Explore Close to Denver - 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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It was my first time hiking in Colorado, great place to start. Really fun and enjoyed the beautiful views. Was a bit hard for the first time but I bet if you are used to hiking it would be a pleasant hike.

Nice trail with a variety of terrain. This trail may be considered hard for those who do not hike frequently... some narrow, rocky areas with over 1000 ft of elevation change. The river was a nice spot to stop for a rest half way through the hike.

Didn’t love the road noise. Trail was broken up and went through town. Had to cross the river to find any real trail, but then I wasn’t near the river.

A nice workout with a strong hill qt the end. - beautiful - the river was great for my dog too :)

hiking
3 days ago

Ideal if you have dogs and can share the trail with a few bikers. Was looking for a loop for my two pups and I, somewhere not too steep or rocky with some shady spots. Arrived at 10:30 and it was perfect. There’s also a bathroom and trash can maybe 1/3 of the way in (clockwise) if you fork off to Waterhole that I appreciated very much.

hiking
3 days ago

Ended up here randomly after the line at Mitchel Lake was at least 30 deep and not moving to pay $10 to be crowded on that trail...

This was the first trail parking lot on the road to Rainbow lakes so I stopped around 2pm. This is a heavily forested hike that snakes upwards through several different layers of trees. I made it just past the 3.9 mark on the map before i turned around at 5pm. This was not a "Hard" hike by any means unless they were speaking of the length of the trail itself. This was the 23rd hike i did this season and I found this to be more "moderate." There were very few actual views through the trees and there is a site with ruins of some sort up by the environmental testing site. Lots of wood piles and old rusted metal cans and glass.

Minimal activity along trail. Secluded most of the hike.

Again seeing people just leave their bags of dog crap right along side the trail multiple times. Does someone come and pick this s-it up because it didn't seem like it. Why do people leave trash on the trail? Leave no trace? Disrespectful. Don't bring a dog if you can't clean up after your mess.

Was a good endurance hike. Would have gone further if i had started earlier. Gave it 3 stars because of the limited views and dog waste.

Beautiful views and not over challenging for someone fairly new to hiking. I felt like I accomplished something without killing myself.

I love this trail. beautiful views, not too far from golden.

Nice to walk by the creek and around lakes— you can add more loops to make the hike longer if you want. Pretty prairie area with flowers and birds

Gorgeous trail; good variety of strong incline, walking through forest, and climbing over some cool rock runs.

Great trail but be careful, a mountain lion was recently spotted.

hiking
9 days ago

This is a moderate trail with some beautiful spots. If you see signs for Windy Peak, keep in mind that’s a side trip that is off of the Mountain Lion trail. The trail markers end once you decide to take the Windy Peak detour, so it’s easy to get turned around.

We didn’t encounter any wildlife on the trail, although we started later in the morning around 9. It’s a great workout, but there’s no “wow” view that makes it feel like it was worth the trek.

A couple clarifications - this one seems to be a loop as opposed to another one on the list that’s just an out an back (confused me for a little bit as I was researching). Second the trails closed 8-4:30 Monday - Thursday but climbers are allowed to climb up the First and then take the trail down. Looked beautiful but unfortunately misread the climbing exception.

good one with kids

Amazing trail. Somewhat difficult in spots but the views are worth it!

hiking
10 days ago

Real nice hike. It was surprisingly empty for a Sunday, but that’s probably on account of the rain clouds that eventually opened up. Nice ups and downs for a quick Sunday hike.

hiking
10 days ago

I really enjoyed this hike despite how heavily trafficked it was. Has about everything I would want in a hike.

Great trail and perfect weather! Easy until about half way through then it got a bit steeper but definitely not difficult. We went counter clockwise. Lots of water passing for pups to relax and drink from.

Definitely a solid hike. The trail itself seemed a bit less scenic than the trail to Royal Arch but the view at the end is much more stunning. You get a clear view of the Rockies from the top of the first flatiron and it makes the trek up worth it. For most people trying to enjoy themselves and appreciate the surrounds give it anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours. But if you've got something to prove I'm sure you could do it faster.

hiking
11 days ago

Drive ~
Not worth the far drive up unless you are going to camp and stay overnight. Drive is windy and nauseating... very slow going. Dirt road to get to trail is terrible! Must have AWD or 4x4 to traverse. Single lane only in most places = treacherous and dangerous.

Trails ~
This was a moderate to hard hike. VERY rough and rocky. We went with kids and dogs and had a few stumbles and falls. Yikes.

Trail markings not really clear between off-roaders/4x4 and hikers. We were nearly run over several times because we were on an incorrect pathway.

No bathrooms or public use areas which I had read in another review there was some. The one area that looks like you can access is actually private property and says no trespassing.

Regardless of these concerns, the scenery was nice and the pines smelled lovely. We did have a fine time, dogs had fun and being in the trees was cool - lots of cover and shade. Probably wouldn’t go again just because of the drive time and treacherous nature of the off-roads.

Tags ~ kid-friendly, kids, dog-friendly, dogs, dogs on leash, hike, hiking, trees, nature

Excellent summer hike. I don't know why this is rated as "hard". The trail is clearly marked, there's like one spot where you have to scale (or descend, depending on which way you go) a rock, and it's nothing even remotely dangerous or technical. I did this back in January and it was much more difficult due to ice and snow. Still a nice hike through the forest, saw a decent amount of people, most of whom were worried they lost the trail. Dogs should be just fine on this trail. Do your research before you hike, people!

The trails are well marked and beautiful scenery. This is one of my favorite trails to go on. However, I would suggest to get there early as the parking lot gets full & it’s a very popular hike.

This was a quick 45 minute hike up for someone that is athletic. I really enjoyed it, but it was a little too short for me.

great views throughout, tough with some tricky rock spots, have good shoes/boots

*keep in mind this is a state park so you will need a pass! $7 for a day pass at the visitor center 3 miles down the road!*
Started off counter clockwise as I wanted more shade on the incline. It was a nice hike with plenty of shade. Took about 3 hours to complete the loop which includes a stop for snacks. No mountain lion siting but did run into a couple snakes! Enjoy!

Very nice loop near the Colorado School of Mines campus. Would highly recommend to students looking for a walk to do in between classes.

decent mixed terrain, good if you're just looking for a place to get a workout. we didn't find this trail exceptionally challenging or attractive in the way of views, but had a pleasant stroll here. would have given 4 stars if there wasn't a good section of it by the road or if the views were more significant. enjoyable space down in the ravine though.

I love this hike. The first time I did it I was surprised by how difficult it was, as the last mile is relatively steep uphill, but it’s worth it for the beautiful river, wildflowers and abundant shade. I would not recommend bringing dogs on this hike as there are some rocky areas that are very difficult for them to climb over. If you go on a weekday it’s not very crowded and the trail is well marked. Highly recommend.

This was a tough but worthwhile trail. The most taxing part was the first part up to the tree line/base of the mountain. There are a few tricky places to get up so make sure you have good shoes. The view from the top of the first flatiron is gorgeous though and makes it worth the trek! We went after work around 5pm and it was not very crowded and parking was free.

hiking
16 days ago

Very nice easy hike with some great views.

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