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

Colorado Trails Map
VIEW FULL MAP

The hike is okay. The 'castle' ruins are really neat!

I just moved from Florida so I’m still getting used to the altitude change but not hard otherwise. Beautiful place for picnic at the second lake. Very serene by the water.

hiking
19 hours ago

Nice little hike to stretch your legs, after riding in the car FOREVER, before getting to your real hiking destination inside Rocky. Love visiting this little spot. Gets pretty toasty in the summer time. Watch your footing on the slippery rocks near the falls and the loose gravel along the way.

Loved this hike! Beautiful as the trail ascends through the forest. Two steep parts, one about1-2 miles in and the ascent to the lake. A small and bigger waterfall and a few stream crossings, love the water! I have two dogs and needed water in addition to my 3 liter camelback. The lake is beautiful and quiet. My dogs loved it too!

Gorgeous area. If going on the weekend, get there early, parking lot does fill up, and area from echo lake to the Idaho Springs reservoir can get quite busy. Well shaded, good distance, pretty lakes, creek, and reservoir. Also dog friendly, expect to see a few. Highly recommend this hike!

trail running
1 day ago

Great trail, lots of hills

Where to Park: You will park in the Cheeseman trail lot.

You will find the path to the trail head past the “fancy” outhouse. Take that path over the wooden bridge. The path splits, go left. You will walk about 50 yards and come across a dirt road that interrupts the path. Just walk across the dirt road and the path picks back up across the street. You will walk about 1/2 mile through the woods/trees and come across the actual trail head and map of the trail.

The Trail: the GILL trail runs along the water that leads to Cheesman Lake. Its and out and back.

Suggestions: Bring plenty of water 100oz or more and have at least one hiking friend

We are VERY experienced hikers and this was a Incredibly challenging. The trail is very challenging to follow and the last mile to Cheeseman Lake was a lot of climbing and bouldering.

The views are BEAUTIFUL!

Hard but short hike up! Totally worth it a

Quick family hike.

hiking
1 day ago

a beautiful hike

off road driving
1 day ago

Great trail ride for beginners with amazing views that can be enjoyed by all! Not sure what made this a blue trail, there were a couple rough patches but have confidence factory Jeeps and 4Runners/Tacomas would make the trip without spotters. For comparison, we were in my fiancé’s lifted TRD Pro 4Runner on 285’s and did not scrape or rub anywhere, did not use spotters, and didn’t really have to pick a “safe/easy” line. She loved seeing all the pikas, marmots, and chipmunks. There are several spurs we didn’t explore sticking to the main trail mostly but we will be back to see more. I mean there were still Ice caps in August, how cool. We caught a sleet storm, so take jackets and some warmer clothes even if it’s hot before you arrive.

Wonderful trail! Always busy, get there early..

hiking
1 day ago

Tough hike in general, but easy for 14ers. No hike is easy when with so little oxygen though, so don't underestimate it. The climb is relentless, and due to loose gravel and steep grade you'll want good hiking boots for the way down. Saw several people slip and fall, and 2 out of 3 of us in my group with good hiking boots took spills going downhill as well. Very rewarding for such a short distance. Go on an early weekday to avoid the crowds. And summit before noon to avoid electrical storms!!!

The view was worth the hike!

hiking
1 day 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.

hiking
1 day ago

I started this hike at 7:30 a.m. (second car in the otherwise empty parking lot) on a Monday and returned somewhere between 1:15-1:30 p.m. This hike was definitely challenging for me as a flatlander and I had to stop to take breaks quite often. I also spent quite a long time up at the lake *maybe 45 minutes or longer) and took another longer break during my return at the reservoir to soak my feet before making the final uphill climb. I think this hike is moderate for people who live at altitude and hike regularly, or who are otherwise very fit. If you're not much of a fitness enthusiast and don't workout very often, this is going to be a very challenging hike. If you're fit-ish to average on physical activity, this hike is challenging.

It really surprised me to see so many folks without adequate hydration and starting later. Do yourself a favor and start by 7:30 a.m. because there isn't much shade after you get passed 10:30 a.m. All of the regular rules apply: bring sunscreen and reapply once you're up at the lake, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring more water than you think necessary, and pack loads of snacks. I brought 64 ounces of water and drank about 3/4 of it. Didn't encounter too many bugs other than curious bees at the lake. The only wildlife I encountered were birds (saw an eagle at Echo Lake first thing) and chiding squirrels. Trail rules indicate dogs are required to be leashed but most were off-leash - doesn't bother me but it's something to consider if you don't like dogs.

Some additional navigation tips:
-Once you complete the initial descent and get closer to the water, look out for the primitive log bridge to cross
-Exiting the woods, take a left to follow the access road for about a mile; if you're early in the day, you'll pass the Idaho Springs Reservoir and see trout jumping out of the water to feed.
-Follow the access road past the cabins; the trailhead will be ahead on your right with a no-fee permit station. Fill out your permit and take the trail immediately in front of you, not the unmarked trial to your right.
-You'll pass a second sign indicating that you're entering the Mt. Evans Wilderness; don't worry, you're on the right trail.
-I tried finding the trail to the upper lake and was unsuccessful. I ended up following some of the unmarked trails that go around the lake and wound up in a boggy area just before the lake. Maybe avoid that and do more research on picking up the trail to the upper lake than I did.

Breath-taking views at several points along the way. Was a bit of a steep scramble at the end but worth it. The overwhelming quiet was what struck me the most.

hiking
1 day ago

My wife and I did this yesterday. Nice trail with wildflowers and great scenery. It is a combination of open fields of wildflowers and areas with large shady aspens. There were also some wild raspberries and blueberries (or possibly huckleberries) along the trail of which I munched on here and there. I would recommend hiking shoes as the trail can be rocky in places although I did see many folks in tennis shoes along the trail. There were several steep places where a trekking pole came in handy. I'm 63 and about 220 lbs and I find a single trekking pole helps balance and knees on the steps. My wife and I made it to the falls in 1 and 1/2 hours. I'm from a southern low land area but we've been here about 5 days to get somewhat acclimated to the elevation. While getting a bit winded at times, it wasn't that bad. Would do this again.

Hiked this trail as a kid with my family and now as an adult it is still a favorite. Such a great combination of tree cover and open space with a couple little water crossings. You can make it more difficult by picking up your pace but it’s great for all levels.

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.

Challenging (moderate/difficult) to Surprise Lake and a more moderate second half to Upper Cataract Lake. We left the TH at 6:30am, arrived at Upper Cataract shortly after 9:00am. We fished with small spinners and spoons and caught four brook trout. Great hike, we will be back to camp at Surprise Lake!

Be ready. Prepare. Physically and upstairs. And it will be one of the most memorable camping experiences. Period.

Great parking at trail head. Good hike with views.

Great hike. A little crowded on weekends but worth it.

hiking
2 days ago

Always a family favorite. Great for little ones. Saw a big bull moose about 20 feet from us. Amazing!

hiking
2 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.

excellent hike. beautiful

hiking
2 days ago

Very cool hike! We did the day hike to Lower, Middle, Upper Blue Lakes and to the Sneffels pass. I recommend camping at the trailhead for an early start. The lower lake is beautiful (it's better than the other two) but pretty full of campers. The best view is from near the middle lake looking down on the lower lake. The path can be hard to find going from lower to middle. The trail from upper lake to the pass was narrow and steep and did get boring, so you could definitely skip this and you wouldn't be missing out. The hike is quite steep in beginning sections, so it gets real old on the way back down (we saw two people who appeared to have twisted ankles from sliding or falling in these sections... both of whom were hiking in tevas, so do with that what you will).

Me encantó la experiencia,excelente si lo
recomiendo.

Load More