Loch Lomond Colorado Off-Road Guide 2022

Loch Lomond Colorado: The perfect escape is Loch Lomond, which offers stunning views, beautiful lakes, and plenty of trails. The lake is approximately 4.6 miles long.

You can either hike or drive up in your 4×4. You will be immersed in an Arcadia of beautiful streams, seasonal wildflowers, and idyllic nature, no matter which route you choose.

Loch Lomond Colorado

Loch Lomond, a popular hiking spot and off-road trail near Denver, Colorado is a great choice. 

This is a paradise for adventurers with a glacier-fed waterfall, steep ledges, and a popular Jeep trail near Idaho Springs.

It’s also a favorite spot for 4x4s, ATVs, and cyclists. Adventurers see Loch Lomond be a great alternative for the more crowded Rocky Mountain National Park or Indian Peaks Wilderness. 

It is only a one-hour drive from Denver that takes you to the picturesque Reynolds Lake, Steuart Lake, and Ohman Lakes, as well as Ice Lake below James Peak. 

Hobbyists who fish, camp, or go off-roading on the Loch have always known about its popularity. This article will highlight one of the most beautiful spots in the region.

Loch Lomond Colorado

Loch Lomond Colorado

Loch Lomond is a trail that runs 4.6 miles in the Arapaho National Forest, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. 

This area is known for its dispersed camping, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. You will pass dense forests, meadows, and creeks along the trail. 

The Continental Divide Trail is reached at 0.7 miles. The views open up at 1.2 miles and you can see magnificent views of Mt. Evans and Mt. Bierstadt. 

As you get closer to Loch Lomond, you will see the creek and the many campsites that are along the road. You can see the impending granite peaks as you get closer to Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond Off-Road Difficulty

This dirt road takes you to stunning lakes, wildflowers, beautiful wilderness, and a rocky but grassy landing at the top. 

You won’t find any surprises on the trail, as the difficulty of the trail is the same throughout. However, depending on the season water crossings can vary in depth and height. 

Some closure gates are only accessible during certain months of the year. Plan your trip to Loch Lomond between June and September in order to get the best out of your journey. The upper gate is not open during heavy snowfall or winter months.

Loch Lomond Off-Road Difficulty

Loch Lomond 4×4 Vehicles

Loch is most well-known for its hiking trails, but it also allows ATVs and 4x4s as well as motorcycles. 

These vehicles must be either street-legal or registered yearly with the state park’s OHV Register Program.

They are also restricted to routes that are designated for recreation. While unlicensed vehicles can park along Steuart Road, they cannot park or ride in Alice before the trail. 

Fall River Road and the subdivisions surrounding it are not permitted for parking.

You can also enjoy other activities

Mountain biking and fishing are two other options. Drifting is another activity you can enjoy – there’s a loop that runs along the Loch’s top in a doughnut-shaped shape. 

If you are interested in astronomy, it is also a wonderful experience to gaze at the night sky. 

The peak of Loch Lomond is a stunning backdrop for those who wish to meditate after a long day of hiking or driving.

Directions to Loch Lomond

Take the Fall River Road exit #238 in direction of St. Mary’s/Alice Road from I-70 Westbound. 

Turn left onto Alice Road after driving 8.4 miles. Continue on Alice Road for approximately 8.4 miles. At 1.1 mile, turn left onto Steuart Road.

NFSR 701. A wooden sign pointing to Loch Lomond or James Peak will be found on a tree. You can either park here or continue on the forest road towards the Loch.

Trail Rating

Loch Lomond is rated #2 in the trail category, which roughly translates into Dirt road.

  • It is moderately easy to navigate around obstacles
  • Crossings of shallow water
  • Rocky terrain
  • In most cases, 2WD suffices.
  • 4WD may be required in the event of snow or rain.
  • Ruts and washes

This trail rating is categorized by the U.S. Forest Service as easy. It reads like this: These routes are suitable for beginners to advanced users, and have clearly marked trails and roads. 

Some obstacles may be encountered, but grades are not too steep. The trail rating on Loch Lomond is #2. However, it can be a difficult hike if you want to reach the higher lakes. 

To properly navigate the steep road to Reynolds Lake, you will need at least a 2-inch lift and 31-inch tires if you are driving a 4WD vehicle. 

If you don’t have a 4×4, park at the trailhead, and then hike up to the lake. You can either hang out at the first lake or climb up the incline to reach the upper lakes.

This will give you a gain of approximately 2,000 feet. You will be greeted by beautiful scenery, wildflower meadows, and varied terrain at every turn until you reach the end.

Car Care

The shared 4×4 road and the hiking dirt road is easy to navigate, but it gets steeper as more rocks are placed on the trail. 

This route can be handled by most 4WD SUVs and Jeeps of medium to high clearance, although careful tire placement may prove necessary. 

If your four-wheeler has good all-terrain tires and high ground clearance, you don’t need to engage 4WD. 

If you encounter deep water crossings in the early part of the season, make sure to slow down and not flood your engine. There is a small mud pit at the end of this section. 

If your cables become stuck, it is best to bring another vehicle with you.

Chinns Lake vs. Loch Lomond

Both areas share a similar aesthetic and trail structure. The road to Chinn’s Lake is reminiscent of a mine road. 

To crawl across the rocks, it takes a maximum speed of 5 mph. You can disperse camp here.

This means you’ll need to bring your firewood to the camping areas around the lake. 

The small waterfall connects the upper and lowers Chinn’s Lakes. Rocky terrain begins at the lakeside.

These similarities aside, Loch is superior in that it is a more diverse destination. 

Chinn’s is primarily a fishing and off-road trail site, but it does not cater as well to the hiking community like Loch Lomond. Both lakes are beautiful, but Loch has four, while Chinn’s has only two. 

Ice Lake at Loch Lomond is a thrilling experience that can be experienced from the thrill of achievement. You will have to climb up to 12,000 feet in order to see it.

Travel Guide

These are the best tips for traveling to national forests.

  1. The USDA website provides access to the Loch Lomond Trail map. You can also learn more about the map markers. For navigation purposes, however, you will need to have a topographic map of high quality.
  2. If you want to avoid crowds, get to Loch Lomond before noon if possible. Traffic can be quite heavy at this time of the morning.
  3. When planning an outdoor adventure, make sure you check the Loch Lomond Colorado weather forecasts and prepare accordingly. If there is a snow forecast, avoid going up the trail as some gates may be closed and some sections will become impassible.
  4. Group travel and 4WD vehicles with high clearance are recommended. It is a precautionary measure as you can be miles away from assistance in case anything happens. Hikers often brave Loch Lomond by foot. However, 11,000+ feet is not an easy climb. It’s best to have a vehicle that can transport you to Reynolds Lake.
  5. Respect the Leave No Trace principle. This includes reusables as well as firewood ash.
  6. If you’re driving, make sure to have your tires inflated for better traction.
  7. Bug spray is a must if you plan to stay the night. Sunscreen is also recommended, as the area has very little shade.
  8. Don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol. It is dangerous to drink and drive. High altitude can also adversely affect your health if you’re not used to it.
  9. Warm gear is essential as the summit can be cold and windy even in the summer.

Loch Lomond Colorado – An Off-Road guide to Arapaho’s Hidden Jewel

Many people have mixed opinions about Loch Lomond Lake Colorado. The trail can be boring for outdoor enthusiasts, especially if you reach the stream. 

Many find the entire track difficult, especially if you don’t have a 4WD capable of achieving reasonable clearance. 

Some people wish that motorized vehicles were not allowed on the road so that they can be preserved as a hiking area. 

No matter what your reaction, there are two things that are certain: the many activities at Loch Lomond will guarantee great times and the stunning views at the end on this dirt road won’t let you stop wanting more.

Current Conditions: The lower gate is closed off the season as of 12/2/21.
Closest Towns: Idaho Springs, CO
Water: Stream/lake; treat water for drinking.

How do you get to Loch Lomond Colorado?

Directions: Go west on I-70 and take I-70 to the Fall River Road exit. Take a turn North onto Fall River Road and drive through several switchbacks. Take a left onto Alice Road, then left to Loch Lomond Road. Make a right turn on Steuart Road (.

Can you paddle board on Loch Lomond Colorado?

What makes having an inflatable stand-up paddleboard in Loch Lomond different and unique is the fact that it’s accessible only via a path that is only open to vehicles off-road, as well as being frozen to the point of being frozen solid until mid-July of each year.

What kind of fish are in Loch Lomond?

Loch Lomond is a lake located near Silverthorne. The most frequently caught species in this lake is Brook trout, Lake trout and Largemouth bass. Sixteen of the catches are recorded on Fishbrain.

What county is Loch Lomond Colorado?

Nearby Lakes
Inform us that this adLoch Lomond’s address is as a part of the Lakes Category for Clear Creek County in the state of Colorado.

How long would it take to drive around Loch Lomond?

It’s around nine or ten miles, but mostly on quiet roads, so it isn’t too strenuous. Depending on the speed you are walking, it could take about three to four hours plus to travel there and return. The route takes you along the Boturich road and then to an incredible view of Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond Colorado FAQ

1. Is Loch Lomond Colorado Open?

Loch Lomond is a short one-way in, one-way out 4-wheel drive road.

2. Is Loch Lomond Trail open?

Loch Lomond Recreation Area is closed until 2020. The park will reopen in March 2021…

3. Can you camp at Loch Lomond Colorado?

Description. Loch Lomond offers amazing lake views, with plenty of trails for hiking close to camp and also great fishing.  

It will be scattered camping and there are no charges for camping here. There is fishing in Loch Lomond but without a kayak, the game and fish wardens advise taking a hike through Reynolds Lake and Steuart Lake.

4. Where is Loch Lomond, Colorado?

Loch Lomond is a 4.6 mile heavily traveled out-and-back trail close to Empire, Colorado that has a lake and is classified as moderate. 

The trail has a range of activities and is most enjoyable from June to September.

5. How do you disperse camp in Colorado?

While driving through Colorado Look for signs to let you know that you’re in an area of national forest. Also, any service roads for forests or county roads might permit dispersed camping. 

The rules vary, and they are often clearly marked. Certain highways indicate access to national forests with brown signs that say that they are.

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