Located near Centura Health in Avon right off of I-70. An innovative natural science learning campus for residents and visitors of the Eagle Valley. Free and open to the public.

318 Walking Mountains Lane, Avon, CO 81620

Located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola on Vail Mountain out of Lionshead Village, Vail. All visitors must have a pass to ride the gondola. Free and open to the public with valid gondola pass.
Nestled along Gore Creek near the Betty Ford Alpine Garden and Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail Village.
601 Vail Valley Drive, Vail, CO 81657

Walking Mountains Blog

Hike Of The Week: Lonesome Lake Holy Cross Wilderness

Posted by Peter Suneson on Aug 28, 2018 8:52:43 AM
Peter Suneson

Trail Name: Lonesome Lake

Walking Mountains' weekly hikes are hand picked by our hiking guides and environmental educators to get you out on the most beautiful trails at the most scenic time of year. Whether it's wildflower blooms or beating the crowds, Walking Mountains' team of nature nerds is out there to show you the best experience on our vast public lands and wild environments. Check back next week for another timely and beautiful, Hike of the Week.


Roughly 5.5+ to the lake.

Subjective rating:
Quite moderate! This is a long trail, but an easier trek to a near-alpine lake.

What to Expect:

The trail to Lonesome Lake begins towards the end of Homestake Road, roughly a mile or so before the lake and just before the split that takes you up to the reservoir or to the service buildings. The trail quickly ascends into the Holy Cross Wilderness leaving the Homestake Water Project behind. Remnants of the older trail and reclaimed access roads are visible as you hike into the first of two long, gorgeous meadows. 

Near the end of the second meadow, the trail slowly begins to increase in elevation as the false summits, more geologically known as "terminal moraines," appear.

Many hikers know the Lonesome Lake trail for the seemingly endless number of “lake must be there” moments. Eventually, hikers will reach the glacially carved cirque, which holds the small mountain lake, or tarn, that we call Lonesome Lake. Enjoy the peace and quiet if you show up alone because the gray jay’s will be keeping you company in no time.

Stewardship Message:
Lonesome Lake, Missouri Lakes, and other alpine lakes in the area catch and hold water allowing local ecosystems to flourish. Contrast these natural systems with the massive Homestake Reservoir, which sends water through miles of tunnels to reach the front range, to get an immediate impact of the scarcity of water in our area. Drink plenty of water on the trail, but when at home and on the job, be water smart and do your part to encourage water conservation.

Hike with Walking Mountains:
Walking Mountains Science Center leads guided hikes year round for people of all ages and abilities. To see a schedule, visit www.walkingmountains.org or stop by one of their Eagle Valley Locations:
In Avon at the Buck Creek Campus behind the hospital
On Vail Mountain at the Nature Discovery Center
At the Vail Nature Center near the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
In Vail Village at the Vail Nature Concierge



Topics: Hike Of The Week

Peter Suneson

Written by Peter Suneson

Peter Suneson is the Community Outreach Coordinator and manages the backcountry hiking and snowshoeing programs at Walking Mountains Science Center. He invites you out on the trail with him to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of our local trails (just not his boots!).