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Avalanche Creek Trail

  3.5 ( 6 ) Favorite


21.3 mile 34.4 kilometer loop
87% Runnable


Ascent: 3,834' 1,169 m
Descent: -3,834' -1,169 m
High: 10,706' 3,263 m
Low: 7,375' 2,248 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 49% (26°)


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Trail shared by Jason Smith

A gradual climb to Avalanche Lake - a stunning destination deep in the Elk Mountains.

Jason Smith

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This is a highly worthy trail experience, particularly if you can make it the entire way up to Avalanche Lake. Don't expect the most buff surface, but only a few shorter steep sections & decent trail quality keep this outing moderate.

Runner Notes

Almost entirely runnable, but expect moderate to heavy horse and human traffic during the peak months of summer.


Avalanche Lake Trail (#1959) begins from the parking lot and ascends through aspen groves, intersecting with the Hell Roaring Trail after about 2.5 miles. Keep straight here as the trail crosses Hell Roaring Creek (may be dry late in the season) before descending a few hundred vertical toward Avalanche Creek. If you are going out and back, pace accordingly as climbing back out of here can be a bit of a grind.

After 5 miles, the trail crosses a beautiful meadow called Duley Park before entering groves of ginormous aspens. After another 2 miles or so, look for the intersection with East Creek Trail.

Keep straight, preparing for a notably steep but beautiful segment to the intersection with Capitol Creek Trail after 10 miles. Stay right and you'll arrive on the shores of the stunning Avalanche Lake.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers will likely be going off during mid-summer on the upper half of the trail.

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Jul 9, 2017
Jena Humer
overgrown vegetation couldn't see trail. lots of rocks etc.No good. 4mi
Jun 25, 2017
ScubaSchaef Schaefer
Quick out and back... didn't make the whole way 5mi
Jun 17, 2017
Anthony Carroll

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 6 votes


in Redstone


  3.5 from 6 votes
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in Redstone


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101 Views Last Month
8,220 Since Mar 24, 2015



Bad omen? I hope not.
Feb 2, 2018 near Snowmas…, CO
A thick undergrowth.
Feb 2, 2018 near Carbondale, CO
It's tough to find negatives about the view at Avalanche Lake....except maybe that at some point you have to run back 10+ miles.
Apr 2, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
We ran Avalanche Creek to Avalanche Lake as an out and back. Here's a shot from the way back.
Apr 2, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
Vegetation on sides of trail grows taller as you go further - face height within the next mile.
Aug 21, 2019 near Snowmas…, CO
Where the bridge is out.
Aug 21, 2019 near Snowmas…, CO


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