Crater Lake Trail HikingTrail RunningWinter Recreation

Trail Length
5.4 miles
Distance from Durango
41 miles
1300 ft
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Crater Lake Trail

Hiking, Trail Running, Winter Recreation
Durango to TH

41 Miles


1300 Feet



Trail Length

5.4 Miles

Photo by Baker McKonly

Part of the High Country Trails.

This trail begins at Andrews Lake just south of Molas Pass on US 550. The whole trail is highly used to Crater Lake, so there shouldn’t be any issue route finding (unless you are doing a winter snowshoe or skin) to Crater Lake.

The trail to Crater Lake is just under 5.5 miles, but higher elevation routes sometimes feel longer. Take several switchbacks and gain some elevation before meeting the first meadow. You’ll seem to repeat yourself as you climb a “step”, go into a meadow, and go back into the forest.

At about mile 4.5, you’ll come to a large area with many downed trees due to a microburst several years ago. During the hike, if you have forgotten mileage, know this, that once at the downed trees, you are close to the lake.

After the downed trees, you’ll descend into a small valley and then ascend the other side. On top, you’ll come to a large pond which you’ll skirt. Continue to skirt the pond and come upon Crater Lake.

If you have arrived at Crater lake and decide that that wasn’t enough… good, there are options. One is to simply explore the area, it’s beautiful. Or, for those who want some quad and lung-busting elevation, continue on to North Twilight.

-Description from Hiking Project.


Map & Directions

Map Coordinates: 37.699153, -107.726119

Where's the Trailhead?


Andrew’s Lake Parking Area

Molas Pass Trailhead

To Andrew’s Lake: From 9th Street & Main Avenue, head north on Main Avenue (Hwy 550). Roughly 40 miles north of Durango on U.S. Highway 550, turn right onto Andrew’s Lake Road and follow to the trailhead at the end of the road.


help build our trails!

No upcoming trailwork events are currently scheduled.

Trip Reports and Recent Photos

Crater Lake

Submitted by: Baker McKonly

Date Visited:


Trail Condition:



The trail is in excellent shape. The water crossing are easy enough to get across without getting your feet wet. From Crater Lake to North Twilight peak is snow free. The wildflower bloom appears to be several weeks out

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