Explore Colorado May - 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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very quick and easy trail with an great lake at the top. do this and diamond lake in the same day if you have time - the Lost Lake trailhead starts where the road splits to lead to Diamond Lake. get there early bc it gets very busy and hard to park.

hiking
19 hours ago

Did this hike on a Thursday morning. Parking was tight but found a spot around 1130. Started the hike, took a detour to the left and found some beautiful waterfalls. Had to backtrack to get to the main trail. Rocky in parts. A bit of an incline at the end, but worth the view at the lake at the end. Not as narrow on the trail as other hikes. Quite a few bugs along the way but none at the lake which was a great place to grab a bite and enjoy the view.

This hike is short, yet potent, but certainly doable if you are decently fit or at very least have determination. It can be a bit dangerous at parts, specifically because of the loose scree. I came here to say that if you are interested in spicing this hike up, different than the normal route, I suggest this:

Follow the main wide trail and turn left at the sign for Pikes National Forest Hummingbird trail. This will take you to a fork. Right for continuing hummingbird trail (the typical blodgett route) or left toward the Gamble Oak trail. Turn left. Follow this until you get to the junction of the Douglas Fir trail, turn right there. Take this all the way down until you encounter a stream. Cross the stream (it is very narrow) and you'll see a trail that runs both left and right. Turn left there (it is the uphill direction) and you will continue up Douglas Fir trail. This part a moderate hike. At the end of this trail, you will be on the summit of a small foothill, and you can clearly see blodgett peak from here. if you continue to look around, you will see cairns which will take you up to the top of the nearest foothill. once at the top, you can ride the Ridgeline all the way to blodgett peak, and back down the typical hummingbird route. it adds distance, but if you hike this often, it is nice to mix it up. Hope this helps someone!

Definitely a moderate hike, I was a little out of shape when we went but it was a blast. We went at 6:30am and there was plenty of parking and it was a beautiful trail!

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

Great trail, hard climb, worth every step

hiking
3 days ago

Definitely not for new to intermediate hikers. I decided to knock this out quick, but wasn’t quick at all +2K in climbing in 1.5 miles with extremely loose rock wasn’t fun at all. I recommend actual trail shoes and maybe poles. If you wear regular sneakers, I hope you like falling and the taste of dirt. Awesome views, however, the trail it’s marked or maintained well. I had to download the map beforehand and use it quite frequently, it was pretty annoying.

Guys, DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH SEVEN FALLS! For one, this is free. Also, I had much more fun here.
Keep going up the mountain/road after Helen Hunt falls and you will see a huge parking lot. Go west through the gated dirt road and then after 0.7 mi (according to GPS/Fitbit) you will see the 622 post. My husband and I had fun taking pictures at every bridge we hit. I really enjoyed this hike. From the parking lot to the end of bridge 7 and back, my Fitbit clocked 3.47 mi.
There seems to be paths everywhere, but remember the whole path is along the creek. If you think you’re getting too far away from the creek, you probably are.

hiking
4 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.

This is definitely a great trail. but if you are hiking all the way to the falls it is not moderate. and yes it is longer than stated. beautiful vistas.

hiking
4 days ago

Great morning hike! Took me 2 hours with a 15 min stop at peak.

Walk the path by the river, it’s beautiful and is not nearly as rocky. We walked the river path up and it was gorgeous!! It brings you out at a nice place to lay out in the rocks and then you continue on to the main tail to the lake.

hiking
5 days ago

make sure to get there early! also we had some trouble finding the signs haha but it overall was absolutely gorgeous and very nice.

Certainly challenging, but nothing to lose sleep over. Expect to wait in line if you’re hoping to get decent pictures at the top.

Beautiful waterfalls.

Hiked this trail Aug 11. Our app recorded 6.2 miles RT from the upper parking lot/TH. It takes about 45 min-1 hr to drive to the TH from Westcliffe. You definitely need a high-clearance 4WD vehicle to drive the last 3 miles of the road to get to the upper parking lot and to get out of your parking spot (HA!) (we had to tow someone out of their spot because they were stuck). There is room for about 20-25 vehicles at the upper lot, and another parking area about a minute down the road. The lot was mostly full by 9am, and this is the busiest TH we've seen in the Westcliffe area. A bathroom is at the lower TH.
It is a typical CO trail and not anything too extreme or rugged. We had gorgeous weather and it was beautiful, varying scenery. Saw about a dozen ptarmigan. Also saw 4 horses along the trail, and some horse poop. Some remnants of wildflowers, but mostly dried out. No mosquitoes. Lots of views from Music Pass and neat bristlecone pines around the pass. The view of pointy Tijeras Peak was our favorite, and it also happens to be the backdrop of Lower Sand Creek Lake--just gorgeous! Some backcountry camping sites at the lake and good fishing! Many trout were swimming around as we ate lunch at the lake. Note: You do hike up in elevation and down and up again to get to the lake and then reverse to get back to the TH, so it can make for some "hot" climbing back up to Music Pass in the afternoon on your way back to the TH.

The above, posted directions for this trail are wrong. Here are the correct ones:
-Drive south on Hwy 69 for 4.6 miles
-Turn right on CR 119 (Colfax Ln) and drive south for 6 miles to a T intersection
-Turn left on CR 120
-After 0.2 mi, the road makes a sharp right and becomes CR 119
-Continue 5 miles to lower Music Pass TH
-Road (now 4WD) continues for another 2.5 miles and ends at upper Music Pass TH

The trail is beautiful and not too difficult. But I have to agree with other commenters that it’s very busy on weekends and the amount of loose rock is tricky. I still recommend it though because the lake and the waterfalls are relaxing. Also, parking at the Nederland park n ride and getting the shuttle is the way to go; it’s there every 15 minutes on the weekends and you don’t have to deal with the scarce parking at the trail head.

Love the coolness of the trails through the forest. The bridges are pretty well maintained. The views are amazing.

The falls are amazing, heed all advice regarding footwear.
The road up is 3 miles of extremely rough terrain.
I saw all sorts of cars, slow going.

hiking
6 days ago

This is definitely a “hard” trail, bust super proud when I finished! Practically all up hill on the way there but that means down hill on the way back! The views at the top are beautiful! I would recommend starting it sooner rather than later so the traffic is low and the sun isn’t too high!

hiking
6 days ago

We enjoyed this hike! It was definitely a high incline and rocky but it was worth it. It was a bit harder then expected the the views are beautiful and the arch is pretty neat. Bring lots of water, take stops and enjoy the outdoors! There are trees on a lot of the hike which gives some much needed shade every now and then.

Thought we would start here on vacation to get used to the elevation before heading to RMNP but this was a tough hike for us. Arch bigger than expected and nice view of flatirons

hiking
7 days ago

This was a very nice short first day hike for our CO vacation to get acclimated to walking at this altitude/weather. I would put the overall difficulty more towards moderate, but it’s a tough call as parts are easy, parts are moderate, and there are some steeper stretches that are more difficult. We went relatively early on a July weekday and the number of people going up was not bad at all, but we passed a ton of people going the other way as we can back down. Yes, bring water, wear good hiking shoes, sunscreen, etc and otherwise use common sense. Although short, the trail has more of the feel of a “hike” than a walk in the park.

hiking
7 days ago

So, the trail head on this one is misleading as there are 2. We parked at the LOWER TH and this will add 2 miles each way to your hike. The lower trail/road is not marked very well, we only saw 1 arrow pointing the way. The upper TH is apparently 2 miles or so up the road, we never got that far. The road is a 4X4 trail and looked a bit rough. We saw a newer Ford Explorer go up but I would not venture up this one in my truck. We came across a very nice guy in a jeep (at our turn around point) who said we were half way to the upper TH, even though we were 2.5 in?? We did decide to return to the car as we had some time constraints. This was a beautiful hike none the less. We are hoping to head back up on 4 wheelers and find the upper TH and the true trail. The elevation gain and distance listed are most likely from the upper TH and not the lower one. The climb up the first leg has steep areas and will make the heart pump but is not bad. There is a restroom at the lower TH and is clean for the most part.

hiking
8 days ago

I completed this hike during the week in mid August 2018. The trail had a few people on it. I had heard that it was often crowded on the weekends. I hiked well past the seventh bridge staying within site of the creek. After I hiked across several steep sandy parts void of trees, I was in the trees again. I could see what I thought was the summit. The weather rolled in, it started to rain so I turned around and headed out. I will return to this trail again.

Good one

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful views from the Royal Arch and worth the effort it takes to hike up! Would not recommend this trail for small children, elderly, or dogs that are not experienced hiking companions in high altitudes. Very steep, rocky, and mostly vertical climb. Several areas require scrambling. You’ll want a good pair of hiking/approach shoes. Do not take this trail if you have bad knees, hips, or ankles. Otherwise, enjoy!

Almost 100% vertical. Take breaks, bring water. Go early on a weekday - my group went on a Sunday late morning, and it was super crowded. Trail is fairly narrow and rocky, which makes navigating the crowds fairly difficult.

backpacking
9 days ago

Nice well marked trail that takes you up to Lost Lake, a clear, shallow mountain lake at about 10,000 feet elevation. It’s a bit tough on the way up, but a fun hike down. Nice Mountain View’s and shallow rocky rivers with a couple large waterfalls.

hiking
9 days ago

Nice view of city and UOC Boulder from top. Great view of the flatirons. Steep toward the end. Arch is very impressive. Saw lots of raptor hawks. A hazy view of Denver in the distance.

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