Explore 3-4 hour drive - 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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How fun to find this trail so close to town. Loved running to the upper fall and letting the crowd at the bottom thin out. Once back at the bottom I was able to bask in the beauty of the fall.

hiking
11 days 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
14 days 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.

hiked this trail in July. it's a steep hike with lots of hikers on the trail but the scenery was magnificent with an incredible little alpine lake waiting at the top. start early so you can summit the peak and really get to see everything. I can only imagine how amazing the view must be from the summit. but if you only make it to Cathedral Lake, like myself, it's still very much worth the hike. people on the trail or super friendly as well. highly recommended hike!

hiking
16 days ago

Good workout going up to the upper falls. The trail is a little rough and rocky at times, but the views are stunning and well worth the effort. It started snowing at the upper falls, so we didn't continue on to the lake. Maybe next time.

hiking
16 days ago

One of my favorite hikes ever. Total mileage with a detour to a high meadow was 10.7 from the car and back. Great exposure nearing the top with some impressively steep views. Don't be fooled once nearing the last switchbacks, there's still about another mile or so to the lake.

trail running
17 days ago

I loved it. A panting, sweaty, water guzzling man advised I’d be better off doing an easier run at the one mile marker (swing). As he was about to turn back down looking exhausted, I kindly said thanks for the tip and kept going up. My two cents for whatever it’s worth, the top is beautiful and running back down felt amazing.

Hiked mid-October 2018 — Beautiful!! Had the trail to ourselves, but it was well traveled enough that we could follow the footprints in the snow. You need a high clearance, 4WD vehicle to get to the trail head. One of the Honda Civics in our party didn’t make it all the way to the trailhead. Definitely recommend gaitors and spikes too. No fee for parking.

My girlfriend and I hiked this in early August. It was our first fourteener together.

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.

hiking
25 days ago

rock climbing
25 days ago

Wicked climb! made it to the lakes in 70 min. then the climbing begins. fun test of your route finding and climbing skill.

Beautiful hike. We first did the overlook of the first falls, which was just a stroll and would be perfect for a walk with children or those who want the views without the hike ;)
The second falls hike was a great workout and had a spot in the middle where we got some relief from the incline. It was technical and rocky at parts, and some parts had some snow/ice - spikes probably would have been helpful but we didn't use them.
Would have loved to continue on to Long Lake if we had started a little earlier in the day!

Hiked Sunday 10/14/18. Absolutely beautiful hike! It snowed the whole time! It does get windy and chilly at the top. Some of us did wear spikes and others didn’t, no one slipped! I would say it’s a moderate hike/nice workout if your an experienced hiker! Picture ops around every corner!

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
1 month 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!).

Really beautiful hike. It had snowed the night before and all the trees were heavy w powder, which was coming down in chunks as the sun came out. There is a rocky traverse near the upper falls, which other than some snow and ice falling off the sides, was fine and easy. No crampons needed. Gaiters are recommended but not necessary.

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.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked Humboldt Peak in July. It was my first true 14er. It was definitely difficult in some areas near the top of the peak. Overall it was achievable and very beautiful. You get a good view of the Crestones though the hike as well.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this hike Sunday October 7. The trail is definitely longer than advertised— the whole hike I recorded via this trailhead from the parking lot to the lake was 10.1 miles total. The trail spreads the elevation gain out well and is marked clearly throughout. We got some snow at the top but trail was clear

Comfortable slope up to wilderness boundary where two other trails branch off to access canyons to the north and east. Huge wide valley filled with the yellow and orange fall brilliance of aspens.

Beautiful foliage! Definitely recommend the trail to crater Lake. I hiked with two dogs by myself and do not recommend hiking this narrow trail with two dogs. It was rainy, muddy, and slippery. At crater lake it was sleeting and cold. The lake was not dry as the post from last week said although it was cloudy and views of the mountains were not good..

A BEAUTIFUL hike. The trees and views are beyond stunning along the entire path and it’s an amazing lake. Pretty populated in the early afternoons but the lake is big enough to have some alone time at the top.

It was a strenuous hike due to its length and the steep incline at the end, but great for anyone looking for that “We made it!!!” feeling. I recommend taking the time to hike around the lake to see the flowers, plants and wildlife.

Great for those wanting a wholesome Colorado nature experience.

hiking
1 month ago

Maroon Bells is absolutely breathtaking with the aspen tree fall foliage. This was definitely a moderate hike, it was steep most the way up and very rocky. I recommend good hiking shoes with grip due too many loose and slippery rocks. I had to stop and take a quick breather about 3-4 times on the way up, however, I’m from sea level and have only been in Colorado for 2 months. Took just over an hour out and maybe 30 minutes back. Overall a good hike minus the heavy traffic on a narrow trail along with multiple people blasting music on their cell speakers along the way. If it’s solitude you’re looking for you won’t find it here. Just gorgeous scenery.

We loved this trail!! We are not used to doing trails like this because we are from Oklahoma, but loved the length and it was a great workout!

I'd rate the trail between moderate and hard, some parts pretty steep, others a little rocky, but definitely doable with a little experience. Both the upper and lower falls were nice, albeit pretty tame after seeing St. Francis falls in Glacier last month. Hiked about a mile above the 2nd falls: fantastic views and great color.

It is stunning scenic trail with the foliage. The lake is empty now but the scene does not disappoint

Absolutely stunning due to all the aspen trees. So incredible! Trail is well paved, not too rocky. Certain parts are a bit rocky and the switch backs get steep at the end. All worth it! Enjoy!

August 2009. Amazing beautiful trail

Great trail with mixed terrains. Both waterfalls are pretty low on water, and so are all the lakes by Steamboat. We went to the upper Falls, you can add miles to the hike by going to Longs Lake.
I would rate this upper moderate rather than “hard”.
Overall beautiful hike in fall colors!

$5 entrance fee per car.

Nice hike only went to lower falls , trail was paved all the way . Will try upper falls soon.

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