Explore arvada - 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
19 hours ago

Great hike. Offers a challenge but not too steep - it was fairly easy taking it slow. The trail has plenty of coverage and great views! Fairly busy but we were able to avoid most traffic by getting there in the morning. The loop is less busy than the main out & back trail. $8 to enter El Dorado park.

I've only hiked this trail once and it is a really cool trail, especially 12 minutes away from my house in the city, but the main drawback for me is all the bikes. It's a very popular MTB trail and I had to pause pretty much every other minute to let a bike go by. A few bikes hurtled toward me and expected me to lunge out of the way. Overall it was hard to settle into the hike itself.

Quick hike with some elevation gain and great views as the payoff. Limited parking near the TH, so get there early. The trail is pretty much all about going up, but no significant climbing or barriers.

I never tire of the view from the top. Great drive. Even better climb, but I am sure that it is somewhat of a sore spot when you go through all of the hard work to summit this 14teener only to see a giant parking lot at the top. Ha-ha!

hiking
1 day ago

I'm heading to Echo Lake this weekend to hike to Idaho Springs Reservoir. Can anyone tell me the water level of Chicago Creek as it enters the reservoir? We are looking to fly fish and don't want to waste time if the water levels are too low. Thanks! I'll leave an official comment after we return.

It was my first time hiking in Colorado, great place to start. Really fun and enjoyed the beautiful views. Was a bit hard for the first time but I bet if you are used to hiking it would be a pleasant hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Couldn't have asked for a better hike today. The weather was beautiful, we had to park at the Brainard Lake Lot after getting there at 9am. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had expected
Everyone we did come across was super nice and very quiet. If someone can tell me of a place that is this easy of a hike and even more beautiful please let me know. I'm not sure there is a place.

hiking
2 days ago

Nice, somewhat crowded, trail that goes all the way around the lake. Kids really enjoyed it. Bathrooms are available at different points around the lake, making it user friendly for little ones, and big ones - ha,ha!

I did this in early Spring and it was a bit windy, but nice!

The hike is okay. The 'castle' ruins are really neat!

Wonderful views. The trail was great for the kids (ages 6 and 9). Bring your bug repellant of choice. Lots of mosquitos near the lake. Soo beautiful!

the rocks are SO cool!! fun hike, not super hard

Beautiful not to difficult to hike up to the waterfall drive up on a 2015 Jeep Wrangler made it up fine

Nice hike, great views at the top!!

Gorgeous area. If going on the weekend, get there early, parking lot does fill up, and area from echo lake to the Idaho Springs reservoir can get quite busy. Well shaded, good distance, pretty lakes, creek, and reservoir. Also dog friendly, expect to see a few. Highly recommend this hike!

hiking
3 days ago

a beautiful hike

beautiful, moderate hike, very crowded on the weekends. recommend arriving at trailhead before 730am. diamond lake has plenty of space for the masses but is busy by 930am. recommended!

Attempted this hike today and saw 2 Rattlesnakes on the trail within the first .5 miles. I was alone and decided not to risk it but will re-attempt in cooler temps with a buddy. Trail looks very nice but minimal shade.

Get run to build your mountain legs
Watch the poison ivy at the start of the canyon
Got sprayed by a skunk on the approach this morning

hiking
3 days ago

I started this hike at 7:30 a.m. (second car in the otherwise empty parking lot) on a Monday and returned somewhere between 1:15-1:30 p.m. This hike was definitely challenging for me as a flatlander and I had to stop to take breaks quite often. I also spent quite a long time up at the lake *maybe 45 minutes or longer) and took another longer break during my return at the reservoir to soak my feet before making the final uphill climb. I think this hike is moderate for people who live at altitude and hike regularly, or who are otherwise very fit. If you're not much of a fitness enthusiast and don't workout very often, this is going to be a very challenging hike. If you're fit-ish to average on physical activity, this hike is challenging.

It really surprised me to see so many folks without adequate hydration and starting later. Do yourself a favor and start by 7:30 a.m. because there isn't much shade after you get passed 10:30 a.m. All of the regular rules apply: bring sunscreen and reapply once you're up at the lake, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring more water than you think necessary, and pack loads of snacks. I brought 64 ounces of water and drank about 3/4 of it. Didn't encounter too many bugs other than curious bees at the lake. The only wildlife I encountered were birds (saw an eagle at Echo Lake first thing) and chiding squirrels. Trail rules indicate dogs are required to be leashed but most were off-leash - doesn't bother me but it's something to consider if you don't like dogs.

Some additional navigation tips:
-Once you complete the initial descent and get closer to the water, look out for the primitive log bridge to cross
-Exiting the woods, take a left to follow the access road for about a mile; if you're early in the day, you'll pass the Idaho Springs Reservoir and see trout jumping out of the water to feed.
-Follow the access road past the cabins; the trailhead will be ahead on your right with a no-fee permit station. Fill out your permit and take the trail immediately in front of you, not the unmarked trial to your right.
-You'll pass a second sign indicating that you're entering the Mt. Evans Wilderness; don't worry, you're on the right trail.
-I tried finding the trail to the upper lake and was unsuccessful. I ended up following some of the unmarked trails that go around the lake and wound up in a boggy area just before the lake. Maybe avoid that and do more research on picking up the trail to the upper lake than I did.

Quintessential Boulder hike. Went clockwise today - I prefer to tackle the big “steps” on the ascent and come down through the valley. Always nice to have bathrooms (across the street from the trailhead.) Friendly faces and interesting terrain. A perennial favorite.

Well maintained trails that are surprisingly pretty busy. Definitely take some water with you and wear the right shoes, rocks can get a bit rough at some parts. Plenty of hills and the views are gorgeous but if you’re not used to the elevation, I’d recommend taking it slow at first. Only down side is it’s a state park so you have to pay to enter.

Nice trail with a variety of terrain. This trail may be considered hard for those who do not hike frequently... some narrow, rocky areas with over 1000 ft of elevation change. The river was a nice spot to stop for a rest half way through the hike.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike! Definitely not too difficult... fairly trafficked on the weekend as of you approach the Lake. Lots of fun waterfalls and little features along the way.... If you’re doing this on a weekend definitely make it to the trail head by 7-7:15AM or you’ll be in a jam to find parking! We made it at 8 and parked about a half mile down!

Great hike. A little crowded on weekends but worth it.

My family did this hike we had someone from sea level and they were able to do it I would recommend this hike for younger kids and a first hike. At some parts were not well marked over all we thought it was pretty good

hiking
4 days ago

Nice, short trail for a quick nature getaway. It is quite steep if you enter from Settler’s Park, much more than expected. There are beautiful views of Boulder at the top. Bring lots of water and sunscreen as there’s not much shade.

hiking
4 days ago

This hike is great for a very easy hike with some awesome views. If you enter from Eldorado Springs you'll have to pay $8 to park your car, but you really see where that money goes while walk the well manicured trail with retaining walls on the side. If you park at the other end of the trail it's free (considered Boulder Open Space). The first half of the hike is very scenic, while the rest is pretty open and not as many views. I would suggest branching off to Spring Brook North Trail or Rattlesnake Gultch.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful BUT: The Lake is now drained. There's only little water left. no more waterfall, and compared to a month ago most of the wildflowers are now gone.
Still a nice walk/hike, would suggest going later in the day as it gets crowded in the morning.

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