Andrews Lake

Round Trip Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 10,744 - 10,806 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Andrews Lake
Fee: none
Attractions: fishing, picnic

Andrews Lake is located in the San Juan National Forest between Durango and Silverton, Colorado, not too far from the summit of Molas Pass. The Colorado Division of Wildlife manages the lake in partnership with the Forest Service as a Day Use Area and stocks the lake each year with rainbow trout. Those interested in a short hike can follow the 1 mile trail that travels around the lake.

To get there drive 47 miles north of Durango on US - 550 or 7 miles south of Silverton and turn at the sign for the Andrews Lake Day Use Area. Follow the narrow paved road for about 1 mile to the parking area.

For this post we picked up the trail at the kiosk near the restroom.

The first part of the trail is a wheelchair accessible paved path. (There are a couple of bumps where the concrete doesn't line up well.)

The paved path passes 2 accessible fishing spots as it travels across the length of the dam.

At the end of the paved path hikers and fishermen can continue on the more primitive trail.

The trail enters the forest as it nears the far end of the lake where hikers will find a low and a high route to pick from.

The higher route offers some nice elevated views of Andrews Lake.

As the trail reaches the upper end of the lake it all but disappears while crossing a meadow.

Once you pick up the trail again you will want to follow the route that isn't choked with brush. Cutting through the brush looks like a good shortcut but it becomes a tangled mess that is best avoided.

On the north side of the lake the trail once again becomes very easy to hike and follow.

We noticed a few people that seemed to be doing okay catching fish. Others were just lounging around enjoying the cool mountain air and the peaceful ambience that Andrews Lake has to offer. Most of the other hikers that we encountered were going in the opposite direction from us which probably makes route finding a little easier at the other end of the lake. The rest of the vehicles in the parking lot were all for people that were hiking up to Crater Lake. For a good place in the mountains, that's easy to get to, to spend a summers day consider Andrews Lake. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.