Nast Lake

Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 8713 - 8729 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Nast Lake
Fee: none
Attractions: Forest lake

Nast Lake is located in the White River National Forest east of Basalt, Colorado. The small lake is popular for water activities such as floating and paddle boarding and makes a great setting for a picnic.

To get to the trailhead from Basalt drive east on the Fryingpan Road for 32 miles and turn right at the sign for Nast Lake.

The Nast Lake and Granite Lakes trailheads are both located right next to each other after crossing the bridge over the Frying Pan River. No parking is allowed along the road once you pass the Nast Lake trailhead. Both the Nast Lake and Granite Lakes trailheads are actually side by side. The sign seems to imply that the Granite Lakes trailhead is further up the road but that isn't the case. You do have to walk up the road a short distance to find the elusive start of the Granite Lakes trail.

A service road (closed to vehicles) leads from the trailhead down to the lake.

On this day there were a few paddle boarders cruising around the lake and some kids that had been playing in the shallow water near where their family was having a picnic.

Blue diamonds on some of the trees mark a cross county skiing and snowshoeing route that goes part way around the lake.

Below the berm that was built up so the lake could hold more water are a couple of primitive campsites that don't require a fee.

We didn't notice any fish in the lake but there were several people fishing along the Fryingpan River near the trailhead.

We did notice some moose scat on the trail as we approached Nast Lake so there is a chance that you might have an encounter. Remember not to approach them if they do happen to be in the area. They can charge up to 35 MPH and if you get between a cow and her calf she will most likely trample you. Bull moose can be very unpredictable. We've had them just stand there and ignore us, charge our vehicle, and act like they were getting ready to charge while hiking if we came any closer. Moose don't stay in any one spot very long so if you give them their space they will most likely drift on soon enough. In Alaska we used to see them out in the middle of lakes like this one feeding on the weeds. We were told the plants in the lakes were a source of magnesium that the moose could not live without. Moose stories aside, Nast Lake is a nice relaxing destination that requires very little effort to enjoy. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.