Lake Dillon Overlook

Lake Dillon Overlook

The Colorado winter seemed to creep well into our cherished springtime this year and with the final snow falling in May I anxiously awaited for the snow to melt and trails to clear.  Well the time has finally come and I couldn’t be more excited to kick off summer hiking this week with a trip to Lily Pad Lakes in Frisco Colorado.


Lily Pad Lakes Trail

Lily Pad Lakes Trail

Lily Pad Lakes are located just on the east side of Frisco and Lake Dillon.  These lakes are nestled at the base of Buffalo Mountain in the Eagles Nest Wilderness.  This is a perfect hike to get back into the swing of summer.  It’s considered a moderate to easy hike and should only take around 2-3 hours to complete; the perfect remedy for a free afternoon, or early morning adventure.


Finding the Meadow Creek Trailhead can be a little tricky, but only because it is not visible from any other major roads.  As soon as you take exit 203 to Frisco and Breckenridge you will come up to a roundabout, follow to the right and take the second turn off onto the dirt road that will run parallel to I-70 West.  From here chase the road down and you will end at the trailhead parking lot.

Miner's Cabin

Miner’s Cabin


Keep your head on a swivel as you hike; the trail to Lily Pad Lakes is filled with sweeping views of Lake Dillon and Buffalo Mountain.  The trail is well marked with wooden posts, as you follow in the old foot paths of fur traders.  There is also an abandoned Miners cabin off in the woods near the initial ascent of the hike.


Once you have reached the top you’ll find two beautiful lakes, the upper lake is filled with lily pads.  The lily pads will bloom with vibrant yellow flowers come mid-summer.  The trail continues up and over the ridge into the Wildernest area of Silverthorne, if you’re feeling so inclined you can always carry on ending your trek in the Ryan Gulch Road Trailhead.  To loop back from Ryan Gulch Road will make your trip a total of 6.4 miles, the choice is yours.  Happy Hiking.


Lily Pad Lakes in Bloom

Lily Pad Lakes in Bloom

The Deets:

How far?

  • 73 miles east of Denver

Where to park?

  • Meadow Creek Trailhead located just off Exit 203 from I-70

Trail Mileage?

  • 3.2 Miles roundtrip


  • 9,155 ft – 9,915 ft

Elevation Gain?

  • 760 ft


  • Hiking, Camping allowed out ¼ mile from lakes, Dogs allowed, Photo-OP!

Extra goodies?

  • Town of Frisco, Lake Dillon, Buffalo Mountain