Scenic Hike in Ski Country

In a town filled with ski resorts, sometimes it is nice to have an alternative. At Beaver Lake you can get outside and enjoy the clean Colorado air, even if you are not up for a ride down the slopes. Hiking and snowshoeing are two of the most popular activities at the lake. It is located near Avon, Colorado and stands at an elevation of 1,500 feet. The distance around the lake's trails is five miles and a hike at a comfortable pace usually takes about three hours. It is a difficult hike due to the elevation and terrain, but the trails are well-maintained so you will enjoy a safe workout. Many previous hikers would not suggest bringing children, those out of shape, or the elderly along for this hike.

The hike takes you past the Beaver Creek Ski Resort on the north edge of the Holy Cross Wildness area. You can stop and fish in two of the small trout ponds for free and watch mallards, geese, deer, chipmunks beaver, and of course, a lake filled with trout. The trail winds through aspen and pine trees, often blocking the heat of the Colorado sun. You will frequently encounter horseback riders from Beaver Creek Resort, and if you hike the full trail you will eventually reach the White Mountain National Forest ski boundary. At Beaver Lake you can relax after the long hike and enjoy a picnic. Some head further along the trail to Turquoise Lake and back down into the area village. There are a few dining destinations here, as well as restroom facilities. There may be an opportunity to take the ski lift down the moutain free of charge, so if you find you are too worn from the hike up, you may want to consider this, but do not count on it as an option.

The trail is accessible year round and is easy to reach from highway I-70. There are shuttles available to certain areas of the trail for those not staying at Beaver Creek Resort. Some of the access is limited around the resort so you can ride to the village from the visitor's lot. Many hikers believe this is the most scenic hike in Colorado. It is sometimes described as picturesque and serene and there are numerous places to stop along the hike and relax. Along the trail is also a waterfall which is a great place for photo opportunities. New visitors are advised by experienced hikers to bring plenty of water. The verticality of the hike makes for a strenuous trip. Hikers should also adhere to typical safety advice, wear sunscreen, appropriate footwear, and remember they will be hiking in the backcountry. There are guidebooks available and you should refer to them, especially if you are an inexperienced hiker. Those taking the necessary hiking precautions will have an enjoyable hike that allows them to soak in the sights and sounds of Colorado's wilderness. Beaver Lake is a great hike for fitness and recreational hikers.

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