840 Feet

Easy Parking

Right outside of Leadville, the Windsor Lake trail transports hikers to the shores of a pristine alpine lake after only a mile of effort.

Nestled beneath the snow-capped ridges of the Sawatch Range, Windsor Lake is an alpine gem. Deep blue waters are home to a few species of trout, making this a beautiful, secluded destination for the weekend angler (be sure to check license requirements).

Starting at 10,800 feet, a quick drive from Leadville takes you to the spacious parking area at the trailhead. Pass by an abandoned mine before hitting the trail, which starts by following a creek up through the forest. Despite being a short hike, the way is stout, demanding 800 feet of elevation gain in roughly one mile. Topping out at 11,640 feet, your blood will be pumping by the time the trail starts to level out and the trees start to open up. With snow-covered ridge lines in view, the trail crests one last rise before the azure waters of Windsor Lake are revealed.

Plan on spending a while exploring the shoreline, or take lunch by the edge of the water. Find a quiet spot and watch the clouds coast over the ridge above you. If time permits, take some time to wander the high country above the lake for better views, following Leave No Trace practices while travelling on this fragile landscape. Keep an eye on the weather, finally heading back down the trail when the time comes. 

Pack List

  • Daypack
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Warm Layers
  • Rain Gear
  • Camera
  • Hiking Boots
  • Sunscreen
  • Fishing Gear (optional)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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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Brian Pinkard

Alaskan backcountry guide and conservation corps alumni

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