If your near Silverthorne Colorado, when the weather turns cold and the snow flakes begin to fall, put those snowshoes on for a fun hike to Lily Pad Lake a quick out-and-back that has a little something for everyone! In the summer this is an easy trail; depending on winter trail conditions and your acclimation to the elevation, this can be a moderate trek.
Lily Pad Lake Trail is a 3.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back snowshoe and cross country skiing trail located near Silverthorne, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Parking at the trailhead is limited to about a dozen spaces. Be sure to arrive early since street parking in the area is also blocked off. If you can try to plan being there at sunset for a spectacular show!
The trailhead, which shares the same parking area as the Buffalo Mountain Trail, is located at the end of Ryan Gulch Road in Silverthorne. You’ll wind your way through lots of condos.
The nearly .5 mile ascent at the beginning of the trail will get your heart and legs pumping from the start. Be careful going up and down this hill; some may want shoe spikes or hiking poles for additional stability depending on icy conditions.
The trail then flattens out and opens up in a large clearing with beautiful vista views of Buffalo Mountain to the west and Dillon Reservoir, Keystone Resort and famous fourteeners Grays Peak and Torreys Peak to the east.
You’ll continue through lodge pole pines and Aspens, cross snow-covered streams, downed trees, and small beaver ponds that once 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. Also, be sure to keep your pets on leash in case of an on trail encounter.
The hike concludes after a short descent down to a frozen Lily Pad Lake at 9,925 feet where you are greeted by Peak One standing sentinel over the trees and lake in the distance.
Then just retrace your steps 1.75 miles back to the trailhead, where it’s just a 5 minute drive down to the Towns of Silverthorne and Dillon for après-hike food and drink. We really enjoyed Sauce On The Blue, a nice Italian eatery and a full bar with great happy hour specials!
This was a really fun snow shoe and was a great introduction for my first winter hiking experience! Re and I stayed in the condos below so there was quick access to this area.
Directions To The Lily Pad Lake Trail Head
- From I-70 take Exit 205, Silverthorne / Dillon, and travel north on HWY 9 to the first traffic light, turn left onto Wildernest Road. In 0.2 miles, turn left onto Wildernest Road (again).
- Travel 3.6 miles on Wildernest Road (turns into Ryan Gulch Road). You will pass many condos and at the top of the hill there will be a trailhead parking area on the left.
- There are two trailheads that leave from this parking lot, be sure to start at Lily Pad Lake Trailhead.
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