Located on the back side of the Telluride Ski Resort and Palmyra Peak, Alta Lakes provides a magical alpine setting in both summer and winter. Enjoy fly fishing, camping, hiking, paddle boarding or just take an easy drive up to admire the beautiful, main lake and the ghost town!
In the summer, there are a few free camping spots (some equipped with metal cooking grills) situated around this spectacular high-alpine lake. Drive up, pitch a tent and enjoy this unmatched camping experience. Please note, that there are very limited facilities available at the Alta Lakes Campground. Please practice Leave No Trace camping, pack out all garbage and respect all fire danger warnings. In the morning, hike around the lake and view the remnants of the Alta Lakes Ghost Town on your way back down to the highway. The historic structures of the Alta Lakes Ghost Town are located on private property; please respect these historic structures for generations to come.
During the winter, Alta Lakes is one of the prettiest places to go snowmobiling in the Telluride area. Alta Lakes Road is not maintained in the winter and is only accessible by snowmobile.
Drive approximately 5 miles south on Highway 145. Turn east on Forest Road #623 (Alta Lakes Road) and continue about 3-3.5 miles to the first lake. Please be aware that, while the Alta Lakes Road is well marked, it is a narrow and rugged mountain road with several blind curves. High clearance vehicles are recommended. RVs and travel trailers are not recommended due to the narrow roadway. Passing is not possible on certain portions of Alta Lakes Road. Proper mountain driving etiquette should be followed at all times. Downhill vehicles should yield to uphill traffic. Backing up may be required in order to allow safe passage widths.
*No hiking, biking, camping or parking is allowed on private property along Alta Lakes Road and at the Alta Lakes Ghost Town Site. Please respect all private property restrictions and remain on marked U.S. Forest Service roads and trails at all times.