Aldrich Lakes

A very challenging trail to Aldrich Lakes recreational area.

Total Miles
Plan with onX Offroad


2 to 3

Technical Rating

Best Time

Trail Overview

This is a popular OHV area and a very challenging trail that takes you to Aldrich Lakes, a beautiful recreation area with camping, fishing, and hiking. The area can see quite a bit of traffic on the weekends and holidays, so be respectful of other riders and move over for faster vehicles. The area has seen some erosion, so stay on designated trails to ensure many more years of enjoyment. If you see ropes hung across the trail with bags tied to them, those are to keep sheep in specific areas. Please tie the ropes back as you pass.


Difficult. A steep climb to the lakes is rocky, rutted and sometimes muddy. F.S. 252, which continues south, is narrow and rocky with tight brush in places. Sleepy Cat Road is easy with a few bumps along the way.


Within sight of the start of this trail lies the Thornburgh Historic Site. In 1879, a major confrontation,'The Battle of Milk Creek,' occurred here between the Ute Indian Tribe and the U.S. Cavalry, led by Major Thomas Thornburgh. The battle occurred largely from poor judgment on his part, and a misunderstanding of what each side thought the other was trying to do. Essentially, both sides lost. Thirteen soldiers died, including Thornburgh, and 44 were wounded. The Utes lost nearly 20 warriors with more unaccounted for. In the end, the Utes and other tribes were forced from their lush reservations to the Utah desert.

Access Description

From Meeker, take Highway 13 north less than 3 miles and turn right on County Road 15. The road is paved at first but soon becomes smooth oiled dirt. Drive another 16 miles. A unique covered picnic table (see photo) for the Thornburgh Historic Site is on the left just after the start of trail marked County Road 51 on right.

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