Alta Lakes
Kebler Pass
Trout Lake
Feature 5 of 7

Alta Lakes

Lizard Head and Mount Wilson

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Photo 4 of 14
Photo Tour

The Telluride area is well-known for its scenic beauty. There are many ways to experience that beauty, from simply visiting the town, to hiking any number of trails in the surrounding mountains.

For example, just a few miles south of Telluride, at an elevation of 11,300 feet, are the Alta Lakes. If you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, you can drive to the campground and lakes directly. If not, you can hike there starting from the Mountain Village area of Telluride.

The hike begins at the Topaten Road trailhead in Mountain Village and follows Topaten Road up through the ski area for a little over a mile to the Alta Lakes trailhead. From there the trail follows Boomerang Road to the old mining town of Alta, where there are remarkable views of Lizard Head and Mount Wilson, before splitting off to the left to reach Alta Lakes and the campground.

Three lakes make up Alta Lakes, all similar in size and within easy walking distance of each other. An alpine wall adds to the visual interest, and trails around the lakes make it simple to fully enjoy each one, whether your interest is fishing, or just the summer flowers.


From Ridgway take Colorado 62 west 22 miles to Colorado 145. Turn left, south, and drive 15 miles to the Telluride junction. Turn right to stay on 145 and drive 2 miles to Mountain Village. Turn left into Mountain Village and follow the main road past the Visitor Center to San Joaquin Road. Turn right and drive 3 miles to High Country Road. Turn right and follow it to the end. The Topaten Road trailhead is on your right just before the end of the road. The Alta Lakes trailhead is a little more than a mile up on Topaten Road.

Direct access to Alta Lakes is also possible by 4WD from Colorado 145 about 5 miles south of the Mountain Village entrance, just past the Sunshine campground. This 5 mile 4WD only road is signed from 145, and takes you to the Alta Lakes campground and Alta Lakes.


11,300 feet (Alta Lakes).


Uncompahgre National Forest