Summary: From the trailhead go south along the old logging road. When the road takes a sharp turn right (West) you will see a path continuing south. This is the key to this trail. Once you find this trail the rest is easy. After the trail crosses Three Elks Creek it will begin to turn west and lead you up the East side of Mt. Columbia. This trail will meet with the Colorado Trail just North of Harvard Lakes. Turn left onto the Colorado trail for about 100 yards to reach the upper lake, continue on the trail a short ways to reach the lower lake.
Trailhead: From the Stoplight in Buena Vista head north on highway 24 to Crossman Avenue and take left. Follow Crossman until you come to a T in the road. Turn right (north) onto cnty rd 361. Continue down 361 until you see a sign for Three Elks. Turn left (West) here onto cnty rd 368. Take it for a little over a mile and turn left onto cnty rd 368A. Shortly after turning left There will be a right turn onto a logging road labeled forest service 368. take this road until you see the sign for the trailhead. (approx .8 mile) Park here. The logging road leading south from here is the start of the trail. (Lat:38.90104 Lon:-106.22387)
Trail Guides for Harvard Lakes:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: San Isabel National Forest 719-553-1400 (main office)
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joshua Friesema, who has posted 97 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Srl on 6/4/2011
According to another review, these lakes have suffered from lots of traffic. Nonsense!!!! These two lakes are beautiful and a fun day hike. Get out there and see them. They are in great shape with lots of trout that can be seen jumping. I'm tired of the green nicks crying about this and that. All they want to do is take away places for us to see. This is OUR land so go and enjoy, fish, hike, climb etc...
Reviewed by MRF on 7/17/2007
Small (one acre?) lakes about 100 yards apart right on the Colorado (Main Range) trail. Relatively easy hike after the 1st 300 yards from the North Cottonwood trailhead, thus the lakes get a lot of traffic, and have suffered because of it. Two nice camp spots - one at east end of lower lake, one at east end of upper lake across the trail...decent fishing in lower lake, water is swimmable. Nice day hike or easy overnight, but you probably won't be alone... good stop on way to other places.....
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Keys: Colorado Hiking, Colorado Trails, Colorado Hikes, Chaffee County Hiking, Chaffee County Trails, Chaffee County Hikes