Alta Lakes

Ophir, Colorado (San Miguel County)

Last Updated: 07/23/2021
4.1 / 5 ( 9 reviews )
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Highlight: Alta Lakes
Alta Lakes is another in a long list of off-road trails in the Telluride area, which will stun you with its incredible beauty and easy access. Being that the beginning of the trail is a few feet off the highway, it is easily reached by anyone in the Telluride/Silverton area, and it should not be missed. As the road climbs to the Alta Ghost Town, it pops out of the trees every now and again to reveal breath-taking views of Wilson Peak, Lizard Head, Sunshine Mountain, and the Wilson Mesas. As you pass the Alta ruins and old mill site, the number of camping spots increases significantly. Although there are not many big camping areas, you will find countless double tracks traveling into the bushes, most of which are well worth exploring. The lakes themselves offer a great place to fish, paddleboard, swim, or camp. Although Alta Lakes Road is decently short (just about 5 miles), it is gorgeous and well worth the drive, especially if you are attempting to find a great dispersed campsite.

Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Trail Start (0 mi)
The trail starts on the east side of Highway 145 and begins climbing immediately.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Ophir, Colorado

From the South: From the town of Ophir, travel approximately 4 miles north on Highway 145 until you see a turnoff for Alta Lakes on your right. From the North: From the town of Telluride, travel west on Highway 145. Then follow signs at the roundabout for Mountain Village/Highway 145 South. After turning south, travel 5.3 miles on 145 until you see the turnoff for Alta Lakes on your left.



Trail Reviews (11)

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Hi Eli, I have a 10 ft off road camper, kind of a teardrop style. Would there be any problems hauling it up to the lakes? Nicci
–Nicci (12/19/2017)
–Bryan Hildebrand (07/07/2021)
–Brett Brogdon (12/21/2017)
Q: Hey Eli Was wondering how populated the three lake get the wife and I are planing on getting there around eleven am on wednesday after the fourth of July and was kinda concerned about getting a good camping spot thanks for your time
–David (06/27/2017)
–Eli Gray (06/28/2017)

Writer Information

Ryan Boudreau

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Hi, I'm Ryan! I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion". I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure. My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and California. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others. If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.
For individual use only, not to be shared.