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

Buena Vista Map

Hiked in the middle of winter on a nice sunny day. Views followed by aspen groves and a few creek crossings made for a scenic hike with lots of packed snow closer to the falls. My 5 and 11 year enjoyed the hike but think about taking lunch or food in general if you have kids. It took my 5 year old about 4.5 hours.

One of the most beautiful places in the world. I spent a season building the Mt. Massive trail that fork from this one and consider this valley a second home. It can get kinda crazy with peak baggers on summer weekends but once you get past the summit fork you might as well be alone in the world. A wonderful place to clear your mind and enjoy the wilderness.

trail running
14 days ago

Didn’t actually make it up! The east access road is currently closed off to traffic. Didn’t know how to update that without a review! I’m sure it’s a splendid running trail though!

2 months ago

Easy drive to trailhead from Aspen (about 20 minutes from downtown). Limited parking. The hike starts off through a beautiful canopy of aspens. The trail narrows as you take multiple switchbacks through the forest of aspens with a modest incline on a narrow trail. There are many different views of not only the aspens and pines but also rock formation. After the switchbacks and climb flattens a bit as you traverse around the mountains. You eventually hit a rock patch with a great view. From that point you are only a few hundred yards from American Lake with an amazing mountain backdrop view.

on Cathedral Lake Trail

3 months ago

Stunning views!

We had a great time today hiking this trail. It seemed like the 1st 1.5 miles was the most difficult, as it was a steady incline. The rest was easy breezy. The waterfall was beautiful

3 months ago

Cottonwood pass is currently open to the trailhead as of 11/18. There’s a LOT of snow on the pass and the trail. You would need 4WD and high clearance. No one else was on the trail though! Really nice hike with great views of surrounding 14ers. Lost the trail about 3/4 of the way up due to snow and down trees.

Nice hike. Beautiful views. Trail well groomed. A lot of horse poop. Gradual incline on the way up but not too difficult . Falls are worth the hike! Trail head has restrooms . Several foot bridges to cross great variety !

Beautiful falls. Great hike in the snow yesterday.

on Linkins Lake Trail

4 months ago

This was a nice hike to a beautiful little lake.

4 months ago

Went with a big group with ranging hiking skill levels. Everyone had such a blast - it was a very gradual incline that I'd consider easy. There's some snow on the ground, so be careful. Great views of some lakes surrounded by 14ers.

Not a challenging hike but very lovely. Gorgeous scenery and the waterfall at the end is a must reward. One of the best waterfall trails you’ll find. Great day and great trail.

4 months ago

Very easy hike; more of a walk. Beautiful, though! We got there early on a Saturday & there weren’t a lot of people.

Great family hike in the fall!

5 months ago

Awesome trail! Beautiful views! Lake was a beautiful turquoise color. Shortly after reaching the lake the sun went behind the clouds and a weather system came in so we had some snow! Continuous assent made it challenging and going down wasn't any easier. Would definitely go again though.

Went October 5th from 11-4pm. Took me and my girlfriend visiting from FL about 5 hours and was very difficult for us. The switchbacks towards the end were very muddy and had a lot of slush making that last bit very dangerous and nerve wrecking! Saw others with poles going up with ease. The view was absolutely breathtaking and so worth all the struggle ✌

Beautiful hike!

pretty easy hike. after the first bit of incline, it's practically a walk through gorgeous scenery. especially since the aspens are changing. beautiful views. My only complaint is all the horse poo.

Loved this hike!!!

Very steady incline ALL the way up--- It's beautiful, but it is a difficult hike.

La montée dans le bois est sublime à l’automne.

5 months ago

Awesome and easy to follow trail. Great for running too. Beautiful lake with campsites available.

This hike kicked my butt more than hiking up Huron Peak. Really beautiful through the aspens right now, but be ready for the insanely steady incline the entire way.

Lovely falls at the end, did'nt mind the early elevation gain, not busy early afternoon during the week, but over half the trail not shaded, and sun was intense, mostly the walk away from the stream, occasionally see and hear it at the start , then further on. No views till about half way in when Mt Antero before you for a bit, then into cool pleasant forest walking, and a left for the falls. Vistas of the valley on the steep descent back to the parking lot. Saw pineys , a 2ft long prob garter snake , and 2 pairs of black Angus about 3/4 way in along the trail.

Great trail. Good for a quick easy backpacking trip.

1 star due to congestion on the trail. Granted, I went on a Sunday, but will never go on this one again. Passed about 20 people. If you're from the front range, you probably won't mind because you feel like you're hiking on the front range. Horse poop along the trail. It is on the easier side though, so if you have kids, this may be a good one for you.

Little bit of everything in this trail - forests, meadows with lots of wildflowers (even in September), a couple rock scrambles, and nice lake at the end. We missed the side trail to the lower lake at first (the lake is well hidden) but then saw it once we climbed up a bit further.

Easy hike with a nice waterfall at the end. Lots of sun exposure for most of the way. And the trail is peppered with horses and their leftovers.

6 months ago

Ok yes this is really more "sightseeing" than "hiking". But it is one of my new favorite spots in Colorado! It's absolutely beautiful and interesting. You can't take a bad photo here.

6 months ago

This was a great little trail that we hiked to stretch out from our drive thru Independence Pass.

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