Explore Camping - 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
13 days ago

Very doable hike during winter. Water fall & streams were beautiful frozen. Took my 12,7&4yo. Only saw a few other people.

Beautiful hike! Easy! Great views!!!

hiking
23 days ago

Easy trail, great warm up to the longer hike to the lake.

off road driving
25 days ago

Fantastic views but highly recommend that you do not attempt in a non 4 wheel drive vehicle. Mountain sheep on the road was a plus. Restroom about half way up.

hiking
1 month ago

Snow/ice today and awesome looking.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this short hike in the snow on 11/4/18. It was pretty and peaceful - a perfect winter hike. We decided to go further, maybe another mile and a half. The hike kept getting prettier. I wouldn’t do this hike in the summer as it probably gets too crowded, but I am looking forward to hiking to Spirit Lake on this trail in spring or early fall.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent trail that is to be experienced in the fall. We were a couple weeks late to do this. However, the snow in the path made it a bit difficult to traverse. Took us 3 hours from car to car including the breaks and photography. Would highly recommend this trail during the fall season.

hiking
1 month ago

We went off season which was October 26th. At this time there is no having to use the shuttle to get up. You need to pay at the entry of the park which is $10 per car. We went about 930a and now issues finding parking. When we got done with the hike around 1p the parking lot was pretty full. We wanted to do an easy hike as my friend just flew in the day before from Minnesota. We were planning to do the easy trail called Maroon Bells scenic trail. This was closed so other only option from that trail was Crater Lake. This was a little more challenging then we were expecting. But it was a great. Lots of rocks and boulders to climb over. There was some areas with snow and ice but not too bad. But all worth as once we got the lake it was huge (though the water was low). Enough room to go by ourselves to have a snack without being next to anyone. Would come back to do this in another season to see all the aspens.

Amazing trail. Has some difficulty since most of the way back is uphill. Very beautiful scenery including waterfalls and the Animas River.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail yesterday 10-27-18. Very snowy like the previous poster said. After the first lake it got really deep and we had to turn around. It was also pretty slick after everyone had compacted the snow and melting then refreezing at night. I would be cautious, there were a few parts that were a little touch and go. On the other hand, beautiful beautiful hike!!

Did this trail when the scenic loop was closed. It was steep until the end and snowy and rocky in spots. But for those of us in our party who made it, it’s was great.
The lake was not very full, but the scenery was great and the local birds are friendly!
For the part of our party who couldn’t make it to the top there was an opening with a amazing Mountain View about .75 miles in. A great place to call good enough if u have to.

I hiked this trail on 10/21/18. Very beautiful area. However, this 7.2 mile out and back turned into 10.5 miles due to the snow. 80% of the trail had between 2 inches - 2.5 feet of snow. The snow and ice made the hike very difficult. Unless you’re experienced with snow hiking and snowshoes, I would not advise the hike until the snow melts. In the end, the snow got so deep, we couldn’t even make it the last 400 meters to grand lake.

One note though is that the first mile of the hike is easy (if no snow) and takes you to a beautiful small waterfall and small lake.

1 month ago

This trail was easy-to-moderate and peaceful. We did it in early October and had a picnic lunch by the second lake. I enjoyed it but I probably wouldn’t do it again.

hiking
1 month ago

Muddy hike today, 10.19.18 due to precip last night. Takes awhile to get away from I70 noise. Good workout. Lakes are meh but views at top are nice. Was peaceful and that's what I'm after but probably would not do this again. Too many other better trails in the area.

Great longer hike around the lake. We started near the jenny lake overlook and went to the right (looking at the lake). We were the only people in the trail until the intersection trailhead. Continued into hidden falls as a nice side trip before finishing the loop. Went past moose pond, did not see any moose or wildlife. It was snowing dueing our hike so the view of the mountains wasnt good, however the snow was pretty.

very well maintained trail with a lot of spectacular scenery to photograph.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is an excellent day hike. On October 12, my son and I ventured from Copper Mountain toward Wheeler Lakes. The first two-thirds is the steepest portion of the hike with the final third easier on the legs. Our journey included snow, which enhanced the beautiful scenery. I highly recommend this hike.

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
2 months ago

At points it feels like endless scrambling through small, loose rocks. We joked that it was like hiking on the moon! Still a fun trail with pretty views at the end (although the views would be better if there was water in the lake!).

Beautiful views! Went in early October and it was freezing. There was snow and ice on the trail which made it a little more difficult. In the end if you aren’t a master hiker, taking rest stops along the way to take in the sceneries will get you through it.

hiking
2 months ago

Simple hike but absolutely gorgeous views of the Rockies and a nice stream/waterfall. Trail is well kept and would totally do this again given the opportunity.

Beautiful foliage! Definitely recommend the trail to crater Lake. I hiked with two dogs by myself and do not recommend hiking this narrow trail with two dogs. It was rainy, muddy, and slippery. At crater lake it was sleeting and cold. The lake was not dry as the post from last week said although it was cloudy and views of the mountains were not good..

trail running
2 months ago

Amazing trail, the lakes and creeks are gorgeous.

hiking
2 months ago

Maroon Bells is absolutely breathtaking with the aspen tree fall foliage. This was definitely a moderate hike, it was steep most the way up and very rocky. I recommend good hiking shoes with grip due too many loose and slippery rocks. I had to stop and take a quick breather about 3-4 times on the way up, however, I’m from sea level and have only been in Colorado for 2 months. Took just over an hour out and maybe 30 minutes back. Overall a good hike minus the heavy traffic on a narrow trail along with multiple people blasting music on their cell speakers along the way. If it’s solitude you’re looking for you won’t find it here. Just gorgeous scenery.

hiking
2 months ago

Great little jaunt for a last minute spontaneous hike. We got there around 1pm and there was hardly anyone there. There is actually parking much closer to where the trail turns into the mountain off 70 otherwise, you have to walk a little bit on the side of 70 before you turn in which I thought was actually pretty cool. Either way, you are pretty much right across from Copper Mt at the start. Good little easy hike for some exercise . Aspens along the trail pretty much have lost their leaves as of today.

Pros:
* Short easy hike. Slow, steady incline until you hit the lakes.
* Pretty, open space at the top where the lakes are. That's the best part.
* Trail head is easy to find, right of Rt 70 across from Copper
* Good choice for beginners or a last minute hike.
* Quiet at the top by the two lakes. Although the lakes are not the typical turquoise mountain lakes, still pretty to have lunch at. Very peaceful. We were there just appreciating the silence for an hour.
* Most of the hike has good cover from trees once you get past the first mile.

Cons:
* Not the pretties of hikes unless you hit it during peak aspen leaf changing. Your mostly in trees.
* Views until you get to the lakes are through the trees and are mostly of Copper Mountain if any views at all.

off road driving
2 months ago

Fun rock crawling

It is stunning scenic trail with the foliage. The lake is empty now but the scene does not disappoint

hiking
2 months ago

I’m a previously in shape hiker who is now super out of shape. The uphill on the way to the lakes was very tough (had to stop and catch my breath a lot), but I kept on. It was short enough that it didn’t kill me :) The lakes were decent. Back to the parking was all downhill and much easier for me. Took me 2 hours from parking lot to the top lake, and then 1.5hrs down. Great part about this hike is that much of the trail goes through the trees, so lots of shade.

hiking
2 months ago

Enjoyable hike completed over 2 early mornings. First from east boat station to west side of lake, hidden falls and lower inspiration point. We took boat back to east side($9ea. 10 min ride). Afternoon spent on moose pond loop accessible from main trail. Next morning hiked from east boat station over north route to west boat dock. Saw many deer. Great views of Jenny lake and feed waters from string lake at the northern panhandle. The trail detours here from lake shore to foot bridge across upper panhandle (Portasans at nearby parking lot). Again reached hidden falls trail head and took boat back to east shore. Wife did not duck low enough under fallen pine blocking trail resulting in bloody scalp wound. Wasn’t clear about length or difficulty of entire lake trail in one hike but in hindsight it is doable for a couple of sixty somethings taking their time over mix of flat/ rocky/ hilly terrain. Watch out for fallen trees ha.

August 2009. Amazing beautiful trail

2 months ago

Views are amazing and well worth all the uphill! Majestic mountain views, peaceful lakes, and a bit of Fall in the air-what more could you ask for.

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