Explore Colorado 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Colorado 2017 Map
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Directions were accurate to TH. Starts in the burn area but quickly drop int the woods along Goose Creek. Good trail conditions all the way to the historic buildings. Just as much up and down coming and going, good training trail. Links up with other trails in the wilderness.

Great trail for a half-full day adventure the view at the top is so worth the trek. It may be a tough little hike for small kids, out of shape adults or those tourists coming from sea level so plan accordingly. I will do this one once a year now that I know its there.

hiking
17 days ago

Freezing day, but almost had all the dunes to ourself

off road driving
21 days ago

Awesome drive even in rain mixed with snow! Beautiful area.

Was an amazing hike. Me and my 2 daughters (age 14 and 12) hiked the entire loop in middle July 2018. Was a challenge with the thin air but worth every loss of breath. Will hike this loop again in the future but not anytime soon as we live in Iowa. A MUST HIKE for anyone wanting breathtaking views the entire time. We did it in 4 days and 3 nights.

—December 17–
Went for a day long hike up Ute Creek trailhead attempting to reach bison peak. Did not see a single person at the trailhead or on the trail. First mile is a easy going walk along the river then climbs over 2000’ within a couple miles. Definitely a difficult trail and with snow/ice covered at higher altitudes. Unfortunately didn’t reach summit due to time getting late and difficult trail conditions. Great views around tree line with views of many major peaks in Colorado. Planning to go back in the future and discover more of lost park.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful 360 view at the top. Would be a great place to star gaze and watch the sunset.

Took about an hour to get to the top. 50 min to get back.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike on Thanksgiving Day. Went up to the falls and a bit beyond but there wasn’t a clearly defined trail and my GPS wasn’t cooperating so instead of snowshoeing our way around, we just turned back. Beautiful day to hike. Traction devices for your boots would be helpful but not completely needed. Snowshoes would certainly be necessary to reach the lake.

Best short hike I’ve ever done. Don’t worry about getting lost. You are always able to see the visitors center from the dunes.

Hiked on 10/27. Doable for sure but lots of snow— wish I would have had spikes but can be carefully done without. If you have gaiters use them. My feet were soaked.

I was plenty warm with a long sleeve and puffy vest.

The directions lead you to trailhead accurately.

I went on past ice lake but could not make it to island lake as the tracks stop right now due to snow.

I’m 34 and in good shape and it took me about 2:45 to get to ice lake. I also drank near 5L of water. Totally epic views if you follow tracks up about another 500-800 feet of vert— about 1/2 mile distance.

hiking
2 months ago

Breath-taking in more ways than one and our favorite hike on our honeymoon. The 'difficult' rating is no joke for low-elevation folk like we are, but it was worth the sweat. Above the treeline it's like Tolkien county, a different world than our Minnesota. We hiked on a Sunday in late September; we started early - around 7:30 - and only ran into a few other hikers. It was much busier on the descent.

hiking
2 months ago

Spectacular in the glacial cirque. Snow above the falls but followed the footprints and used poles. It was 5 miles to the lake - not sure why All-Trails map says 4.4. We hiked on 10/26 and saw no one above the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful hike, even at the end of October. It is a long one...took about 5-6 hours (we are Flatlanders) to complete the 10 miles. The snow slowed us down. Bring Yak Traks for the last 3 miles up...ice and snow. There were some hiking sticks left at the trail head and they really came in handy on this hike. It was hard to follow the trail on the way up with the snow but as long as you are going up you will catch the trail again. Alot easier to follow the trail on the way down. If you are looking for a good moderate legnthy hike, this one is great!

hiking
2 months ago

After driving 6 plus hours to get there, it definitely was a good trail to stretch not only the legs but the entire body on! Such a fun trail!

hiking
2 months ago

A couple of inches of soft/slushy snow for the first 1/2 mile and then increasing to 4-6" of snow until you hit tree line. Once at tree line I couldn't locate trail at all and quickly got into snow a foot or more deep. Snowshoes or skis recommended above tree line.

Very well traveled with magnificent views

Decent trail but you have to hike 3/4 of a mile up the road to get to the trailhead and the lake at the end is full of people who just got in their car and drove there.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent hike. Agree that 3 hours to the lake is a good time estimate. Gorgeous lake, especially this time of year with the snow. 10/21/2018, intermittent snow above the falls (about 2 hours from falls to lake, I am a slow/moderate paced hiker). Snow is hard packed and surprisingly very manageable. Poles are useful nonetheless. Weather was warm all the way up to the lake. Trail visibility excellent.Highly recommend going on from falls to lake if in doubt. Trailhead parking lot almost filled up on a Sunday (my start time was 11:00 am, very late). Was back at the car 5 PM easily.

hiking
2 months ago

Has some really neat rocks at the top and has great views. As far as I know, there's no trail from the saddle to the summit.

camping
2 months ago

Love it

The BEST hike, I did it in July in 3 days and it was the hardest but most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life.

Get a good water filter, tent, rain gear (a must), the usual. We had to have a beat canister when we went and it was SO heavy, and doesnt get much lighter throughout the trip due to "bring it in bring it out." Next time we will use those bear bag type deals, much lighter and you're still able to rent those.

Its amazing, I am not in the best shape but not in bad shape and it was hard but not discouraging by any means! Have fun!!!

Beautiful views wherever you go! Challenging backpacking!

Amazing beautiful Trail! Fantastic rock formations if you go all the way up. We will be back. Camped at
Goose Creek campground, but could have camped on the trail. Got fantastic photos!

I’m new to backpacking with this being my second trip ever. My son is an experienced hiker and he is the reason I got into doing these types of trips. We like the ease of hiking loops from a logistical standpoint so when we found this one, it was a no brained that we had to give it a go.

This trail was very difficult for me. I am not in the best physical shape but I am mentally strong which I believe is a good part of being able to successfully complete a hike like this one. There is thin air, cold, rain, hail and tough elevation changes. This can all beat you down if you can’t handle the mental aspect.

We completed the hike in 4 days in early August. Other than the rain on a couple days and the hail coming up over the passes, the weather was ok. I’m not sure there would have been a better time to hike this.

Would I do it again? Not sure. It took my knees a couple of weeks to recover from the beating they took going down the passes. The views were breathtaking and as is usually the case, pictures just don’t do it justice.

hiking
3 months ago

Most beautiful hike I've even been on. The reward at the top is unbelieveable. I've never seen anything like it. The wildflowers were blooming like crazy when we went in the end of August. It was very difficult for us being from Nebraska due to the elevation but I would do it again!

I hiked this trail CCW from 11-13 Sept 2018.

Flew into DEN and rented a car - beautiful drive, but budget 4 hours as an absolute minimum. Overnight parking is very limited at the TH, so unless you get there very early in the morning, you'll likely have to take a shuttle from town and pay for parking.

I left the TH at 1.28p on the 11th, and camped near mile 6.2 on this map. Plenty of h20 heading toward buckskin, but it got a little thin on the way down until you reach the meadows. Excellent view on buckskin, but it was quite windy, so I didnt hang out long.

After trail rider pass there is a little water at a pond, nothing else until ~ mile 11.7.

Beautiful waterfall near mile 13.5.

Camped near mile 15. Sites near water are nearly impossible to find. I just took what I could get & camped on a slight angle, then hiked several hundred yards to water.

Frigid Air pass was so beautiful in the early morning light. Hiked 3.5 hours without seeing another person.

Everywhere I read said no water between FA and Maroon passes - thats not true. I passed several great streams to get water. Beautiful basin.

Maroon pass took me about 6 minutes to climb. Literally. All of these passes with exception of Buckskin LOOK a lot taller than they actually are.

Lots of great campsites between MP and the TH. Water between MP and ~mile 21 is sparse.

One of my favorite trails. Have fun! :D

If you're looking for a challenging hike and some great exercise this is the hike for you! Unfortunately, when we reached the summit we had very limited visibility of the boulders - however, the hike as a whole was beautiful and there were a ton of yellow Aspens. The entire hike we only passed about 4 people total which also made this hike that much better.

I went last week. Weather was perfect. If you don’t have 4WD, turnoff the highway and go down the hill. Park after the bridge and hike up to the trail (~1 mike).

Trail is steep for the first 2 - 2.5 miles once you get to the trail head. First 2 miles are a series of switch backs and then you climb uphill after that. Once you reach the top of the hill, you descend a bit and it flattens off until you reach the lake where there is a slight uphill.

The lake is gorgeous! It’s much bigger and less populated than Ice Lake.

Careful going down. The trail is steep and covered in loose rock. I had hiking poles and went slow but still managed to totally wipe out a couple of times.

The hike was great but the scenery leading up to the lake was okay (Ice Lake was better). The lake is surrounded by mountains so you also don’t get a view of the mountains like Ice Lake.

10 miles if you park after the bridge and 8 if you start at the trail head.

hiking
3 months ago

EPIC!!!! There is really nothing I can say, nor are there pictures I can show that will accurately describe this hike. You just have to go and see it for yourself. Such an amazing lake, even more beautiful than Ice Lakes. There are plenty of peaks all around Columbine Lake to summit and you will see other lakes as well as gorgeous mountain ranges that seem to go on forever.

As others have mentioned, be prepared for a grueling first 2 miles. The switchbacks are steep and feel like they keep going, and then when you get out of the trees you will see how steep and high of a mountain you have to climb, basically straight up. After that, it’s nice and easy hills with spectacular views before you hit the last little incline that takes you to the lake. Get through those 2 miles and you will be rewarded with an experience that is unrivaled.

Went on 9/29/18 and the weather was gorgeous. Bring layers. Gets hot on the hike up and can get a little windy at times. Never needed a jacket, just one long sleeve to go over my short sleeve when it was windy up top. Mostly just had hiking pants and a short sleeve tee on.

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