Difficulty: Moderate ◼︎
Length: 5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
Dog Friendly: Yes, but dogs are no longer allowed at Bloods Lake
Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.6097, -111.5368
Directions: Park at the new Bloods Lake lot on the right side of the road. This road is seasonal and can only be accessed from mid/late May through early November. Check UDOT's traffic website for current status. From the parking lot, cross the crosswalk and follow the trail to Bloods Lake, which is well-signed. Upon reaching Bloods, look to the Southeast edge (to your left) and follow the signs up the switchbacks to Lackawaxen Lake. For those with pups in tow, you'll need to take a left onto the connecting trail to Lackawaxen, which you'll meet a few hundred feet before reaching Bloods, when you reach a sign stating that dogs are not allowed at Bloods Lake. There is also a new alternative route to Lackawaxen which bypasses the Bloods Lake trail almost completely. You'll see a sign for this trail, named Kalamazoo, shortly after starting from the trailhead. Kalamazoo is a fun trail if you're interested in exploring more of the area with less traffic, but is a much less direct route.
This trail is a great option for those looking for a quieter place to relax than Bloods Lake. About a mile beyond Bloods, Lackawaxen offers twice the elevation gain, great scenery, and a meadow full of wildflowers along the way. The switchbacks up the steeper slope from Bloods eventually lead you out of the trees and into a more open area, and after gaining a bit more elevation, pass through a beautiful meadow just before reaching the lake. The trail isn't technical but does have a few steeper, dusty sections that can be slippery. If you're up for a climb, head up the steep narrow trail on your right to Clayton Peak, which looks down on the lake. Don't forget to bring your bug spray—the mosquitoes can be vicious near the water.