Lion Lake #1 is located in one of the most amazing areas in Rocky Mountain National Park. The hike there may not be the most scenic but it’s worth the mileage once you arrive at this destination. Day hiking to Lion Lake is for those that are active and looking to get away from the crowds, and be rewarded with incredible views of surrounding peaks. Mt. Alice, Pilot Mountain and Chiefs Head Peak make up the commanding peaks in the near vicinity of Lion Lakes.
Video of our Day Hike to Lion Lakes, Snowbank Lake and more
Lion Lake #1 is located in the northwestern area of the Wild Basin of Rocky Mountain National Park, Allenspark, Colorado. Some of the surrounding destinations nearby are Lion Lake #2, Trio Falls, Castle Lake and Snowbank Lake.
From the Wild Basin trailhead, follow the Wild Basin Trail for 1.5 miles until you run into the campsite sign. Stay to the north on trail to the campsites. If you want to see Ouzel Falls and Calypso Cascades stay on the Wild Basin Trail, although this will add about .7 miles one way to the hike. Hike around 2 miles through the campsites until you arrive at the Thunder Lake/Lion Lake Junction. By taking the campsite shortcut, and a brief stop by Castle Lakes, we arrived at Lion Lake #1 in just under 6.5 miles.
There are a number of back country wilderness campsites in this area including: Pine Ridge, Tahosa, Aspen Knoll Llama, Siskin and North St. Vrain campgrounds.
Lion Lake trail is overall easy to follow, although there are several sections that were rocky with uneven terrain. In the summer you are greeted with sounds of running water and wildflowers all around the lake.
Lion Lakes Winter Access
During the winter and heavy snows, the road to the Wild Basin trailhead may be closed. This could add up to 6 miles round trip to your entire hike. For this reason hiking to Lion Lakes may be best suited in the summer months.
Tips for Reaching Lion Lakes
- Get an early start, a this is a long hike with lots of mileage covered.
- Bring sunscreen and be prepared for all kinds of weather, rain, snow and high winds.
- This is not a beginners hike. Recommend going with someone experienced and being in good physical shape.
- Consider back country camping in the Wild Basin (reservations required) to make it an easier hike to and from Lion Lakes and beyond.