Fall Colors · Fishing · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This area receives heavy snow during the winter.
Need to Know
$9/State Park day pass.
In the winter, you'll need to travel along the Michigan Ditch
trail to get to the start of the American Lakes Trail
. In summertime, you can park at the trailhead directly, and save yourself several miles. Bring $9 to pay for your State Park day pass-- several self-service stations can be found along the dirt road to the trailhead (or you can use a credit card if you drive further down Highway 14 to the Moose Visitor Center).
The trail is very easy to follow-- no directions needed. There are a few switchbacks, creek crossings, and rocky areas incorporated into the trail-- waterproof shoes are recommended. The most "intense" elevation gain is over in the first mile or so, but the (moderate) struggle is definitely worth it. As you hike, you might see moose and deer, or even catch a trout in an alpine lake. In early July, there is a stunning array of wildflowers along the trail as you hike. Once you get to the lakes, you can continue on to Thunder Pass, and look over into Rocky Mountain National Park from the saddle. Additionally, you can scramble up the far side of the lake to see Snow Lake, perched above Michigan Lakes.
Watch out for afternoon thunderstorms!
Shared By: Tom Robson
by Beth Bratschun
and 1 other