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Fishing: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Linkins Lake Trail

Average Time: 1 Hours one way
Beginning Elevation: 11,506 Feet (3586.7 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 494 Feet (154.0 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,008 Feet (3743.1 Meters)
Length: .6 Miles (1 Kilometer) 1 km
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 127 Aspen, Independence Pass
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 1979
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Mount Champion

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This is a moderately steep but short climb to a high alpine lake above the timberline with fair fishing. The trailhead is located at the last switchback before Independence Pass. A short distance from the trailhead you will reach a fork. The right trail goes to Independence Lake and Lost Man Lake. Take the left fork to Linkins Lake which is reached after one steep switchback.

Beware of severe afternoon thunderstorms. Please be careful of the three-foot trees along the way, as they may be 200 years old. Camping is not recommended, due to fragile alpine tundra and exposure.

Directions from Aspen: Drive 18-1/2 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82 to the last switchback before Independence Pass. The trailhead is on the left (north) side of the highway.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: June through September (NOTE: Snow may cover sections of the trail and most of the lake in the Spring, Fall, and Winter months.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:36:00.0

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Filed By: Jim Nock (Colorado Springs, CO)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The trail, only 0.4 miles, has two brief steep pitches, beginning and the end seperated by a short flat area. You are rewarded by a pristine glacial lake approximately 6 acres in size and perhaps 30-40 feet deep.
Conditions: In mid-August, the trail was dry and quite dusty. My two trips to the lake were accomplished in the morning to maximize fishing time. NO OTHER FISHERMEN!
Water Availability: No water available until the lake. I used a CamelBack with 3 liter capacity and had 1 liter to spare after fishing all day.
Recommended Clothing: 12 inch brook trout along the shelf walls & 16+ inch rainbows cruising the boulder fields along the south shore.
Suggested Accessories: Shorts in August with a 3-4 wt fly rod AND ultra-light spin cast. The fly rod is for low wind days and the spin cast is for those days when the wind is BLOWING! Flies: # 16-18 olive EH Caddis, Spin cast: Panthet Martin PMRG # 2 or 4 (remove 2 of the three barbs on the treble hooks). Float tube would be useful to reach those trout feeding in the middle but not necessary on calm days.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Linkins Lake
ICON Hiking & Walking Linkins Lake Trail

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Aspen Ranger District, 806 W. Hallam , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3445

Links to other sites:
Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions


Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel

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