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Day Hikes - To Do Map

Wow!!! Well worth the hike

Beautiful hike. Lots of up, but well worth it.

Great hike that follows the river pretty much the whole way. Great places to stop and take a break. You got The Pool, which is 1.7 miles from the trailhead, Fern Falls, a mile from The Pool, Fern Lake, which is just over a mile from the falls, after that is less then a mile to Odessa with beautiful scenery along the way. It's pretty much a steady incline after The Pool so those breaks are pretty nice! Odessa is a beautiful lake. Well worth the hike.

I absolutely loved this hike...and hated it haha. A lot of uphill and then of course you have to go downhill to get back to the trailhead which can also be challenging but the views were incredible! You'll know you're getting close to the first lake because of the brilliant turquoise blue peeping through the trees. After seeing the lake up close DEFINITELY continue to the Lake pass trail towards the upper lakes. You'll have to cross a creek and then stay to the left. The wildflowers are beautiful and even if you don't make it to the upper lakes, the view of the lower lake is dazzling once you get higher. Unlike the first lake, the second two lakes are more of a serene green. Very quiet and peaceful and less crowded. Make sure you pack enough water. The shade is cool but you get hot with all the climbing and my three water bottles were barely enough. Also, be aware that the road to get to the trailhead is a little rough. I have a little Honda Civic and it got us there okay but we had to take it very slow.

What a great hike! It was kind of cloudy today so not as beautiful pictures but I loved it none the less!

This hike is well worth the climb all the way to the top but be aware of the trail! Apparently the last half mile of trail is not the well trafficked dirt path winding straight up along the creek but is instead a poorly marked, if at all, less steep path along the lower right lake. Regardless, the hike was beautiful (wildflowers are our in full force right now) and a butt kicker but perfect. Highly recommend going early because the trail was packed by 10am. 7am was more my speed.

Lost trail a few times. Solid trail. Lots of campers. Not hard, very easy first two miles

2 days ago


This is one of my favorite hikes in Colorado so far. Absolutely beautiful lake at the top. Fun trail overall.

This was by far the most beautiful place that I have ever seen. We camped near the parking lot the night before and woke up before dawn to start hiking (we had a 6 hour drive back home). We started hiking at 5:15 and got to the lower lake at 8:00. We're not great hikers either. This time included many breaks to catch our breath and we stopped to eat breakfast as well. The trail itself to the lower lake wasn't too hard. I actually thought it was rather easy. The trail to the second lake had a lot steeper inclines and loose rocks. but it was definitely manageable. The trail to the third lake was dirt with a slight incline. The lower lake is so great, and I HIGHLY recommend not stopping at that. Even if you don't go all the way to the second lake, at least start heading there because looking down in the first lake from above is insanely gorgeous and worth the trip. It took us about an hour to get to the second lake, and maybe 15 minutes from there to get to the third. Overall, we were back to the campsite by noon, including many stops for photos and just taking in the view. I would go back 100 times.

This was a great hike filled with wildflowers and alpine lakes. The beginning of the hike is mainly through the woods and wasn’t as bad as I thought based on reviews here. Still took plenty of breaks but the trail was well maintained. I found this same section much harder on the way down due to loose rocks. Anyways, we had planned to sleep over but we made it to lower lake in less than 3 hours, so we just decided to drop our packs and hike all the way to upper lakes. You won’t be able to see all 3 lakes at once unless you hike the pass (which we didn’t do). Decided to just make it a day hike since it went faster than expected. I thought this hike was moderate and I’m 6.5 months pregnant and don’t live at altitude. Overall, it’s beautiful and can definitely be a day hike. Again the way out was worse than in due to loose rocks. Poles are essential on this hike and definitely wouldn’t recommend it if it’s raining heavily.

I’d say this is one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. I did this on a Wednesday afternoon (began hike at 12:30pm) and it took me about 4 hours after spending 45 minutes at the peak. I only saw a few people total which was great. I’d consider this more of a moderate hike not hard, because it’s only about 6 or so miles. But, there are tons of boulders and a nice scramble towards the peak. The water was amazing at the Final lake and I spent 10 minutes soaking in the ice bath with my dog.

5 days ago

We hit the trail around 7:30pm and made Surprise lake just at dusk. Recommend starting earlier as the this section is pretty steep. Surprise is very pretty but the upper lake is pretty stunning.
However, busy season and there were campers everywhere. Campers clean up your toilet paper!
5 star beauty but busy, busy. Not a secluded mountain.
4 stars overall
Easy to hike the 5.7 miles out

Awesome trail with great hikers. 0 trash found and overall well maintained. I brought and out of town relative here for an overnight. couldn't have asked for more. Camped at the lower lakes then hiked the upper before breaking down camp for the hike down. it's got fair traffic but overall does not take away from the experience. I will definitely do this again in day hike format.

6 days ago

Hiked to Surprise Lake yesterday with a friend and our two dogs. It was her first backpacking trip, we camped at Surprise Lake and day hiked to Upper Cataract. We got a little rained on but the temperatures were perfect. Because we were hiking in on a Sunday, most folks were headed out and we basically had both lakes to ourselves. No snow at either lake, the trail was steep in sections but the trees kept it shaded and the views were worth it in the end!

I did this trail to warm up for the Dead and Company shows in Boulder the following weekend. This trail had everything, low traffic (in the morning), a challenging climb, loads of flowers, and spectacular peaks towering over you. I climbed up the south ridge of the Crater Lake saddle to get up to a beautiful view of the next valley and then climbed on up to the continental divide. Hike exceeded my high expectations of hike in the Rockies.

Enjoyed the hike. The wildflowers are out in full force. Not to be outdone by the flowers, at the first lake 3 good sized fish decided to feed right where we were standing and one was courteous enough to stop and pose for the camera (see pic)! And, so the fish and flowers weren't to get all the glory while walking back a Weidemeyer's Admiral butterfly landed on the trail and showed off for the camera as well (pic posted too). There were quite a few people on the trail and even at the uppermost lake - so bummer for that. But we had the third lake all to ourselves. We had never hiked up the rock path before - previously traveling up the path that follows more along the major waterflow between the 2nd and 3rd lakes. We decided will stick with our original path - much!!!! prettier!!!!!!

We stayed at the lower 2 Crater Lakes and oh my goodness it was busy! The lower lakes are ~4mi and 1500’ gain according to my GPS. We hiked to the upper lakes the next morning, another 700’ gain and 0.7miles. We had our full packs so it was a workout. The hiking poles for the descent were a must. There was quite a bit of talus to navigate.

Crater lakes is beautiful, the wildflowers are at peak right now. The campsite was nice, I was just in awe of how crowded it was (yes on a July weekend, should I be so surprised?!) All campers were respectful and tried to minimize impact. Everyone was using bear canisters or bear bags but with as many people and dogs were there that night, I didn’t think a bear would be wandering through.

The initial part of the joint trail that serves a number of hikes is gentle although the quality of the trail can hit the feet in places!
The turn to the Crater lakes begins the fun/hurt, the gradient at times was a challenge for a 66 years young person who lives at sea level but for the young and locals the trip to the first lakes is moderate. Then you look up and see people trying to climb what seems like a vertical trail to the lakes beyond. That climb also includes scrambling over two areas of boulders, again easier for the younger hikers - overall a good trip especially if you manage the final climb - a great sense of achievement.

horseback riding
8 days ago

Beautiful lake. Lots of hikers but they were very considerate. Lots of big rocks and up hill a long way. Should have shoes or boots. Water and mud crossings. Not for beginners. Need a conditioned horse. Beautiful scenery.

8 days ago

One of the most amazing places I have been!
Hiked this trail on 7/8. Directions took us up West Dallas Creek and we could not access because it was private property. Make sure to use Dallas Creek road and it is easy to get to from there! The first mile/mile and a half is steep, but the rest of the hike is moderate. Get there earlier because it can get hot hiking up to the lake and also serious thunderstorms roll in around 3pm. Saw some people with one bottle of water... its a moderate/hard hike so make sure you bring plenty of water.
The views are SO worth the hike. The third lake is difficult to get to b/c it is a climb, but it is more secluded and absolutely gorgeous. Sat there and watched people summiting Sneffels and climbing the pass. One of the most amazing places I have been!!

It was so beautiful my eyes could barely stand it. Definitely do the final lake. It takes a scramble but it’s more like a playground of rocks.

One of my favorite local hikes! Nice because unlike some trails in Roosevelt National Forest there is an actual parking lot with ample parking. Even on the fourth of July we found parking without difficulty. It is heavily trafficked but everyone was polite and friendly and followed good trail etiuqette. If you don't do the final scramble I think this clocks in more like a moderate, personally.

12 days ago

Did this hike on a Sunday 7/1/18. The most beautiful hike I have ever done! Also one of the hardest. There are 3 lakes in total. The first lake is the easiest to get to and is beautiful in its own right. The middle and upper lake are up a more secluded trail that is to the left of the lower lake. They are stunning. This is when the trail got pretty difficult for me because it was basically straight uphill. But man was it worth it to see the upper lakes! Hiking to all 3 lakes is closer to 8.5 miles total. We got to the trailhead by 8am and had the trail up to ourselves. The way down was super packed though and super hot. Definitely go early and try to make it to the upper lakes if you can!

Ive been wanting to hike to Odessa for a while now and never got around to it. It was a moderate hike from the Fern Lake trailhead (I avoid Bear Lake at all costs) so I did the out and back from Fern Lake.. Ended up at 12.3 miles start to finish. One of the most beautiful hikes Ive done in RMNP. TONS of wildflowers once you past Fern Lake. Will definitely do it again.

12 days ago

So gorgeous and not too difficult. Left a bit late and was hit by a thunderstorm around 2pm. Bring a rain jacket if there's any possibility of rain.

This was such an incredible hike. Amazing views and a difficult trail that wasn’t too long. The hike to the upper lake is really hard, scrambly in places, but worthwhile. Not a lot of people went up that far and it was a great place to recharge before descending.

An interesting and beautiful trail with a rewarding sudden view of the lower Blue Lake. There are places to camp and cook. The upper two lakes are worth the effort, but harder to get to. A 'don't miss' hike.

Incredible hike! The view at the top is absolutely stunning, we spent an hour staring in awe at the beauty. We took our 2 dogs with us and they had a great time hiking as well. 100% recommend!

14 days ago

The Blue Lake is well worth the 3 mile hike. The water is stunning and truly an amazing sight. I would definitely hike again and hopefully go farther onto Blue Lake Pass.

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