Fall Hike on Three Lakes Trail (29 Sept 2014)

(Last Updated On: April 20, 2015)

The Three Lakes Trail can be another good fall hike. The colors here tend to peak right at the end of September or beginning of October. This day that my friend Susan and I decided to hike the Three Lakes loop, happened to be my birthday. It also happened to be the first day of the season that we received significant snowfall – although our hike was completed before the true snow actually hit.

In reality, the day was gloomy. Clouds hovered low in the sky and the world was darkened by a blanket of gray. Although mists of rain passed through, it was not pouring. Snow had hit the high peaks, but not down low. It’s easy to hide inside in a warm cocoon on days like this. But, sometimes it’s better to just head outside. Susan and I chose the Three Lakes trail for it’s fall scenery and because we knew it would be low enough to be below the clouds.

A view of Lost Lake Slough.
Three Lakes Trail, Lost Lake Slough

A water fall hovers higher up on the southern side of Lost Lake Slough.
Waterfall on Three Lakes Trail

Clouds lingered on the peaks, obscuring them. East Beckwith was shrouded in mist.
East Beckwith in clouds from Three Lakes Trail

Marcellina emerged from the fog for a bit.
Marcellina seen from Three Lakes Trail

Despite the gloom, the fall colors were inviting.
Three Lakes trail in the fall

fall colors on Three Lakes Trail

Next stop: Dollar Lake. The lake is bedded on the slopes below East Beckwith. This day, the scene was calm and serene.
Dollar Lake from Three Lakes Trail

Dollar Lake from Three Lakes Trail

When we crossed the waterfall, we decided to ascend up along it.
waterfall on Three Lakes trail

View of Lost Lake Slough and Marcellina as we ascended.
view from waterfall on Three Lakes Trail

Susan climbing with the world in muted colors.
climbing water fall near Three Lakes trail

The waterfall cascades over a series of benches like this one.
waterfall near Three Lakes trail

Susan enjoying the rather Pacific-Northwest-style scene.
Susan Mol with waterfall near Three Lakes Trail

Lost Lake and Lost Lake Slough behind.Lost Lake and Lost Lake Slough

After descending from the waterfall, we continued along our clockwise loop, stopping to enjoy Lost Lake along the way.
Lost Lake on Three Lakes Trail

Our hike finished where we began, at Lost Lake – cradled in the slopes of the mountains.
East Beckwith and Lost Lake Slough on Three Lakes Trail

As we continued our short walk back to the car which was parked and the horse-trailer lot, the rain came. This time it was more than a mist. Soon, we would be leaving the fall for a taste of winter.

The Three Lakes Trail near Crested Butte is a fairly short hike and great for people of all abilities. The colors should still be good for at least another week. So, get out there and enjoy the last bits of fall!

Want to do this hike yourself?


Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

3 thoughts on “Fall Hike on Three Lakes Trail (29 Sept 2014)

  • August 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Hello, I will be making my first trip to Colorado in late September and will be staying in the CB area part of the time. This hike looks like a great option. There is a good chance of going solo on this hike so with that said, are there any major concerns going solo in this area. Are bears a concern? I ask because of the news all over social media today over the solo hiker who was killed by a bear in Yellowstone 2 days ago. I know Colorado is not Yellowstone but still want to be aware if bears are an issue in this area. Thanks.

  • August 9, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Shane! I hike all the time solo in Crested Butte and have never had a problem. We don’t have a lot of vicious bears, and we don’t have grizzlies. In fact, the most “vicious” bears actually live closer to town and prowl the town through the night. That said, there are always some cases where you could encounter a bear or a mountain lion. But, I’d say, for the most part, this kind of wildlife is pretty shy of people in the Crested Butte area.

  • August 10, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks for the info Brittany. We have black bears here in northern Minnesota and with all the time I spent on trails in the woods, I have yet to see one personally. We don’t have mountain lions that I am aware of but maybe a stray passing through now and then. We also have moose and I have seen them before.

    So these great pictures and report have inspired me to want to hike this trail. Fall is my favorite time of year and I would love to see some aspen trees in their Fall glory as I hope to capture some good pics. I will have 2-3 days in CB and want to experience Kebler Pass as well. Also intriguing to me is the Scarps Ridge Loop. I would probably have time to hike that as well.

    I am very much looking forward to this trip as I will be making a clockwise loop from Aspen to Crested Butte to Crystal Mill and back to Aspen before heading to Estes Park. Can’t wait to experience those beautiful mountains! Thanks again!

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