Bill Moore Lake

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4.6/5 (116 reviews)
Empire, Colorado (Clear Creek County)
Last Updated: 11/01/2023
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Trail Information


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Camping Category Icon Camping
Forest Category Icon Forest
Mine Category Icon Mine
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About an hour from Denver and situated within the Arapahoe National Forest, Bill Moore Lake 4X4 Road is one of the Empire Loop trails just above Empire, Colorado.  This trail offers amazing alpine scenery and fun hill climbs for novice and seasoned wheelers.  At the end of the rough terrain, you are rewarded with a magnificent alpine lake on the edge of the James Peak Wilderness.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

The Bill Moore Lake Trail is an out-and-back trail considered to be part of the Empire 4X4 Loop.  Ninety-five percent of the trail has passing areas except for a quarter-mile stretch between Waypoints 16 and 17.  The trail begins by following County Road 251 for the first couple miles through a more wooded area filled with whoop-de-dos and washouts.  Once you pass the Conqueror Mine, it follows a shelf road before one last narrow switchback.  The road first joins with Forest Service Road 171.1 for 300 yards and then joins 183.1, where the forest thickens before it climbs to the fringes of the timberline, giving way to a general alpine and open space.  Once in the alpine zone, there are plenty of moderately steep climbs with loose rocks.  4 low and high clearance are recommended for this trail, along with undercarriage protection.

Trail Reviews

4.6/5 (117)
Partially Open
Visited: 11/26/2023

We ran this on Saturday and made it all the way to the lake with three built trucks. I’d say no one else will make it to the lake till at least late spring, we had a blast.
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Visited: 10/29/2023

Recent snow storms have blanketed the trail creating dangerous driving conditions and rendering the trail impassable.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/09/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Super fun trail. Ran with lifted 4th gen 4runner. I wouldn’t recommend with a stock height ride.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/16/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Did a 2nd successful solo nighttime run of half of Bill Moore Lake. Camped at the halfway point, then continued the rest of the trail the next morning. Took a different vehicle instead of my Wrangler this time. Ran it this time with my Black 3rd Gen Jeep Grand Cherokee with QuadraDrive II, factory ELSD’s front and rear, a high mileage 5.7 V8 Hemi, and a 2-inch Old Man Emu lift on 31’s. Only scraped a few times on the front lower control arms, since ground clearance at that point is only about 9 inches. Otherwise, had no issues, even taking the hard lines. The factory QuadraDrive II ELSD’s played a big role with being able to drive over rocks and ruts without struggle. The KC lights mounted on the Gobi roof rack helped with making the nighttime run super fun and also very successful.
Trail Review: Bill Moore Lake - Christopher Li
Trail Review: Bill Moore Lake - Christopher Li
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Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/04/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Mellow trail that could be done in a stock(I’m not talking jeep renegade) or lightly modified rig. Pretty bumpy and not much in the way of obstacles. The lake is an awesome place to hang out and have lunch. Don’t forget the poser flex shot at the lake!
Trail Review: Bill Moore Lake - Daniel
Trail Review: Bill Moore Lake - Daniel

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