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Mix Wilderness Solitude and Frontcountry Luxury in Colorado

Hike from a high-end resort to a remote alpine lake in the Rockies.

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See more perfect summer lake hikes to beat the heat.

  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Time: 1 day

The Navajo Lake Trail is the most popular path in Colorado’s Indian Head Wilderness. No need to worry about crowds, though—the nearest town is Dolores (population 857), an hour away. That isolation is the big payoff for hikers and the main draw of nearby Dunton Hot Springs. Dunton, a ghost town turned lodge, provides off-the-map seclusion, five-star dining, and luxurious private cabins for backcountry travelers who want a bit of pampering at the end of their hike. The trail to Navajo Lake starts at 9,393 feet and gently ascends for almost three miles through sloped meadows laced by Engelmann spruce and, come summer, rife with larkspurs, bluebells, and sunflowers. The last mile gains 1,000 feet through tight switchbacks to a ridge, then descends a quarter-mile to rock-ringed, pale green Navajo Lake. Windswept and deserted, its quiet solitude is the perfect pairing to the opulence back at the resort.