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

backpacking trip Map
VIEW FULL MAP

The Palmer Trail and the Susan G. Bretag trail wrap around the outside of the park to offer some great distant views of the rock formations! Great opportunity to get away from the crowds.

hiking
23 hours ago

I walked the Gold Camp Road that is closed to vehicles, leads to Seven Bridges Trail and St. Mary's Falls Trail. The parking lot at the trailhead had very limited space. The hike was decently busy, granted it was a weekend afternoon. It was a bit warm, with limited shade. Unfortunately, Tunnel 3 is closed, barred off from pedestrians. The hike did offer some very nice views though!

We hiked this trail on 9/15 and the Aspen trees were beautiful. We got to the area around 6 am, but parking was already full. They started running shuttles at 7 so we didn't have to wait to long. We had intended to just do the Crater Lake Trail, but kept going and took the West Maroon Trail to the saddle (6.5 out and 6.5 back for a 13 mile hike). It was our third day in Colorado and we are from DC, but the altitude really didn't bother us - if you are in shape you can do it! You start to lose the crowds after Crater Lake. We started out in long pants and long sleeves but shed layers halfway through the hike. The scenery is stunning the entire hike. The only wildlife we saw were the marmots playing in the rock fields - so cute. If we knew we were going to do this long of a hike, we would have brought more than just 2 Larabars and 2 packs of crackers. We ran out of water at mile 12, luckily there is a fountain at the visitor center. The last 1 mile to the top of the saddle was the most challenging. I'm afraid of heights so I took my time when coming back down that last mile - the trail is very narrow and steep with not many rocks to give good grip (hiking poles would have been helpful). The top of the saddle offers great views - most went on from their to spend the night over in Crested Butte. Crowds were heavy around the visitor center in the afternoon.

Very pretty area. We enjoyed this hike a lot.

hiking
9 days ago

Did this one in August, beautiful views. Long hike with a steady incline but not incredibly difficult. Bring lots of water and be prepared for the summit to be buzzing... with people who drove up : |.

The first half of this trail is the hard part. Your reward is a nice easy walk through a beautiful meadow as you finish the hike.

AMAZING VIEWS // worth the tough climb

hiking
18 days ago

Make sure to bring your rain gear

hiking
20 days ago

Very good hike. Went till we were even with the bottom of inter glacier. Stayed away from the glacier as rocks were coming down from the top of the glacier. Look out for those if you go beyond the campground. Beautiful up there. The top of the mountain looks soooo close and inviting

Beautiful hike,
still challenging since 1992! Less trafficked than in the past.
Beware of loose gravel during the accent and decent. Take lots of water! Amazing beauty! Take your time and enjoy. The reservoir is empty, yet still beautiful.

So beautiful. Park in the Nothtrailhead Parking lot and cross the street to start the trail. :) if you start on the right, you'll come out on the left and vice versa. follow some of the recordings.

hiking
27 days ago

This was an awesome hike. We did a sunrise hike and it was so beautiful! I would recommend doing the same. It becomes very challenging close to the end, but it is beautiful!

hiking
27 days ago

Hiked on a cloudy day that resulted in no views of the Mountain - disappointing. Well maintained trail has a mild and gradual uphill to Basin campsite and very smooth hike back down to White River campsite. No knee or toe busting. Went on a Saturday in August and there was a moderate amount of hikers out for a misty day. Most were heading to or coming from Emmon viewpoint.

hiking
28 days ago

Really nice hike. Good mix of bouldering and forest. Will do again.

Considering all the trails in the park, I was a bit disappointed. I wanted to see more of the mountain :(

First couple of miles are easy. Really tough from 2.75 to about 3.75. The next two miles are the easiest of the hike, before the final ascent up some class two scrambling. I’d say the steep rocks are more like half a mile.

Hiked this from Aspen to Crested Butte in late August. 11+ miles. Took us 7hrs. Started at 0900, took shuttle to trailhead. Have to be at maroon bells gate by 0800 if you I want to park there. Hike was challenging and beautiful. I would rate the whole thing as difficult to moderate/difficult. Hiking uphill to the West Maroon Pass portion was difficult for us we had shortness of breath until we go to the top. Had 3L of water each and light snacks, apples, jerky, trail mix, cliff bars, rice crispy treats. I only used 1L, bf used 2. And RAIN GEAR we def had to get it out a few times and then it started thunderstorming around 2:30pm. Wasn’t a monsoon but def raining. Took Dolly’s shuttle at end to CB. Paid Maroon Bells Shuttles to drive our car from Aspen to our lodging in CB. Too late for the wildflowers but still beautiful. There are a few trail signs but no blazes. Crossed several streams but it was late summer so could step on rocks for all of them. Hiking poles and starting by 0800 would’ve been better.

8-20-18 This was the first time for my wife and I. Hike was great. Like other reviews, first couple of miles were fairly easy. The next 2-1/2 were a little tough. Took occasional breaks. After the devils playground, pretty easy again. The last mile through the boulders was interesting and difficult.
Our map ap said 7.3 miles. We made it in 5 hours and 20 minutes. We’re happy with that. We live in Dallas and have never been at these altitudes. We opted to take the shuttle back to the devils playground and the hike back to the Crags trailhead . Drink a lot of water and enjoy the views.

beautiful drive but not somewhere I would like with kids, it's a busier road.

hiking
1 month ago

Solid trail; 9,11 & 13yr old were able to finish. Great views. Much better in the AM

Checked this one off 8/11/18. We left the trailhead at 5:20 and hit the summit at 9:20. The bike race up the Peak was today. I don’t know if they delayed opening the road to vehicle traffic because of that, but when we hit the top, the only folks there were the cyclists (including two unicyclists, you maniacs), and a couple other hikers who got there before us. But the tour busses started showing up while we were milling about the summit house (note: I ate a donut because I think you have to the first time, but it’s kind of a garbage donut). As others have said, you have to understand there are going to be a lot of people in the summit, but it was certainly a lot more pleasant before the Devil’s Playground parking lot filled up. So, I guess I’m saying that if you take off early enough, and move at a decent pace, you can avoid most or all of the crowds. The downshot there is you’ll be waking through a gorgeous pine forest in the dark when you first set out. But you’ll see it on the way back.

I made a mistake regarding the weather. I expected temps to stay steady in the mid-40s all the way up, which is what I dressed for (shorts and a pullover). I would have been fine, except I didn’t account for how long it would take the sun to get over the top of the mountain. We were well above tree line before the sun finally appeared, and I was freezing my ass off. But, I’m a pretty cool moment, the sun topped the mountain, the trail leveled out a little, and the summit came into view, all within seconds of each other. I should note, I had more layers in my bag, but I was being stubborn and didn’t want everyone to stop so I could put some pants on.

It’s an easy route to follow. We had (almost) no trouble with wayfinding. Right before treeline, we somehow started following a social path that switchbacked through some gravelly scree, but it led us right back to the main trail. Probably no more than 3 minutes off trail. We had no trouble with route finding coming down. The steepest sections below Devil’s Playground and above tree line was a bit loose in spots. Trekking poles would have probably come in handy, but it was fine.

All in all, a good hike. Good physical challenge, great views looking west, with the Sawatch at the far end of the horizon.

Saturday Aug 4th. Great trail. Started at 4:30 am. Heard a mountain lion scream around 5 am...super scary but we pressed on. Made it to the summit at 10:30 am...the last section with scrambling was difficult but fun. enjoyed a donut at the top. We took the free shuttle to devils playground and then hiked the rest of the way down. Glad we took the shuttle because we got to the car just in time before it started storming! My tip for others is start early, bring headlamps, proper gear, cash for tips if you take the shuttle down and watch the skys.

Not for the faint of heart. This trail has serious elevation change and the trail on the Maroon Bell side of the pass is full of rocks.

Checked this one off on 08-04-18. Yep to all the previous postings, so I’ll save you that. A great trail to get some beautiful views to the south and west of Pikes Peak that you won’t necessarily get from the summit/Barr Trail.

You have to go into this one just knowing you are going to encounter a lot of visitors and be next to the toll road once you hit Devil’s Playground. With that said, this approach is less crowded than from the east, and the toll road doesn’t open until 7:30AM, so if you get an early enough start and get after it, no cars. This will also help with parking at Crags TH, as there was plenty of parking around 5AM but it was packed when we returned around noon.

Last thing, based off two different GPSs, it was respectively 14 miles round trip to/from the Crags TH and summit. Oh, and the doughnuts at the summit are worth it...

hiking
1 month ago

Friends and I hiked half of this trail (one way), from Crested Butte to Aspen on 8/1. We took Dolly’s shuttle to the trailhead. No restrooms at trailhead from this direction. The hike is beautiful. Flower season was early this year, but we still had many to view. The lupine smell amazing! Lots of water crossings, they weren’t as big as we had expected. It’s dry this year. I went through about 2 liters of water. I was carrying a filter, didn’t need to use it. Unfortunately, wildfire smoke was evident in the sky. I don’t normally use poles, but had them on this trip. Glad I did! The trail has a lot of loose rocks, especially above Crater Lake. We saw and heard many pika, fresh bear scat (we think), bees and a few hummingbirds. The trail was more crowded than expected, still wonderful. Great campsites and backcountry spots if you’ll be hiking part way or half, then back. We again used Dolly’s shuttle back to CB. Dolly’s arrangements need to be made well in advance. I would possibly plan this hike differently next time... but would love to see it again!

hiking
1 month ago

An absolutely beautiful and well-maintained trail. It's generally an easy and forgiving hike on the way up to Glacier Basin campground until the last .5 miles or so (where it becomes significantly steeper). We hiked it twice: once in the morning, and once in the late afternoon. I definitely recommend hiking it sometime in the morning, as the lighting on Rainier was perfect and not overexposed as it was in the afternoon.

We spotted lots of wildlife on this trail as well - if you walk a little ways past Glacier Basin campground toward the scree fields, you're in prime marmot territory (we spotted two scurrying around on the rocks there).

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike, went early, nice breeze on the trail,

hiking
2 months ago

You cannot ask for a more diverse and beautiful hike. AMAZING

Did this on July 8th 2018. Trail is well marked until you you get beside the road. There are rock cairns marking the trail all the way to the top. It was 41 degrees at trailhead at 6am. Took me 3.5 hours to get to the top. Average is probably 5 to 6 i would think if in a group with different ability levels. Expect to move pretty quickly first 2 miles then mile 3 is a straight up grind. Then you can make up time again until you get to the last .8 miles. Then it's straight up again. My GPS on my phone tagged 7 miles even to the top. Right at 14 at the trailhead. Put that sunscreen on early. You'll need it.

The hike from Crags to Devils Playground is a great one. From Devil's Playground to the summit is just average. You spend a decent amount of time next to the road, which is a negative. I was a little worried because some people mentioned losing the trail. I found it to be really well marked and did not have any trouble. I was looking forward to the donuts at the top, but all they have are plain- yuck!

Load More