Lily Pad Lake

Gore + Mosquito Range, Colorado

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Lily Pad Lake


  • Information at the trailhead. - Lily Pad Lake
  • Lily Pad Trailhead.- Lily Pad Lake
  • Looking east on the Lily Pad Trail. - Lily Pad Lake
  • Greys Peak and Torreys Peak in the distance with a frozen Dillon Reservoir below. - Lily Pad Lake
  • Keystone Resort and Dillon Reservoir. - Lily Pad Lake
  • Buffalo Mountain to the west of Lily Pad Trail. - Lily Pad Lake
  • Downed beetle kill pine trees cross the trail in some spots. - Lily Pad Lake
  • Lodgepole pine forest. - Lily Pad Lake
  • Lily Pad Trail intersection with Salt Lick Trail. - Lily Pad Lake
  • Lodgepole pine forest. - Lily Pad Lake
  • Frozen Lily Pad Lake.- Lily Pad Lake
  • Lily Pad Lake and Peak One in the distance. - Lily Pad Lake
Overview + Weather
Good for families.
Can get crowded.
Gore + Mosquito Range, CO
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
127.00 ft (38.71 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
9,825.00 ft (2,994.66 m)
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


When the flakes begin to fall and the snowshoes are brought out of the closet, head to Lily Pad Lake for a quick out-and-back that has a little something for everyone.

The trailhead, which shares the same parking area as the Buffalo Mountain Trail, is located at the end of Ryan Gulch Road in Silverthorne. Unlike the more challenging hike up nearby Buffalo Mountain, the Lily Pad Lake Trail is a short, mellow cruiser over rolling hills, through tight forests of lodgepole pine, with the occasional open meadow featuring expansive views. It finishes at a frozen-over Lily Pad Lake at 9,925 feet.

The nearly half-mile ascent at the beginning of the trail will get hiker’s hearts thumping right out of the gates. The trail then flattens out and opens up through a clearing with views of Buffalo Mountain to the west and Dillon Reservoir, Keystone Resort and famous fourteeners Grays Peak and Torreys Peak to the east. Hikers enter a thick forest of old-growth lodgepole pine trees, many of which have been killed by the mountain pine beetle. The trail twists and turns, ascends and descends, keeping things interesting along the way. You’ll cross snow-covered streams and small beaver ponds that attracted fur trappers to the area in the early 1800s. Today, moose roam the area so keep an eye out and maintain a safe distance. The hike concludes after a short descent down to a frozen Lily Pad Lake where Peak One looms over the trees in the distance.

Hikers retrace their steps 1.75 miles back to the trailhead, where it’s just a five-minute drive down to the Towns of Silverthorne and Dillon for après-hike food and drink.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(14 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(60 within a 30 mile radius)

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