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

Curecanti Recreation Area Map
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hiking
4 days ago

It's not a trail for seeing the black canyon. I think it's for seeing the plants. A little steep and I'm tired when going up.

Took this trail today to get to the boat tour. Pretty and easy trail for the family to get to the river.

off road driving
15 days ago

Easy beginner trail with great views from the pass. We rented a jeep from BV Jeeps in Buena Vista, grabbed some sandwiches in town and set off from the St Elmo side. We also did a short trail to Mary Murphy Mine nearby. A great day.

best place ive visited in a while. great views and better camp sites.

hiking
16 days ago

We weren't as enthusiastic about this hike as some of the other reviewers, but it was enjoyable. If you have time on the north rim and want to see the canyon from another vantage point, certainly bust this hike out. But, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have disappointed if we wouldn't have had time for it. It was short and pretty easy, so I'll give it that. If you've done the pull-out view points and want more, this would be the next option.

Great little trail that allows views of the canyon from in the canyon. Saw a mule deer on our hike.

Nice family hike. I would recommend starting early there is not a lot of shade.

Really nice hike with great views and gets you up close to the amazing pinnacles. Couple of benches along the way, if you're so inclined.

Trail not well maintained... very steep and slippery for kids. We had to turn back midway. Lake super busy on a weekend.

The initial climb is steep with sloping easy-to-slide terrain. Sadly I went up 3/4 of the way and decided there was no way my husband could habndle any distance on this kind of path. So, we gave it up. Wish we had studied it further because we might have been able to do and out and back longer easy hike using the road. I chose it because it was rated “easy”. I am a very strong hiker and found the beginning to be challenging.

on Lower Loop Trail

24 days ago

Great bike trail with kids as there was great single track and not too much uphill. Wonderful views and a river to cool off at.

Short hike to the falls. You can park on the main road and there are two additional small lots closer to the trailhead. The hike is short enough we found it easier just to park in the main lot and hike up. The hike to the falls is pretty rocky. More climbing then I expected given the reviews. For anyone used to hiking this won’t phase you, but if you’re not a hiker just know you will get a little out of breathe. We saw several people taking breaks. I would defiantly recommend continuing on towards the lake as we found this part of the trail much better. Less people, less rocky, and beautiful views. We turned around at the river crossing which was maybe a mile or so past the falls. Our dogs don’t handle heat that well so unfortunately we couldn’t push on to the lake. I should mention it was pretty buggy. Lots of flies, some biting, which didn’t bother us as much as the dogs.

hiking
26 days ago

Took my dogs, very pretty, fairly easy trail. Falls was beautiful. Trail has everything, great photos of wildflowers, mountains cross the way. Nice restroom at head of trail.

Great trail to become acclimated as it is short. Saw a family trying to hike this in flip flops and that is not smart . The trail is rocky but the waterfall view is spectacular.

This hike was the perfect length and allows you to view the canyon from many awesome perspectives. Even some of the rock walls you hike right next to have a spectacular black, rust and silvery coloring to them. Beautiful!

hiking
28 days ago

Good trail with great views of the canyon.

hiking
29 days ago

Short hike to the falls. You are standing above the falls looking down. Nice for those not able to hike more than a couple miles. The trail is a little rocky. If you have the time, continue on to Copper Trail and on to the lake, which is an additional 4-5 miles (one way).

trail running
29 days ago

This is my fav, easy and dog friendly trail literally “in town”. It skirts the Slate River and has mildly different terrain from open meadows, forest canopy and aspen groves. Very mild climb connecting the loop back to town w great views of the Butte. Hikers watch out for bikers. Great trail run. Also note it connects to other trails so you can make it a longer trek if you want.

30 days ago

Not sure what the fuss is all about. granted we stopped at falls because we were just looking for a short hike after hiking all morning elsewhere. I would call this more of a moderate trail due to all the loose rocks and it has a pretty steady climb. Not hard, but i wouldn't take grandma or anybody not used to hiking. I guess I expected to be closer to the falls rather than looking at them from 300 yards away down a cliff. An ok hike but there are much better trails. Maybe if you keep going it gets better.

hiking
30 days ago

Love it! My husband and I chose this as our first hike with our 6 month old baby in a backpack...definitely worth it! Falls at the end we’re gorgeous.

Thank you.

trail running
1 month ago

This is an amazing trail. Not much climbing so a nice way to get in 7+ miles and enjoy the views. Through trees, open fields, water and mountain views, this trail has it all

walking
1 month ago

Don’t try to mountain bike this trail, there are too many people. There’s a decent trail that leads off behind campsite #12 and connects to the dirt roads. It was a beautiful and pretty easy ride and not many hikers.
Giving the lake trail 3 stars because while it’s gorgeous, it’s crowded and not for mountain biking which is what we went to do. Drive up from Gunnison via 730/Ohio Creek Road for a fantastic scenic drive, most of the road is dirt.

Great view and easy hike!

pleasant, easy home around the beautiful lake. was crowded when i was there, presumably would be of the weather is nice enough to be there.

Great views of the Gunnison river, and not totally exposed. The Oaks give some much needed shade. Awesome perspective of the canyon wall.

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful falls but keep on going to the lake if you have time. My GPS kept taking me to Judd Circle, a street in Crested Butte, so just put in Gothic Road and follow to Gothic and you'll find it no problem. Pack water shoes a couple of creek crossing nothing difficult but if you don't want wet socks take your water shoes to walk across.

230 some Steps going up and down is the only challenge here. Nice and flat following the river. I loved the feel of being in the canyon. The little history info along the way was fun too! We got to go even a bit further since the water was low. I wish it would have been Raspberry season because of all the plants along the trail. Free snacks. :)

walking
1 month ago

Fun, leisurely outing. Heavily trafficked with walkers and bikes. Plenty of places to stop and look around. Perfect for a casual stroll.

great scenic drive

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