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

Fall Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
17 hours ago

My new favorite fall hike! Challenging but not too difficult. Stunning with the aspens and the lake.

hiking
19 hours ago

Steep, but pretty fall colors and lovely lake! Pics and more details here: https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/09/20/road-trip-to-the-rockies-a-weekend-in-aspen/

hiking
2 days ago

Awesome trail. Did it over Labor Day and still was quite empty. Could easily be considered hard due to length and elevation gain, but its all worth it for the variety of scenery. Although I saw a few 2wd sedans along the road to the trailhead, 4wd or at least something with clearance is recommended to get there.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful fall hike! Like others said, you have to hike maybe 2-3 miles in before you start to get views of the really spectacular solid sheets of aspens covering the hills. After Helms Lake you don't see aspen, and the trail is a little hard to follow through the bushes (willows?), but they add some nice yellow color to the beautiful mountain views. My phone and FitBit both measured 18.9 miles round trip to Abyss Lake, quite a bit longer than the 15 miles All Trails lists.

trail running
2 days ago

No better time of year than now. Stunning scenery with aspens turning and perfect weather.

Amazing hike. A little tough, especially if you’re not used to the elevation, but it has everything. Starts in a forest setting, crosses a couple of creeks and opens up above tree line. Shelf Lake at the top was a real treat and very few people.

hiking
3 days ago

Absolutely stunning in the fall! The aspens are perfect shades of yellow right now, 9/17, and in order to see them blanket the mountainside, you need to hike about 3 miles in. Totally worth it. And it's nice and shaded all the way until it opens up...you walk through a few aspens in the trail, but holy moly, that mountainside. There's a beautiful stream, too. I've shared some pictures :)

One of my favorite hikes for sure! Less crowded than Crater Lakes and so beautiful! Only saw a couple people on the trail and a few campers set up around the first lake. Make sure you hike up to the second lake and go off the trail slightly to find the third mini lake. I was jealous of the campers set up around the lake and wish I had packed my tent and stove to stay the night.

Finally did this hike last weekend as a solo day-hike. Started the hike around 11 a.m. and and passed maybe 20 people on their way down. Had the lake all to myself once I got to the top! Abyss Lake itself is nothing overly special, but it was pretty cool to see the backside of the Sawtooth between Bierstadt and Evans. Very steady elevation gain. This is an amazing hike to do in the fall to see the foliage! The leaves were just about at peak last weekend, so I imagine this week to go if you want to see them in their prime!

5 days ago

Amazing fall colors today!!! Love this hike!

Great hike. It was very crowded and there were a decent amount of mountain bikers. The trail was slightly washed out in spots which made it difficult to hike. The view at the top was beautiful and the Aspens were starting to change. The elevation gain was tough but the view made the climb worth it.

An awesome hike! Trailhead is a little hard to find because they recently moved the trailhead. Head up the trail that is connected to the parking lot and follow for about a 1/4 mile then you’ll see a sign for shelf lake. Dirt road was tricky is some spots, but manageable for most cars. This hike is also closer to 8 miles round trip.

Trailhead comes up quick when you're driving up 6 in the canyon but plenty of parking. Weekend days alternate between allowing only mountain bikers and only hikers so when in doubt check beforehand so you know who's allowed there on what day. Easy switchbacks to get higher into the foothills with nice views of the canyon. Juniper loop up top is really easy and some nice mountain views on the back side.

This a nice trail without too many rocky parts. My GPS shows 12.8 miles. Did this hike on a Saturday starting at 8:20am. Very few people on this trail but saw a lot of fishermen at Betty lake.

hiking
15 days ago

A beautiful hike that passes through aspens, moss covered rocks, woods, over streams and ends at a lake. Challenging if you're not used to hiking at altitude, but an overall great hike!

hiking
16 days ago

A mile was added to the hike when the trail head was moved 1/2 mile south of the original location. Eight miles is a more accurate number now. The South Park and Shelf Lake trail heads were combined into one very large parking lot, rather than two very small ones.

hiking
16 days ago

Wonderful hike but LONG!!

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful hike! The first mile, before you hit the junction for Forest Lakes and Crater Lakes, is easy. Once you hit the junction, it's a pretty steady incline all the way up. Great hike for dogs since there is a fair amount of creeks throughout the trail, and the trail is basically in the woods the entire time. The views from the first and second lakes are wonderful!

This is a short loop starting at the lookout point. Easy hike with lots of shade and beautiful forest scenery. The tail at the end of this loop is actually the start of mule deer trail. It follows the road for a bit before you start walking in open meadows. Overall a quite, peaceful hike over labor day weekend with few runners and quite a few bikes. My dog enjoyed the easy hike and all the other dogs were well behaved.

Great hike and views. At 55yo, I was surprised it didn’t wear my out. Best adventure of my vacation and a good time with my two teenage daughters.

great trail keep going past the visitors box you will come to in a couple miles. cool stream not far past that.

Nice little morning hike, the aspens are changing!

hiking
18 days ago

Amazing hike! Such a beautiful trail with lots of water crossings, beautiful views and 2 lakes. The first lake is pretty, however, the second hike is worth the extra 3/4 of a mile up. Amazing peak views from the top lake and the water is a beautiful clear green. The hike is great for dogs, however, be aware as moose live in the area. We say a mama and baby a mile into the hike and a large bull moose on our hike down. It took us 5 hours round trip to the second lake and back to the car with about an hour of stopping at the top lake and for watching moose.

on Ben Tyler Trail

hiking
18 days ago

Really cool trail with great views of the surrounding peaks. Saw 3-4 moose on the trail on my way down around 3pm Sept 2nd about 3 miles from the trailhead. In a thick aspen grove area and was very surprised to see them directly on the trail. A couple of large female and at least one calf. They frustratingly would not move off the trail but after waiting 10-15 minutes they scurried up the mountain

hiking
20 days ago

You will need an AWD or 4WD vehicle to get to the trailhead. I saw a couple of people try to make it up in their Honda Civic and that was not working out for them.

My GPS tracked the hike closer to 8 miles rather than the 6.8 miles listed. We did go off trail a few times for pictures and the views, but nothing that should have added up to a mile or more. It took us about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the lake. Not sure why this hike is rated moderate, it was hard!

Sooo beautiful and calming. One of my favorites so far!

the Aspen's changing in is awesome! we're going this Tuesday for a climb if anyone wants to go. we hit the trails about 11am when it's warm

Decent hike. The first two miles stick pretty close to the highway, so you have a lot of noise pollution for 4 miles of the hike. It’s a popular mountain biking trail, narrow path so you’re constantly stepping out of the way. If you’re hiking I’d recommend going on an odd weekend day (like September 1st) when mountain biking is not allowed. On even weekend days hiking is not allowed. Even during the week it’s busy!
No real viewpoints, still some pretty spots. No shade coverage until you get to the Loop.

backpacking
23 days ago

Was a blast a few weeks ago for an overnight backpacking trip. We ended up going to the lakes and back down to find the best campsites. Water was plentiful, the nicest campsites were towards the beginning of the hike. Enough people on the trail to not feel completely isolated but no issues getting any campsite you want. Great spot for snowshoeing as well if the road is open in winter

Beautiful trail but not easy, well worth it though!

backpacking
25 days ago

Incredible trail with beautiful views of high mountain cliffs, aspens, and an alpine lake (or two). My 11 year old cousin and I backpacked in a couple miles, set up camp, then hiked to Helms Lake and back. Excellent choice for a one or two nighter.

Load More