Explore 2018 to do - 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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Very challenging hike, especially with 6+ inches of snow on the ground. With all the snow, trails aren’t marked that well, just follow everyone else’s footprints and hope they go in the right direction. Great views on top of Horsethief and Pancake. Overall for me was 8 mile round trip.

Epic long trail. I’m taking this one a few sections at a time. Plenty of camping sites in each section and water has been easily available during the non drought seasons. I’ve covered 115 miles so far. The Colorado Trail Foundation has an excellent Guidebook to assist with specifics along the trail. Plan ahead if thru hiking.

This trail was definitely hard! It is uphill the whole way up and continues to get steeper as you reach the top. The views are absolutely amazing. It got extremely cold and windy towards the last stretch of the trail so wear warm clothes! I would also recommend hiking boots and poles. There are some parts with gravel that were slippery. There was some snow up there but not a lot. Would definitely do it again!

hiking
21 days ago

Really great trail! Difficult but not insanely so (no huge boulders to scramble over or overly slippery places), and I loved making it out to the reservoir. Distance on AllTrails seems a little off though, perhaps because the actual trail doesn't go all the way to the reservoir (although the map on this site does). The person I hiked with logged 4.5 miles on their Apple watch starting at Boulder Street and going all the way out to the reservoir and back.

In my opinion, this trail is a lot harder than moderate for a relatively “in shape” adult. It is a steady incline the entire way to D.P. with some very steep portions that are rock/gravel. Trail is relatively easy to follow.

Of course, the views along the way are priceless and 100% worth the journey. Approximately 8-9 miles round trip, depending how much wandering you do once at the top. We averaged around 1 hour per mile. We are from Illinois and the altitude had our lungs working pretty hard!

Overall 4/5. Would try again with better preparation.

Amazing hike! Very up hill, lots of stoping points.

off road driving
1 month ago

Great trail for stock 4x4, views were excellent. There was a fair amount of traffic Saturday morning going up stage coach and gold rush... once we got up to almagre trail we felt pretty secluded! Our stock Jeep Grand Cherokee did excellent we had no problems, had a blast.

Easy to find, good parking and the views driving to this hike were stunning at this time of year. Only wish there was a trail marker closer to the top. The end view is beautiful and yesterday the fog was still on some of the mountains, so we had aspens, pancake rocks, fog, sunshine and beautiful blue skies. I really enjoyed this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely hike. I went clockwise but next time will go counter clockwise as I think this is the more scenic approach. Beautiful Aspen forests on the south side of the loop, lovely meadows, streams, and peaks to see on the northern side.
Lots of stream crossings. Fresh scat on trail just northeast of Dome Rock. Not sure if it was cougar or coyote. Be smart and safe when hiking.

Great for kids with wide trails. Nice views.

hiking
1 month ago

A challenging and enjoyable hike! I took a previous hiker's advice and took the Pancake Rocks trail first before the Falls and that would be my recommendation as well. This trail is an incline for the majority of it and I didn't meet a single person on the trail that wasn't huffing, so if you want a physical challenge this is the perfect hike for you. The leaves are a gorgeous fall color on 10/2, but I suspect they won't be that way for long. Lots of pine coverage along the trail so would be a great hike year round. Parking at the trail head is limited and this is a popular trail so plan ahead and happy hiking!

Awesome view of the aspens

This hike was beautiful! Lots of surprises along the way. It was a little confusing at the beginning because it has you park at the park. But used the compass to find our way to the trail head. You start on Thomas trail and then fallow the green dots to the blue dots. When you get to the dirt road at the top use the compass to help you get to the reservoir. So worth it!

This hike was amazing. Difficult, but the view at the end — especially when the aspens are changing — is absolutely worth the effort!! I hiked to Pancake Rocks and not the falls. To be honest, I’m a beginner hiker and I was hoping to see more aspens and pancake rocks throughout the hike, but there really wasn’t much of either until the final payout at the end! I was hoping to turn around half way (because I’m out of shape!) but even though it was beautiful, I didn’t see what I was hoping for until the very end.

Overall, it took about 1:45 hrs to hike up, and 1:20 down. Careful, there’s quite a bit of loose gravel on your way down! Lots of nice friendly people and doggos- especially during aspen season.

About half way through there’s a few switchbacks — this is the hardest part! Just push through it, and when you get passed them, it starts to even out. There’s a few smaller rolling hills from there to the end, but it’s cake compared to the switchbacks!

Nice hike. The switchbacks are killer, especially for someone new to hiking like myself but it’s well worth the view at the end. I just wish there was more to look at along the way. I got there shortly after 7 on Saturday morning and had the trail pretty much to myself. On the way back there must’ve been at least 40 cars parked along the road so go early. Lots of people and dogs. Weekdays are probably better as far as the traffic goes.

off road driving
2 months ago

Fun trail, not too difficult. I did about half the trail in a leveled Chevy Silverado on 34" all terrain tires. Didn't finish the trail due to afternoon storms rolling in.

9/9/18. If you're looking for a shortish challenging hike this is great. I have a labrador and had him off leash pretty much the whole time. There aren't any scramblers but there are a couple spots that are close. My girlfriend and I are around 30 years old and had no problem completing it in a half day. I wouldn't recommend using hiking poles unless you don't feel your physically up to a challenging hike. There are plenty of rocks and small trees to balance with, poles would have just gotten in the way. NOW, here's the part that wasn't great, once you get to the dirt road the crystal trail technically ends, it doesn't go all the way to the reservoir. luckily I downloaded the area map via google and used it as a compass and made our own trail until we found pikes peak tollway, once you find that you can find the reservoir. I recommend NOT stopping at the dirt road! keep toughing it to the reservoir, totally worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

I'm a very experienced hiker in good shape and my wife is in good shape as well. We did this hike after having seen it on AllTrails. This trail was absolutely beautiful this time of year, very green, lots of small creeks, and we even picked some wild strawberries right off the trail. For whatever reasons we decided to do the hike in reverse. If you decide to do that, make sure you bring plenty of water. I usually carry less water and bring a filtration kit to resupply from streams. Most of the streams you cross are in the beginning, which means that is your only opportunity to fill up if you hike in reverse. Also, plan on crossing some streams, they were roughly knee height during ours.

Great hike. Cool waterfalls and great views from the top.

So beautiful!!!

This trail starts out with lots of people, then as you turn to go up pancake rocks, almost no one! Tough hike, no doubt. Once you get to the top, absolutely beautiful!!

well we were shooting for the Thomas trail and ended up on the Crystal trail. Beautiful trail but much harder

This was one of my favorite hikes. Echo what others have said about it having it all. Amazing views and the Dome Rock is spectacular. Saw a bear walking along Dome Rock which was an added bonus. Be careful of the notes in the last couple wayfair markers on the All Trails Map, just follow the map rather than the notes. This was a GREAT hike, it’s long, but worth every mile. There is nothing to technical about the trail, the Hard rating I’m sure comes more from the distance. The stream crossings are easy, but bring sandals or water shoes. Look forward to doing this one again as the Aspens change colors in the fall.

hiking
2 months ago

Today was a perfect day for this 10.7 mile hike around Dome Rock! This was my second time to hike the loop – beginning on the northside and continuing on around Dome Rock to the southside for completion of the hike in four hours and 30 minutes. The creek crossings were more fun this time with water shoes – last time simply had flip-flops! There were less blooming wildflowers on this trip compared to last time – two or three weeks ago I’m sure the valley was bursting with color. Still looking for a Big Horn sheep but again saw none. This is a great training hike in preparation for summeting a 14er. The elevation gain and multiples difficult accents make this a great cardio workout in preparation for low oxygen levels and muscle stamina – all required to comfortably summit a 14er. As stated in my previous post on this hike – I look forward to returning when the aspens are turning – it will be like a new hike!

Excellent day hike! Did this with my father who is in his 60’s and my son who is 13. Make sure to check the weather before going and pack a jacket, it can be cooler in certain areas even in July when we went. Great views!

Well marked and great views along the way

Switchback central! I’d say it’s a moderate if you frequently hike and it is quite steep but nice and quick and a beautiful place to relax at the top.

Definitely a fun and challenging trail. Pretty steep. It’s beautiful and a great exercise. In the beginning it shares the same trail head as Thomas Trail and then you come to a fork where you can go right to follow the yellow trail markers (Thomas Trail) or go left to follow the blue/green trail markers which is actually Kirkpatrick Trail. Go left on Kirkpatrick Trail for a bit and you will see eventually the blue trail marker for Crystal Trail. Trail is well marked after that. Plenty of switch backs!

hiking
3 months ago

Arrived at the parking area on a Saturday at 0630 and only one other car was there. Hiked the trail clockwise and it took right at 5 hrs and clocked in right at 11 miles. Plenty of creek crossings but water was low so no need to take boots off. I do wish I had brought long pants, you will be hiking through a lot of shrubs. Some of the trails were poorly marked and wasn’t sure what direction. Just pulled out my AllTrails app and made sure I was headed in the right direction. Unfortunately only animals I saw were turkey, woodpeckers and chipmunks. Beautiful hike though!!

This is a great trail but hard to find. Park downtown near the pond. Walk across the main road on park and turn right on boulder. Once you come to the trail it is called Thomas trail. Take the yellow dots until you hit the green and make a left. You will cross Crystal Creek to catch the trail on the other side. You will see a sign for Crystal Creek on a tree. Don’t cross the foot bridge, stay to the right and it will wrap up and around higher up. Once you cross the river you take a trail up until you see the actual Crystal Creek trail sign. Once your on the trail you will know it!! Straight up with zig zags. Nice creek at the top for the dog. This trail is an amazing work out!!

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