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

Aspirations Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
23 hours ago

Hiked on 1/21, the trail is very snowy, and can be slippery at some steep slope (even with micro spikes), especially near the top. but the trail was absolute beautiful, quite, and it’s super fun to hike on! It took us a little more than 3 hours to complete, because we stopped a lot for taking photos. Lake on the top was half frozen; it’s gorgeous and totally worth the effort.

Great quick hike close to Denver. Trailhead has plenty of parking around 830am on a holiday. The snow was packed but you absolutely need spikes or tracks. It was slippery! I could not find the first falls due to the frozen water and no sound, and the second main fall was frozen solid but pretty to see. There is a sign right off to the left of the trail. Look for it. I passed a few people who said they missed it. I could not catch the loop on the way back from the hike, at the other trailhead. Either it was snowpacked or not clearly marked. I just went back the way I came. Only annoying thing, even though there were plenty of signs about leashing the dogs, but there were so many dogs off leash and dog poop bags on the side of the trails...some dogs friendlier than others. I have a friend that has been traumatized by a dog bite, and unfortunately, she could never come since people don’t care about the rules. I came for a hike, not to greet 50 dogs.

Easy, snow packed trail. We did this with some friends and they did not use traction on the way up. (We had microspikes). We got here at 8am and had parking, but when we returned at 10am everything was full. The elevation gain was spread out pretty evenly, with the most steep sections at the last half mile.

Went up 1/16. That first portion was all mud and ice.
Immediately used yak trax. I wore the trax the entire time. Mostly powder packed, mostly not slippery but occasionally.

Had to be more careful than usual going down the final scramble from the top due to melt on rocks.
If you’ve done this trail before, you’ll be fine.

Went up 1/16. That first portion was all mud and ice.
Immediately used yak trax. I wore the trax the entire time. Mostly powder packed, mostly not slippery but occasionally.

Had to be more careful than usual going down the final scramble from the top due to melt on rocks.
If you’ve done this trail before, you’ll be fine.

Went up 1/16. That first portion was all mud and ice.
Immediately used yak trax. I wore the trax the entire time. Mostly powder packed, mostly not slippery but occasionally.

Had to be more careful than usual going down the final scramble from the top due to melt on rocks.
If you’ve done this trail before, you’ll be fine.

We visited Dawson's Butte and completed the 5.0 mile trail loop on January 13th. What a beautiful hike and so much fun for snowshoeing! We will definitely be back during the spring and again in the fall.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
2 days ago

Got to South Mess TH at 8am today to only a couple cars in the parking lot. Don't forget to pay your $5. The trail starts off slow on rolling hills. In the morning it was still cold enough to have hard pack snow, ice and just a little bit of mud all the up to the mouth of the canyon. In the canyon, it was hard pack snow and ice. Be ready for 1.2 mile serious trek. The path is beaten in nicely, so there's never a doubt where the trail is. Once on the saddle, I hit Bear Peak first. When I got there there was no trail apparent, except for some postholes. I followed those in knee-high snow to the peak. Coming back down and heading over to S. Boulder was the same. More route finding and postholing. There was no wind today. By the time I got back down, it had warmed so much that all the ice and snow had melted into mud. As far as what to wear on your feet: waterproof boots are a must, spikes once in the canyon are highly recommended, snow shoes would be great for the last little bit but no sense in dragging them up for the last 15 mins; gaiters might be more helpful here.

snowshoeing
snow
2 days ago

Nice, easy snowshoeing hike. We took our time and it was about 2 hours. If you're in a rush and in shape, 1 hour is definitely possible.

There were a few people out there, but most were in Meetups and condensed to a few large groups that easily separated and allowed for some private hiking. There is a slight elevation change but doable for people of almost any fitness level and skill.

60% of the hike did not need snowshoes, about 2 days after 6" fell. Trail was pretty condensed. 40% of it, though, I was glad to have shoes. You can get away with spikes for the whole thing.

Lots of dogs on leash.

Note: The parking fills up early. We arrived at 8:45 and it was half full. When we finished by 11:00 there were cars circling waiting for spots to open up.

Garmin: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3317309643

Easy family tromp. Multi-use, enough uphill to get the heart going. Good view of the Front Range and Denver. Adequate parking and coffee shop (Monk and Mongoose) just down the road.

All snow, a little muddy but the trail is lined out perfect. Great afternoon hike. 1/52

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked on 1/17, lots of wet snow making the trail difficult at the top. Yaktrax were helpful. The lake was mostly frozen.

hiking
3 days ago

Great loop if you’re in the mood to hike but not kill yourself with ridiculous incline. Beautiful views throughout but the summit by one of the falls is

Went on Saturday at 9:30 am. There were four cars in the parking lot. I imagine in summer it is a bit more crowded. There was more snow then expected. Two people had gone before me on the trail with snow shoes so I was able to follow. I did not have snow shoes so was glad they cut the trail.
North side you can hear the cars from Tomah Road, but you are not walking right on the road, stil a little break between them. The trail is rolling hills and most pleasant views. The snow made it a bit magical.

Great views of mountains and city, did not expect that being right in the middle of the city setting.
It was nice to get a quick/challenging hike in, then go to lunch, then get grocery shopping done all in one trip!

A beautiful peaceful day on the trail. The trail was snow packed so no need for snowshoes even after freshly fallen snow 2 days prior. Parking is a challenge since the lot has not been plowed due to the furlough :0(. Could not make it to calypso cascades since the trail disappeared shortly after the “Y”. Therefore backtracked and went to Finch Lake instead. I was the only soul on the trail today. Of course it is Monday. Beautiful views of Mt Meeker and Longs about half way up. Sweet little creek crossing that had amazing ice crystals

beautiful trail and perfect weather on 1/14. 6-8 inches of snow on each side of the trail, moderately packed snow on the trail itself. used micro spikes pretty much all the way.

We hiked this in the snow today and the compacted snow trail was easy to follow. Great views all the way around and the elevation changes added some challenge. The herd of deer was fun to see.

Great views. Did trail clockwise so went up the stairs which felt safer. Trail was snow covered and deep in places. No ice but should wear micro spikes

amazing winter hike. snow was loosely packed, not icy. I hiked in just boots with good grip. get out here when the snow is fresh, it's stunning!

Fresh snow but I made it most of the way with spikes and poles. Just follow the power lines - but be careful, parts of the lines were covered in snow. About a mile up the snow got deep enough I decided not to try going farther.

Excellent hike!

Way fun trail. A little more on the rocky side at the north tip in several areas, but hey we live in the rockies, run higher air pressure guys. Plenty of views with sitting areas. Open spaces on the tops of ridges, totally awesome if you want to bring the kids and blow their minds. Saw several elk in several places. Some areas on the south east side through the pines were ridiculous radical with switch backs and lip hits so you can throw mean airs and smash turns in between. Adrenaline was maxing in several areas. Ridge sections were way skinny in several ridge areas, like almost 12 inches, so be careful when your Mad Maxxing through sections and your on the gas, you might take a digger off the ledge. This made for a Moab like pucker factor right here in castle rock which I just find amazing. This trail system is totally sick and I will return and ride it often. There is mostly mountain bike traffic, lots of it. After today I might need treatment for addiction. #SurfTheEarth

Great variety of terrains.

One of my favorite trails! So beautiful. We did the loop counter clockwise, it seems like it could have been a little easier to do it clockwise though.

Hiked this trail 4 days ago. It was icy with light snow coverage. I used micros which helped a great deal. The frozen waterfall was beautiful!! A great winter hike. I look forward to doing this hike in the spring.

Almost nothing but straight up and straight down the whole way. Just a few not too long flatter parts. I didn’t mind going up and didn’t find it too difficult. Going down was not so enjoyable, however. It took longer than anticipated having to be careful not to slip on the loose rock and dirt and by the end my legs were tired of the constant weight forced down on them with each step thanks to the steepness. I guess that’s why it’s rated difficult. My girlfriend who is afraid of heights was not a fan of the steepness, loose rock and dirt, and scrambling towards the top. Pretty extensive views of Denver, surrounding towns, and Rockies throughout, including 360 view at the peak, though honestly the view of the mountains at the peak wasn’t quite as beautiful as I was hoping. Some of the further peaks were covered by snow storm which may have affected that. Also FYI super windy as you go up. Little chilly at the top. I will probably try it again. No snow or ice as of today, 1/7.

Beautiful!

Agree with comment below.

Load More