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Cloyses Lake

Cloyses Lake with abandon cabinColorado 4wheeling

Cloyses Lake is located just south of Granite in Clear Creek Canyon.  From Leadville: Drive 20 miles south on U.S. 24 and turn right on the Chaffee County 390 road.  From Buena Vista: Drive 14.5 miles north on U.S. 24 and turn left on the Chaffee County 390 road. On the 390 road, drive about 9.6 miles to a left turn off of the road (38.9903�, -106.412�). You are now in Rockdale. Drive down past 4 old cabins and then left near a 5th cabin down the hill. Follow the road across the shallow water to Clear Creek . A high-clearance 4WD vehicle is required to cross the creek and continue up Cloyses Lake road - and it's not recommended until late July.  You must cross two portions of the river.  If you don't have a 4WD vehicle, park near the creek and walk 2 miles up the road to the trailhead.  About 3/4 of the way up the road, there is a large area where a mudslide left trees and rocks across the road in the spring of 2000. This lasts for a few hundred yards.  Near 10,800', there is a parking area near a trailhead sign on the right. The parking area is in a large open area. Do not continue up the road into the forest because there is a gate closure not far up the hill.  This is the boundary of Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area.  There is also a few beaver pond below and above the lake which are loaded with brook trout.  The panoramic picture of the lake was taken on 07-13-07, the cabin has since burnt down.  

Colorado Brook TroutThis trail is do able in a stock 4wd with a high ground clearance.  It is usually Ice free and accessible around mid-June but do not try to cross Clear Creek until after runoff.  Cloyses Lake is at N38°56.918' Latitude and W106°24.668' Longitude with an elevation of 11,000 ft.

Cloyses Lake contains cutthroat trout and a large number of brookies.  Flies I have had success with at this lake include, dave's hopper, griffen gnats, mosquito patterns, copper johns, or any other small fly.  Hardware that works well there would include blue fox spinners, kastmasters, and thomas bouyants.  I also took night crawlers on this trip and couldn't keep the brook trout off the hook.  The mosquitoes at this lake are very bad, they keep the trout well fed but if the breeze stops they can carry you away.  Make sure to bring repellent.

Colorado state flower wildflower the Columbine



To view more pictures of the trails, mines, and lakes check out our Cloyses Lake Gallery.