Trappers Lake (9,627′), Flat Tops

Roughly a mile and a half long and half a mile wide, reaching depths of 180 feet, Trappers Lake is the second-largest natural lake in Colorado after Grand Lake. You reach the lake by taking the Flat Tops Scenic Byway from Yampa or Meeker.

The trail around the lake is named for Arthur Carhart, whose survey near Trappers Lake in 1919 inspired him to recommend preserving the area for future generations. Arthur Carhart’s efforts set the stage for the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the National Wilderness Preservation System which includes Trappers Lake and the rest of the Flat Tops Wilderness.

StatsRoute DescriptionDirectionsNotes

Trailhead: Arthur H Carhart Trail #1815
Round trip: 5.5 miles / 8.8 km
Elevation: 9,627′ – 9,950′ (323′) / 2,934m – 3,033m (99m)

From the end of Trappers Lake road, take the Arthur H Carhart Trail in either direction around the lake. The trailhead is next to the Trappers Lake Overlook. The trail is easy to follow in summer conditions.

The trail is adjacent to the Trappers Lake Overlook.

A skeletal forest of dead spruce and fir stretches across the slopes, the eerie legacy of a 1940’s bark beetle epidemic. Then in 2002, more than 17,000 acres burned around Trappers Lake from a lightning strike.





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