If you're craving sun-soaked afternoons and wishing you were dipping your toes in crystalline waters, this storybook destination is sure to feed your daydreams and give you plenty to look forward to this summer. Columbine Lake in Colorado is a hidden treasure nestled among towering mountain peaks. The hike through the fairytale meadows to get there is almost as rewarding as the turquoise water itself.

Located in the San Juan National Forest outside Silverton, Colorado, Columbine Lake is a stunning mountain lake.

The little bowl shape where it sits makes you feel like you've discovered an unchartered gem, remote from the rest of the world. 

You can do the 3.5-mile hike at your own pace, as it can be challenging in some parts. Once you reach the edges of the waters, you'll think you've been transported to a Neverland lagoon.

The glacial waters are so turquoise they look like sparkling jewels and are offset by the rugged mountains sitting all around them. You can climb down to explore the shoreline and even brave the chilly waters if you're up to it.

The lagoon is off the beaten path, and once you find the glittering oasis, you'll feel like you've found one of nature's best-kept secrets.

Some of the peaks have an elevation of 12,800 feet making this spot a stunning sight for sore eyes. 

The trail is open year-round but is best hiked in the warmer months. It's free to access for the day, and you can complete the hike in a few hours.

As you wander through thick trees to open meadows and finally to the jewel-colored lake, you'll feel like an adventurer finding a whole new world of nature's bounty.

And luckily for us, there aren't any pirates but we wouldn't mind seeing some mermaids.

Columbine Lake Trail #509

Price: Free

When: Year-round

Coordinates: Latitude: 37.859041 Longitude: -107.747035

Why You Need To Go: You can discover this lake in the middle of a bowl-shaped mountain range with blue waters.

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We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a site, respect the environment.

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