Difficulty: Moderate ◼︎
Length: 6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,250 feet
Dog Friendly: Yes
Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.6100, -111.5356
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. Rather than crossing the road, head to the back corner of the parking lot and follow Io trail into the trees. Turn left when the trail opens up at the dirt road, which comes out at the McConkey's chairlift if you stay on it until the very end. There is a connecting road near the top which leads to the top of Empire chairlift, as well. From McConkey's, start on the rocky trail that heads toward the peak. You'll soon reach another sign for Io trail, which bypasses the peak and ends at three dirt roads. Take the middle road, heading downhill, then take a sharp left on the unmarked narrow trail after about 0.5 miles (third photo below). Follow signs for Apex until you meet a dirt road (Jupiter Access in the winter) which leads to the lake.
A great alternative to the busier lakes accessible from the Bloods Lake lot, Shadow Lake sits at the base of both the Jupiter chairlift and neighboring Jupiter Peak. This route is shorter and steeper than its counterpart Shadow Lake - PCMR, which starts at the resort's base, but both trails are worth completing. The hike to the lake offers a broad range of scenery, from wide open views over Guardsman to Jupiter's dense pine forest. Plus, nothing beats relaxing next to a peaceful little lake after a good hike. Just be sure to save some energy for the return trip, since there's just as much elevation to cover on the way back.