Lost Lake Trail

Lost Lake Trail

Quick Facts

  • Closest town: Buena Vista, CO
  • Trail Name: Lost Lake Trail
  • Trailhead: There’s not a marked trailhead or parking area; park at this pullout on the east side of the road and then cross the road to the west side and you’ll see where the trail starts (GPS Coordinates: 38.818010, -106.405781)
  • Distance: 2.6 miles round trip
  • Dog Friendly


From the town of Buena Vista, head west on Highway 306 towards Cottonwood Pass (closed in the winter- check for closures). Make your way up the canyon for about 30 minutes until you reach the parking pullout and unmarked trailhead using the above GPS coordinates.

The Deets

If you visit during a weekend in the summer, parking will be sparse- be patient, this hike is definitely worth it! We went on a chilly Friday night in early October and had the entire trail to ourselves! Be creative with when you visit this spot and you might get lucky too! Once you’ve found parking, find the unmarked trailhead on the west side of the road (it starts off steep) and you’re on your way. The best part about this trail is that it’s less than 3 miles round trip and easy! This is a great hike for families with kids and/or dogs.

The trail is easy to follow as it makes its way up to Lost Lake. In early October we did find that there were a couple muddy spots as we got close to the lake, but with a little teamwork and planning we stayed mostly mud-free. Once you make it to the lake, you’ll notice the adorable island in the middle! We wanted a view looking down on the lake so you could see the island better, so we hiked around to the far side of the lake and scrambled up a bit (pick your own adventure) until we found a nice spot on the rocks to take photos.

I definitely recommend the short scramble- the views of the lake are well worth it! As you can see, the water is beautiful blue-green color. It was too cold to get in, but I could picture myself diving off that island on a warm summer day! I’m not sure that photos do this spot justice- for such a short and easy hike, this small lake is stunning. I decided on the way down that this was one of my new favorite hikes in Colorado! So much bang for your buck- just the way we like it.

Return to your car the way you came and enjoy the views of Cottonwood Pass on the way down! As aways, please practice Leave No Trace and leave this beautiful place better than you found it!

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