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

tricky hike. some parts very steep and rocky. went with kids (4 and 7) and they were capable - but we took several stops on the way up.
the payoff is the lake at the top and spouting rock. very beautiful.
as others mentioned, lots of people on the hike. this isn't so bad as most are friendly, but if you are looking for a serene hike this is not it. the real problem are the hikers who bring their dogs (not allowed) and cut the switchbacks (not allowed) etc.

Amazing!!! And worth the hike up!! ❤️ Spouting Rock was spectacular as well!!

7 hours ago

Really fun. There are some little rodents there that will be around you if you sit in the rocks at the top

Awesome hike, but very steep at times. If hiking with younger children, be prepared to take frequent rests, water breaks and snacks. The view is worth the effort. Make note due to popularity, they will limit daily access to 615 people starting May 2019.

I realize that this is a relatively short hike, but I am still surprised that this isn't listed as "hard." The climb up to the lake is super steep with no switchbacks - you just follow the path of the creek the entire way up. The lake is, of course, pretty amazing. Deep turquoise water with trickling falls feeding it from the other side. Mossy rock faces and rugged canyon walls on either side of the valley.

Worthy of its reputation, for sure.

Great hike awesome view from the arch. steep in places and rocky. worth the trip.

This is my favorite spot. Hiking up to the top is work but once you get there the view from the lookout tower is amazing and worth it. If you are not use to the altitude make sure to take many stops and bring lots of water. You will never regret doing this hike.

Great trail, hard climb, worth every step

hiking
23 hours ago

This hike is beautiful and it is steep. The hike is not that far of a distance, but with the elevation gain it takes a lot longer than a normal 3 mile hike. The views are amazing and the lake at the top is magical. My favorite part is actually just before the lake where there is a wonderful look out of the steep, chiseled canyon. Not too many other places in the US where you can see something like that!
The drive through Glenwood canyon to get here in the first place is pretty spectacular, as the highway follows the river through the canyon. This hike follows another narrower side canyon. There were lots of people on the trail when we went on a Wednesday in August around lunch time. Parking was tight and we had to circle the lot a couple times before getting lucky and getting someone's spot as they left. Unfortunately there's nowhere else to park further away as the road only takes you right back to the highway entrance.
I would definitely recommend this hike for some great views and a beautiful blue lake, but be prepared to fight for parking and climb some elevation. Its definitely worth it!

Amazing!!!!!

Excellent weather. Path clear, visible and moderate.. One tough rock wall section before glass lake that may limit some people. Windy at top but warm and snow melted. 10 miles not 8.

hiking
1 day ago

Just an awesome trail with a creek, giant waterfall, panoramic Mountain View’s, wildflowers, and the choice of 4 lakes. It’s a very good workout, so bring enough water and snacks. Enjoy!

Tough but worth it

on Butler Gulch Trail

1 day ago

Perfect strenuous hike not far from Denver. The last half mile is deceivingly steep but very doable and worth it. Just hard enough to make you break a sweat and need a breather but not so much that you want to stop. Being above the tree line for the last half mile gives you great views of the surrounding ranges. Gorgeous hike. Highly recommend for a good sweat! In and out with a stop at the top for snacks in 3 hours.

Great hike. Should be considered 'Medium' difficulty instead of hard. Lake Loch, Lake of glass, and Sky Pond all three are absolutely amazing.

The trail starts out a bit steep, levels out a bit, and then returns to a decent climb to get to the top. My husband and I hiked this trail, to the waterfall, with our two kids, 7 and 10 year old. It was about 3 mi., round trip, with a 1000 ft. elevation gain (The cirque is a bit further with another 500 ft. elevation gain). The wildflowers were past their peak but there were still plenty to enjoy.

This is our third time doing this Centennial Wildflower Hike and I would have to say that we better enjoy it earlier in the season when water crossing are more plentiful and the colors are off the wall. Today's hike was dryer, still beautiful, and hot. Go in July.

I have to say, there were quite a few people on the trail. This was the busiest I have ever seen it. BIG clap of appreciation goes out to all of the folks picking-up after their dogs. There were some bags of dog poop along the trail going up. When I came back down, they were gone! That's not to say that there weren't several piles left all around the trailhead, but it sure was nice to see responsible dog owner's making a difference in the way our trails are being used and abused by cleaning up after their pets. Thanks!

absolutely amazing hike! the trail is pretty packed for maybe a mile or two but thins out. the trail for the most part is pretty moderate untill the last mile and a half. I will say if you are not comfortable with a scramble or not wearing proper boots don't finish the hike. I saw three people almost slip and fall down the waterfall and personally had to catch someone who was wearing Nike running shoes.

Hard but short hike up! Totally worth it a

The view was worth the hike!

Really cool trail! Especially if you’re looking for a hike that isn’t going to take all day. The fire tower was amazing, the views were insane! My boyfriend discovered that he was terrified of heights but definitely worth the climb! Haha.

hiking
3 days ago

A challenging but truly epic hike & summit. The dirt road up to the trailhead was barely passable at 5-7 mph in a Honda Civic – by comparison, it was much better than the Grays/Torreys road from hell – but you’d be tempting fate in anything less than a high-clearance 4WD. Parking spots were still available at the trailhead (North Cottonwood Creek) at 7 AM on a Monday in August. Only encountered four or five other hikers all day.

This trail has basically four parts: in the forest, in the valley, ascending to the shoulder, and the final ascent to the summit. Each section is shorter but steeper and more challenging than the last; the last two sections have probably 2000-2500 feet of elevation gain across <2 miles. Beware of the two unmarked forks along this trail – at the first, it’s left to Harvard and right to Columbia, and at the second, keep right for the Harvard trail and go left for Bear Lake. Lots of marmots and pikas towards the end, and we saw some mountain goats from the summit. Goats aside, the summit views were absolutely spectacular – with minimal wind and clear skies, we spent 40 minutes up there.

Bottom line: definitely harder than some other 14ers but, with proper planning and expectations, totally worth it.

hiking
3 days ago

As with many others, this was my first "fourteener" and it was a blast. Couldn't of asked for better weather. Stayed in Georgetown, and got to the Guanella pass parking lot at approximately 0600. Yes, it was already full, however the summit overlook parking lot still had spaces left.I'm a flatlander from northeast Ks. but went prepared. Took my time, with frequent breaks, especially the higher I got. The scramble to the top was probably the toughest part, but by that point you've gone to far to not do it. While many folks, myself included, do Mount Bierstadt because their research reports it as being the easiest fourteener. Be forewarned - if you are a flatlander, even one who is in decent shape, there is nothing easy about trying to breathe at altitude.However do not let that dissuade you from doing this hike, as I can assure you that you will not be alone. Start to finish approximately 6 hours, half hour to 45 minutes on the summit.

It was a little longer than a mile, honestly wasn’t worth it. It was beautiful, don’t get me wrong but it’s so small and the fact you can’t swim in it anymore makes it out for a little disappointing. Other than that the trail has 7 bridges you cross before you get to the end, was super rocky and the scenic views were gorgeous.

Gorgeous views and well maintained trail. Super popular too and pretty easy for a fourteener. You need a high clearance 4wd vehicle to get to the trailhead unless you want to add about 6 miles to the hike.

This is a fantastic hike. Probably one of the most beautiful I’ve done in Rocky Mountain NP. Closer to 9.8 miles, but worth every step. Saw lots of elk along the trail and some brave marmots. Please DO NOT feed the wildlife! They are too comfortable around people, trying to steal food. The views at the top are incredible, but don’t get fooled and stop at the first lake. Sky pond is beyond that one. Bonus getting to see Alberta Falls on the way up, and the crowd thins once you pass this point. Took a nice dip in the lake on the way down. Cold, but worth it!

Gorgeous views and a vigorous uphill climb. Traffic thins out at the first “summit,” which you’ll recognize by the little rock “shelters” visitors have built to protect from the wind. However, don’t stop there – the mountain keeps going! Shortly after the false summit, there’s a beautiful lake tucked away between the mountains. Bring a lift coat and gloves to protect yourself from the wind because it’s relentless. Views at the top are beautiful. We saw plenty of pika, marmots, and a woodchuck at the summit.

Overall, it’s a challenging and quick hike. Highly recommended. We arrived around 8:30 am on a Sunday and it wasn’t too crowded. Took about 3 hours round trip with several breaks on the way up.

hiking
3 days ago

We were told by the bus driver that Crater Lake was a lot more dried up this year, and that was completely obvious once we saw the lake. I’m sure it would have been a lot more attractive if the water were higher. But pretty views throughout the hike! Saw a ton of families, so should be doable for most kiddos. And if you have a dog, they’ll probably enjoy cooling off in the lake at the top.

I’m physically active so I thought the trail itself was mostly easy, but we flew in from GA ~18 hours before the hike and I definitely felt some negative affects of the altitude adjustment. If you’re not used to high altitudes, bring plenty of water and remember to take deep breaths.

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail. Lots of climbing on the way up, but it’s all worth it for the views at the top. Go early to avoid the crowds – it was already pretty busy at 7am and people were lined up inching along the narrow paths on on the way down. Free parking is available about 10 blocks away.

Load More