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

colorado Map
VIEW FULL MAP
17 minutes ago

I would recommend using the Park-n-Ride option as the trailhead parking fills quickly. The shuttle runs every 15 min or so from the lot to the trailhead and back again. Plenty of bathrooms, which is handy when spending a full day there. From bear lake trailhead there are 3 lakes you’ll pass along the way. Watch for wildlife as I saw a female elk off to the side last week.

Nice quick trail off of Guanella Pass that isn't too hard. I arrived at 11:30 am and found a spot in the upper lot after driving up the 4wd road without trouble. I have been spoiled by being able to hike mid-week all summer; this trail was SUPER crowded. Dogs everywhere (many off leash, but there were no leash signs and the majority were well-behaved) and I was constantly having to step to the side to let people go by. Wildflowers were gorgeous!

This hike is well worth the climb all the way to the top but be aware of the trail! Apparently the last half mile of trail is not the well trafficked dirt path winding straight up along the creek but is instead a poorly marked, if at all, less steep path along the lower right lake. Regardless, the hike was beautiful (wildflowers are our in full force right now) and a butt kicker but perfect. Highly recommend going early because the trail was packed by 10am. 7am was more my speed.

hiking
1 hour ago

This is not moderately trafficked on the weekend. It is exceptionally highly trafficked. It's fine if you want a very short hike, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Great views! It gets crowded quick. We got there just before 8 and got the last parking spot. Our hike was 2.8 miles but it’s worth it!

Hiked today (Saturday). Got to upper parking lot around 9am and was able to find a spot. Gravel road was tricky to maneuver in a few places. We were in a all wheel drive Honda Pilot. Hike is beautiful and the wild flowers were stunning!! Got more crowded as the day went on. Everyone was friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Have also hiked this in the fall when the aspens were at their peak and it is breathtaking! A great hike summer or fall!

I love this hike! I’ve gone two weeks in a row. Saw moose both times. Note: we arrived before 6:30 am to find the trailhead lot completely full. Had to walk an extra mile both directions. Worth it!

As long as you go early, it’s good. I can’t imagine waiting in the line to get into the park, or hiking with everyone and their dog. However, the higher you go, the less people there are.

This hike is stunning. Huge reward for less effort than usual.

Lost trail a few times. Solid trail. Lots of campers. Not hard, very easy first two miles

Pick. Up. After. Your. Dog. And don’t leave the bag on the trail. It really ruins those wildflower views. Rude.

Also, every dog here is off leash. Pretty sure they are supposed to be leashed here. People were letting their dogs run like crazy and the trail is pretty narrow.

Great hike, gorgeous views, but it seems like the people that use this one don’t really care about ruining someone else’s experience.

hiking
11 hours ago

Did this hike on Friday morning. We arrived via shuttle at the park. It was pretty busy, but thinned out as we got further along. The view at the lake is breathtaking.

Where does the trail head start, any signage?

hiking
22 hours ago

My wife, son and I did this today. Outside of being hot, the trail was great. A lot of folks on the trail and a bunch at the arch itself taking photos.

Previous reviewer took the last parking spot Thursday which should have been mine, ha ha! Yes, get there early not only for a closer-in parking spot (I had to park about a mile away, but that was just fine), but also to catch lovely early-morning golden light if you’re a photographer. This hike is the most amazingly beautiful hike I’ve ever done! Wildflowers on steroids, waterfalls splashing down snow capped mountains, and MOOSE!! Doesn’t get any better. I want to go back next week and take a friend with me. Question: does anyone happen to know the date that the lake (reservoir) gets drained this summer?? (Some company drains it every year in late July-early August.)

My favorite hike I've ever done. very challenging but doable. loved the rock scramble at the very end up to the lake. my first ever rock scramble. once you get to the boulder field the views will take your breathe away. pictures can never do justice to how amazing it really is. app is a little off, the total round trip distance is about 8.4 miles from the Long's peak trailhead

hiking
1 day ago

Very fun trail. Worth the tough parts for the view at the end! We had two dogs with us that were able to complete the trail as well.

A beautiful hike and achievable for our whole group, from 12 to 50+. Mountain lake with a short walk further to glacier/snow pack. Worth the drive and hike.

Must take the trail to get next to the falls.

We love this trail! Right now the wildflowers are blooming and it’s really pretty. Definitely park in the lower parking lot unless you have a 4 wheel drive. It can be a little chilly on top.

hiking
2 days ago

Great views for an “easy” Colorado hike. Took our flatlander friend and she was fine. Most of the elevation gain is by Lake Isabelle but it’s minimal and worth every step. Gorgeous views of the area 13ers encircling the lake. Saw an elk, a marmot, and about 6 bull moose (moose were off the road getting to the trailhead). Wildflowers still look great and there’s a flowing creek most of the way, along with a waterfall near Lake Isabelle. Took the side trip around Long Lake on the way back, which made it 5.15mi. We got there at 6:55am today (a Thursday) and got the last parking spot at the Long Lake TH. Go super early; saw droves of people walking up the road from less convenient parking spots.

Was nice scenery trail
Started at 7:20am was perfect time to start and get front row parking in lot next to trailhead
Worth the hike to the falls and lower lake. Steep the last .5 mile to first lake.

Super easy and quick hike, can get a bit busy. If you’re experienced and looking for a longer trek take this trail further up to loch.

Start early to avoid the crowds and take bug repellent to avoid the mosquitoes. Good trail, amazing scenery. A great hike!

First time doing this trail and I loved it. I left a little late in the day around 1:30 and I was back down by 4pm (hung out at the lake for at 45 mins). Traffic is bad down at the bottom but once we got onto the loch trail it thinned out a lot. Bits of sun and bits a shade, gorgeous waterfall views. When you finally arrive to Loch it is sooo rewarding and SO beautiful. Amazing hike for it only being 5 1/2 - 6 miles long!

Took my family of teens up to Hiahaya and loved it! They thought the boulders were a ton of fun to climb on. So glad we went. Less people on this trail so more quiet to sit and soak in the serenity of it all. This is definitely one trail we will earmark for a return trip.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful but really difficult! Lots and lots of stairs! We started at the NCAR parking lot. From the parking lot to the Arch and back was 8 miles.The trek from the official trail head of Royal Arch to the arch was pretty tough. Great views though. and LOTS of people. We started at 9 am and there were a ton of people out and about on the trail even on a week day.

I’d say this is one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. I did this on a Wednesday afternoon (began hike at 12:30pm) and it took me about 4 hours after spending 45 minutes at the peak. I only saw a few people total which was great. I’d consider this more of a moderate hike not hard, because it’s only about 6 or so miles. But, there are tons of boulders and a nice scramble towards the peak. The water was amazing at the Final lake and I spent 10 minutes soaking in the ice bath with my dog.

Great hike at moderate to hard difficulty. Go as early as possible. I started at 7am and there were only 5-10 people on the scenic top. Apparently it can get up to 50 people in the afternoon.

7/18/18: Stunning views! There are so many beautiful sights to see on this trail and I would highly recommend it. It’s worth the effort to make it all the way to Emerald Lake at the end. The trail is definitely moderate difficulty and being from a low-elevation place made it even harder for my wife and I.
Word to the wise, take all the comments about arriving early seriously. We arrived right at 7am on a Wednesday and the parking lot was 3/4th full at the Bear Lake Trailhead. It was completely full by 7:30 and cars were still pouring in looking for spots. The trails weren’t too crowded at 7, but by 9 there were tons of people on the trails and we frequently were either passing people or getting passed. There was always a steady stream of people coming in the other direction as we were descending. There are lots of families, big groups, and elderly people, so if you want to avoid that, start hiking no later than 7am on weekdays. Keep in mind that it does take a while to drive from the park entrance to the Bear Lake Trailhead/parking lot.

Like walking through screen savers. We went early am mid week and got to take in almost everything uninterrupted.

Load More