Sweetwater Nature Trail

Round Trip Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 7819 - 7865 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Ute Trail
Fee: none (camping-$8)
Attractions: Scenic lake views

The Sweetwater Nature trail is located in the White River National Forest near Dotsero, Colorado. Beginning off of the Ute trail the Sweetwater Nature trail travels out to a restful overlook that provides scenic views of Sweetwater Lake.

From I-70 take Exit 133 at Dotsero and drive north on the Colorado River Road for 7 miles and turn west onto the Sweetwater Creek Road, CR# 40. Follow the Sweetwater Creek Road for 9.8 miles and turn left into the Sweetwater Campground. The campground has 9 non-reservable sites that are available on a first come basis. Six of the sites can accommodate vehicle and RV lengths up to 30 feet.

From the parking area find the beginning of the Ute trail that leaves the road from behind the restroom.

The easy to follow Ute trail begins a gentle climb away from the campground as it travels through a thicket of gamble oaks.

After a short distance the trail begins working its way around the hillside where more and more pine trees are growing.

About a quarter mile from the campground the Sweetwater Nature trail branches off on the right.

Here a semi sparse forest shelters the trail as it continues along the side of the mountain above the lake.

As the trail approaches the overlook it drops about 50 feet in elevation.

The fenced overlook has several benches that provide a place from which to relax and enjoy the view.

Sweetwater Lake is long and skinny. Most of the north side of the lake is on private property.

The normally calm waters make the lake popular with paddle boarders and kayaks.

The Sweetwater Nature trail gets used mostly by people that are staying in the campground that are looking for a short hike to do when they aren't fishing or recreating upon the water. Hiking up the Cross Creek trail to Indian Cave to see the rock art is another popular option. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.