Explore the best trails near Idaho Springs with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
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My wife and I hiked this trailer on Sunday Oct 23rd. What a great hike. we got there early, and were on the trail by 9:30 am. there was a little bit of snow on parts of the trail, but nothing to difficult to deal with. We had lunch at the lake and were back at the car by noon.
It was a bit cold that early on the mountain with the wind, but by the time we hit Silver Dollar Lake it was warming up, and made for a great day.
We spoke to a few really nice people, which added to our experience.
This was my first 14er and I fell in love. Kelso Ridge wasn't anything like what I had in mind, though, and it kicked my butt. I would definitely suggest taking on Gray's Trail to reach Torrey's Peak before taking on Kelso Ridge. There were several times where I lost the trail and had to think on my toes. The ridge itself was a total adrenaline rush. Many steep drop-offs and unbelievable views. This is not a trail for kids or dogs, and I would also suggest having a partner. As with any trail, make sure to get an early start and bring plenty of water. I also noticed that my hiking boots were a little too clunky during my ascension of the Ridge. Obviously I managed, but I think that a change of shoes for some better grip and mobility would have been helpful. Anyways, super proud to call this my first 14er--the views at the summit are so beautiful it's surreal.
PS: you're gonna need an SUV or truck to get up the road to the trailhead. My car was no match for this one haha.
I took my family on this. 4 little kids (age range 2-6) and a husband. We really had the best time just poking around and meandering through the trees. It was a simple, easy walk. We didn't do the whole thing because it got chilly and we were underdressed.
Nice little hike with great views from the top. Afterwards we headed over to Idaho Springs from some beers at the Outbound and Down Brewery. Overall it was a great day.
The only negative is the amount of crowds and limited parking on a Sunday in October so I cannot imagine the crowds in the summer. If you are looking for mountain solitude this is not the hike for you.
Easy to get to. Starts out in dense forest and then above tree line there are peaks everywhere for you to view. There isn't much of a destination at the end of this trail, but plan to go farther because there are about 3-4 peaks to choose from to continue to. All accessible by foot.
I loved this hike. It has varied terrain, with some in woods hiking with nice shade, and some exposed parts as you climb higher. It can get extremely windy, so even on a warm day I'd recommend hats and gloves for the top section. Nice, big parking lot (but no trash cans, which is very puzzling...). The lake at the top is stunning.
It has some very nice views. I hiked to the hike and it was quite the work out considering I took both of my dogs and they both pull a lot. I saw two of the lakes and the first one had a water fall and was very peaceful and lovely to sit with the lake and take it all in.
The turns for the trail are: 1) 103 to Hefferman Gulch (good dirt road), 2) right at the first fork (rockier here but OK for SUV), 3) left at the next fork, 4) parking area and trailhead are reportedly a bit farther along from here. All turns except Hefferman Gulch are unmarked. As of Fall 2016, camping is prohibited for regrowth / forest maintenance. The area has been heavily abused and locals are tired of people tramping through their cabin yards. Even with the help of a kind local, we went wrong and ended up having a nice walk on a forest service road. We'll try again sometime. Pretty area.
Tough trail on Sunday Oct. 16, 2016. It was 40 degrees with 60mph of wind. I had a 30lb pack on my back. It took 4.5 hrs to get to the top in these harsh conditions. 2.5 down. More than half of the people out that day turned around at or before the half way mark. The trail was very steep and had numerous icy and very muddy spots that were very slippery. I recommend ice cleats and also to dress very warm and bring hand warmers and warm wind proof gear, (which thankfully I had) if snow and cold temperatures are present. I braved the weather and made it to the summit. It was a challenge in the weather but well worth the effort! I would do this trail again in nicer conditions but I warn you it is a lot tougher than it's rated for being the so called "easy" 14er. I clocked 4.2 miles from the parking lot to the summit. 8.4 round trip on the GPS. Good times!!