Silver Dollar Lake, Guanella Pass - Silver Dollar Lake Trailhead, Summit County - Eagle County - Clear Creek County, Colorado
Silver Dollar Lake - 2.3 Miles
Guanella Pass - Silver Dollar Lake Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||2.3 Miles (add 1 mile roundtrip to Murray Lake)|
|Start-End Elevation:||11,235' - 11,950' (11,967' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+715' net elevation gain (+772' total roundtrip elevation gain))|
Silver Dollar Lake is accessed from Guanella Pass Road, 9.9 miles south of the I-70 Georgetown exit (#228).
It's located above treeline in a capacious valley framed by Square Top Mountain (south), and Mount Wilcox (north). The Silver Dollar Lake Trail continues .5 miles to Murray Lake just below the continental divide.
Visitors will enjoy open alpine landscapes and excellent fishing at Silver Dollar and Murray lakes:
The trail climbs steadily through the vestiges of treeline to your first look at Naylor Lake (.6 miles : 11,605'), which is private property.
Short, steep intervals continue through open tundra to Silver Dollar Lake (1.65 miles : 11,950').
The lake perimeter is generally obstacle-free and easy to explore. Anglers will have ample room and easy access, and backpackers will find soft but exposed grounds all around the lake.
A well defined trail continues steeply over Silver Dollar Lake to Murray Lake (2.15 miles : 12,178'), which is centrally located in the upper valley with excellent views of surrounding peaks.
Mount Wilcox (13,408') is a challenging but non-technical summit from this point. Square Top Mountain (13,794') is a more ambitious climb, and arguably an easier route is available from Square Top Lakes in the adjacent valley.
Mountain goat and bighorn sheep inhabit the valley's high walls and ridges, while elk and moose frequent the luxuriant alpine meadows in its center. Binoculars are highly recommended.
GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84View these GPS points on a Google Map
- N39 36.574 W105 43.065 — Guanella Pass Road Parking Lot
- N39 36.396 W105 43.651 — 0.0 miles : Silver Dollar Lake Trailhead
- N39 36.288 W105 44.014 — .4 miles : Trail sign, bear left
- N39 36.094 W105 44.399 — 1.0 miles : Clear treeline, valley opens
- N39 36.096 W105 45.127 — 1.65 miles : Silver Dollar Lake
- N39 36.308 W105 45.505 — 2.15 miles : Murray Lake
- This is a popular trail with limited parking at the 4WD trailhead. Arrive early to secure space and avoid crowds, especially on weekends.
- Much of this trail is above treeline and fully exposed. Be mindful of changing weather and aim for treeline before storms develop.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Contact the Clear Creek Ranger District (303.567.3000) for the latest on weather, trail conditions and trail-specific usage guidelines when planning your trip.
- Dispersed backcountry camping is permitted in the Arapaho National Forest.
- Camping is prohibited within 100' of any lake or stream. Group size is limited to 15 individuals.
- Campfires are permitted for dispersed backcountry camping, with potential seasonal and elevation restrictions.
- One member of each party is required to register at the Mt Evans Wilderness boundary board and carry a copy of the registration with them during their visit. There is no registration fee.
- Camping is limited to 14 consecutive days in one location. After 14 days, the campsite must be moved a minimum of three miles.
- The Clear Creek Ranger District maintains eight developed campgrounds. All are accessed from the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, I-70 and Colorado Highways 40, 103, and 119. Operating seasons vary, however most range from mid-May through mid-October. Contact the Clear Creek Ranger District for availability and detailed information on each.
- Fishing is permitted in Silver Dollar Lake and Murray Lake with a valid Colorado state fishing license. Naylor Lake is private property and fishing is not permitted.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs are permitted on the Silver Dollar Lake Trail. Dogs must be leashed at all times.
- Naylor Lake is private property. Respect property lines around the lake.
- Bikes, mechanized vehicles, and hunting are not permitted.
The Guanella Pass - Silver Dollar Lake Trailhead is located 9.9 miles south of Georgetown, CO on Guanella Pass Road.
From I-70, exit #228 for Georgetown and follow signs through town for Guanella Pass Road. Follow Guanella Pass Road 9.9 miles south to the Silver Dollar Lake parking area on the right. A 4WD road continues .6 miles to the trailhead. While some 2WD vehicles can make the drive, it's not recommended.
Parking on Guanella Pass Road adds 1.2 miles and +335' to the roundtrip hike.
South Platte Ranger District
19316 Goddard Ranch Court
Morrison, CO 80465
Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4:30 pm (excluding National Holidays)
Clear Creek Ranger District
101 Chicago Creek Road
P.O. Box 3307
Idaho Springs, CO 80452