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Opal Lake Trail

Intermediate
 4.6 (5)

Enjoy a variety of pines, aspen, ferns and flowers.


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Map Key

1.3

Miles

2.1

KM

78%

Runnable

9,269' 2,825 m

High

8,731' 2,661 m

Low

573' 175 m

Up

82' 25 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Unknown

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

Closed in winter or during Level 3 Fire restrictions.

Need to Know

There are three to four creek crossings, and it's mostly an uphill climb for the first mile.

Runner Notes

Running is not advised unless you’re experienced with the elevation and rocky/rooty terrain.

Description

From the trailhead to 0.7 miles in is almost all uphill over small rocks and tree roots. Then cross the first creek and it's back to uphill climbing for another 0.2 miles. That's when the mixed forest turns into a huge aspen grove. Just past the aspens it begins to level out and it's a fairly easy run the rest of the way to the lake with two or three small creek crossings. All of the creek crossings have cut logs in the water to use as bridges, but tread carefully as some are loose.

Opal Lake at the top is very beautiful. It is full of magnesium, which is how it gets its color and name. If fire restrictions are not in place there is a fire ring next to the lake. Follow the stream that feeds into the lake here and you'll come to the spring that feeds the lake and the creek below.

Flora & Fauna

HUGE aspen trees and beetle kill pine can be found here, not to mention daisies. Mule deer, elk, and bear roam the area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Becky Albrecht with improvements by Jeanelle Wychesit

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 5 votes

#6627

Overall
  4.6 from 5 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
40%
3 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#505

in Colorado

#6,627

Overall
30 Views Last Month
872 Since Jun 22, 2018
Intermediate

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Photos

Strolling through the Aspen grove
Oct 9, 2019 near Pagosa…, CO
Opal Lake
Oct 9, 2019 near Pagosa…, CO

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