This little known hike climbs steeply through forest and beautiful alpine meadows to a stunning glacial lake set amid a backdrop of rugged 13,000-ft. peaks. Panoramic views from nearby Columbine Pass encompassing Bridal Veil basin and the Sneffels Range.
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- Distance: 7.0 miles (round trip) to Columbine Lake
8.9 miles (round trip) to Columbine Pass
- Elevation: 10,346-ft. at Trailhead
12,693-ft. at Columbine Lake
13,094-ft. at Columbine Pass
- Elevation Gain: 2,347-ft. to Columbine Lake
2,748-ft. to Columbine Pass
- Difficulty: strenuous
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Silverton / Ouray / Southwest Colorado
Why Hike Columbine Lake and Pass
Getting to Columbine Lake involves a steep climb and the trail to the pass some route finding skills but it is well worth the effort. The trail is truly off the beaten path, providing a degree of solitude not often found in such a beautiful location just 3.5 miles from a trailhead.
The strenuous hike to the lake traverses dense forest and gorgeous alpine meadows with see forever views. Columbine Lake, a turquoise jewel, is tucked in a stunning glacial bowl ringed by rugged ridges and peaks over 13,000-ft.
For hikers with the time and energy a side trip to Columbine Pass is highly recommended. The pass is located on the ridge to the northwest of the lake. Views from the pass extend west encompassing Bridal Veil Basin, Mt Sneffels (14,150-ft.) and the Sneffels Range.
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