Navigating Kite Lake Road: A Rugged Adventure Near Silverton, Colorado

Kite Lake is an alpine turquoise lake at an elevation of 3.700m (12,139ft) above the sea level, located in San Juan County, in the US state of Colorado.

Kite Lake

Is the road to Kite Lake in Colorado challenging?

The road to the lake is unpaved. It’s called Forest Road 506. This trail is well worth the drive; however, it is steep in places and has a limited number of places to pass other vehicles. Be sure to have experience in back roads if you attempt this trail. If you don't have a few feet of clearance for your vehicle you will not be able to make it all the way to the lake. The last bit of road after the switchback is swiss-cheese with each hole being around 1.5-2 feet deep. 4WD vehicles only. Located to the south of Stony Pass, near Silverton, the drive is not for the faint of heart. The surface of the rough road is gravel and bumpy with embedded rocks. The road is very narrow, steep, and with several tight switchbacks. It features crossing a river that can get quite deep in the spring.

How long is the road to Kite Lake in CO?

Starting from Forest Road 520, the drive is 9.65km (6 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 477 meters. The average gradient is 4.94%.

Is the road to Kite Lake open?

Set high in the southwestern part of Colorado, the road is totally impassable from October to June. It’s one of the highest roads in Colorado.
Pic: Eugene Ilchenko