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

COLORADO SW Map
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Spruce Creek trail is 100% covered in snow as of 10-15-18. if hiking above Mayflower lake then traction device recommended.
trail is beautiful in the snow. We saw moose at the little pond/Marsh area at junction of Spruce Creek and wheeler trail.
Lower Mohawk lake is gorgeous but the climb to get there is tough in the snow. A lot of sliding on the way back down.

We hiked this trail yesterday as we have had so much rain in Durango. So glad we had the chance as the sun broke through for our 3 hour hike and we saw only one other hiker. Trail is well marked with maps at each junction. We took the first loop option using the posted maps. We saw three small cliff dwellings spaced well along the hike. We had 5 min of trouble finding the exit trail on top of the Mesa because there were so many smaller view trails- just pay attention to the sign post. Cliffs, mountains and vegetation, made every turn a photographic event. Lack of serious stretches of elevation made this an easy hike. Our 15lb dog loved it as her first hike. The soft sand/soil was easy on her pads. If you don’t see the parking lot using Apple maps, just keep driving a little bit further-you can’t miss it. Our maps tried to take us up a small road near the parking area that said no public access.

scenic driving
5 days ago

Went through October 2018 with snow on the ground in several areas. It is a little rocky but not bad, dont really need 4 wheel drive on this. We did this in a 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk no problem.

Loved this trail! Get a little of everything, hike through the forest followed by hike up the mountain. Beautiful sceneries! Also, be prepared to feel like you are off the trail but I realized there are multiple paths up the mountain and multiple paths down, as long as you know the general direction you will make it

hiking
7 days 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!

hiking
10 days ago

Great hike, amazing to see ruins up close without the crowds. Thoroughly enjoyed myself . Please be respectful of the ruins, let’s keep them around for everyone to enjoy!

Moderately difficult and strenuous trail with beautiful views. Upper Ice Lake was spectacularly blue and purple and well worth the hike. It took us 5.5 hours round trip with frequent photo op stops and about 40 minutes at Upper Ice Lake.

off road driving
12 days ago

Fun trail. Different look than the rest of the others in the area.

off road driving
12 days ago

Great little trail. Not too difficult at all. We took it on a very rainy and overcast day. It made the ascent a little harder than most days, but that’s what made it fun. The switchbacks going up were a blast.

Recommend starting with island lake, then going to ice lake. Adds some mileage to the hike, but from island lake you're going mostly downhill to ice lake then to the trailhead, which was a relief after the tough climb. Couldn't get over the views!

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
14 days ago

Lots of variety. Spectacular lake.

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.

This hike was truly incredible. Went on 9/28/18. Amazing views, so much to do, waterfalls to climb while on you’re way up, etc. Weather was perfect!!Getting to see that beautiful blue water was so worth all the effort to get up there. Pictures can’t show how clear and blue it really is. I highly recommend hiking the summit peak directly behind Ice Lakes. You will have a great birds eye view of the lake, you can see the other side of the mountain, and I got LTE up there to make a FaceTime call!

Take plenty of water and snacks. The hardest part is the very end of the hike as it becomes really steep before you hit the ice lake. I will definitely be back!

As beautiful as this lake was, I say Columbine Lake was even more beautiful and there was more to explore and do. We went on back to back days and I highly recommend both!

Great hike. The views are incredible and we saw the lake in clouds, sunshine, and snow—all within about 10 minutes. It’s well worth the effort. We saw it listed as “moderate” but viewed it as tougher than that.

off road driving
15 days ago

Fun rock crawling

hiking
15 days ago

The best hike I have ever done - and I've been on many hikes throughout the US. The bluest blue I have ever seen in a lake - rivals Crater Lake in Oregon. Definitely worth the lack of oxygen... Took us around five and a half hours round trip with many many stops to catch our breath and take in the scenery. We are in our early 30's, pretty good physical shape, but we're flat landers from below sea level so the elevation change really tired us out... bring plenty of water (we ran out of 2L before the end of the hike) and snacks.. best to come early so that you can take your time and stop as often as needed. Listen to your body especially if you are from below sea level. Saw many dogs and a few kids doing the trail as well. The first lake is within 2.25 miles of the start and the 2nd lake (Ice lake) is another mile after that at around 3.5. My app calculated 7.20 miles round trip. There is another lake after Ice lake but we didn't have time nor energy to get there.

hiking
15 days ago

My fiancée and I took on this trail. I did it a couple years ago in September and loved it so I wanted to share it with her. She had never really hiked before, so with a lot of perseverance we made it to the lower lake. She said the trail was challenging but satisfying, the lake was worth the hike and the people were exceedingly friendly. She was glad we got her some high quality hiking boots and socks. Being from Missouri, we sucked a lot of air, but we used a neat little portable oxygen tank we found at the store and made it without too much trouble. I would highly recommend these to those without experience hiking at altitude. It made a big difference. The aspens were beautiful. The vistas were outstanding. We saw marmots, a couple cow elk, a grouse, a trout in the lake and countless songbirds.

Beautiful hike with color around every turn. The only reason to go past the first lake is to see it from above, absolutely awesome, the other two lakes are major waste of your time and energy

hiking
16 days ago

Amazing! Recommend to anyone. Be prepared and start early, met many hikers that did not bring enough water and food.

Parking lot was full, cars were parked in front of the trailhead, so we missed the trailhead. We ended up hiking up the road and taking a left onto the wheeler trail which led us to a beautiful meadow. We then took a right back onto their spruce creek trail. Once you start gaining elevation, the trail is not well defined. I’m not sure whether that is due to people cutting switchbacks or smaller trails leading to the points of interest IE the old cabins. I seriously considered turning around due to the lack of trail. We made it to lower Mohawk lake which was pretty. We then decided to turn back so we would have enough time to find our way. Also, even to lower Mohawk lake (and alternate route), I think the trail was more than 6 miles RT. The meadow off of wheeler was definitely the peak of the hike.

backpacking
17 days ago

One of the most beautiful hikes that I’ve ever gone! Prime color season so it was amazing.

Disappointing trail, gorgeous lake destination. Did this hike September 26. 90 per cent of this trail is through dense forest with no vistas - you could be in an evergreen forest anywhere in Colorado. Extremely overused trail, not well maintained and poorly designed, employing steep straight up gradients where switchbacks should have been built. No fall color here and in late September obviously no wildflowers. Blue Lakes are in a beautiful setting, especially Lower - with cinnamon orange slopes framing the lake to the east, sharp snowy peak and talus slope to the south. Try Ice Lake Basin nearby for a far superior trail, though harder.

Fantastic trail. In my opinion, doesn’t get much better than this.

Went in late September. The weather was perfect and the fall colors were at peak season. The hike is not long, but the first half is straight uphill, so be prepared for a workout. The lake is amazing and well worth the work it takes to get there.

Amazing and challenging hike. Use the directions from earlier posts (thanks) to make sure you don’t miss the trail to Blue Lake. Bridal trail falls was just a trickle at this time of year but there are other amazing waterfalls along the trail. Make sure you wear hiking boots or trail runners. Hikers who wore running shoes had trouble navigating the loose gravel both up and down the trail. The views were well worth the hike!!

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful hike!

hiking
21 days ago

I LOVE THIS HIKE! The first time I did it was a few years ago for 4th of July, and unfortunately the lake was iced over, but the plants were in full bloom and so pretty! The second time was this year for labor day and The lake was amazing and there was no snow, however all the plants were dying. I would recommend doing this hike early August to mid August. This hike literally has all four seasons. It was sunny to start and then rained and snowed all in one hike lol. The hike isn't too bad as far as toughness but it will have your heart going. We also hiked to island lake and it was a lot closer than expected, it isn't too far from ice lake. I highly recommend just pushing a little further. There is just so much to see on this hike.
As far a the road getting there it isn't bad, you don't need a 4WD unlike other hikes in this area.

off road driving
21 days ago

Great trail

Lower Mohawk Lake - late start on Saturday the 22nd. It never ceases to amaze me how inaccurate the mileage is on All Trails. I went up Spruce Creek trail to Lower Mohawk and it was right at 3.4 to 3.5 miles. Sign at the start of the trail says 3.4 miles to Mohawk Lakes. The trail is nice and gradual until you get to the end of the 4WD road and the creek diverter. Then the trail is rocky, straight up, paths all over the place and felt like a 14neer at times. My elevation gain was about 1300ft. I started at 3pm and got to the lower lake at 4:40pm. I went back down the 4WD road because of the waning light and to see how rough the road was and measured about 3.2 miles. Definitely passable in most SUVs. The lake was pretty but not sure worth the overall effort. I'm glad I went late in the day because it was a zoo at the parking lot and road. Passed so many hikers coming down as I was going up. Not to be a Debbie Downer but I was unimpressed. Maybe the upper lakes make it worth the effort.

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