High in a mystical alpine setting reminiscent of the book “The Mist of Avalon” you will find Alta Lakes and Alta Ghost Town. This peaceful, quiet, and serene area is located on the back side of Telluride Ski Resort and Palmyra Peak. On an easy day trip from Telluride, Dolores, or Cortez, you are able to enjoy camping, fly fishing, hiking, and a little history on a visit to this incredible Lake in the summertime I have never been in the winter but they say it’s one of the prettiest places to go snowmobiling in the Telluride area.
Your journey begins as you detour off the highway 145 towards a clearly marked sign that says Alta. You might want to have a 4 wheel drive or at least a high profile vehicle as the roads up to the lake are pretty rough. We did not have to place our vehicle in 4 wheel drive but the high profile helped. The lakes are past Alta’s Ghost town which is an old mining town with many buildings still standing. It’s is said the first place alternating current was used. (Think Tesla) There are many old historic buildings you can not only photograph but get really close too. The have reinforced the boarding house but many others are in various stages of dilapidation. There has been an ongoing battle on whether or not to let the buildings be destroyed for residential purposes or try and save them for a beautiful piece of Colorado’s mining history. Right now the town is on the side of Alta and it looks like they will be kept.
Travel a little farther up the mountain at the elevation of 10,000 plus you will find Alta Lakes. These are alpine mountain lakes at their finest. It is here Colorado shines as its ruggedness and pristine beauty will capture your imagination with the sensation of time standing still. The awe inspiring 10,000 feet views are some of the best the world has to offer. We arrived when a fine mist was falling over the lake and the water was as still as glass. There was a slight chill in the air as this mist fell upon us. It seem to create a surreal feeling that while we were in this Mountain Alpine forest we were in a world of the past and present all at the same time.
Alta Lakes and Ghost town provides you much in the way of things to do. You can pitch a tent, and spend the time exploring this area as there is plenty of camping. For the budget minded camping spots are free and some even have grills next to them and they are all surrounding the Lake. This is a great visit if you are in the area. Something slightly out of the way but well worth the detour. Alta Lakes where you can camp, fly fish, paddle board, and hike and experience the pristine beauty in the incredible Colorado mountains.