Explore 7/21 Backpack - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

7/21 Backpack Map

Awesome views and fishing

mountain biking
19 days ago

Saw literally 5+ moose early last fall. One of the best- really not too bad.

24 days ago

Still a rewarding trek on snowshoes this week, but starting to get slushy down low. No bare spots by any means, but made for an icy trip back at the end of the day. Still parking at the HWY14 turn off for The Craggs at this point which adds some distance/time. Always love this hike!!

This trail offers some great areas of the park. Some cool hiking above the tree line and we seen a ton of wild life. The trail is nice and easy to follow new scenery every day Great Hike!

Simply amazing! Go see for yourself, no disappointments

One of my favorite hikes I’ve done in Colorado. Great variety in scenery, good chance of seeing wildlife (moose, elk, black bear), incredible lake, and stunning views from the top of the divide. Plus there are very few people around, even during long weekends. Bring lots of water!

Challenging and breathtaking. One of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever hiked. HIGHLY recommend

3 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Colorado!!! It is rarely busy and offers a wide range of environments to trek through from forest, to boulder fields to tundra. In July the fields above tree line are covered in a wide variety of wild flowers, and there are giant patches of columbines.

The climb begins quickly. You'll accumulate a big chunck of elevation gain through the first 2 miles. The trail leads to an incredible view down the valley from a pretty exposed overlook. The next couple of miles are a more gradual uphill. It is a beautiful hike through boulder fields and forest with the sound of the stream ever present. The last third of the trip is the most grueling. It is a sustained climb to the lake.

In past years I have camped along the trail then tackled Square Top the next day.

Things to note - County Road 1038 is not well taken care of and has boulders that you will have to get over or around. There is almost always standing water a few inches thick somewhere on the road. I have seen a Prius make it to the trail head, but have been on trips where the driver of a Subaru didn't feel comfortable and parked two miles from the trial head. Be aware before you try and get there and don't be afraid to park before the road becomes brutal.

Also, the trail head isn't extremely well marked when you are heading up the road. I needed my GPS to make sure I was headed the right direction and find the trail. But, there is a very large boulder with a sign that guides you, it is just easier to see if you are looking back down the road toward the entrance from Geneva Road.

Bring bug spray or permethrin clothing. This trail is along a creek and bugs become unbearable without it. You may also want to make sure your hiking boots or shoes are waterproof. The trail has standing water sporadically and there aren't ways around the soupy parts. Lastly, once you get above tree line 7-foot-tall shrubs are grown right up along the trail and can feel like they are attacking you. Long sleeves offer a fair bit of protection.

4 months ago

Snowshoes or Cross-country skies are a must at this point. Only time we took off our snowshoes was on the frozen Michigan Lakes. The snow is very deep right now. Absolutely beautiful though with some great views of the surrounding mountains. Had to take the Michigan Ditch service road from the Cameron Pass parking lot so the trail was a little over 10 miles round trip which was exhausting.

4 months ago

So beautiful. When you think your not going to get there, that is when you are so close. Was a little erie as we spent 7 hours on this trail and did not see one human. Mountain playground all to ourselves. Went in middle of September when all the colors were beautiful below tree line. Lake see through blue, chilly but worth it.

Beautiful! Went counterclockwise, I’m out of shape...

Awesome trip. Went in early October and it got pretty icy close to Odessa lake. I would consider this a nice smooth trail with no major concerns. Takes about 3-4 hours depending on your stops. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and has several spots to camp, so take your pick. Spent 2.5 days on the trail and absolutely worth it!

Beautiful trail. You get glimpses of mountain views the whole way as you hike through a nice forest, but once you get to the top they are spectacular. Open, alpine environment with stunning mountains all around. It is definitely worth it to go the extra mile past the lakes to look over into Rocky Mountain national park. I encountered very few people along the way. Make sure to bring exact change as there is no ranger station, the fee was $7 in September 2017.

Amazing trail, really beautiful and scenic. Just wanted to note that All Trails rates this as moderate. This is definitely hard/strenuous. We did go the opposite direction as All Trails has listed and ran into a ranger who told us that we were hiking the "harder" direction...but I can't imagine the other way being much easier. No permits made it much nicer to plan than backpacking in RMNP.

6 months ago

This is definitely my go to state park for Backpacking. Short but demanding hike. Was here twice this month about two weeks apart. 9/9 and I went back this Monday 9/27 again and went back to Snow Lake again. This time the trail is covered in snow. Some of the trail esp when the switchback started were covered in snow and difficult to see but if u downloaded the offline maps it’s a clear path to follow!
I’ve seen s few moose’s more than my pat visit and was grazing near our tent.

Awesome hike! Did an overnight at Odessa Lake with my girlfriend. A bit windy at night so be sure to anchor down if staying the night.

Great hike in mid September. Weather was great and the scenery was simply stunning.

Got to the trailhead around 7:30 on a Saturday and there were only a few spots left. Did the trail counterclockwise (Devil Thumb lake first) which led to a pretty challenging climb up the pass (carried 35lb packs). Pretty crowded up to that point, but then it dropped off. We camped right by King Lake which was beautiful but really exposed. Fortunately there was no lightening but we had to guy out every line on the tent due to high winds - kinda sketchy. Beautiful hike with plenty to explore off the trail too.

Some good camp spots. Not the best lake, not a lot of waterfront so it does get crowded quick. Definitely challenging. Found a neat spot off of the Wagon loop that had a teepee for the night. Waterfall was great! It gets the most foot traffic, you'll run into a lot of people that are just doing that hike. Probably won't do it again, but well worth it to do it once!

7 months ago

One of my favorites. The amount of time spent above tree line makes this a magical alpine experience.

7 months ago

Great hike, but as others have stated there are a couple places that are no joke. Beautiful views with a lot of wild flowers still in bloom.

Amazing views lots of water some challenging steeps lots of awesome camping spots.

Beautiful hike! We parked at Bear Lake at around 730 am, hiked to Fern Lake and then took the shuttle back to Bear Lake. The park shuttles are so convenient for one way hikes. You pass Lake Helene, Odessa Lake and Fern Lake and Fern Falls. Wasn't that difficult either, just pretty long. Great views all the way through though.

Amazing views lots of water some challenging steeps lots of awesome camping spots.

Amazing views lots of water some challenging steeps lots of awesome camping spots.

the original trailhead for this trail (634) is closed. A larger parking at the TH for trail 600 is now where you park for shelf lake. Apparently there is a connector trail from the parking lot to shelf lake trail 634. Again, I'm posting this cuz I couldn't find the TH until the afternoon and too late to hike.

7 months ago

This is a one of kind alpine hike with lots of wildflowers, waterfalls, streams and wildlife located in the Never Summer Wilderness on the west side of Trail Ridge Road shortly north of Grand Lake. Parking is Located at the Bowen Baker Trailhead. This was one of my first hikes after recently moving to Colorado in July of 2016, it was a beautiful clear day and i got an early start up the trail with no other hikers around. As you make your way up the Grand Ditch trail a littler over 2 miles you come up to a 4x4 road and a stream that run parallel to each other the trail continues across the stream in which the rest of the way up to Parika Lake is steep uphill terrain. This hike took me approximately 6 hours as i also hiked to the pass above the lake for excellent views on both sides. Be sure to where hiking boots with good ankle support and bring plenty of water or a water purifier, there is plenty of streams to fill up on. I rate this hike a 4/5 for difficulty and 5/5 for scenic views. Follow me on Instagram for more mountain photography

Hiked this yesterday with our dog. Very beautiful trail with some creek crossings to stop and water the dog and cool down. We live here and hike quite a bit and it was a DIFFICULT hike. Steep grades the majority of the way and cairn route finding the entire way above tree line made the way up a slog. Once we passed the false summit, traversing to the lake was beautiful with wildflowers and snow. 1.2 miles after reaching the "top" AKA the false summit. Lake is nice but nothing spectacular. There was a little snow, which was fun. Again, steep loose trail had the legs burning on the way down. Only saw 1 other group on the trail. The camping nearby was also a plus, but some spots are much, much better than others. Overall a fun but difficult hike with a lake and hiking above tree line.

The wildflowers we're stunning. Literally tens of thousands of wildflowers!

8 months ago

very much worth the trip. very cool at night and encountered some light showers, but quickly left as it came. be up the mountain before 1 PM to select a night overnight spot.

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