Explore Colorado Summer 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Colorado Summer 2018 Map
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hiking
2 hours 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.

First hike ever in CO. I am from NE. stunning views of the continental divide ranges flowing creek throughout the trail, wonderful wildflowers and a small lake at 12k feet. There a multiple different approaches off the trail too. We went off trail at the lake to go up another 1000' vertical and you can see all the Rockies as far as the eye can see. This hike had everything. Bring plenty of water and I mean plenty you will need it. Fantastic hike.

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
18 hours ago

Completed over the weekend mid-June. The lake was still frozen at the top, and we weren't expecting it. Beautiful hike, steady climb all the way to the lake. More like 8 miles than the listed 6.3 miles. Would love to do it again in late July or August for even more flowers and a summer alpine lake view.

hiking
18 hours ago

FWIW, I am 66 and made it to the top with the help of an oxygen botte. A beautiful area, well worth the effort. Hiking up to wear the bouldering starts is not all that difficult. Up to that point would be a nice day hike in and off itself. In fact, depending on what kind of shape you are in, you might want to do that one day, recover, and then go to the very top a couple or so days later. What makes the hike difficult is that last 1000 feet or so up through the rocks to the top. I think that part took me two hours up and down. I have been up other 14ers, but it has been a while. In my memory, Bierstadt was the easiest up to where the bouldering started, but the "final assent" was easier at some other 14ers. Heavily trafficked. I started a little late, around noon, and probably crossed paths with 50 people on their way down. It took me 7 hours total, but I was pretty slow on the way down. I was probably the oldest person hiking. I saw one person who looked to be in his mid-50's. Everyone else seemed to be early 40s or younger. The median age was probably early 30's. In my younger days, I probably could have done it in 5-6 hours. Consider carrying a can of oxygen if you are from sea level or in my age range.

hiking
1 day 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.

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.

Perfect for our first 14’er!!

hiking
2 days ago

Started at 8 am on a Tuesday and the parking lot was surprisingly 1/2 full. Beautiful hike, tons of wild flowers. Definitely recommend doing it in summer and winter! We’ve snowshoed this trail in the winter and its always a great work out. Start early this is a pretty popular trail with high traffic

Did this with Evans! Amazing this one was an easy 14er!

Loved this climb! We did the long way and did Bierstadt also! It was by far my favorite! So beautiful and the drive up that road to trailhead at sunrise was absolutely breathtaking!

Love this hike! I've done Royal Arch 20+ times, and it never gets old!

hiking
2 days ago

One of my favorite hikes close to Denver. Great views and the Lomond is beautiful.

One of my favorites. This hike has it all. It’s a good workout with steady incline in beginning and end. Lots of wildflowers, trees, meadows, water and views. My GPS said 7 miles. Ends up above tree line. Get there early if you want to avoid people, even on a Tuesday.

hiking
2 days ago

This is a really nice moderate hike. I completed it in about 4 hours with lots of stops and a long break at the top. There is a steady incline at the beginning and very end that can be tough. Hiking poles are recommended. There are lots of people (parking hard to get), but everyone was friendly and I didn't find it a nuisance or like I wasn't in the wilderness. the views at the top are spectacular! This hike is good if your looking for a bit of a liner hike with great views. The wildflowers are in full bloom, and conditions great. Highly recommend and a new favorite!

Overall: This 14er was amazing! I was absolutely in love with the views all the way up. Wild flowers still pepper the trail and you have amazing views of multiple lakes.

Timing: We left our home on Monday at around 5:15 am and made it to the trailhead at 7:15 am. We summited right at 2 hours, although many around us said it took them closer to 3 or 4, and then sped down the mountain in 1 hour, for a total hiking time of 3 hours!

Parking: Do not let other reviews scare you. If you are hiking on a weekday, parking is easy, especially if you arrive earlier in the morning. The lot was full but there was plenty of parking on the road right next to the lot.

Difficulty: The first mile of the hike was nice and flat, followed by 2 miles of steady uphill, and approximately 0.7 miles of scaling large rocks at the top. Total distance, tracked on my Garmin Vivoactive, was 7.5 miles roundtrip.

Popularity: It was not nearly as busy as I had expected and the other hikers we met were nothing but friendly! You are certainly not going to hike alone, unless you leave early enough to make the summit for sunrise. But, based off of my other hiking experiences in Colorado, this was by far not at crowded.

Other: Bring a snack for the top of the mountain and at least 40 oz of water! I wore Hoka running shoes and they provided plenty of traction to make it up and down safely. I also had on yoga pants, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a light jacket. We had not weather problems on our hike though, so warmer dress could be necessary if colder conditions occur.

First 14er I ever did. Trail was easy to follow, lots of other hikers going up that day. Had to stop often to catch my breath.

did this hike last weekend and was surprised how really beautiful it was!! wildflowers for days and gorgeous views at every turn. The top (3rd) lake is the prettiest and not as many people. Took my Rav 4 up the 4WD road to the trail head....not too bad. :)

hiking
2 days ago

Gorgeous wild flowers, good steady incline. Mix of shaded areas and open, sweeping views. Very dog friendly. A must do!

I did this as my first 14er over the weekend. I did quite a bit of research before tackling this. I am not in the best shape of my life, but this was do-able for me. I got to the trail at about 4:15am and cars were slowly but surely coming in. I realized I forgot my headlamp and thought my eyes would adjust to the dark. I ended up giving that dream as the beginning of the trail was icy and had a bunch of random puddles. I took A LOT of short breaks. On the way up everyone was nice and encouraging. Once you're done with the first part of the trail, there's no coverage for taking bathroom breaks. I was worried about altitude sickness so I ended up taking in a lot of water and having to pee like 7 times. Luckily, I went early and only saw a handful of people on the way up. The summit was crowded but everyone up there was super friendly. The walk down was ridiculous. I've never seen so many people on a trail in my life (although I'm coming from Michigan). There must have been hundreds of people starting at like 9-10am. I'm glad I went early and honestly would go even earlier next time. People were super loud, playing music, and some people were pretty rude considering you had to share the trail. It was an eye-opening experience in more than one way. The whole trip took me about 6 hours, I spent about 30 minutes up at the summit.

Great hike and easier 14er. Lake and summit were full of people so most enjoyable parts were between with few others on the trail. The weather allowed for late afternoon hike and was mostly cloudy which helped keep my energy level up from lack of sun.

Great loop; Very steep up to Spalding with awesome views! 4.65 miles took about 2.5 hours with photo breaks. There's quite a bit of scrambling with some exposure as you head up Evans. Getting up to Spalding took only about 40 minutes, and that was my favorite part because there were only two other people on that trail.

Awesome views! Harder than we anticipated but worth every step we took.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful trail, good views, wildflowers and enjoyable.

ATTENTION DOG OWNERS: for the safety of your animals... if your dog is off leash and you run into a dog on a leash, please grab your dogs or call them over. If another dog is on a leash; they tend to feel restrained and threatened when another animal is approaching them and can become anxious or aggressive. There are plenty of beautiful spots there to take your pups off leash so they can run around, please be cognizant of surroundings.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike, definitely tough! Lots and lots of "stairs". View at the top is totally worth it Go early, we started at 7:30 on Saturady morning and as we were going back down, the trail was packed with people heading up.

hiking
4 days ago

Proposed to my gf at the Royal Arch, beautiful view that shouldn’t be missed out on!

off road driving
4 days ago

Super fun wheeling. Some tough spots overall great trail for our 1993 Landcruiser . Kids played at Lake and on streams. Half way up we photographed a great stream with wildflowers. will be back on a clear day for sure had some cloud cover.

My first 14er , it was everything I expected and then some. A goat snuck up on us on the way up mount spalding !! 20 feet away . Wasn’t shy at all. The first section up to spalding was quite a climb & heart thumper for this flat lander . At the top the scenery was beautiful ! This isn’t a hike for beginners. The reroute at the top to get down was STRAIGHT down from Evans to summit lake !

My gps read 7.0 miles round trip. I made it up to the lake at a slow, steady pace in 2 hours. My hubby likes to cruise and made it in an hour and a half. Good workout. We left the trailhead at 7am and I’m glad we did. Ran into a lot of folks coming up on our way down, and the rain started to move in around 10:30. Only downfall is the poorly tended porta potties and no trash can at the trailhead for “doggy bags.”

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