Length: 3.8 miles to Waterdog Lake
Difficulty: Moderate walking at high altitude
Season of use: Mid-June through October
Amount of Use: Light hiking, horseback, and mountain biking
Beginning: 8,600 ft.
Ending: 11,100 ft.
How to Get There: Cross the bridge at the north end of Lake City from Highway 149. Turn left and continue one block. Turn left again to the sewage treatment plant.
Trailhead Parking/Camping: Park just outside of the sewage treatment plant fence in the area indicated with signs. No camping is available at the trailhead. Camping is permitted at Waterdog Lake.
Attractions: Waterdog Lake Trail begins on the edge of Lake City, eliminating a long distance drive. After covering some beautiful territory, the trail ends at scenic Waterdog Lake. This is a good spot for fishing, camping or a picnic. It is also a beautiful area during the change of fall colors in mid September.
Narrative: From the sewage treatment plant, walk along the road for 1/4 mile. Just before the first house you see look for a sign on the right that indicates where the trail leaves the road. Please stay on the trail for the first 1/4 mile or so as it passes through private land. Climbing steadily up the rocky hillside, the trail reaches public land near the power line. Along this first climb, turn around to catch some sights of Lake City. Continuing on public land for another mile through a large stand of aspen, the trail comes to the north end of scenic Horse Park. This area is privately owned and hikers are not allowed to travel any further south. At this point, follow the sign as the trail turns left (northeast) sharply and continues through aspen for about a mile. Most of this stretch is also private land, so please stay on the trail and respect the private land. Eventually crossing a creek, the trail joins a jeep road. Turn left and follow the road on up to Waterdog Lake.
Hazards/Considerations: Make sure to stay on the trails when crossing private land. Signs are posted, indicating when public lands are being entered and exited. Signs also point in the direction of the trails that need to be followed. It is important to be prepared for typical July and August afternoon thundershowers. Stay off ridges and away from open ground to avoid lightening strikes during storms. Be sure to bring sunscreen, rain gear and drinking water. Remember, hiking at high altitude requires more time and energy. Take your time, enjoy the scenery and avoid overexertion. Be sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.
Created by the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado
Point of Contact: Jim Lovelace
Last modified: January 6, 2011