At 11,220 feet above sea level, these lakes may well be some of the highest you’ll ever paddle on, be it on a stand-up paddleboard or in a kayak. With easy road access from Telluride, visitors can either get themselves and their gear there or hire a guide outfit like Telluride’s BootDoctors, which will take care of the details like gear, lunch, and driving. Even at that altitude, the three Alta Lakes sit in a small basin between the 13,470-foot Silver Mountain and Bald Mountain at 11,868 feet. Just on the other side of the ridge to the north is the top of the Telluride Ski Area. Even well into the summer, snow patches lurk in the shaded nooks in the steep slopes above the lakes.