Silver Dollar Lakes
Arapaho National Forest
Date Hiked: July 16, 2011
Distance: 6 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 1,000ft
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service
U.S. Forest Service Website for Silver Dollar Lake Trail
Directions: From Denver, take I-70 W to Georgetown. Drive through the historic district and follow the signs to Guanella Pass. Once you start switchbacking up Guanella Pass Road, look for the Guanella Pass Campground, just before the summit of the pass. The trailhead is just on the dirt road next to the campground, you will see signs pointing the way.
This is a wonderful hike that features 3 scenic lakes. The first lake is Naylor lake and you will be up on the ridge above the lake. Apparently the lake is on private land so take in the view but don't attempt to reach the shores. The trail continues steadily climbing altitude until you reach lower Silver Dollar Lake. The hike to this point is beautiful, there are abundant wildflowers and incredible views back down the basin to Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans. From the lower lake, you can continue on the trail, getting a bit steeper here to the smaller but even more scenic, upper Silver Dollar Lake. This lake sits on a bench above the lower lake and the views from here stretch out across the Guanella Pass Area.
Take your time exploring this lake as it's only 3 downhill miles back to the trailhead. The view of Bierstadt and Evans is truly impressive.