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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests > Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District

Quick Facts

North Lake Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,390 Feet (2615.3 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 2,360 Feet (735.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,750 Feet (3351.0 Meters) at jct. with Wyoming Trail, Continental Divide
Length, One-way: 5.4 Miles (9.0 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Routt National Forest Map
TI Topo Maps: #116 Hahns Peak, Steamboat Lake; No Mt Zirkel Wilderness; #117 Clark, Buffalo Pass; So Mt Zirkel Wilderness
Trail Number: 1164
Usage: Moderate to Heavy
USGS Maps: Mt Ethel; smaller portion on Farwell Mtn and Mt Zirkel

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

NOTE: This area and the trails that begin from Slovonia are the most heavily used in the district, often overused. If you are interested in solitude and less people, please consult the information on less used trails and choose your route accordingly.

Hikers can take this trail to the Wyoming Trail #1101 on the Divide. The terrain is characterized by forest opening into meadows with intermittent trees by the lake, and on up to the Divide. Travelers will enjoy views of the Yampa Valley and surrounding mountains. If you take a short detour to the east, you may see
North Park and the Medicine Bow Range.

NARRATIVE: This trail crosses into the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness near its beginning, and then goes left at the first fork (Dome Lake Trail #1169 is the right fork). It begins with a steep climb with switchbacks through the spruce. As you climb there are more lodgepole pine and the trail is less steep. Before you arrive at the lake, there is an unimproved trail through a meadow that goes to Wolverine Basin. Soon you reach the lake, and as you go past, you will find more open meadow and fairly easy walking up to the Divide.

NOTE: Always be prepared for quick changes in the weather in the high country: Dress and be prepared for extremes.


As humans, we must minimize our impacts to help preserve this resource for present and future generations.

Directions from Steamboat Springs: Take HWY 40 west of town and turn right onto County Road 129, Elk River Road. Travel north about 18 miles to the Seedhouse Road (Forest Road 400;also County Road 64) and turn right. Go past Seedhouse Campground then turn right onto Forest Road 443. Continue past Three Island Lake Trailhead, 1.5 miles to the 1164 trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Accessibility depends on snow depth and weather.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking North Lake Trail and connecting trails.
ICON Hiking & Walking North Lake Trail
ICON Horseback Riding North Lake Trail

Nearby Services

Gas Station: PRIVATE (Private - Profit) Directions: 33 miles southwest to Steamboat

Nearest Hospital: Routt Memorial Hospital (Private - Profit) Directions: 33 miles southwest to Steamboat

Groceries: PRIVATE (Private - Profit) Directions: 8 miles southwest to Steamboat

Nearest Pay Phone: PRIVATE (Private - Profit) Directions: 33 miles southwest to Steamboat

Emergency: VARIOUS (County) Directions: 33 miles southwest to Steamboat

Related Activities
Three Island Lake Trail - This area was affected by a large tree blowdown. Contact the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District for current conditions. This trail north of Steamboat Springs leads from Forest Road 443, near Seedhouse Campground, up past Three Island Lake, and eventually to the Wyoming Trail #1101, at the Continental Divide.

Wyoming Trail - This 50 mile trail generally follows the Continental Divide from roughly Rabbit Ears Pass, north into Wyoming. It can be traveled in sections, because it can be accessed from a number of different points.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District, 925 Weiss Drive , Steamboat Springs, CO, 80487, Phone: 970-879-1870, Fax: 970-879-2147


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