Columbine Lake: Rhapsody in blue

Sports

Columbine Lake: Rhapsody in blue

Columbine Lake offers a color barrage
Brilliant cobalt Columbine Lake, seen from Peak 13,300, is a window to another world.
On a cloud-racing day in September, Thomas Holt Ward and Charlie Berglund arrive at reflective and dynamic Columbine Lake.
Charlie Berglund and Debra Van Winegarden gaze in astonishment at Columbine Lake from Peak 13,300 feet.
On a clear day in autumn, at shoreline crystalline cerulean will envelop your entire being.
The trail begins 0.7 miles north of the Ophir Pass Road and bears west to the lake. In Mill Creek Basin, take the standard trail or the high route to the lake. Option: climb Peak 13,300. 

Columbine Lake: Rhapsody in blue

Brilliant cobalt Columbine Lake, seen from Peak 13,300, is a window to another world.
On a cloud-racing day in September, Thomas Holt Ward and Charlie Berglund arrive at reflective and dynamic Columbine Lake.
Charlie Berglund and Debra Van Winegarden gaze in astonishment at Columbine Lake from Peak 13,300 feet.
On a clear day in autumn, at shoreline crystalline cerulean will envelop your entire being.
The trail begins 0.7 miles north of the Ophir Pass Road and bears west to the lake. In Mill Creek Basin, take the standard trail or the high route to the lake. Option: climb Peak 13,300. 
Trail basics

Travel: From Durango, drive north on US 550 about 47 miles to Silverton. Continue north toward Ouray. Pass under the power lines and watch for the Ophir Pass sign, 4.8 miles from Silverton. Make a left and go downhill on San Juan CR 8. Cross the Mineral Creek bridge. Bypass the first road on the right. Take a hard right on the dirt road 0.4 mile from the highway. The road is rocky and narrow but 2WD vehicles carefully driven should reach the trailhead in another 0.7 mile. There is room for three vehicles on the right. Overflow parking is just up the road. Allow 1:15 from Durango.
Distance and Elevation Gain (Roundtrip): 6.6 miles with 2,550 feet of climbing to the lake; 9.0 miles and 3,250 vertical feet to Peak 13,300
Time: 4 to 6½ hours depending on destination
Difficulty: Trail, off-trail; navigation moderate; mild exposure and scrambling on Peak 13,300
Maps: Silverton; Ophir, Colorado 7.5 Quads, or Trails Illustrated No. 141: Telluride/Silverton/Ouray/Lake City

Reader Comments
click here to add your event
Area Events