Explore Around Denver - 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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hiking
12 hours ago

Nice views with the leaves changing colors. The last 1/4 mile had some tough steep hills. Certainly got the heart pounding.

short hike great place to spend the day

hiking
18 hours ago

uphill climb, but rewarding

hiking
19 hours ago

Hard hike but well worth the time. You leave the trail head and are constantly climbing to the destination. Make sure you have plenty of time for this hike it’s not one to do quickly. Someone that gets into a hurry could be easily injured.

hiking
19 hours ago

Great hike, tough on lungs and legs. No scrambling at all. The pup loved it as it wasn’t all too rocky until the summit

hiking
1 day ago

Awesome trail. Did it over Labor Day and still was quite empty. Could easily be considered hard due to length and elevation gain, but its all worth it for the variety of scenery. Although I saw a few 2wd sedans along the road to the trailhead, 4wd or at least something with clearance is recommended to get there.

Loved it, challenging (especially w/wind) but easy down!! Beautiful!!

This trail does get packed later into the day and holidays, so the earlier you go the better and there are two parking lots (north and south of the trail) that cost $5.00 cash to access. The trail head is in between the two lots. While I was there, there weren't many people on the trail and it was very peaceful. If you take the trail to access the lake just follow the main trail, don't veer right until you start to see the lake through the trees on your right hand side, then you can climb down to it using the paths.

The drive up to the trail head is beautiful in the fall, aspens cascade down both sides of the road (which has been newly paved at the time of writing this). The trail starts off wide with some loose rocks, but it is not difficult to hike and it's a short hike if you're just trying to make it to the lake itself. The main trail is nice with lots of foliage and boulders to rest on if you need to catch your breath due to altitude. Once you get to the lake the landscape becomes absolutely breath taking! While my husband I were there the water was unbelievably cold and it's colors were beautiful! Shallow parts of the lake were tan, but then others had a beautiful blue hue and it was completely clear!

If you want the hike to be a little more challenging (and a bit longer) hang a right and walk around the bank of the lake and go up towards the glacier. There is a trail to follow that goes up to the glacier and then up to the very top of the mountain itself. There is a warning sign saying it's not an official part of the trail, so take caution. There is wet ground and slippery rocks around due to the glacier and you may lose footing if you aren't careful or wearing proper shoes. My husband and I climbed up to the glacier bit and looking out over the lake and physically feeling the glacier was a wonderful experience. Pictures will be posted on here soon! Over all, this trail is easy, but you can make it more challenging and looking out over the scenery next to a glacier is not a bad way to spend your morning!

Not sure where the main trail head is, we walked 20 minutes over all rock. Tried to hike up next to a waterfall like stream and had to turn around. Terrain and climb was moderate to difficult with little or no payoff. Many people around us were really confused too-very disappointing.

Good quick sub 2 hour trip.

hiking
2 days ago

PSA: the trail is closed September 17th - 22nd and October 15th - 17th for routine maintenance.

I did not get a chance to hike the trail but I’ve heard nothing but good things!

one of my favorites

Amazing hike. A little tough, especially if you’re not used to the elevation, but it has everything. Starts in a forest setting, crosses a couple of creeks and opens up above tree line. Shelf Lake at the top was a real treat and very few people.

hiking
2 days ago

This trail has it all, in my opinion. Very challenging at the beginning, levels off for awhile then hard again (for someone not acclimated to altitude or used to hill climbing - came from Indiana). Open meadow, forest, rushing stream and waterfall off in the distance. Didn’t have enough time to get to the lake but the Fall colors were incredibly beautiful! Loved this hike! Only did about 6 miles round trip but had done 3 earlier in the day so my knees were ready to be done hiking (poles came in very handy).

I loved this trail! It is a good workout but not too hard. It is well maintained. There are plenty of beautiful sights along the way and at the end there is a very big payoff in the way of a beautiful lake surrounded by an awesome rotunda of rock. I took a dip in the lake and it was exhilarating to say the least. Highly recommended

trail running
2 days ago

Great little beginner-intermediate trail running or hiking. The views from the top are pretty good for being so close to the city and the red rock formations are really cool too. Definitely a busy-ish trail — I ran into about 20 people on a Monday afternoon. Overall a nice little hike for after work or if you’re trying to stay within an hour of Denver. Note that the park opens at 8am and closes at 7pm. Four stars from me because you have to pay $7 to get into the park.

hiking
2 days ago

So. Much. Road. Noise. Aside from that it was a pretty hike with interesting mining landmarks, low foot traffic, easy to find and a few good views

Absolutely love this trail! The views all the way to the top were breathtaking, especially since the leaves had begun to change.

Couple of things to plan for:

- The first part of the hike and the last stretch up to the top are deceivingly steep. Be prepared!

- There are no trashcans, so think about what you are going to do with your trash/ dog waste prior to starting!

- There is less parking the longer you wait to get to the trailhead. The early bird gets the worm!

Can’t say enough good things about this trail! It’s a great workout for both people and dogs, with views that can’t be beat! Highly recommend!

This is my go-to hike for all my out of town visitors. Typically it is very crowded, but most people are courteous and friendly. Get an early start to get parking and be sure to bring water for the pup. Great views and a fun experience climbing the 143 stairs to the fire lookout tower and of course meeting Billy Ellis who has been stationed at the tower for over 33 summers!

hiking
3 days ago

Great easy, short hike for out of towners with a high reward. Extremely crowded which is to be expected for such an easy hike. I highly recommend continuing up to the glacier for a bit more of a challenge plus some great views.

hiking
3 days ago

What an amazing hike! Pitkin lake is so beautiful during the fall. It is not as hard as you think. First mile is pretty tough but after that you can see very beautiful valley. Steady incline when you approach lake. Just bring enough water and a good snack. Must do if you in Vail area!

hiking
3 days ago

After following the advice re: going to dead-end of road and following 'old' trail to meet up with the new Crag's trail, I recommend to all who are not familiar with areas they will be hiking to use extreme caution/avoid attempting to utilize old' trails. The further I hiked from the trailhead the worse the condition of this old trail became to the point where 'guess-timation' kicked in (should have turned back at this point). After a bit of this, I decided against continuing so turned back and began my attempt to retrace my path only to discover that numerous washed out, dead-ended trails and false 'paths' resembled the 'old' trail.

If you have hiked certain areas for awhile, or enough in the past as to recognize other landmarks to guide you back to the trailhead,...then you may very well do okay. But for newcomers to areas to attempt to do so...on your way back toward dusk, or simply hours later after the sun's position has changed and the shadows under trees canopy distort the very slight markings which might/might not be the old 'trail', or, your memory of it's very slight existence becomes muddled,...be advised: the apprehension/possibility of spending a night in the woods only to pick up where you left off in the morning is not worth cutting off a smidgen of your hike to avoid a strenuous portion of a new trail.

Amazing hike with 360 views almost the whole way . Beautiful scenery and definitely a diamond in the rough . We didn’t see many people out on the trail and the parking lot is small. The road to the trail is definitely bumpy.. slow going for sure. But don’t let it keep you from going . I wasn’t expecting such an amazing hike . We didn’t get to spend as much time as we wanted at the top because it starting storming and lightening. But the view at the top - AMAZING... half the trail is dirt and some is nothing but rocks. The hike isn’t too strenuous and we only got to check out Lake Dorothy but I would definitely love to go back and explore the rest of the trail .

Loved this hike! Amazing views!
Only issue was our gps took us down a county road that was full of rocks and we had off road for 5 miles. We took another way out and it was fine. If your gps tries to take you down a county road and it looks rough don’t go down it, it only gets worse unless you have a Jeep or 4 wheel drive. We were coming from Colorado Springs.

hiking
3 days ago

We hiked Saturday September 15th. The colors are at or near Peak. Beautiful! The Aspens run just over 1 mile. Lots and lots of color... I've posted a few pictures.

When you reach your destination, enjoy the very old Bristlecone Pines.

The trail is (very) narrow (in some parts), the distance hiked is 6300 feet one way. With an elevation gain of 1000 feet, it puts the average grade (incline) at 16%. Due to the volume of people (500 an hour, on the trail) You'll be pulling over a lot to give others the right of way, or they'll be doing the same.

This hike consists of a trail, with a creek rushing down the mountainside. 7 Small bridges will help you zigzag your way to the top, and although the distance is short (1.2 miles) to the top, the grade makes the hike a challenge. With large rock steps, loose dirt and pebbles. It should take about an hour or two to the top, and your descent will be twice as fast. Take time to enjoy the scenery, it's not a race. Don't kid yourself, take enough water as the natural water isn't pure, bacteria thrives in it.

Many people take an extended break at the top. The water is crystal clear, but not safe to drink. The waterfall hitting Hanging Lake makes this a National Landmark and a great place to zone out. Loved it, please don't damage it with graffiti or trash.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful trail with a stream the whole way up. Fall colors are about at their peak. Loved the variety of terrain and scenery plus a nice challenge with some steep areas and decent elevation gain. Only saw 2 groups of people coming down when I was heading up on a Saturday afternoon. Spent 30mins up at the lake with absolutely no one else around. Saw a huge bull moose just about 30ft away on the way down. Will be adding this to my repeat list.

The trail to the top is worth it, though it’s pretty short and soooo crowd. There is a few steep climbs along the way. I would go as early as possible and certainly not on the weekend. In may 2019, hikers will need a permit $ to hike this trail and moreover, they’ll have to take a shuttle to get to the trailhead.

hiking
4 days ago

went yesterday and the leaves are just about done falling off the aspens. Today will likely be the last day the hike will be good to see the aspens. low bush foliage is very pretty at the end in the bowl.

Got to the trail head at sunrise and there were 6 cars in the lot. when I got back down the lot was full and cars waiting for spots. Nice and brisk at the start, needed a jacket, but once the sun started hitting the mountainside, little by little ended up in shorts and a tank top. Initial start is up hill but nothing real strenuous and then it levels out and is a very relaxing walk. Saw a bull moose in the first mile of the trail off in the willows. Nice fall smells and colors. Enjoy!

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