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Salt Lick Trail

Length: Approx. 4 miles (add a mile if you continue on to Lily Pad Lake)
Mountain views thick aspen and pine forest
Difficulty Rating:
Elevation Gain: Approx. 650 ft.

Below:  A beautiful fall view

Directions: Exit I-70 at Silverthorne (exit 205) and take route 9 north to the Wildernest Road (across from Wendy's) turn left onto Wildernest and continue for .9 miles and turn left on to a dirt road that is located on a sharp curve just as you pass the Wildernest Center (Conoco station). Park here and follow the road to the trailhead.

Description: Follow the trail for about 15 minutes until you see a log bridge on your left that crosses Salt Lick

Creek. Cross the bridge and continue up the path past beaver ponds and open meadows and a sign that  marks the entrance to the Eagles Nest Wilderness area. If you miss the first bridge, there is another a couple dozen yards ahead - you can cross here.


 Below: The colors of early autumn in contrast to the crystal blue sky


Be sure to cross Salt Lick Creek however, because if you continue up the road on the right of the creek you will eventually enter a subdivision of condos where you may pass your time attending open houses rather than enjoying an exhilarating hike.

Once you cross into the Eagles Nest Wilderness area the ascent becomes a bit more steep as you pass through a thick pine and aspen forest to the junction of the Lily Pad Lake trail.

Lily Pad lake is about a half mile from this point so if you continue on you will add about one mile to your hike. (see Lily Pad for more info)

The cool days of autumn are best for enjoying the spectacular aspen and scenery of this trail.

A golden carpet of Aspen leaves covered the trail during our recent fall outing here.


Above: An SCE explorer is surrounded by thick groves of aspen.

Above:  Keep you eye out and pay attention to posted signs!


Locals report occasional Moose sightings here so stay alert and keep that camera within reach!

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Above: Fall is the perfect time to catch the colors of the aspen leaves.





  beginner intermediate advanced
    Black Powder Pass   Mohawk Lake   Quandary Peak  14,265'
    Lily Pad   Chihuahua Gulch   Lincoln & Bross 14,291' / 14,177'
    St. John's   Mt. Royal   Bierstadt Peak 14,060'
    Mayflower Gulch   Wheeler Lakes   Willow & Salmon Lakes
    Loveland Pass   Radical Hill Trail   Upper Crystal Lake
    Salt Lick Trail   McCullough Gulch   Gray's & Torrey's 14,278' / 14,267'
    Mesa Cortina Trail   Mt. Sniktau   Mt. Democrat 14,152'
    St. Mary's Glacier   North Ten Mile Trail   Mt. Victoria
    Sally Barber Mine   Willow Falls  

Mt. Elbert  14,433'

    Oro Grande Trail   Eaglesmere Lakes   Buffalo Mountain  12,777'
    Meadow Creek-Salt Lick   Mosquito Pass   Eccles Pass
    Shrine Mountain Trail   Webster Pass   Mt. Huron  14,003'
    Ptarmigan Trail   Ptarmigan via Wilder Gulch    
    Peaks Tr. Barton Gulch   Wheeler Lake - Park County    
    Hoosier Pass Loop   Lenawee Trail    


  Spruce Creek Loop   Nightmare on Baldy Mine    
    Tenderfoot Mountain Trail        

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Note: The Summit County Explorer website is for entertainment purposes only. SCE will not be held liable for the any accidents or injuries resulting from the activities listed on this site. Trail conditions change daily and we assume no responsibility for the safety of any individual during any of these activities. Please consult actual trail guides and maps before attempting any of the activities mentioned here.