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.

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Awesome trail! Couple of inches of snow on the trail this morning! Time to start whipping out cross country skiis and snow shoes!

hiking
15 days ago

Lots of variety. Spectacular lake.

hiking
16 days ago

My fiancée and I took on this trail. I did it a couple years ago in September and loved it so I wanted to share it with her. She had never really hiked before, so with a lot of perseverance we made it to the lower lake. She said the trail was challenging but satisfying, the lake was worth the hike and the people were exceedingly friendly. She was glad we got her some high quality hiking boots and socks. Being from Missouri, we sucked a lot of air, but we used a neat little portable oxygen tank we found at the store and made it without too much trouble. I would highly recommend these to those without experience hiking at altitude. It made a big difference. The aspens were beautiful. The vistas were outstanding. We saw marmots, a couple cow elk, a grouse, a trout in the lake and countless songbirds.

Great trail. Started from Jack's campground following the trail along the creek. We made it a circuit by returning on old flowers trail and road to make it a 10.6 mile trek. Lots of water for the dogs.

Beautiful hike with color around every turn. The only reason to go past the first lake is to see it from above, absolutely awesome, the other two lakes are major waste of your time and energy

Disappointing trail, gorgeous lake destination. Did this hike September 26. 90 per cent of this trail is through dense forest with no vistas - you could be in an evergreen forest anywhere in Colorado. Extremely overused trail, not well maintained and poorly designed, employing steep straight up gradients where switchbacks should have been built. No fall color here and in late September obviously no wildflowers. Blue Lakes are in a beautiful setting, especially Lower - with cinnamon orange slopes framing the lake to the east, sharp snowy peak and talus slope to the south. Try Ice Lake Basin nearby for a far superior trail, though harder.

hiking
21 days ago

Beautiful hike!

Beautiful hike!! It was long and got rough near the end, but the lake and cirque views are worth it!

backpacking
23 days ago

Awesome hike. Pretty for sure. Pretty tough with a 30lbs pack on though.

Absolutely beautiful hike!!

I hiked to the bottom lake on 15 September 2018. I probably should not have. wasnt ready for this trail. lol. know your limitations, then pass them by. awesome hike. so beautiful. friendly people along the way. 3 hours to the first lake for me. 2.5 hours back down. my goal is to get down to 1.5 hours going up. definitely recommend this hike. dont quit. the view is worth the a fib. lol

hiking
29 days ago

This is one of the most enjoyable hikes I have ever done. Gorgeous views the whole way. Mild ascent to the first lake followed by a short (but steep) climb to the upper lakes. Hiked this trail on 9/15 to enjoy the fall colors.

Up to Cirque Meadows is very easy. The aspens are changed, making much of the path very colourful.
We were confused at first about the marked campsites which are farther up the trail past the meadow-the sites were nice, site 3 has a good view.
The rest of the way was tougher, and some places we lost the trail as it wound up the boulders.
The end views are breathtaking, and great photo opportunities. I plan on going again in June when the wildflowers are bloomed.

Beautiful scenery, very diverse (meadows, forest, open space above tree line with amazing views, stunning lake), trail well maintained. Would highly recommend and would do it again! One thing I would like to add is that the mileage seems a bit off. I measured about 8 miles out and back.

backpacking
1 month ago

This was my first ever backpacking experience. Nothing will make you feel like you over packed quite like this incline! It was definitely hard but so worth the trek. We went the Thursday and Friday before Labor Day to avoid the weekend camping crowd. The views and feeling of seclusion was a great way to round out summer. You can’t have fires up in the campground area, so be sure to pack some fuel for a camp stove and pack layers. It was fairly windy most of our stay there, but being in the tent at night was plenty cozy.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was beautiful! It was my first backpacking trip and I was not disappointed! The day I went, there was a chance of a storm... luckily there wasn’t. My friends and I truly enjoyed it! Awwwww sooo fun! The incline was a little strenuous, but nothing too difficult!

hiking
1 month ago

Busy area and trail but very beautiful. I thought the atv's were loud until a car full of tourists showed up around 6 a.m. On my way down, a group of young white people, whom thought I was out of earshot or just didn't care, started making fun of how I looked. Sad way to end the day but everyone else I crossed trails with earlier in the day, was very kind.

hiking
1 month ago

Busy area and trail but very beautiful. I thought the atv's were loud until a car full of tourists showed up around 6 a.m. On my way down, a group of young white people, whom thought I was out of earshot or just didn't care, started making fun of how I looked. Sad way to end the day but everyone else I crossed trails with earlier in the day, was very kind.

on American Lakes Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked today and was impressed with the views...then we saw the moose on the trail. Incredible! Just hike up to Snow Lake...you won’t regret it. Maybe 15-20 people in the 10 miles we hiked.

A really nice trail. We started from Jacks Gulch Campground and wound our way down to the junction w Fish Creek Trail, then a long steady climb up to Beaver Park. Kept dog close since it definitely looked like mountain lion country. Came back via Flowers Trail/Road. Don’t miss the monument to the B17 crew at the end of the Flowers Road before it turns to trail only. Nice remembrance to those that died in the crash. The actual plane crash is located on the Stormy Peaks trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Outstanding! Ideal for backpacking in to camp at the end of the trail before it gives way to trails to Thunder Pass and Snow Lake. Could hike to Thunder Pass one day and Snow Lake another, or crush them both in one day!

Great hike. Went up to the pass. The trail is very well maintained until the trail goes above the vegetation line. It's a little rough above that but very doable until the pass.

hiking
1 month ago

Outstanding hike. First part is a pretty decent incline but after mile 2 or so it isn't too bad. The climb from the lower lake to the second lake is, once again, a pretty decent incline but the payoff of the view makes it all worth it. Lower lake is aqua blue and crystal clear. Upper lakes are still amazing but totally different feel than the lower. Ran into quite few groups of hikers but never felt "crowded" by any means.

hiking
1 month ago

Stunning the whole way!

hiking
1 month ago

What a great hike! 6 Moose and some deer along the trail. Lots of wild flowers and enough of a distance and elevation gain for a good workout. The lakes at the top were amazing. Quite a few campers staying over night by the lakes. Trail is very rocky in several places, but easy to follow with so many different views from thick forest, open meadows to hill top scenery.

Beautiful hike!

on Blue Lakes Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Arrived Sat morning at 10 am had a few parking spots available. We hiked past the 1st lake to the overlook above the lake. Amazing views! Steep incline thru most of the trail. Took us 5 hours to complete.

backpacking
1 month ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I've ever been on. The hike to the lakes is uphill the entire way. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I had some people say it flattens out some, it doesn't. I took a 35lb pack to stay overnight. I recommend you save as much weight as you can. That being said, I will do it again, and as many times as I can.

Amazing trail! I loved the views. I would definitely go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. I started my hike at 6. Definitely venture up to the upper lakes. You’ll get an amazing view of Blue Lake and the upper two lakes are pretty in their own way. The hike up to the upper lakes is hard but totally worth it.

I was here two weeks ago and would note that I ran into a small cub while driving up to the trailhead. Instead of moving on the cub kind of chilled in the middle of the road. Where there is a baby cub there is a momma bear so be on the lookout!

hiking
1 month ago

awesome hike

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