Bill Moore Lake

4.6/5 (93 reviews)
Empire, Colorado (ClearCreek County)
Last Updated: 06/30/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

About 1 hour from Denver, Colorado and situated within the Arapahoe National Forest the Bill Moore Lake 4X4 Road is one of the trails in the Empire Loop, a network of trails just above Empire, Colorado. Offering amazing alpine scenery and fun hill climbs for both the novice and seasoned, this trail is a must do.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

The Bill Moore Lake Trail is part of the Empire 4X4 Loop. The road follows County Road 251 for the first few miles before it joins Forest Service Road 183.1. 95% of the trail has passing areas except at the very end when you climb down into Bill Moore Lake. It starts within a more wooded area along Country Road 251 which is filled with whoop-de-dos and washouts. Once you pass the Conqueror Mine it follows a shelf road before one last narrow switch back. It finally joins with Forest Service Road 183.1 where the forest thickens before it climbs to the fringes of timberline giving way to a general alpine and open space. Once in the alpine zone there are plenty of moderately steep climbs with loose rock. It connects with the Mill Creek and Red Elephant Hill Loop. 4 low and high clearance recommended.

Trail Reviews

4.6/5 (94 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/23/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Amazing trail but much closer to a 5 at this point. Super gnarly and off camber now. Didn't run it all the way to the lake because the snow was starting to pile up. You'd probably be fine with lockers but my TJ and friends XJ was struggling.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/12/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

It's been ten years since we last ran this trail-until today. The conditions sure have changed since then, with some spots a bit rougher than I remember. Still a great trail with beauty all around. And no one else was up there!!!!!! Awesome.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/21/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Tried this last year as a novice in a stock Xterra, turned around between 5-6 as I was alone and concerned about clearance. Returned this year with a lift, 33’s and more experienced, no issues. It is a rock pile of trail, you should have solid off road tires. Also I didn’t see anyone all day, it could be long hike if you need help. Nice views and the lake is beautiful. I would say the current 4-5 rating is accurate, if you have smallish tires like me be prepared for a long bumpy ride.
Status: Open
Visited: 09/17/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

The trail rating for this felt like a solid 5 overall. As noted by other reviews the Whoopdie Doo #2 is getting pretty beat up. From checkpoint 17 onto the lake, it is narrow with steep sections. Traffic was light for us and we found one of the only spots to pull to the side to let 6 side-by-side go by heading uphill. Which were the most vehicles we had passed all day. This was my first time running this trail and I found it was just what we needed for a day out on a trail.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/17/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The more difficult rating for Bill Moore is most certainly justified. Whoopdie Doo #2 is a much bigger challenge than in the past. The switch back just afterwards is also a challenge. Be careful and choose your line carefully. A new Frontier Pro 4 was able to make it in and out without issue, so it can be done by most 4x4s with good tires. Once you get to the lake, boy oh boy are you in for a treat. The lake is absolutely beautiful. Fun times!
Trail Review: Bill Moore Lake - Rick Boyett

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