The Silver Dollar Lake is another one of Colorado’s beautiful alpine lakes. The Silver Dollar Lake Trail is a popular hike just south of the Guanella pass campground.
The Silver Dollar Lake Trail begins at the first parking lot just off Guanella pass road (a new paved parking lot with plenty of spaces provided you get there early)- the first ¼ mile of the hike is a four-wheel drive road that leads to a second parking lot and the trail head.
This quiet hike is a continuous, gentle incline up to the lakes. It begins in an area of lodge pole pine forest, then through some willow scrub and eventually opens up with fewer trees and open hills. The surroundings are breathtaking as you come out above the forested area. The high snow-covered mountain peaks and boulder fields and forest around the lower lake are very beautiful. It can be cool and windy even in mid summer.
If you hike this trail before July, plan on hiking through some snow in shady areas. (We went in June and lost the trail several times because of the snow). One difficulty with this trail is that it is not clearly marked with signs so look for the dirt path and indicators of foot traffic if you lose the trail in the snow.
We chose to hike only to the first lake (Naylor Lake) because of the steep boulder field leading to Silver Dollar Lake. Eating on the top of the hill overlooking Naylor Lake was quite beautiful and refreshing with the sun and the brisk wind. Naylor Lake is private property so look for the signs indicating where the boundary is.
Restrooms only available at nearby campground.