Welcome to our highlight of the top ten best lake hikes near Breckenridge! If you’re a nature enthusiast, an avid hiker, or just looking to spend a little time outdoors, you’re in for a treat as you explore the beauty of alpine lakes nestled amidst majestic mountain vistas. These hikes will take you on journeys through lodgepole pine and aspen forests, with colorful wildflowers adorning the trails. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for the abundant wildlife that call these pristine landscapes their home. So lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore!

  • 1. Sawmill Reservoir

    This family-friendly hike, conveniently close to town, offers an easy route and is particularly favored by visitors. It is well-traveled, with many hikers enjoying the path. For owners at Grand Timber Lodge, it’s just a walk away, while others are encouraged to carpool. The trail leads to Sawmill Creek, passing beneath Snowflake Lift, and treats you to stunning views of Breckenridge Ski Resort against the backdrop of the picturesque Sawmill Reservoir. Don’t forget to watch for trout swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the lake!

  • 2. Mohawk Lakes

    Mohawk Lakes is a favorite challenging hike near Breckenridge. Starting at Spruce Creek Trailhead near Blue River, this trail offers incredible views and leads to Continental Falls, Lower Mohawk Lake, and Upper Mohawk Lake. The ascent reveals several stunning alpine lakes, including three beyond Upper Mohawk Lake. Despite some difficult climbing, the breathtaking scenery makes it a must-do hike for visitors to Breckenridge. This is a very popular hike, so plan to get to the trailhead early!

  • 3. Blue Lakes

    Blue Lakes is a great choice for those seeking incredible views with minimal effort! This trail takes you around the beautiful Blue Lakes entirely on gravel roads. There are two parking lots, one above the dam at the upper lake and another below. This leisurely walk is perfect if you love alpine lakes but prefer an easy stroll. Just a 20-minute drive from Breckenridge, it’s an excellent spot for fishing, camping, or enjoying a picnic.

  • 4. Lower Crystal Lake

    Embarking from Blue River, the hike to Lower Crystal Lake poses a significant challenge, with more than 1,600 vertical feet of elevation gain. However, the breathtaking views at the pristine alpine lake, set against the backdrop of majestic mountains, make the effort worthwhile. Lower Crystal Lake is accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles. For those seeking an even greater challenge, consider pushing onward to Upper Crystal Lake along the trail.

  • 5. Lake Emma

    Lake Emma, a moderately challenging hike near Alma, offers stunning views from a shorter distance. Starting at Kite Lake, the trailhead is often busy, but don’t fret; most hikers opt for the four fourteeners instead of Lake Emma. As you trek through the alpine tundra, listen for the many marmots that live in the boulder field! The final segment is a bit steep and loose, following a stream until you reach the stunning blue-water lake. The crystal-clear water, surrounded by wildflowers, teems with cutthroat and rainbow trout.

  • 6. Lily Pad Lake

    Lily Pad Lake, situated in the Eagles Nest Wilderness near Silverthorne, is an excellent choice for families. The trail commences through a wildflower meadow, leading you into a serene forest of lodgepole pines and aspens. Along the way, you’ll be treated to picturesque views of Dillon Reservoir and Buffalo Mountain while passing by beaver ponds and crossing streams. The hike culminates at Lily Pad Lake, with a secondary smaller lake nearby. Both lakes are adorned with stunning green lily pads and yellow flowers!

  • 7. Salmon Lake

    Salmon Lake offers a challenging option for hikers seeking an adventurous full-day trek! Spanning almost 10 miles and boasting over 2,500 vertical feet of elevation gain, this hike in Silverthorne is not for the faint of heart. The journey rewards you with breathtaking views of the stunning Gore Range. Unlike other popular hikes in the area, Salmon Lake sees less foot traffic, ensuring you’ll discover tranquility and solitude along the way. Be ready for a day filled with sunshine and vistas as you venture to Salmon Lake!

  • 8. Willow Lakes

    Willow Lakes, located in the Gore Range and sharing the same trailhead as Salmon Lakes, offers another thrilling and demanding hike. Spanning almost 12 miles with an elevation gain of 2,700 feet, Willow Lakes would be an excellent choice for an overnight backpacking adventure. This Rocky Mountain hike encompasses all the elements you desire – picturesque wildflowers, forests, rivers, and abundant wildlife. Keep an eye out for charming mountain goats that often roam the area, but remember to maintain a safe distance and respect their habitat.

  • 9. Officer’s Gulch

    Officer’s Gulch offers easy access and a leisurely hike near Frisco, just off of I-70. It’s a stunning location to stretch your legs and admire the picturesque views. Taking less than half an hour to complete, the hike circles the lake. Keep in mind that certain sections may be damp and muddy, so remember to bring appropriate hiking shoes!

  • 10. Chihuahua Lake

    This lake is a little bit further away than some of the others on the list, but we couldn’t leave it out! Situated in Montezuma, near Keystone, this hike presents a challenge spanning approximately 7 miles. However, you can opt for a much shorter journey if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle. The trail traverses high-alpine, rocky terrain and ascends a steep boulder field. Eventually, your efforts will be rewarded with the sight of Chihuahua Lake, known for its vibrant blue waters. Anglers frequently visit this area, and you’ll likely spot fly-fishers catching trout in the pristine alpine waters.