Beaver Lake, Beaver Lake Trailhead, Summit County - Eagle County - Clear Creek County, Colorado

Beaver Lake - 5.2 miles

Beaver Lake Trailhead

Beaver Lake (9,746')

Beaver Lake (9,746')

Round-Trip Length: 5.2 miles (walk from the parking garage adds 1.1 miles roundtrip)
Start-End Elevation: 8,355' - 9,746' (9,758' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +1,391 net elevation gain (+1,462' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Beaver Lake - 5.2 Miles Round-Trip

Beaver Lake is located 2.6 miles from Beaver Lake Trailhead in the Beaver Creek Ski Resort (see Directions below for important trailhead access and distance details). The lake is flanked by steep walls to the west, and meadows to the north and east ideal for camping and picnicking. Thick timber crowds much of the shore, however anglers with waders will find ample access and excellent fishing.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The Beaver Lake Trail follows a graded service road much of the way, offering 3-4 season utility for hikers, runners, snow shoeing and skiing:

The trail begins at the top of Village Road in the Beaver Creek Ski Resort. Scale a grassy knoll and merge onto a service road, which rises past several maintenance facilities and ski-runs.

Despite these unconventional surroundings, much of the road-trail is actually tucked between Beaver Creek and thick, flower-studded aspen groves.

The Beaver Lake Trail passes connections for Allie’s Way (.75 miles) and the Village-to-Village Trail (.9 miles) up to a bridge over Beaver Creek (1.55 miles : 9,165’).

It resumes a deceptively steep pace through airy slopes to the Holy Cross Wilderness Boundary (2.4 miles : 9,660’), where grades moderate on singletrack into open meadows on the edge of Beaver Lake (2.6 miles : 9,746’).

There are only a few easy access points from this spot and they tend to be congested, so use social trails or continue on the main trail and improvise a path down to more secluded areas. A short hike past Beaver Lake soon levels in a notably pristine, stream-crossed forest that's well-worth exploring.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N39 35.803 W106 31.363 — 0.0 miles : Beaver Lake Trailhead
  • N39 35.222 W106 31.615 — .75 miles : Allies Way Trail split
  • N39 35.125 W106 31.605 — .9 miles : Village-to-Village Trail split
  • N39 34.652 W106 31.899 — 1.55 miles : Cross Beaver Creek on bridge
  • N39 34.338 W106 32.012 — 2.0 miles : Steady climb through vestiges of Ski Resort
  • N39 34.062 W106 32.052 — 2.4 miles : Holy Cross Wilderness Boundary
  • N39 33.918 W106 32.087 — 2.6 miles : Beaver Lake

Worth Noting

  • Distance and elevation gain discrepancies among map and forest service sources can likely be attributed to the 'Starting Point' - either the Parking Garage or actual Beaver Lake Trailhead. Numbers here are calculated from the trailhead. The walk from the garage (up the road or on the 5 Senses Trail) adds .55 miles and a 240' climb to the one-way totals.
  • This is a popular lake that sees heavy traffic, especially on weekends. Arrive early to avoid crowds and secure preferred campsites around the lake. There's good camping terrain with appreciably more privacy just .5 miles past the lake.
  • Look for red columbine and raspberries in the lake vicinity, and along the trail leading past the lake.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Backcountry Camping

  • Dispersed backcountry camping is permitted in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area. Self-registration permits are available at the trailhead and/or Wilderness Boundary. There is no fee or limit to the number of permits issued. Backpackers must carry a completed registration form with them for the duration of the trip.

  • Camping is prohibited within 100' of any lake or stream. Group size is limited to 15 individuals.

  • Campfires are permitted for dispersed camping in the backcountry, with potential seasonal restrictions. Campfires are not permitted above or within .25 miles (440 yards) of treeline, or within 100' of any lake or stream in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area.

  • Contact the Holy Cross Ranger District (970.827.5715) for the latest weather, trail conditions and trail-specific guidelines when planning your trip. The office is open M - F from 8am - 4pm.

  • There are numerous developed campgrounds in the White River National Forest. Contact the Holy Cross Ranger District for information on these sites.

Fishing Information

  • Fishing is permitted at Beaver Lake and along Beaver Creek with a valid Colorado fishing license.

Rules and Regulations

  • Dogs must be leashed or under strict voice control at all times.

Directions to Trailhead

The Beaver Lake Trailhead is located within the Beaver Creek Ski Area in Avon, CO. Public parking is not allowed at the trailhead - see below for options:

From I-70, take Exit 167 for Avon and head south from the roundabout onto Avon Road. Continue south under the interstate and cross US Hwy 6 to the main gate for Beaver Creek. Here the road name changes to Village Road. You will most likely be greeted by recreation staff at this gate, who can explain parking and shuttle options.

Follow Village Road 2.3 miles to the Gerald Ford Parking Garage, located just before passing under the second bridge over Village Road on the left side of the road.

From here you can either take a shuttle (consult Beaver Creek staff at the gate for details), or walk .55 miles up Village Road to the trailhead. You may also take the 5 Senses Trail from the parking garage, which parallels the road, a pleasant alternative. The walk from the garage (up the road or on the 5 Senses Trail) adds .55 miles and a 240' climb to the one-way distance.

You may also connect with the trail via the Allie's Way and Village-to-Village trails, which start from various points within the resort. Skip these steps by having a friend drop you off at the trailhead!

Contact Information

Holy Cross Ranger District
24747 US Highway 24
Minturn, CO 81645

White River National Forest
900 Grand Ave.
P.O. Box 948
Glenwood Springs CO 81602

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"I hiked this trail on Saturday 8/12/17. Starting early from the Gerald Ford parking garage at 8:30 am, it was fairly quiet walking through the BC village and neighborhoods (via the 5 Senses Trail) to reach the main trailhead. I encountered 5-7 people total on the way up to the lake. There were a couple of other people at the lake, but I was able to bushwack around to the far side, across the inlet creek from the main trail, and found it to be mostly quiet. The lake is fairly large and generally scenic, though nothing very noteworthy. There are few open views on this trail and you are hiking through the BC ski area for a good portion of the hike so the traditional wilderness experience is minimized significantly. Returning from the lake near 11 am, there were very many people making their way up the trail. Given the shuttle service the resort offers to the trailhead, the hikers were moving up in waves vs. a steady stream. The most enjoyable part of this hike were the thimbleberry and raspberry bushes all along the trail. I also appreciated that the trail was reasonably challenging and a good length for a 1/2 day outing. "
Dori M  -  Denver  -  Date Posted: August 14, 2017


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