Name: Silver Dollar Lake Trail
Location: Guanella Pass – Arapaho National Forest – Idaho Springs, CO
Length: 3.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,145 feet
This was my first adventure testing out the all-wheel drive of my new Honda CR-V! So it was very exciting to drive some curvy mountain roads covered in snow to get to this trailhead. I was so excited to have my new car that would make it up the road, because my sister was in town f0r Thanksgiving, and I wanted to make sure she had a true Colorado hiking experience. The road deadends to some private property, but the trailhead is right there. It has limited parking. However, that didn’t affect us much being the end of November on a weekday. We were the only ones there!
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the hike as neither of us had snowshoes. So I was keeping my fingers crossed the snow wouldn’t be too bad since our winter had been so mild this year.
This hike actually features three lakes. The first being Naylor Lake, which is on private property. As you gain elevation, you get a great bird’s eye view of it.
Once we got above treeline, which happens quickly, the snow started to make things a bit more difficult, but we pushed through because we were getting so close to Silver Dollar Lake.
We also encountered some brutal, chilling wind as we got closer. My scarf was starting to freeze from the condensation of my breath! However, you are encapsulated in a circle of beauty that you can’t help but want to continue. Surrounding views of both lakes, Mt Evans and Mt Beirstadt (two Colorado 14ers), make for a jaw dropping scene!
We made it to Silver Dollar Lake, which is shadowed by Square Top Mountain. We didn’t stay long since the wind was really beating us up! From Silver Dollar Lake, you can actually hike up to Murray Lake and get great views of Mt. Wilcox and Argentine Peak. But my sister, being from Louisiana, decided it was time to head back to the car to warm up!