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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hiking
5 days ago

Great hike with easy access from Salida. We went up as far as the third bridge today and it was a mix of light snow cover and semi wet. Beyond that snow got a bit heavier and looked like snow shoes would be the way to go. The drive to the trail head is fine. Everyone agreed the hike was beautiful and we'll be back when it opens up further this spring.

on Lakes of the Clouds

8 days ago

Totally worth the hike!!! will definantly be back to this one but this time with plans to camp at the top.

When I was a kid I helped build that cabin. Loved hanging out up there for a few days at a time during summer.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful. Solitary. Saw a total of 7 people in 3 hours. Trail snow packed and only needed spikes bit a bit difficult to follow. Wish it were well marked. 4 miles in and tracks stopped. I tried to venture further but lodgepoled. Snow too deep after that without snowshoes. Still, lovely trail. If you’re looking for stillness without a lot of foot traffic, this is it. Look forward to hiking this in summer.

Hiked part of this trail yesterday, the snow was packed enough for sturdy waterproof hiking boots for the first 1/2 hour or so thanks to XC ski tracks, then I threw on my snowshoes for the next hour. There seems to be plenty of side trails if you have GPS. I'm excited to do it in the summer months but will outfit myself and pup in bright colors as it's a hunting area in season.

fishing
1 month ago

beautiful place to go.

1 month ago

Great hike in the snow. Snowshoes not needed. Gradual climb, windy! In the forest the whole time.

Awesome hike for an overnight trip. In August, I was able to just keep refilling my 1 liter nalgene along the trail, there is plenty of water. Trail is well marked and the views are stunning the entire way. The trail gets steep just before the lower basin and can gas your legs. There's a neat little abandoned cabin along the trail after breaking off the Rainbow Trail. I hear there is good fishing up there, but I had no luck.

hiking
1 month ago

I did a one-day ascent and descent from trailhead to Kit Carson's summit, going over Challenger in between. It was a tough but rewarding hike! The slopes of Challenger are a little slippery in places and somewhat grueling. Be careful. Trekking poles help. When I was there late summer 2017, Rocky Mountain Field Institute was building a better trail up Challenger, so it might be better now. If you continue to Kit Carson, make sure when descending to come down the same way you went up, as it is very easy to miss the avenue and go too far down. There are cairns marking a trail that apparently goes over to Columbia Point. The upper part of this trail is tempting and will lead you astray. I and many other parties have made this mistake.

worth seeing and hiking up past the bells! (Did in August 2017)

on Lakes of the Clouds

4 months ago

normally a moderate hike. 3/4 of the hike was over snow. Definitely a trying hike but absolutely beautiful. took 5 hours in and right at 3 hours back. well definitely try to make it again before too much accumulation. our 6 year old hiked it like a champ.

Awesome trail!

epic. saw elk. Aspens were yellow and great did it in about 4 weeks ago. lakes were clear and amazing. snow on the peaks.

hiking
5 months ago

6 months ago

Did the trail on October 4th. Nice hike, plenty of gorgeous views. Over one foot of snow at the top. Wet & mucky coming down.

We only walked from the parking area to the lake- primarily walking along lake only. It was seriously cold and windy, we weren't really dressed properly. We went on the afternoon of October 9th, 2017, the same day the area received a 4 inch + snow fall. OMG it was gorgeous- everything covered in snow- seriously a winter wonderland!
This area is nice because it's good for everyone- even those who can't walk very far, or for children. Everyone can get to see these beautiful sites!

Beautiful fall hike. Most of the leaves had dropped recently which left a carpet of gold on the trail in some places. Parked at the trailhead..my 4x4 truck made it fine. Hiked to the 3rd bridge. Wanted to keep going but I was limited by time. There wasn’t another sole around except for a few mountain bikers on the road.

fishing
6 months ago

beautiful trail that has open space and fields within the valley surrounded by Aspen's. We went on Oct 1st 2017 and what a view. Very easy trail with many spots of the river and surrounding steppes.

Beautiful trail with Aspens changing color. If you follow the directions in AllTrails and park off Hwy 50, it is a 3 mile hike to the trailhead. The walk is nice through the forest, but it cut our hike short due to a change in weather shortly after we reached the trailhead. Higher clearance vehicles can be helpful in a few spots along the road off past the dam - plenty of parking at the trailhead.

Great trail with beautiful aspen groves!

Good views and pretty ponds coming up. Very steep towards the end.

Really nice trail. Lots of variation between forest and fields. I went all the way up to Gore Lake. Tough incline on the last part but worth it. Only criticism is the trail was really rocky so I was constantly looking down at my feet to make sure I didn't trip instead of looking at the gorgeous view.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike but wouldn't consider it hard. Once you start up the road the trailhead will be on your left approx 1/4 mile up the road be vigilant the sign is easy to miss. Abundance of trout in the lake

7 months ago

Hard to get past stream after the small lake. Don't literally follow map as it can entangle you in deep bushes, use it for general guidance. Keep extra pair of socks if you get wet crossing the stream.

Lots of fun if you like loose rock.

Such a great hike. High altitude elevation gain, alpine lake, alpine drainage. It just goes on and on. We did it as a thru hike which required a car shuttle, one car at the Maroon Snowmass trailhead the night before and then an early drive up to Maroon Lake to beat the bus. We had wildflowers and autumn colors. It's a big day but so spectacular.

geart place to be. worth it when you get to the lakes.

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