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

Quick Facts

Luna Lake Trail

Beginning Elevation: 9,120 Feet (2842.9 Meters) at Swamp Park
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,030 Feet (632.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,150 Feet (3475.7 Meters) at jct. with Wyoming Trail #1101, Continental Divide
Length, One-way: 9.2 Miles (15.33 Kilometers) from Swamp Park to jct. with Trail #1101
Other Maps: Routt National Forest Map
TI Topo Maps: #117 Clark, Buffalo Pass; So Mt Zirkel Wilderness
Trail Number: 1168
Usage: Moderate to Heavy
USGS Maps: Floyd Peak; Mt Ethel

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

There is adequate parking near Summit Lake Campground, please park in the parking lots provided, help protect the vegetation. This trail has some rough and steep spots along the way. The trail is located entirely within the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.

The trail takes the hiker by many lakes. From Swamp Park one travels up and through wooded and rocky areas coming out into Logan Park, then on past Lake Margaret (a good side trip is to go down to Snowstorm Lake and Fish Hawk Lake; however the trail is unimproved). Continue on through the forest and before reaching Luna Lake, a trail takes off north to Big Creek Lake. This is also a good side trip for fisherman. As you reach Luna Lake, the trees thin out and you can see up to Mt. Ethel and the Divide. Luna is a beautiful lake with a sand beach, however, the water stays very cold. From Luna you can continue up to Lake Elbert (very difficult, rocky). Then follow the trail off the Divide to Lake of the Crags, and return downhill to Luna Lake. There are breathtaking views from there.



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

Directions from Steamboat Springs: ACCESS #1: Go west on US Hwy 40 to County Road 129. Travel north on this road approximately 5 miles to Mad Creek and park in the lot behind the buck and rail fence. Hike about 7 miles into Swamp Park.

Directions from Steamboat Springs: ACCESS #2: Go north of Steamboat on the Strawberry Park Road to County Road #60 (Buffalo Pass Road) and turn right. Travel approximately 9 miles on this road to Summit Lake Campground and the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness boundary trailhead. Walk the Wyoming Trail #1101 about 6 miles to the junction of trail #1168.

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

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Gerald Hann (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Time of Day: 8AM to 3PM
Length of Time: 7 hours from Swamp Park to Luna Lake.
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Well tree covered until we encountered a rocky outcrop overlooking a small canyon. We could see our first view of the western valley in the far distance. Beetle tree damage takes some of the beauty away, but it is still magical place. We had lunch at an alpine meadow about 15 minutes before Mirror Lake. Plenty of sun for drying out from the heavy dew of the night before. We had time for a quick swim/wash in Luna Lake before a short rain. Wow, the water is cold. Nice camping area on the north side of the lake behind a hill about one quarter of the way from the east end of the lake.
Conditions: A tree down at the intersection of Swamp Park Trail and Luna Lake Trail made it hard to find the trail the day before. The trail is closed north of Swamp Park, so not much trail use in this area. Two stream crossings were higher that boot level. I was glad to have sandals for crossings and camp shoes.
Water Availability: Plenty of water in streams and lakes.
Recommended Clothing: Bring rain gear even in August.
Suggested Accessories: Hiking poles for stability and stream crossings for us 50+ backpackers.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Luna Lake and linking trails
ICON Fishing This trail leads past many small mountain lakes.
ICON Hiking & Walking Luna Lake and linking trails
ICON Horseback Riding Luna Lake and linking trails

Related Activities
Red Dirt Trail - The Red Dirt Trail, north of Steamboat Springs, leads from Elk River Road, northwest to the Swamp Park Trail #1100, on Mad Creek.

Swamp Park Trail - Swamp Park Trail leads from Mad Creek, several miles north of Steamboat Springs, north to the upper Elk River near Seedhouse Campground. It can be enjoyed for both summer and winter activities.

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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