Baldwin Lake

Buena Vista, Colorado (Chaffee County)

Last Updated: 07/02/2020
4.4 / 5 ( 10 reviews )
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Typically Open: 06/01 - 10/31
Length: 3.22 miles
Highest Elevation: 12606 feet
Duration: About 1 hour
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Buena Vista
Nearest Town w/ Services: Buena Vista
Official Road Name: 277
Management Agency: San Isabel National Forest
District: Salida Ranger District


Highlight: Baldwin Lake
The Baldwin Lake Trail follows the Baldwin Creek drainage, gaining elevation as it climbs out of Baldwin Gulch. The trail offers postcard worthy views of Baldwin Lake as it sits in the basin below Grizzly Mountain (13,708'). The trail is part of the Mount Antero Trail system, and is a side trip off the Mount Antero Trail. Baldwin Lake offers the opportunity for high alpine fishing and the trail continues into the basin above giving a glimpse of the areas past mining history. Views of Mount Antero (14,275') are prominent on the return trip down the valley.


Route Information

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Continue straight on FS 277 to start the Baldwin Lake Trail.

Directions to Trailhead

The Baldwin Lake Trail is part of the Mount Antero trail system and to get to the trailhead, you must first drive to Waypoint 3 of the Mount Antero Trail. At Waypoint 3, continue straight staying FS 277. This marks the beginning of the Baldwin Lake Trail.



Land Use Issues

This area is part of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and as such is part of the 2011 Lawsuit where a coalition of conservation and recreation groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service over what they say is the illegal addition of 500 miles of motorized roads and trails. A settlement was reached in late 2015 that is requiring the U.S. Forest Service to re-evaluate the roads and create a new travel management plan. Over the next year, 30 roads will be partially or completely closed while this evaluation takes place over the next 5 years. It is imperative that the OHV community lets their voices be heard on this issue. If we do nothing, those 500 miles **will be shut down**. Contact the local ranger districts and let them know why the area is important to you and the history you have there. Salida Forest Service District Office Leadville Forest Service District Office

Trail Reviews (18)

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: Any idea if this trail is open as of August 2021? The latest trail review seems to be Oct. '20. Thanks.
–Obtuse Angler (08/03/2021)
–Marcus Trusty (08/03/2021)
Q: Looking to do Baldwin Gulch road to treeline to Hike Antero this weekend. I will be in a stock 4Runner TRD Premium with 265/70/17 Perelli Scorpion AT Plus tires. Should I be fine on this trail with this setup? Any risk of scraping or body damage?
–Chris (07/09/2020)
–Marcus Trusty (07/09/2020)
Q: I may be mistaken but I don't think you can finish this trail by vehicle anymore. I got up to the point where you can park and hike over to Baldwin lake but there was a sign not allowing motorized vehicles past that corner right after the pull off.
–Richard Skelton (07/02/2018)
–Marcus Trusty (07/02/2018)

Writer Information

Marcus Trusty

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Marcus is a 4th generation Buena Vista, Colorado native who grew up bouncing around the central Colorado mountains in the back of his dad's CJ5. During his younger years, Marcus grew to appreciate public lands and the recreation opportunities backroads and 4-wheel drive trails offer. Marcus has been wheeling for 20 years now and has wheeled in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and California. Until a few years ago Marcus had just been a participant in the wheeling community, but he has become much more active in preserving trails and working to make sure the wheeling community has their access maintained for future generations. In 2017 Marcus helped to found Colorado Off Road Enterprise - CORE, based out of Buena Vista. CORE has worked with the Forest Service and BLM and has volunteer agreements in place with both organizations. CORE also has a Forest Service trail adoption agreement in place for Grizzly Lake, Pomeroy Lake, Hancock Lake, Hancock Pass, and Tincup Pass, Tomichi Pass, Williams Pass, Ptarmigan Lake, Mineral Basin, Clohesy Lake, Lost Canyon, Champion Mill, Iron Mike Mine, and Slide Lake. If Marcus is not working you can generally find him somewhere out on the trails around Buena Vista.
For individual use only, not to be shared.