We woke up early on our third, and final, day in Silverthorne, Colorado. Got breakfast, packed up all of our stuff, and tidied up the Airbnb. At this point we could have gotten in our car to make the long journey back to Utah but we just couldn’t leave without doing one more hike.
Lily Pad Lake Trail
Since we couldn’t do an all-day hike, we chose a much shorter hike. The Lily Pad Lake trail is a short 3.3 mile out-and-back hike. It is an easy hike that is great for kids due to its gradual terrain, short distance, and variety.
The hardest part of the hike begins at the trailhead with an uphill climb up a service road. But the service road, and the incline, are short lived and you soon reach an open clearing with a fantastic view of Lake Dillon.
Once you leave the service road and get on the actual trail, you enter a thick, old-growth forest that is full of fun things to see and keeps little kids highly entertained. Not far into the forest there is a large beaver pond that is a great place to spot moose, deer, or elk. We were a little too late in the day to see any of those, but we still loved seeing the pond and the meandering nearby stream.
Along the trail there are lots of little creek crossings which break up the hike and provide a fun diversion. The kids loved balancing on the logs or hopping across the rocks of the small creek crossings. And they also loved marching along the bridges of the larger crossings.
As we were marching along through the forest we came upon a large field of rocks to the side of the trail. Our kids were really excited and instantly pretended that it was really a village of rock trolls (thanks Frozen). And they of course had to make their way through the rock field, hopping from rock to rock instead of taking the easy trail beside it. It’s more fun that way!
Not long after that we descended the trail to Lily Pad Lake. Since we were in Colorado in mid to late June, several of the lilies were in bloom. The bright yellow blooms amongst all the vibrant green lily pads were absolutely gorgeous and well worth the small hike.
We took time to enjoy the lake and the beautiful setting by sitting down and eating a nice morning snack of trail mix and an apple. And of course we had to share some of our trail mix with the cute chipmunks nearby. There was even a baby chipmunk which was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. But he was a little too shy for me to get a good picture of. And, yes, I know that you shouldn’t feed the wildlife. But we make sure to only give them nuts and dried berries. And I just can’t say no to their adorable, fuzzy faces. They’re so cute!
Next to Lily Pad Lake there is a second lake just down the hill, so we made sure to stop by this lake as well. This lake doesn’t have nearly the amount of lily pads on it but it does have a great view of Buffalo Mountain.
And, to all you fishermen out there, I’ve heard that you can fish at this lake (with a license). You can also backpack in this area, just make sure not to light a campfire within a quarter mile of either lake since they aren’t allowed.
If you want to lengthen your adventure, you can keep hiking along the Lily Pad Trail down to the Meadow Creek Trail junction, which will take you another 2.6 miles one-way. However, we didn’t have time to keep exploring so we had to head back.
After playing in the water, touching a few lily pads, taking some pictures, and saying goodbye to the chipmunks, we headed back along the trail. We got to cross the creeks again, say hi to the rock trolls, and march across log bridges as we made our way through the dense forest.
In no time we reached the trailhead and clambered into our car. And a few short minutes later we were saying goodbye to Silverthorne and making our long journey home through the beautiful peaks of Colorado.