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

Denver_Hiking Map
10 hours ago

GORGEOUS. no one is after the glacier. great hike!

awesome trail. along ariver for most of it. great in winter too!

This was the first hike I’ve done in Colorado. Wanted to do something easier as I am trying to get used to the elevation. I personally loved the trail. Very shady, several places to stop and climb some rocks for some great views. We took it counterclockwise and went downhill most of the time which was nice. Well maintained and easy to find trail. The bottom is awesome as the trail goes right next to a little creek in which you can see some fish. Took us about 3 hours due to several stops and lunch. Traffic on the trail was not too bad. I’d recommend this trail.

Good quick sub 2 hour trip.

one of my favorites

beautiful hike. once your at the bottom it's nice and cool following the stream for a while.. I would rate as hard, but able to do it with my baby in my pack. glad we took the advice of others and did clockwise, down the brook trail and up Chavez.. nice challenging hike

This is my go-to hike for all my out of town visitors. Typically it is very crowded, but most people are courteous and friendly. Get an early start to get parking and be sure to bring water for the pup. Great views and a fun experience climbing the 143 stairs to the fire lookout tower and of course meeting Billy Ellis who has been stationed at the tower for over 33 summers!

Loved this hike! Amazing views!
Only issue was our gps took us down a county road that was full of rocks and we had off road for 5 miles. We took another way out and it was fine. If your gps tries to take you down a county road and it looks rough don’t go down it, it only gets worse unless you have a Jeep or 4 wheel drive. We were coming from Colorado Springs.

A great hike just a drive out of the city and the trail is defiantly moderate or more. There are rocky terrain along the Chavez trail and so I appreciated someone’s tip about taking the trail up rather than down the sliding rock terrains. Thank you and hopefully others will do so too. Enjoy!

20 small water crossings on the trail loop.

Nice! Uphill 1st half then down way back. Plenty of shade along the way but no water for the doggo so bring some for them too! Great views from the lookout tower.

I started hiking around 2 PM and the trail was almost completely in the shade. Loved that I could stop pretty much anywhere along the way to get wet.

Great views in route and at summit. The trail presented is not accurate at 4wd road crossing. There are only wilderness signs on west side of road, no trail today. We took the 4wd road north to an established trail that goes west and merges to a summit trail. Another trail descends from simmit towards Alice. We explored that route and haf to tske with an unmarked and closed 4wd trail that goes east towards st marys and the illustrated trail. We eventually went off trail to go east and find the trail to st marys. The all trails presentation might be a snowshoe route or an older route before wilderness designation closed a trail.

Beautiful terrain, very little foot traffic. I was the only one hiking this trail for the first couple hours this morning. I left St Mary’s trailhead at 7:15am and summited around 9:45. Beyond the St Mary’s trail it was tough to navigate the proper James Peak trail but there is a big dirt road that you can veer to the left and eventually find the smaller trail on the right for James Peak. Once on the trail, it was very well maintained and easy to navigate. I’ve lived in CO all my life and hiked lots of 14ers but I enjoyed this 13er the most!!! Beautiful and stunning views!!

Gorgeous scenery on this hike and so close!! We hiked early on a Sunday, before the Bronco game, and it was not busy at all! You get a little of everything on this hike. Shaded forest, river crossings, narrow cliff paths, sunny hot patches with cactus all in one hike.

Nice steady incline up. My kids 9 and 12 were not impressed. They thought it was boring with not t much to see since you were in the shade. The views at the top are beautiful but at that point my kids were done and wanted to head back

i really love the app, but you really need to give me the option of downloading maps when a wifi is not available. 9 times out of 10, I'm out of wifi range when I decide to plan a hike.

10 days ago

I hiked this trail alone on a day when it was not highly trafficked. It was gorgeous and very rewarding with a lovely creek running through the bottom of the valley. Beware coming with kids, the Chavez Trail side has cliffs and steep parts, and I dropped my phone off of one of the cliffs and had to venture down to get it. Overall very rewarding trail system and would love to try the longer version of the trail.

I would usually give this hike three stars because I don’t enjoy the Chavez trail. Today I took Beaver Brook to the bottom, spent time by the water with my pup, then went back the way I came. Still good incline and much more pleasant. If you’re like me and don’t enjoy boulder scrambling I recommend hiking the trail the way I did. I can’t wait to go on this trail next spring and early summer when there’s more water. Still totally worth it though!

Spectacular views! Had a great time on this hike. Short and sweet.

Nice short hike with moderate elevation gain.
Beautiful / awesome views.
Yes, lots of hikers, but what the heck! They are all doing what we love, and introducing kids and “newbies” to the joys of “getting out there”.
Easy access. Give it a try!

on Bear Peak Trail

13 days ago

Spectacularly beautiful with varied terrain and a challenging ascent. Good work-out, mid-week not crowded and a well-marked trail. Saddle offers a nice spot for a break. Final segment rutty but accessible. We started at NCAR and went up Fern Canyon trail.

Wonderful hike but most days busy with crowds hiking up. Easy hike although parking can be a challenge.

A well maintained trail that’ll get your heart pumping. I would highly suggestion taking the loop CLOCKWISE! This way you can climb out on the rocks rather than having to scale down them. The trails are marked differently than what’s listed. Go to the LEFT at the T, save the Chavez trail for the way out! You do have to climb over some rocks so may not be suitable for some kids.

absolutely amazing trail for a short and sweet workout. good techy so\pots to keep you on your toes. highly recommend for a morning jaunt.

Beautiful hike! Fun for the whole family, though difficult in certain areas. Be prepared for the steep step climb at the end to reach the lookout itself.

Recommend going during the day on a weekday, as it is pretty popular.

My husband and I took our labradoodle and two kids (son 10, daughter 8) on the 5.1 mile loop. We started on the Beaver Brook side and looped around to the Chavez side and back. I can see why those with kids could feel a little apprehensive. There are sections that are fairly steep and slippery that you need to scramble through; however, if you take it slow, you should be fine. Overall, we thought it was fun and full of adventure! Lots of opportunities to kick off your shoes and wade in the various pools of water. Great 5 mile loop! Bring water and food to keep your body fueled. We'll definitely be hiking Beaver Brook again soon! :-)

Outstanding views and great for dogs! There are some steep cliffs but still very dog friendly.

My 7yr old wanted to do this trail again, he is all about the water. Not much left but still a great trail. I suggest early spring for this one if you're after water...great areas to break for lunch and just hang for a bit.

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