Columns » Hiking Bob

Road Trip Hike: Grizzly Lake


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  • Bob Falcone

I've written here about a couple of high-elevation lakes like Hartenstein Lake and Lost Lake, and this time won't be any different. Not only are some of these hikes a little off the radar, but there are few things more attractive than a lake at 11-, 12- or 13-thousand feet of elevation, nestled in a small valleys and surrounded by towering peaks. The waters are exceptionally clear, the wildflowers plentiful, and the fishing (with a license) is easy.

This hike is to Grizzly Lake, located a little above 11,000' and near the ghost town of St Elmo at the foot of Mt Princeton in the Collegiate Peaks Range.  

To get there: Take U.S. 24 west about 100 miles from Colorado Springs to the Arkansas river crossing in the area known as "Johnsons Corner," just south of Buena Vista. Turn south at the light right after crossing the Arkansas River and travel south to Chafee County Road 162 in Nathrop. Turn west on CR 162, and continue for 15 miles before turning left onto Forest Service Road 295. After about a half-mile look for a trailhead and parking on the left and a smaller pullout on the right.

Senior, get your pass

The National Parks' senior pass waives admission fees to all federal recreation lands, such as National Parks and Monuments, Bureau of Land Management and National Forest lands, and a great deal for a one-time fee of $10 for people 62 or older. That fee will be going up to a one-time price of $80 on August 28th — still worth it when compared to the $80 annual fee that those under 65 must pay. For seniors who may not be able to afford the $80 fee, there will also be a yearly senior pass for only $20. For more details, see the National Park Service website.

Happy Trails!

Editor's note: This post has been updated to correct the eligible age range for the NPS senior pass, we regret the error.

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for 25 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website ( E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob:


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