Silver Dollar/Murray Lakes

Round-Trip Length:  4.3 miles – includes both lakes
Start-End Elevation:  11,235′ – 12,205′
Elevation Change:  +970′ net elevation gain
Skill Level:  Moderate
Trailhead Location:  From I-70, exit #228 for Georgetown and follow signs through town for Guanella Pass Road. Follow Guanella Pass Road 9.9 miles south to the Silver Dollar Lake parking area on the right. A 4WD road continues .6 miles to the trailhead. While some 2WD vehicles can make the drive, it’s not recommended.  Parking on Guanella Pass Road adds 1.2 miles and +335′ to the roundtrip hike.

The weather on Father’s Day was perfect to get out into the High Country.  We had a guest from out of town visiting and decided to take her out on a new hike she hadn’t done before here in Colorado. The Silver Dollar Lake trail is a moderate hike not too far from the metro area with beautiful views above tree line.  I wasn’t sure what the trail conditions would be like as I hadn’t been up on this trail in June before so wasn’t sure how much snow we would still encounter. We drove to the trailhead (we were able to drive the 4WD road up the 0.6 miles from the Guanella Pass Road and park at the actual trailhead) and started up the trail.

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A beautiful shot looking up through the trees.

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Some beautiful wildflowers along the trail.

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Our first glimpse of Naylor Lake and the Continental Divide further up the trail.

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A short distance further we encountered our first of many snow field crossings to come.

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We continued on up through the snow.

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We hiked higher up on the ridge overlooking Naylor Lake below.  Naylor Lake sits at 11,605’ and is on private property.

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Heading up more snow fields as we continue to climb in the direction of Silver Dollar Lake.

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Looking back down towards Naylor Lake.

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Onward and upward….

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We arrived at Silver Dollar Lake which sits at 11,950’.

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Silver Dollar Lake with Square Top Mountain (13,794’).

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Looking across and up the ridge in the direction of Murray Lake.  You can see the trail angling across the snow field up towards Murray Lake.

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The water outflow from Silver Dollar Lake.

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A little wildlife around the lake including a chipmunk and a white-crowned sparrow.

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After a lunch break at the lake, we continued on up the short distance to Murray Lake.  More beautiful wildflowers along the trail.

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Looking back on Silver Dollar Lake just a little further up the trail.  It was still quite iced over.

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Onwards up the ridge towards Murray Lake.

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Looking back down on Naylor Lake.

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A panoramic view of both Naylor Lake and Silver Dollar Lake.

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Our first view of Murray Lake after we topped out on the ridge.

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We hiked on down to the shore of the lake.  Murray Lakes sits at 12,205’.

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The outflow from Murray Lake.

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After taking in the views of Murray Lake, we headed back down towards Silver Dollar Lake.

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Looking back up the big snow field we had crossed.

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Leaving Silver Dollar Lake and heading back down the trail.

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A marmot was nice enough to pose for us on our way back down the trail!

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I liked the patterns the late afternoon light created on the snowfields.


We made it back to the trailhead and headed back into Georgetown for some dinner to end the day.

An overview of our route.

Silver Dollar Lake Map

2 thoughts on “Silver Dollar/Murray Lakes

  1. Excellent. Must be great to be able to reach these high mountain lakes and the snow at this time of year so close to the downtown area. I always love the contrast of colours under a blue sky

    • It truly was a bluebird sky day! I’ve been to these lakes several other times but I think this was the best weather I’ve had. Yes, it’s always a great escape from the heat in the city on a hot summer’s day!

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