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


A challenging hike where you are rewarded with beautiful vistas and a lake view at the top. Hiked on a Saturday morning in early October and only saw 2 other people on the entire hike. Amazing fog and snow flurries at the peak. After emerging from the cover of evergreens into open tundra, followed fox, coyote, and mule deer tracks up to the top. A classic Colorado hike and even better on a snowy fall day. Look for Mountain Chickadees, Grey Jays , Red Tailed Hawks, Picas and maybe a few Elk or Mule Deer.

It was beautiful, once we got to the top me and my friend decided to climb to the highest point we could. Which was passed the pile of boulders was the height point. Someone left a water proof container and named the peak Mt. Chuck. It had funny notes and quotes.

My family hiked this today. My kids would give this 3 stars! It was a hard hike and the summit was interesting but not the most beautiful hike we have ever been on. We definitely feel a sense of accomplishment.

Difficult, but worth it. The views are stunning as well as the wild flowers. If you have poles, they would be helpful. Much of the hard climb is shaded in the trees.
Generally pups are off leash, so bringing a leash aggressive dog will give you undo stress on this gorgeous trek. Otherwise there's plenty of streams for the dogs along the way.
Grab your water, suncreen, bugspray and enjoy!

Well worth the trip! As a 52-year old flatlander I got really winded toward the top. I recommend getting acclimated to the elevation before going. That said, it was absolutely gorgeous and the view from the top was just stunning. The roundtrip took us just over 5 hours with about 30-minute lunch break on top and a little lollygagging on the way down. We saw two moose cows and a calf along the way.

Nice out and back.

I did this trail about a week ago and it was so beautiful! the steep parts were a little difficult but nothing extremely hard. I think it would be too long for little kids to summit, but making it to the waterfalls would be easy

Hiked this trail 7/31/18. Beautiful view of the valley from the summit. Saw a moose with a calf in the clearing. Many wildflowers in bloom. The majority of the well defined trail boarders the stream. My daughters (22 and 20) and I (53) completed in about 5 1/2 hours-2:45 hour climb, 1 hour lunch at top and 1:45 hour descent. First half fairly gentle climb then it becomes more strenuous with numerous switchbacks. We paused several times for pictures and breathers on the way up but rarely on the way down. We are all reasonably fit but not to the extreme. I clocked this at 4 miles each way. I felt google maps provided better directions to the trailhead compared to Alltrails. Much of the approach roads are unpaved and a bit narrow but were passable in a minivan in dry weather.

My niece and I did this hike yesterday, and it is definitely more than a 7 mile hike. We tracked it with two phone apps and a Fitbit at 9.3 miles round trip to the pass. It was a beautiful hike through the woods with frequent encounters of Cabin Creek. After about 2 miles, you start to climb steadily. The reward coming out of the trees is the open cirque below the pass; lots of wildflowers still in bloom and a glacier stream. It started to get really windy here above tree line at about 4 miles. The trail gets steeper too, but you can see your destination close at hand. Getting to the pass on this hike is a must as you look down on Devil's Head lake as well as several other lakes. The pass was super windy (35 to 40 mph) but once we dropped over the ridge we were sheltered. We enjoyed our PB&Js with an awesome view. We really felt the miles and elevation as we headed back down, but it was well worth the effort. Don't forget to soak your "dawgs" in the creek when you get back to the car! This hike took us about 5.5 hours with frequent picture stops and a 30 minute lunch at the top.

We wanted to climb a mountain that wasn’t too far of a drive to the trailhead so we chose this one. The roads leading to the trailhead were winding and narrow at times. The trail to the top and back is seven miles long, but everyone in our group thought it seemed more like 14. It took us five and a half hours to go up and back. The word “hard” is an understatement for this trail but it was still fun. I would recommend wearing light clothing for the first part but bring warmer clothing if you plan to stay at the top for long, it was very cold and windy at the top. We saw one female moose and two marmots toward the top, but you really have to look around to notice them. Another group saw a coyote. I would recommend this trail if it is a close drive for you and you are in at least okay physical shape.

Excellent hike, but probably should not have done this on day 1 after coming from flat, low altitude Indiana! highly recommended as it has everything I was looking for: beauty and variety with the end point above the tree line and a view of multiple alpine lakes.

Difficult trail at the last stretch before Devil’s Thumb. Took me about 4-4.5 hours. I stopped a lot for my dog to get water, but there were lots of streams, too. Easy to cross. Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valley. I went 2 days ago so the wildfires had it pretty Smokey (I could smell smoke!) but it was safe. I wouldn’t say this was lightly trafficked - quite a few people on the trail.

Did this last week and its great!

My friends and I just did a 4 day backpacking trip, June 6th through the 9th. I absolutely loved this trail, being a Texan who has never hiked in any elevation or on trails with any substantial elevation gain this was a difficult trail for us. We averaged four miles a day but didn’t push ourselves too hard. First night was an pine ridge, we then hiked to finch lake where we stayed for two nights and day hiked to pear lake on the third day. The prepared camp sites at both pine ridge and finch lake were nice and clean. Pear lake was gorgeous, a lot more snow than I was expecting. It’s very well marked as well. I would definitely hike this trail again. It’s a great beginner multi day backpacking trail.

End of May - after 1.8 miles was too snowy to pass without snowshoes. Nice easy hike to a good view at that point though. Several downed trees still.

It was amazing to ski

Saturday, November 04, 2017

I haven’t done the whole thing, but there are some beautiful views in miles 2 and 3 that make it a hike worth doing at least once.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Definitely moderate to hard, getting out to the meadow and up to the top in the last 2 miles was one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. The last mile in the meadow is very rough, make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Absolutely stunning hike, 11/10 would recommend!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

This is a great day hike!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Great this time of year with the leaves changing.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Really fun hike 1/2 way gets steep and the last 1/4 is steeper but very nice trail did not feel unsafe or anything. Took about 5:00hrs round trip or so at 2mph, poles would have been nice. Great views on the way up and up top.

We had an amazing hike today. Not a cloud in the sky. This is a difficult trail but not technical at all. You can take your time and it is well worth it. Beautiful views near continental divide.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Starting at Finch Lake trailhead the first .75 miles is a steady incline and evens out for the next .75, healthy rocky incline after that until you go back down to get to Finch Lake. The trail tricks you into thinking you have it easy after Finch, there are some big inclines between Finch and Pear. So don't be fooled. ;) There are a couple little ponds to check out on the way with lots of tree coverage the whole way.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Awesome !!

Awesome !!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Awesome !!

This trail has everything...shade, Meadows, huge boulders, and a very difficult climb! Fantastic views at the top!

Monday, May 15, 2017

This is a nice ravine hike. The creek is dry at the bottom (must be underground) but about 2 miles up there is a nice creek. The sign says it opens for summer on 5/21. We went 5/13 and trail was somewhat overgrown with some rough creek crossings, but was still fun. Did not find a flat place to camp until 3+ miles in, stopped there. This is an unrelenting moderately steep hike.

rock climbing
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Probably one of my favorite places I've visited. Hot for hiking but there is access to water for pets. Beautiful place for climbing and the road there is calming. No pets were on leash, like most Colorado hikes, just a heads up. Highly recommend to anyone.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

bring snow shoes if you plan on hiking before mid July.

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