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.

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hiking
1 day ago

This is a fun trail and isn't too difficult. It ends with some switchbacks climbing up to the lake, make sure to push through it, it's worth it. The trail is fairly busy at the Hessie trailhead with many people going to Lost Lake. You may need to take the shuttle from Nederland if it's a busy day, the shuttle runs very often. Once you hit the split to Kings Lake it's less crowded with a few back packers, day hikers, and trail runners.

good exercise

Quite the incline for about half way, but worth the view once you hit the overlook point! Going back down is a breeze!

This was a great hike. Fair amount of people, yet not crowded. Still peaceful and fun. Dog-friendly, with friendliest trial I’ve ever been on. Steep hike up, rocky and often narrow, little protection from the cliff, but worth it. Take it easy, rest. It’s a great afternoon. View of Crag’s Hotel and Continental Divide is spectacular. Oh, and stop in the river once you’ve come down.

8 dollar parking.

I thought this was an alright hike. I’ve been earlier in the summer (June) and it was a beautiful walk in though we didn’t make it to the lake due to snow. Beautiful snow capped mountains and roaring waterfalls. Went again mid August and wasn’t nearly as beautiful walk in and the lake was nice but I’ve seen much more beautiful ones in Colorado. Probably best times are June and July and then fall which I assume will start in September/October.

nice quick hike up to the lake, not too challenging. awesome views at the top with a second lake if you continue which we didn't have time to do. the road up to the trailhead is very rocky so be careful driving. highly recommend.

hiking
4 days ago

Did this trail in June. Waterfalls weren’t super impressive. We took a few wrong turns d/t lack of signage but ended up on a higher trail with beautiful mountain views. Couldn’t tell you how to get back there but THAT hike would be worth it to do again.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike. Offers a challenge but not too steep - it was fairly easy taking it slow. The trail has plenty of coverage and great views! Fairly busy but we were able to avoid most traffic by getting there in the morning. The loop is less busy than the main out & back trail. $8 to enter El Dorado park.

hiking
4 days ago

On a whim I was looking for something relatively short with some elevation gain since I just moved to Denver and hunting season will soon be upon us. Driving there was pretty easy as the road looks like it was just graded this spring or early summer. don't get going too fast or your tail end will try to come around! There's a five mile dirt road approach that looks highly seasonal, but is fine for all but the lowest cars if you're careful and avoid the potholes and go slowly over washboarding.

The hike itself is nice and relatively gentle elevation gain. I'd recommend some trekking poles for the rocky path you have to take, or perhaps just some sturdy ankle support wielding boots. I'd absolutely come back here, it looks like the trail goes further than the last lake but I didn't have a GPS and it began to look like a goat path. For another day then.

hiking
6 days ago

Nice hike, shade/sun mix.

the rocks are SO cool!! fun hike, not super hard

beautiful, moderate hike, very crowded on the weekends. recommend arriving at trailhead before 730am. diamond lake has plenty of space for the masses but is busy by 930am. recommended!

backpacking
7 days ago

Lot was full by 10am but we squeezed on the road. We read there wasn’t many backpacking spots - and I found maybe 3, but were too close to water or the trail. We found if you go past (between) the final lakes and keep going (careful, the trails spur and we got turned around), you follow a stream on your right after 1/2 mi to approx 3 sites spread by a few hundred feet. It was a good first backpacking trip for my 7yo. There was plenty of water, moderate temps, and while we saw a bunch of bugs, only really got one or two bites. We encountered a cow moose about 30 feet off the trail about half way up!

I think technically this is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and you need a permit in summer, but, sorry, it is ridiculous to print a form and mail a $5 check or to go to the office. Let me do it online. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recarea/?recid=80803

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike! Definitely not too difficult... fairly trafficked on the weekend as of you approach the Lake. Lots of fun waterfalls and little features along the way.... If you’re doing this on a weekend definitely make it to the trail head by 7-7:15AM or you’ll be in a jam to find parking! We made it at 8 and parked about a half mile down!

Overall it's not a trail I'd be super excited to get back to or take anyone to, but it was a nice short hike with shade most of the way. The final lakes/ponds are pretty with some views of the surrounding ridges. The lakes are small with quite a few people crowded around fishing or lounging. The first lake you pass is mosquito heaven and pretty yucky.

Busy trail, lots of dogs, but great views

This hike offered a quick escape from Denver heat today, but not much escape from crowds. We enjoyed the trail, but it was very crowded and of course, there was a lot of dog poop along the trail and two dogs off leash, despite someone asking the owner to leash them. I think this hike would be much better during the week; it was just too busy on a weekend.

hiking
9 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.

This trail gets a bad wrap here! it was actually beautiful and the signage was just fine. I counted no fewer than 5 signs directing me along the trail. and the map IS accurate. just follow it while you are walking (pull out your phone when you get to a fork in the path) and if you take a wrong turn you can easily see it on the map on AllTrails.

beautiful setting, steep uphill climb. had a 7 and 10 year old on the hike, we had to stop many times as it's a long uphill climb. overall we really enjoyed the hike and views.

nice 2 hour hike, trails are not marked very well in certain areas.

Traveled with a 11 month old in a pack! Summit was breathtaking. The waterfalls are simple...not sure we found the real falls! There is a ‘creek’ area that was perfect for the little one to toddle around and throw rocks. I’d definitely recommend this trail.

This was a nice, moderate hike. We had to park a ways up the road because there were so many cars.
We saw plenty of people on the trail, but many were backpacking, so the parking situation made it seem worse than it really was. The first mile or so is shared with the trail to Arapaho Glacier and shortly after the split is a lovely waterfall. We hiked up the waterfall area near the lake as well, and I'm bummed because we didn't realize there were more lakes! We didn't explore as much as we should have.

good hike near denver

Nice trail to hike with oldest son and grandson!

Great hike, perfect length, great views and a variety. Storm rolled in at the top and while I was at the divide overlook, made the mistake of heading back instead of waiting it out - cleared back up in like ten minutes. Followed it up with the first little bit of Fowler. Decent amount of people (~11am on a Sunday) but I wouldn’t say it deterred too much

Nice mix of history, railroad and views

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