Aspen Colorado Lakes Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Mountain Lakes

Aspen, Colorado fishing is loaded with options for river action, but it's the backcountry, high mountain lakes that offer solitude and willing trout high up in the White River National Forest.

  • 21 high mountain lakes to explore above Aspen, fish them all
  • Rainbows, cutthroat and browns on the menu
  • Lakes vary in size from 1.5 acres to 81 acres
  • Little fishing pressure, easy action for all on flies and lures
  • Practice catch and release and enjoy the amazing views

Aspen's High Mountain Lakes

High Mountain lakes are abundant in the White River National Forest above Aspen. Approximately 21 lakes are situated within the Aspen Ranger District and all of them are full of hungry trout that don't see many hooks.

Extra Effort Required

Whether it's a long hike or a 4X4 needed to get to these lakes, the views alone will reward anglers. The lakes vary in size from tiny Hardscrabble Lake at 1.5 acres to a healthy Snowmass Lake at 81 acres. Most require a little extra effort to get to, so that eliminates lots of competition.


With lake altitudes ranging from 9,580 to 12,540 feet, the fishing season is short. Ice-off will typically be in July and fishing will continue into September. The weather can change at any time on these waters so dress in layers and be ready for anything.

Willing Trout

Because these lakes don't get a lot of pressure, the fish are typically caught very easily. It is a very fragile environment so catch rand release is encouraged. Most lakes offer rainbows and/or cutthroat, but you might come across a brown in about half the lakes. Fish early and late for best results.