Silver Jack Shoreline Trail

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 8171 - 9085 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Silver Jack Fishing Access
Fee: none
Attractions: Mountain scenery, fishing




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The Silver Jack Shoreline trail is located in the Mountain Division of the Uncompahgre National Forest east of Montrose, Colorado. Besides being open to hiking and horseback riding the trail provides access to fishermen hoping to catch some of Silver Jack's rainbow trout, brook trout and kokanee salmon. The trail begins near the East Fork inlet of the Cimarron River and follows the shoreline for less than a mile before it comes to an end on a point above the lake.


To get to the trailhead drive east out of Montrose on Highway 50 for about 20.5 miles and turn right onto the Big Cimarron Road. Follow the Cimarron Road for 18.6 miles to the Silver Jack Fishing Access sign in this picture passing the Forest Service boundary and Big Cimarron Campground at 15 miles, the Beaver Lake Campground at 16 miles and the Silver Jack Campground at 17 miles.


Follow the fishing access road down to the parking area and trailhead.


Watch for the Shoreline trail on your right as you approach the lake heading north.


The obvious trail is easy to follow as it heads in the direction of the dam.


As the trail progresses it crosses several small streams that feed into the lake.


At the far end of the trail it climbs the hillside above the lake. Eventually the trail fades into the hillside and disappears. Turn around at the point of your choosing and head back.


Elevated views of the lake from the hillside make the little effort to climb it worthwhile. Silver Jack Reservoir is fed by 3 main forks of the Cimarron River as well as a handful of small streams.


The mountain scenery in the Silver Jack area never gets old to look at.


Here a hummingbird hawk moth provides the entertainment as it probes the thistles for their sugary treat. Using the same aerobatics as a hummingbird it hovers over the flowers and uncoils the tube, called a proboscis, that is uses like a straw to feed. With only a cursory glance it really does look and sound like an actual hummingbird.


Several families can be seen picnicking on a sandbar while a few individuals are even swimming in the frigid water.


The Silver Jack Reservoir was completed in 1971. The reservoir has what is called a 'morning glory spillway' that is really quite interesting. You can see it near the dam while hiking the Cowboy Lake trail. A surprising number of people come to Silver Jack with no intentions of fishing so it is nice that there are trails like the Silver Jack Shoreline for them to hike. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.