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“Another great trail in Aspen”

Cathedral Lake Trail
Ranked #20 of 111 things to do in Aspen
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Attraction details
Owner description: This excellent hiking area outside Aspen is ideal for beginners and those who enjoy easier trails.
Reviewed 16 November 2012

Have done this trail a couple of times and have enjoyed it a lot. Round Trip was maybe 4-5 hours...starts off through some aspens but once you get above them, the view opens up. There is a rather steep section as you approach the split off to the lake and it may look intimidating, but it is not that bad if you take it slow. the Lake was a great place to have lunch and the dramatic views of the sheer cliffs do remind you of a cathedral.

1  Thank aujmk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"great hike"
in 7 reviews
"steep switchbacks"
in 3 reviews
"tough hike"
in 3 reviews
"live at sea level"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 3 reviews
"rock formations"
in 2 reviews
"mile hike"
in 2 reviews
"maroon bells"
in 2 reviews
"feet"
in 8 reviews
"altitude"
in 6 reviews
"kicker"
in 2 reviews
"miles"
in 11 reviews
"pass"
in 15 reviews
"trail"
in 28 reviews
"payoff"
in 2 reviews
"road"
in 7 reviews
"novice"
in 2 reviews
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47 - 51 of 65 reviews

Reviewed 21 October 2012

This was a really nice hike. It was 3 miles each way. I would describe the trail as a steady uphill climb with a few sections that were quite steep. The view is fantastic the whole way, so even if you do not make it to the lake, it is still a great hike. We did the hike in late October; there were patches of snow and mud. We also went about a mile up the trail towards Electric Pass; that was also beautiful and provided views looking down on Cathedral Lake from a higher vantage point. It was warm in the parking lot, but windy and chilly at the lake. We were in no hurry, and it took us 5 hours counting the additional time on the Electric Pass trail and time for lunch at the lake.

Thank Julie102790
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2012

We did this hike originally thinking we would stop at Cathedral Lake. We started early in the morning and were lucky to see a couple of deer. This trail is pretty steep, especially if you're not used to the altitude and the trailhead starts at 9,800ft. There's a couple of aspen forests to go through and a couple of boulder and scree fields before a very steep switchback. From there it isn't far to the lake (11.800) and we made it in a couple of hours. From the lake you have a gorgeous view of Cathedral Peak and it's mountains and of Electric Pass. Since it was a fairly clear day and we had a bit of energy left, we decided to continue up to the Pass. The trail is quite gentle and meandering but most of it is above 12,000ft so you'll feel the altitude. But the hike is worth it- the views from the Pass are incredible and you'll have the satisfaction of climbing to 13,500ft! Be extremely careful up here, thunderstorms usually fire up by late morning/early afternoon and you do NOT want to be caught up here in the open. We were lucky with our weather and were able to have a later start to the Pass(11am) and a later start down (1:30). A highly recommended hike!

Thank mbloser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2012

Cathedral Lake is well worth the hike up to it, but casual hikers should be aware that you will gain 2000 feet of elevation in the course of a relatively short hike. In guidebooks it is generally listed as a moderate hike, but that may be underselling the amount of effort needed to get to the top. It is definitely one of the prettiest and most enjoyable hikes close to Aspen.

1  Thank Scott R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 August 2012

Cathedral Lake is in a beautiful shelf area surrounded by scenic rocky peaks. The lake sits at over 11,800 feet, at treeline, and the few trees that still grow at this elevation are the stunted conifers known as krumholtz. Willow thickets, and tundra make up the remaining vegetation, making this a good place to take in alpine wildflowers. Pikas, pine grosbeaks and ptarmigan are resident animals, with the occasional marmot thrown in for good measure. The lake has a good population of cutthroat trout easily observed from most of the rocky shore.

The well maintained and easy to follow trail is about 2.5 to 2.75 miles long, and gains over 2,000 feet. The only real creek crossing is spanned by a planed log bridge, so you can usually keep your feet dry, unless you go early in the summer and the run-off is particularly heavy. This is a steep trail, with numerous switchbacks, at fairly high elevation. If I were writing this review for an outdoor oriented audience, it would fall into the moderately strenuous category. Plan on a minimum of one and a half hours hike to the lake if you are reasonably fit (I don't do trail running, so cannot comment on this use of the trail). If you do not routinely engage in strenuous exercise at elevation, you will find the hike more difficult, and even a moderate pace will leave you panting for breath. Allow considerably more time if your hiking pace is normally less than two mph under steep conditions. Adequate footwear will make the hike far more enjoyable (hiking boots or trail running shoes). Sharp rocks you will encounter on the crossing of talus slopes make sandals a questionable choice for this hike.

The Cathedral lake trail provides a splendid glimpse into the myriad of incredible landscapes in this vicinity, and will well reward the prepared hiker (bring rain gear, a sweater, plenty of water, something to eat, your camera). A side trip for the eager hiker takes you to Electric Pass at 13,500 feet. Keep an eye on the weather if you attempt the pass. It's not called "Electric" pass without reason.

1  Thank MisterGoat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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