Crescent Lake

4.2/5 (13 reviews)
McCoy, Colorado (Eagle County)
Last Updated: 06/06/2023

Trail Information


While this trail seems to linger and take the better portion of a day, it is a very rewarding ending with beautiful clear lakes and gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. This area is also far enough from the front range and out of the way that you do not see many people. At the far end of Mackinaw Lake, there is a hiking trail that takes you up onto the mountain ridge just to the west.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.3/5 (13)
Official Crew
Visited: 06/06/2023

Open for the season
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/27/2021

This was my first Difficult trail. We did it in our 2008 Chevy Trailblazer with a 3" lift on stock tires. I would not take this vehicle here again. We bottomed out more than 50 times, dented the muffler, and popped a tire. The trail took us 6 hours because we had to constantly get out to check our lines and clearance. There was a deep water crossing after point 16 (Rocky Climb) that almost swallowed our vehicle. It had rained the day before and the water was over 30" deep. I walked across the water 3 times and it was only knee height, but we slid to the uphill right side and into the deepest part. The left side had a good bottom to it that was much easier on the way out. We spent two nights at Crescent Lake. We brought an inflatable boat and a paddle board. The water was very cold, and so was the beer.
Visited: 08/12/2021

Went last week. My first difficult-rated trail. In on 12 Aug and out 15 Aug. One highly modified jeep. Not sure how high the lift is but is is high and 38.5" tires. One 2011 Tacoma. 3" lift and 33" tires. Trail is very rough. Water at the stream crossing was low. Several muddy puddles on the trail but no more than a foot deep. Trail up to Emerald Lake is just a matter of very rough/bumpy. After that you do have to pay a lot more attention to tire placement. Smashed the RV power receptacle on the Tacoma coming down off some rocks. The replacement is going into the bumper next to the license plate. Camped at the very end of the trail. Quite a few more people than we expected. For a couple of days there were five groups camping around Crescent and Mackinaw Lakes. A total of 19 people, including my group. On Saturday a group of seven day-tripping ATVs came buzzing in and parked so close to a camp near us they were almost in the camp. I think anyone who has done a lot of dispersed camping or backpacking is probably used to unburied toilet paper around campsites. However, a first for me was finding used tampons near a campsite. And someone had defecated right next to the runoff from Mackinaw to Crescent Lake and left it on the surface. Very inconsiderate of other people and the environment. Ride out easier than the ride in.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/01/2021

We ran up this trail on 7/29 and back on 8/1 (4Runner TRD Off Road, 2" lift and 33s). On the way up it looked like it hadn't rained in a few days and the mud wasn't that bad. It took us a little over 3 hours driving straight through. I agree with other posts: this trail is relentlessly rocky, but the final destination is worth it. We spent 3 nights next to Crescent lake and it rained every afternoon and most of each night. The trail was much different on the way back. The rocks were much more slippery and there was a lot more mud. I would definitely watch the weather the day or two prior to your trip. We would have struggled to get up with the conditions we had going down.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 06/06/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Went up this past weekend. Absolutely gorgeous highly recommend this trail. I will caution on weigh point 10. The right hand side (going uphill) is very washed out. We had one person in our party got stuck and another person in a different rig from a different group got stuck in this area, going both directions. There is a small pond feeding this area. Someone had stacked several logs in the rut which made it worse, by damming the water in the rut. Do your best to stay to the high side. We did remove some of the logs which did clear out some of the water and hopefully will dry out. Multiple vehicles have slid into the hillside dealing with this section and it has created a solid moderate off camber rating and substantial erosion issue. The creek crossing at weigh point 12 is bone dry. We camped at Emerald Lake for three nights and it was wonderful! Great fishing as well. Went all the way to the end no snow blocking the the trail but it was wet from the snow drift on the sides of the trail.

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