Photo courtesy of Friends of Lake San Cristobal.
Lake San Cristobal. Photo courtesy of Friends of Lake San Cristobal.
Often referred to as ‘the most remote town in the lower 48,’ Lake City tends to get overlooked when it comes to tourism in Colorado. That being said, it’s got a big history, plenty of outdoor activities, and access to some of Colorado’s most beautiful mountain views, making it definitely worth the visit.

Here are five fun and adventurous things to do in Lake City, Colorado:

1. Visit Lake San Cristobal

Lake San Cristobal is what Lake City was named after, so of course it should be on your to-do list. As the second-largest natural lake in Colorado, the lake is 331 acres and is a great location for lots of water activities. You can kayak, paddleboard, or canoe, with various trails to be found and shorelines to explore in the surrounding area. The lake is also home to plenty of rainbow, cutthroat, brook, brown, and lake trout as well as kokanee salmon, so it’s a great fishing location. Wupperman Campground is located on the lake’s east side, and it has 31 campsites with views of the lake.

2. Explore the historic downtown

Lake City was incorporated in 1875 and became a supply hub for mining operations in the area, later turning into a tourist destination. According to Uncover Colorado, the city has over two hundred historic buildings. The Lake City National Historic District includes about 142 acres of land in more than 34 blocks. Spend some time exploring the area and learning about Colorado history.

3. Go 4×4 off-roading

Lake City is close to some of Colorado’s most beautiful mountains, so it’s a great base area to explore the outdoors. The Alpine Loop Scenic Byway is a network of 4×4 roads that leads into the San Juan Mountains, providing pristine mountain views and great off-road adventuring.

4. Hike

The area around Lake City is home to some stunning hikes, filled with breathtaking mountain views, colorful wildflowers, and more. Wetterhorn Basin via the West Fork Trail is a challenging hike, and you’re sure to see wildflowers on it. American Basin and Grizzly Gulch are some other great hike options.

5. Visit the Ute Ulay Mine and Mill

Located just outside of Lake City off the Alpine Loop, this site includes original mines and mill buildings, as well as informational signs and a stunning view of Henson Creek. A 118-foot high dam on Henson Creek supplied power for the mine. You can also enjoy the self-guided, interpretive walking trail and learn more about the area.

Learn more about visiting Lake City here.