Bill Moore Lake/Empire Loop

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Trail Distance: 9 miles
Time Estimate: 3 hr 50 min+
Elevation Gain: 600 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Parking: Free
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: No
Description

There isn't anything more scenic than a trip along the Bill Moore Lake and Empire Loop trails in Empire Colorado. The two trails are usually referred as the same trail, although the Bill Moore Lake Trail is part of Empire Loop. The Bill Moore Lake Trail allows 4WD vehicles to use the trail, while the Empire Loop only allows hikers. Both trails are made from compacted dirt, although the Bill Moore Lake Trail section is steeper and has rocky parts.

The trailhead will lead you to the Bill Moore Lake Trail first, opening up to an 8-foot wide trail that starts to climb the mountainous area. The trailhead offers a small parking area made from gravel, and a kiosk for those looking to hike. The trail mostly cuts through a valley, starting off on a moderate and even path.

The trail makes a 90-degree turn where it crosses over the creek and begins to become steeper, with more rocks to have to climb over and on when hiking. This will only last two miles of the hike though, as it comes across the main feature of the trail, Bill Moore Lake. The lake is wide and surrounded by mountain peaks with grass, exposed rock, and patches of alpine forest. This is the point where you and Fido will have to turn around. Most cars coming up will travel back down Bill Moore Lake Trail, but hikers will head down the Empire Loop that travels further south of the original trail. This portion of the trail is smaller, with more shade and passes through prairies with wildflowers. Eventually, the trail connects back to the Bill Moore Lake Trail, only a mile from the original parking area where hikers can head back down to get to their car.

Family and dog-friendly, the Bill Moore Lake and Empire Loop Trails are the pawrfect spot for a day hike with your four-legged companion, especially with the amazing views along the way.

Trail Features
Loose Terrain, Muddy, Rocky, Steep Inclines, Forest, Lake, Desert, Diverse Landscape, Mountains, Grassland
Abundant Wildlife, Wildflowers, Waterfall, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
The terrain is pretty steep and rocky in many places, so hike carefully when using this trail. The trail is mostly open and can get pretty hot in the summer, so bring sunscreen.
Address
Forest Rd 171.2
Empire, CO 80438
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset
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Address
Forest Rd 171.2
Empire, CO 80438
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset