Explore 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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My wife and I hiked this today and you definitely have to watch for mountain bike riders and such, but the terrain was not difficult and is kid friendly as we saw a lot of other families out there today. The “Keyhole” is definitely worth checking out. All in all a good hike.

All snow, a little muddy but the trail is lined out perfect. Great afternoon hike. 1/52

Went on Saturday at 9:30 am. There were four cars in the parking lot. I imagine in summer it is a bit more crowded. There was more snow then expected. Two people had gone before me on the trail with snow shoes so I was able to follow. I did not have snow shoes so was glad they cut the trail.
North side you can hear the cars from Tomah Road, but you are not walking right on the road, stil a little break between them. The trail is rolling hills and most pleasant views. The snow made it a bit magical.

First time doing this one. Beautiful views of the front range. Geography. With the homie Lo & Ra. Although, it’s a week day in early afternoon and was extremely busy.. don’t think I’ll be back here unless for Leisure.

Great hike minimal parking. Try to go on a weekday, weekends are very packed. Easy To hard trails. Very beautiful. Bikers can be rude be aware.

Hiked 1/5/19: Very beautiful/easy short hike with a few side overlook trails! This is a very busy trail with all ages but surprisingly had the most wildlife I’ve ever seen on a hike! I saw deer, rabbits, birds and TWO BABY BOBCATS! There was quite a few people who witnessed the two babies but the mother was nowhere to be found. A gentleman in the crowd said he would let the ranger know! Also, once park capacity hits it’s one car in one car out. It was at full capacity by noon. $8 park fee! Totally worth it!

Lots of horse poop but a nice hike for the kids to walk.

hiking
16 days ago

I love this easy hike for short winter days, when you really want to get out but don't want to deal with ski traffic in the high country. The trail was really quiet today except for a few out-of-towners. Folks please remember to pack in and pack out your trash. I noticed a few used Kleenexes and food wrappers tossed along the side of the trail. The scenery and wildlife here is too beautiful to be so careless.

Easy peasy with nice views. Gentle trail running.

Pretty views on a clear day...deer were abundant today. Be aware of them running across the trail.

Super easy hike and we would give it five stars but all the horse sh*t on the entire trail was a little rough. Why are dog owners expected to clean up after their dogs but horses can open up the poop chute whenever and their owners can disregard it? It’s poop, people. If it comes out of a butthole, I don’t want to step in it...I don’t care what the animal ate.

Anyway! Great Christmas Day hike! We will be back!

Great spot and so close! Only did a short loop just under 2 miles. Nice nature house with bathrooms. I heard you can call ahead and reserve a golf cart to take the seniors on a ride around

Nice trails. Easy walk with lovely views. Lots of folks on horses but no bikes which is great we did a 6 mile loop

Very icy on the west side of the loop on the inclines. Many people were falling/struggling. We hiked clockwise and that seemed to work out better so that we hit the ice downhill. Gorgeous hike as always with 60° temps mid December.

Beautiful hike! Easy! Great views!!!

Our family of six hiked to the Overlook & back today. Beautiful weather the day before Thanksgiving & landscape, but trails were a bit muddy and there’s some steep stairs. I made sure my kids got up alright, then tripped myself. Whoops! Trails were busy with people of all ages and lots of pups along the way!

The Dawson Butte Trail is relatively flat and well marked. It runs through pine forests and more open spaces with meadow and mountain views. A sign at the trailhead warns mountain lions are active in the area, but we didn't see any trace of them. It seems to be a popular horse trail, so watch your step!

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trail that is to be experienced in the fall. We were a couple weeks late to do this. However, the snow in the path made it a bit difficult to traverse. Took us 3 hours from car to car including the breaks and photography. Would highly recommend this trail during the fall season.

hiking
2 months ago

We went off season which was October 26th. At this time there is no having to use the shuttle to get up. You need to pay at the entry of the park which is $10 per car. We went about 930a and now issues finding parking. When we got done with the hike around 1p the parking lot was pretty full. We wanted to do an easy hike as my friend just flew in the day before from Minnesota. We were planning to do the easy trail called Maroon Bells scenic trail. This was closed so other only option from that trail was Crater Lake. This was a little more challenging then we were expecting. But it was a great. Lots of rocks and boulders to climb over. There was some areas with snow and ice but not too bad. But all worth as once we got the lake it was huge (though the water was low). Enough room to go by ourselves to have a snack without being next to anyone. Would come back to do this in another season to see all the aspens.

Good hike. Very flat with good scenery. The only drawback is the sandy trails in some parts and the frequent piles of horse poop on the trail.

This was a beautiful and scenic hike. It was EASY and great to bring kids for a “hike”, more of a walk for adults. This trail reminds me a lot of “Garden of the Gods”. Lots and lots of beautiful rock formations. There were many easy trails to venture out and do as well.

This was a pretty cool hike. Good views and a decent workout. I was able to finish it in a little over an hour. Take time to pick up the map for the “tour”. I did not, but if I did, I would have spent much more time here.

Did this trail when the scenic loop was closed. It was steep until the end and snowy and rocky in spots. But for those of us in our party who made it, it’s was great.
The lake was not very full, but the scenery was great and the local birds are friendly!
For the part of our party who couldn’t make it to the top there was an opening with a amazing Mountain View about .75 miles in. A great place to call good enough if u have to.

Easy trail with shade and nice views. Considerable traffic noise along Tomah road but lessens on the north side of the loop. Lots of horses to keep you company. Would be a great family outing.

Lovely trail! Heavily used but everyone we met was well behaved and respectful, including the dogs! Was a nice escape from the stresses of dealing with a mom and her dementia. Took my doggo and enjoyed a good leg stretch. Nicely maintained and clean! Lovely views!

Fantastic trail for a quick hike that (including travel time to get there and get home) will only take a few hours from Denver metro. Brought our almost 4-year-old and 3-month-old with us and they did very well being carried, though it was a bit long for carrying. Recommend strollers if the very young kids can't make the distance. We went counter-clockwise on the loop, and I thought that was perfect. Walked through the valley first, got to see the overlook second and towards the end of the trail, so it was very rewarding.

Hiked in mid October and went CCW. Might be easier to go CW but either way is awesome. The hiking was pretty easy and the views second to none. Like others I would recommend the guide book. It’s free at trailhead if you promise to put it back or it’s a dollar donation at the visitor center.

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
3 months ago

At points it feels like endless scrambling through small, loose rocks. We joked that it was like hiking on the moon! Still a fun trail with pretty views at the end (although the views would be better if there was water in the lake!).

Beautiful views! Went in early October and it was freezing. There was snow and ice on the trail which made it a little more difficult. In the end if you aren’t a master hiker, taking rest stops along the way to take in the sceneries will get you through it.

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