A short video showing the terrain and afternoon weather to expect once you reach Silver Dollar and Murray Lakes.
Silver Dollar Lake and Murray Lake can be accessed via the Silver Dollar Lake Trail. To get to the trailhead, take 1-70 to exit #228 to Georgetown, CO. Take Guanella Pass Rd at the west end of the town and follow it 9.9 miles. Silver Dollar Lake parking will be on the west side of the road. Follow the 4WD road .6 miles to the trailhead. Parking is limited at the trailhead and sedans are discouraged from driving the dirt road and should park in the parking lot at Guanella Pass Rd. The hike to Silver Dollar Lake from the trailhead is 1.65 miles and Murray Lake is 2.15 miles.
The hike is of moderate difficulty for the average weekend hiker. The trail is a series of sedate switchbacks that gain elevation to the treeline. At the treeline, the trail contours along the mountainside and gradually gains in elevation to Silver Dollar Lake. The elevation gain from the trailhead (11,250') to Silver Dollar Lake (11,950') is 750' and the distance you'll travel is 1.65 miles. To Murray Lake (12,178') add another 228' climb and .5 miles of distance.
There is no natural cover once you enter the tundra. Spring and summer weather is unpredictable in Colorado, so be prepared to get caught in sudden hail, rain, and lightning storms. Checking the local weather forecast is a must prior to hiking above tree line.
The lake is frozen over typically from early November to early July. Check with the Clear Creek Ranger District for current road and trail info:
Clear Creek Ranger District
101 Chicago Creek Road
P.O. Box 3307
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
Clear Creek Outdoors (Idaho Springs, CO)
Nymphs: Olive Scuds, Black and Olive Chironomids, and Red Rock Worms. (Sizes 16-20)
Streamers: Black Leach Patterns
Dry Flies: Quiggly Cripples, Parachute Adams, and Griffith's Gnat. (Sizes 16-20)