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Trails in summit County

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hiking
1 day ago

Reviews are a bit confusing - there is the scenic gravel road, but also unmaintained forest service trails above the dam. we hiked around for about 2.5 miles on these and were rewarded with beautiful views, wildflowers, marmots, pikas, chipmunks, and even mountain goats! beautiful alpine streams and scenic overlooks. altitude was rough for a Floridian's first day in CO but definitely a good choice for an early hike! not too steep but still gorgeous, and not crazy crowded at 8 am. be sure to keep driving past where the GPS tells you to go to the upper trailhead on the right side of the dam.

Beautiful trail! perfect challenge for two sea-level-dwelling moderately fit people. the first two miles are a piece of cake, last mile is steeper and involves some light scrambling. We got there around 10 am on a Sunday and it was fairly crowded on the trail, but if you appreciate friendly fellow hikers and cute pups it's not a problem.

Great, challenging hike. You must go early to get a parking spot.

When we do this one again, we will probably make it an out and back vs a loop. Half of the loop is on a gravel/rock road and isn’t very pretty. We preferred the tree-covered dirt trail.

Great hike! Parking was a bit chaotic but didn’t see a ton of people on the trail. We had a large group with several kids ranging from 7-16 yrs old. We enjoyed the hike through the forest and seeing the falls. But the best park was making it to the lake. Our dog jumped in right away to cool and swam around. Highly recommend this trail to families with kids!

off road driving
5 days ago

Drove as far up as allowed in stock 4runner TRD off road. No problem but the road is pretty beat up and has only gotten worse with time. Would definitely recommended a good 10+ inch clearance if you are gonna go past the last parking section. Once to end of the 4x4 road it was about a 30-45 minute hike up rocks and steep incline. Did this at the end of the day saturday and it wasn't too busy. Any earlier and the trail is generally mobbed with people.

I’m not an experienced hiker so not sure how to rate... but very enjoyable... 2 hours ( for me) up to Gore Ridge Trail... then turned around ... I went slowly with plenty of rest stops .... beautiful views along the way... and wonderful smell of the lodge pole pines ... 1 hour 15 minutes down ... although parking lot at trailhead was just about full I really didn’t encounter many people ... the people I did see along the way just gave a friendly “Hi” and carried on ... I post a pic I took at the bottom... pretty much says it all ... steep initially but levels out ... don’t get discouraged! Some areas require navigating over tree roots and rocks but nothing too daunting .... after you get to the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area the trail becomes more interesting... passes in and out of meadows and trees ... very nice!

hiking
6 days ago

As everyone has said- AMAZING hike! Although I will just add my 2 cents about the “rough road” that you can drive on to get you closer to the actual trail...I was in a Honda Pilot (4wd and good clearance)...and I managed to drive maybe a half mile up that “road” and decided to park it. Pretty intense off-roading conditions! I’m no off-road expert- but I live in Utah and drive on many dirt roads- and this one was pretty intense. However- definitely saw many other 4WD vehicles (some with less clearance than mine!) that made it up further- so maybe I’m a wimp:) Anyway- we did walk the 1.5 miles to the start of the actual trail and didn’t mind...I was with my 15 yo nephew and my little dog and we only made it to lower Mohawk lake and decided to turn around. Would have liked to have pressed on to the upper lake, but the rock scrambling sections were pretty intense for my dog so we turned back- but still an absolutely gorgeous day! (Bonus- as we were walking up the road around 8:30 am- there was a mama and baby moose grazing in the first meadow you see from the road- looking to the left.)

hiking
6 days ago

Great trail for intermediate-experienced hikers with incredible views near the top! Trail was well maintained with various signs along the way. From the main parking lot, you have the option to go on the Spruce Creek trail (walking) or continuing on to the right with an off-road vehicle (accurately displayed with a dashed blue line). It does save some time to use the off-road trail if you are not looking to go the full distance from the main parking lot. But I definitely recommend the Spruce Creek Trail route for nice views through the trees. If you do choose the off-road trail there are multiple spots where low-clearance and 2-wheel-drive vehicles could run into issues, especially after a storm. There were multiple cars parked off to the side at various spots on the gravel road but there are two big dirt lots for parking before eventually joining up with Spruce Creek trail and then leading onto Mayflower Lake (the first lake). We stopped just beyond Mayflower Lake after keeping to the right of some cabins at the base of the incredible waterfalls. It is a bit of a scramble around the waterfalls but I highly recommend seeing them! We also passed hikers on the way down that said the higher lakes were unbelievable! We will definitely be stopping again! Cheers!

Begins with incline and becomes more gradual. Along creek for most of hike.

Great hike. Done 2nd year in a row. I’ll do it 3rd year next summer. We have 14 yr old, 11 yr old, and a 7 yr old. It’s a challenge for the young ones, but the views and waterfalls are worth the challenge. Recommend you hike back on the road.

hiking
8 days ago

OMG do not stop at the first parking lot where the AllTrails map program says to stop ! It adds 1.5 to 2 hrs to your hike of not so pretty walking !!! If you have 4wd or Awd or decent clearance on your vehicle keep driving for another 1-2 miles to get to another trailhead . I saw Yukon’s , Subaru’s, big SUV’s further up the road at parking lot 2,3 and 4 . To get much past parking lot 4 on the road you need off-road 4wd. The first 1/4 mike is the worst and the road improves after that first part and goes for over 2 miles further. . It makes so much better sense to start at end of road and save 2 hrs of walking in and out on the road or through forest on roots!! Also enables you to have time to go to Lake 3,4 ,5 or even 6 for the adventurous!!
Spend your time checking out gorgeous lakes and not walking on road you could have driven on...
the lakes are amazing and all different which is cool. Basically, the higher you climb the prettier it gets !!!!

Love these lakes

Fantastic hike with beautiful lakes to reward you at end. Steep incline and technical rock scrambling to get to the lakes at the end is well worth the effort. I’m a frequent hiker yet only arrived in the mountains the day before (from sea level). The return hike after all that climbing and scrambling kicked my butt. I was thoroughly beat after this 6 hour half hike.

This hike is worth the climb! I did it with 2 other twenty something females, both of whom live and hike in Colorado. I am from Minnesota and love to hike and consider myself fairly fit, but don't get to hike at elevation frequently. This was a moderately difficult hike for me, though we were able to cut a big chunk of the uphill section of the hike off (more on that below). It seems like most people stop after Lower or Upper Mohawk, but most of the hard elevation gain comes getting to those two, so in my opinion, it is so worth it to keep going. All 7 lakes and the views you get are beautiful!

We were able to cut several miles of boring, uphill hiking off based on our parking. All trails map will say you're there when you get to the trailhead that most people park at. However, if you have 4-wheel drive, I would highly recommend keeping going on the dirt road (it is very bumpy, so don't keep going if you don't have the car for it). We kept going for about 3 miles and cut a lot of boring off our hike to save our energy for continuing on to see all the lakes. We passed at least one other spot where a trail led off. Keep an eye on your AllTrails GPS, it will help you tell where you are and how much farther to keep going. Keep to the left at the fork. We came to another spot where more cars were parked (though there were some dotted along the road the whole way along) and when we spoke to some people on the road, they said we were almost there, but probably wouldn't make it any farther. We got out, hiked on the road for about 15 minutes until we got to the end of the road and got on the trail. From there, it was only about .5 mile to Mayflower Lake.

hiking
10 days ago

Start early - we hit the trail at 7 on a weekday and it was quiet, with two other cars in car park. Gets really busy by about 10. Beautiful throughout, especially the upper lake, but a highlight is the meadow and small lake that’s on the right just after you pass the crossing with the Wheeler Trail, about a third of the way in. Most people seem to walk straight past it. Spent about half an hour just soaking up the view and watching the many varieties of birds.

on Blue Lakes Trail

hiking
12 days ago

Just beware when you click “directions” from the app, it tries to take you on an unnecessary side road (Monte Cristo) that is too rocky. Stay on Blue Lakes road to get to parking.
Take the downhill trail to the waterfall. Then back to parking and either drive or hike to the dam.

Didn’t bother doing the “hike” when you can see everything from where you park. We strolled down and checked out the cable car house and abandoned mine! That was awesome. The lake itself and the wildflowers were beautiful too. Lots of pika in the rocks. Very easy stroll. We ended up just staying about 45 minutes. Probably a one time visit for us. We parked at the trail head, not the dam though. Sounds like a better hike from the dam.

hiking
12 days ago

Slightly disappointed in this one. We were expecting a little more of a hike but it pretty much dead ends at the waterfall. We drove up to the road and walked up to the top. Cool views from the lake.

Great first day hike with goats and wild flowers. Park up at the dam.

Beautiful, scenic hike. Kids and the dog enjoyed it as well.

hiking
13 days ago

Our group just hiked this trail yesterday and it was wonderful. A few things to keep in mind: 1) Start early. We started the trail at 7 am and were so very glad we did. We had both lakes at the top to ourselves for a solid hour before the mid-day traffic started coming up. 2) Pack a jacket and take plenty of water. The lakes are very exposed and the wind is quite blustery. The steep climb will leave you needing several water breaks along the way as well. 3) Wear some hiking shoes/boots that are stable enough to navigate some serious rock hopping. Overall, an incredible trail and well worth the effort it takes to get to the top.

You must do this hike! We started on the trail thinking, "this will be a nice nature walk," and arrived back at our car in awe of what we had experienced. The first portion is a forested and family-friendly walk, and we would likely skip this part next time and park at the upper lot, where things get more interesting. But, with little kids the first portion is a nice walk. Beyond that, we explored several mining structures and sat for a bit at the waterfall about midway through the hike. Navigating a rock face was fun, and we were rewarded with a really interesting mining structure to explore. Then the real fun starts when you experience the beautiful lakes. We would think we were done, and returning hikers would encourage us to press on for more. We did, and were rewarded with the view of one of the most beautiful mountain lakes we've seen. At one point, the trail brings you face to face with the shore of the lake, which seems impossible but its true! We enjoyed lunch with tourist-weary goats tolerating us in the background, and then ventured on to see three more lakes across several meadows. We saw many families of all ages and everyone was able to complete this hike. It is a winner in our book, and after writing this review I want to load up my pack and go see it again TODAY!

hiking
15 days ago

I can relate to a lot of the reviews. Hiked this Friday and started at Spruce Creek TH at 7:30 - was the 4th car in the lot. The Spruce Creek trail was a nice start to a challenging climb to Mohawk Lake. My suggestion is to hike the trail from the lower falls up the mine car cable to the upper falls. The falls are amazing up close. It's a challenge, but really worth it. The switchbacks before Mohawk Lake suck - embrace the suck - the lake is worth the climb. It was mid-July and Mohawk Lake was super windy and cold - be prepared. From Florida and was only my second day hiking out in Colorado - did McCullough Gulch the day before - challenging hike but well worth it. Was mostly alone until the first lake - super crowded on the way back.

hiking
15 days ago

My daughter (15) and I finished this trail 3 days ago. All I can say is WOW. The views are amazing. We started at 6:45 AM and finished at 1:18 PM. It starts off with complete shade in trees with a continuous incline. You first get to a waterfall. I recommend going to Mayflower lake it is just off the trail at the fork, it is worth it. Next gem on the trail is an OLD miners cabin that has walls. As you keep going up you run into 2 more cabins, one of which is somewhat maintained. My daughter climbed into the loft and there are notebooks inside you can sign. At this point the trail gets tough. You wined up a steep rock trail to some more mine ruins. Then you reach the first Mohawk Lake. WOW. The water is cold but feels great on sore ankles. The trail to upper Mohawk Lake is steep with some narrow trails with drop offs. It is breathtaking when you reach the lake. Take some food and enjoy the view. We arrived at the upper lake at 10:40 (4hours). The trail continues from here, but due to afternoon showers and many off trail adventures we headed down. We arrived back at the lower trailhead at 1:18 PM (6 hours and 30 minutes). This is a great trail even for beginners in good shape. Very difficult at times but so worth it.

hiking
16 days ago

Very cool trail, not too difficult but is challenging. Gets kind of confusing at points, we got turned around a little bit, follow the waterfall and head right behind the old pulley system and you will be fine. Both lakes were worth the hike. Get there early, it gets really hard to park and gets crowded. We got there at 7 and parking lot was almost full.

Perfect first hike for a vacationing family from lower altitudes. We had hikers from ages 5 to 45. Fairly easy hike but enough boulders to climb to make it interesting. Plus beautiful views and mountain goats!

The view from on top of Upper Mohawk Lake is the prettiest I’ve ever seen. It gets tough at the end but it is WELL worth the trek. It is pretty windy at the top but on Lower Mohawk it was calmer and some people were even fishing. We did not get there until 11am but were able to park on the street. It took us 5 hours round trip with several stops.

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