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Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead

Gore + Mosquito Range, Colorado

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Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead

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  • Salt Lick Trail starts out as a dirt road.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • As the road ends and becomes a trail, stay straight and don't cross the creek here.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • Great views looking back toward Silverthorne.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • A local helps get the adventure back on track!- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • Wildflowers are plentiful in mid-summer.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • Many stands of trees are dead due to beetle damage.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • At the junction of the Lily Pad Lake Trail.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • Little Lily Pad Lake.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • Big Lily Pad Lake.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • A few blooms remain in early August.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • Buffalo Mountain and Lily Pad Lake.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • Lily Pad Lake.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • Wildflowers adorn the trail.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • The lower part of Salt Lick Trail was popular with bikers.- Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • - Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful scenery. Lovely lakes. Wildflowers.
Cons: 
Many social trails can be confusing.
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Region:
Gore + Mosquito Range, CO
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
925.00 ft (281.94 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
9,023.00 ft (2,750.21 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Lily Pad Lake is a wonderful destination near the town of Silverthorne that can be reached after a short hike. Most people, especially families with small children, hike to the lake from the Lily Pad Lake Trailhead, which is a 2.5-mile hike with barely 100 feet of elevation gain. An alternative way to the lake is to take the Salt Lick Trail until it joins the Lily Pad Lake Trail just a quarter mile from the lake. The big advantages to this route are the relative lack of crowds and the beautiful open views along the way.

The Salt Lick Trail starts out as an old road that gently climbs away from Silverthorne and I-70. The freeway noise is soon left behind and the road ends at a small log bridge across the creek to the left. It is best to continue straight on the trail for a few hundred feet to another small bridge over the creek. This is the main Salt Lick Trail, and taking the first bridge can lead to some confusing junctions and social trails. The trail climbs through alternating meadows and forest, including some dead stands of lodgepole pines that are victims of beetle damage. There are some beautiful aspen groves along the way that would be wonderful to view in the fall, and there are nice views of Buffalo Mountain to the north. After about 1.5 miles the trail intersects with the Lily Pad Lake Trail, and from here it is about 0.25 miles to the lakes. This part of the trail will likely be crowded. The first lake is tiny and full of lily pads; the second is larger, and its open water makes for some wonderful reflections of Buffalo Mountain nearby. 

With a car shuttle one could make a nice loop starting out at Lily Pad Lake Trailhead and finishing on the (mostly downhill) Salt Lick Trail.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

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(14 within a 30 mile radius)

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(54 within a 30 mile radius)

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