Molas and Little Molas Lake

Only an hour from Durango, Molas, and Little Molas Lake are prime destinations for lovers of convenience, mountains, and alpine lakes. With a plethora of activities to engage in, visitors can embrace high mountain views and culture from the comfort of a lakeside campsite. 

For summertime visitors, there are opportunities to camp, hike, kayak, canoe, backpack, and swim. 

Visitors can ice fish, snowmobile, snowshoe, and cross country ski in the winter. 

Things to Do at Molas and Little Molas Lake

Kayaking, Canoeing, and SUPing

Sunset of Molas Lake from Molas Lake Campground During the Summer

Molas lake is a 25-acre lake frequented by locals for its stellar scenery and nearby creature comforts. Kayaks, canoes, and SUPs are allowed on its waters. These watercraft must be hand-launched, and you must always wear a personal floatation device. 

If you do not own a non-motorized watercraft, you can rent one from the Molas Lake Campground Store.

Little Molas Lake is a smaller, 17-acre lake that is more private and less trafficked. Kayaks, canoes, and SUPs are allowed on its waters. These watercraft must be hand-launched, and you must always wear a personal floatation device.


Between the two lakes is the 6.0-mile out-and-back Little Molas and Molas Lakes trail. The trail takes only two hours to complete and is a peaceful trek through the unblemished Colorado backcountry. 

Wildlife enthusiasts have had multiple sightings of deer and elk along the trail. 


Campsite and Tent at Little Molas Lake in Fall

For Molas Lake, There are 58 campsites at Molas Lake Park & Campground. With restrooms, a camp store, RV hookups, BBQ grills, electrical outlets, and camp showers, visitors will wonder how they can live so luxuriously in the high country. Reservations must be made well in advance of your trip, however. 

For visitors looking for a more authentic backcountry experience should look no further than the Little Molas Lake Campground. At the campground, there are 10 campsites with various amenities like horse rails, fire pits, and four RV hook ups. 

Swimming and Picnicking

Swimming is not permitted in either Molas Lake or Little Molas Lake. 

There are four day-use areas at the Molas Lake Park & Campground with BBQ grills and picnic tables. 

If you want to be adventurous, take your meal into the backcountry or eat lakeside at Little Molas Lake. 

Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing

Snowshoeing at Molas Pass During Winter

Though ungroomed, the 6.0-mile Little Molas and Molas Lakes Trail has great powder for winter athletes looking to get in a lengthy workout on some snowshoes or cross country skis. 

Please educate yourself on avalanche safety and best practices, and remember that mountain slopes are not the only place where avalanches can occur.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is allowed at both Molas Lake and Little Molas Lake. Both lakes are regularly stocked by Colorado Parks & Wildlife. To ice fish, you must have a valid fishing license from the State of Colorado.

At Molas Lake, anglers can find Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. 

Brook Trout and Golden Trout can be found at Little Molas Lake.

The ice conditions in Colorado are variable, so always check the surrounding area before heading out and wear a personal flotation device.


Snowmobiling at Molas Pass During Winter

There are nearby groomed trails at Molas Pass, just off Highway 550. Provided the roads are clear, visitors can haul their rig out to Molas Pass and enjoy a full day of icy adventure. 

If you do not own a snowmobile, fret not! Pirate Adventures offers regular snowmobile tours in the winter. 

If you own a snowmobile, contact the Silverton Snowmobile Club for more information on snow conditions, group rides, and trails. 

Maps and Site Resources

Travel Tips for at Molas and Little Molas Lake

  • Stop by Backcountry Experience to get your camping gear!

  • The sun is much stronger at higher altitudes, so apply and reapply sunscreen liberally every two hours.

  • If you plan on going into the backcountry, leave an itinerary of your trip with someone you trust. Also, bring a satellite-capable communication device if you can afford it.

  • Bring plenty of water and food with you.

  • Keep your eye out for the mountain goats in the area. 

Accessibility Information 

  • There is one ADA-compliant campsite at Molas Lake Park & Campground. 

Care for Durango 

  • Know and obey the fire restrictions before heading out.  

  • Please pack out all trash and waste, including your pet's waste.  

  • Protect fragile alpine environments and stay on marked trails.   

  • Follow Leave No Trace (LNT) principles.  

  • Do not pick the wildflowers. 

  • Do not engage with or feed the wildlife.  

  • Dogs must be leashed or otherwise physically restrained. Do not leave pets unattended.  

  • Store your food in a designated bear cache, vault, or hang.  

Pledge to Care for Durango