Hikes we Like: Thomas Lakes

thomas lakes

The Nutshell

The round-trip 7.2 mile trek is a relatively light day-hike that’s both easily accessible and well marked. The trail is prime for munchkins, pets, and bikes alike. Just remember, leashes are a must- well, for the pets at least. Bring the whole family along, give your dog a chance to stretch its legs, get in a quick mountain bike ride, or push yourself and turn it into a jog. Regardless of how you do it, definitely check it out. The hike is a steady climb  (1,700 ft elevation gain) with few tricks along the way, but do expect to be surprised by the killer views throughout. Multiple lookouts and patches of wildflowers dot the trail as it weaves among trees, through meadows, and finally up to the Thomas Lakes themselves. A quarter mile apart, the Thomas Lakes are subalpine tarns that sit at the foot of Mt. Sopris. In other words, they’re sick lakes with crazy awesome views. As if a a couple of subalpine tarns aren’t enough to make us giddy, the entire hike offers an unbeatable look at Sopris- the mountain that owns the local landscape at 12, 966 feet. You’ll get especially up close and personal with Sopris as the trail joins the lakes and comes to an end at the 10,200 ft high Sopris base. Sound too good to be true, doesn’t it?  It definitely is rare to get such a hefty reward from this level of a hike, so get out there!

If you’re feeling something more challenging, consider hiking the remaining 4  steep miles to the top of Sopris. Just be sure to do some research so you are fully prepared for the trip.

Tip: A trail with these kind of views is popular. Try and make time on a weekday to avoid the weekend rush.

Getting There

If you don’t have a GPS or you  just don’t trust Apple maps, follow these directions from Carbondale to the trail head:

From Carbondale travel south on Hwy. 133 for approximately 1.4 miles. Make a left turn on Prince Creek Road and go about 6 miles to the fork in the road. Take a right at the fork and follow it for 2 miles. The trail head is 1/4 mile before Dinkle Lake.

Written by Jenny