Chaffee County, Colorado
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Trail Type: Out and Back
Nearby Towns: Buena Vista, Nathrop
Nearby Trails: Iron Chest, Mount Antero, Boulder Mountain, Grizzly Lake, Tincup Pass, Hancock Pass
Trail Length: 3.4 miles
Elevation: 11,020 to 12,559
This is one of the more challenging trails out of all of the trails in the area. It begins by the creek just off of the county road, and it ends at an old mine shaft and an old collapsed building about a mile west of the lakes. You will need a high-clearance vehicle, because at the top there are a lot of large rocks that make the trail quite challenging.
The start of the Baldwin Lake trail is located where you cross the creek near the start of the Mount Antero trail. Instead of going across the creek to continue up to Mount Antero you keep going straight to take the Baldwin Lake trail.
After the first small hill climb, there is a big camping area by Baldwin Creek. At this point, the trail gets a lot steeper. You will also find big rocks on the trail for another mile or so.
Then, the trail becomes a short but narrow shelf road. At the end of the shelf road, you can take a right turn to go to the Boulder Mountain trail. Continue to the left to stay on the Baldwin Lake trail.
Soon you will be by the first of the Baldwin Lakes. There are some camping sites around this area. At the far side of the lake, you will see a road that is closed to vehicular traffic. You can hike the closed road to the upper Baldwin Lake.
The rest of the Baldwin Lake trail becomes more difficult just before the end of the trail due to its increased roughness and bigger rocks to negotiate. For the most part, there is only one line you can take to stay on the trail. At the end you will find the Baldwin Mine. At this point, you must turn around and go back the way you came.
Information last updated on September 22nd, 2010.
From Denver, take Highway 285 south to just past Nathrop. Chaffee County Road 162 goes west from Highway 285 toward the Chalk Cliffs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs. After crossing Baldwin Creek (marked with a sign) you will see the sign to Mount Antero. Take the Mount Antero trail for 2.7 miles to the trailhead on the right.
Meet in Conifer on Highway 285 at the Bradley gas station. Those coming from Colorado Springs will want to meet at Johnson's Village instead and not come that far north.