Explore July 4th \ - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

July 4th \ Map
17 hours ago

On a whim I was looking for something relatively short with some elevation gain since I just moved to Denver and hunting season will soon be upon us. Driving there was pretty easy as the road looks like it was just graded this spring or early summer. don't get going too fast or your tail end will try to come around! There's a five mile dirt road approach that looks highly seasonal, but is fine for all but the lowest cars if you're careful and avoid the potholes and go slowly over washboarding.

The hike itself is nice and relatively gentle elevation gain. I'd recommend some trekking poles for the rocky path you have to take, or perhaps just some sturdy ankle support wielding boots. I'd absolutely come back here, it looks like the trail goes further than the last lake but I didn't have a GPS and it began to look like a goat path. For another day then.

3 days ago

Lot was full by 10am but we squeezed on the road. We read there wasn’t many backpacking spots - and I found maybe 3, but were too close to water or the trail. We found if you go past (between) the final lakes and keep going (careful, the trails spur and we got turned around), you follow a stream on your right after 1/2 mi to approx 3 sites spread by a few hundred feet. It was a good first backpacking trip for my 7yo. There was plenty of water, moderate temps, and while we saw a bunch of bugs, only really got one or two bites. We encountered a cow moose about 30 feet off the trail about half way up!

I think technically this is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and you need a permit in summer, but, sorry, it is ridiculous to print a form and mail a $5 check or to go to the office. Let me do it online. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recarea/?recid=80803

Overall it's not a trail I'd be super excited to get back to or take anyone to, but it was a nice short hike with shade most of the way. The final lakes/ponds are pretty with some views of the surrounding ridges. The lakes are small with quite a few people crowded around fishing or lounging. The first lake you pass is mosquito heaven and pretty yucky.

I consider this trail to be strenuous, and I typically only seek out strenous trail. 2nd time to Parika Lake on a day hike, and since I had my head lamp with decided to do the whole trail instead of walk the same trail. Past Parika Lake is some pretty heavy exposure to me. Your essentially hiking a narrow ridge with dramatic vertical dropoffs and the wind along those ridges is steady and huge. Glad I made it down safely because I didn't expect the trail to keep climbing like that. Like another hiker said two continental divide crossing past Parika Lake. Cake walk down hill after that. My legs were just noodles. I wouldn't want to hike it clockwise, because I feel going downhill,on those exposed areas would be shady. I rate it strenuous.

As others have mentioned, this is a beautiful trail. We started at 10am and thought that to be a late start, parking lot was about half full, and we were between several groups. On our return at 1pm (we only went 3 mi in/out), there was a gaggle of humans parading onto the trail. Lots of fly fishers trying their luck on the adjacent river, which really was kind of pathetic - as the trout were no bigger than 6" and should've been left undisturbed.

Pro-tip: start *early*, i.e. 8am anytime between June and Labor Day.

Tons of wildlife and multiple eco-systems. Water is readily available and camp sites (permit only) are very nice. Portions of the loop are very secluded. Wonderful waterfalls and plenty of day hikes if you want to stay extra nights.

Did this on gaited horses yesterday. Great loop awesome views of different types and all kinds of terrain. Tracked on 2 gps and it was more like 29 miles, not sure where 21 came from.

Great backpacking trail. Amazing views on the divide, and some of the best wildflowers I’ve ever seen (columbines, Indian paintbrush in vivid reds and pinks, elephants head, shooting stars, daisies, sunflowers, etc). We actually camped by a small lake before reaching Parika Lake, which I think was more in the trees and less in the wind. Saw a moose leaving Bowen Lake, and lost of moose prints wherever we went. We were a little misled on the mileage for each day (based on other sites’ descriptions), for example the last day is closer to 7 miles than the 4 we thought it would be, although it is almost all downhill. Going up to Bowen Lake does have some decent uphill, so be ready for that. Also the signage could have been better leaving Bowen Lake to return to the trailhead, as after meeting back up with the trail there were two forks without signs that we needed to consult maps to figure out which way to go. Overall a great hike that I highly recommend!

Absolutely amazing trail. We backpacked in to Slickrock campground. This was approximately 6.5 miles in. It took us 30 minutes to hike to Lake Verna the next morning. We swam in the river along the trail, in Lone Pine lake, and in Lake Verna. Do yourself a favor and jump right on in to the glacier water. It is well worth your time :). We even saw a moose!

Great loop with lots of vertical. One night at bowen lake was plenty for the entire loop.

it's pretty and very easy. perfect for a quick morning hike. The lakes can get pretty crowded with people trying yo fish.

A diverse trail that covers three separate ecosystems. Great camping options (by permit only) and plenty of wildlife to see. Completed the whole loop in 5 days with occasional day hikes mixed in.

A lot of moose. both lakes were very crowded, for a reason. it is beautiful.

29 days ago

Great trail, went up to the lakes to fish and was not disappointed. Lots of moose and wildlife.

Stayed there several times pretty and lots of animals. Strong hike in

The Marvine Loop trail is nearly snow free and passable around the entire loop, as of a June 13-15, 2018 trip.

This route is not dog friendly. It starts inside the national Park, there are signs everywhere Prohibiting you to take your dog past the gate. I’m sure it’s a nice hike, but I spent two hours getting here and now can’t take my dog and I don’t trust the app.

1 month ago

Very easy did this hike mid-July. We stayed at the campground the night before which was nice. Free sites were also along the road. Vault toilets at the trailhead. Nicely shaded trail. We just wish there was a better spot near the lake for our dog to jump in and cool off. This parking lot was PACKED by noon so plan accordingly.

1 month ago

Road was fine for my 2door hatchback with standard clearance. sporadic potholes but they are easy to straddle.
A sweet little hike. I wouldn't suggest it for backpacking because it's very short (my GPS says less than 2miles) and there aren't many places to go off trail to camp without messing up a restoration area or camping g in the middle of an animal trail. I use a bivy sac and it was still difficult to find a good spot.
SO many mosquitos-- bring bug spray for real.
If you're looking for a fun spot to mess around in small lakes and not have to hike too far from camp this is perfect. Pretty pines and aspens and a few glimpses of a pretty mountain but no wide vistas. It's a very easy hike if you're looking for a short nature woodsy walk without building up too much of a sweat this is a good trail for you.
There's access to Arapahoe Glacier Trail from this Trailhead and if I'd had time I would've turned around and done that instead. That is probably an amazing hike to a wide vista very close by and if you'll be at the campground a while you could goall the way to Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy in a day if you left early.

Hit East Inlet at 8:30 on a Sunday morning (7/8). There were only a few cars in the lot and there appears to be plenty of parking. In the first 30-40 minutes I spotted two moose in the meadow area. A few families walking through that area, but at about 2.5 miles in, there were only a few others. A lot of rocky incline enroute to Lone Pine, nothing too bad, well marked. I ate lunch at Lone Pine, for the first 10-15 minutes I was the only person there. Two other groups trickled in. I continued on to Verna, which was steep and rocky but again nothing too difficult - the wildflowers were amazing up there. So much color. On the way back down I passed a moose that was very close to the trail, he didn't seem too happy I was there but I passed without incident. After reading another comment, since I was hiking alone I did wear a bear bell and brought spray just in case. A lot of birds, small animals and moose. Long trail, but doable for a day hike. I would love to have had time to get to Spirit and camp out.

I brought my dog. I’m new at this hiking stuff and I found the trail good for a newbie. It was kinda short but it had some great views,

Very nice, easy trial to a series of lakes. Great for kids, families, dogs- everyone! Rocky trail at certain points, but not hard to navigate. Stunning views of the mountains and nearby glacier from the last lake.
Bring your mosquito repellant- they are out in full effect once you get closer to water.

1 month ago

I did this the last week of June. The snow is all gone! I'd recommend waterproof boots as you'll have 2 river crossings as well as a couple streams. Also, every now and then you'll run into mud. The trail is mellow for awhile, then you hit the last stretch to the top and that'll be a tough ascent (going to island lake). One last thing, there is a fire ban in effect so double check if it's still in place before you go out!

Insanely beautiful. Felt very wild. I would agree that this is very strenuous, but if you take your time it's fine. Heres a video of my trip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zezQ7E2FbA

nature trips
1 month ago

6/17. road was open to trailhead; Caribou 4x4 road was still closed. campground was full. If you are careful you can get a sedan to the trailhead, don't necessarily need clearance. Super easy hike. Beautiful series of lakes with Arapahoe glacier and the divide as a backdrop

1 month ago

Hiked about to mile 6 on 6/21/18. Lots of runofff. Wet trail the day I was on it. Snow after mile 6. Wildflowers are out and proud.
Mostly pack packers (4) and a Poudre Trail Volunteer. Overall the trail is in good shape and more vibrant than mid summer. Enjoy if you can.

Beautiful moderate hike. Certainly a long one. Bring lots of water and snacks. Traverse through marshy meadows, forest, by rivers, past pristine lakes. Absolutely lovely!!

1 month ago

Open and already busy - easy hike and pretty; fishing was mediocre from shore with not great access, would be better wading.

Trip dates:: 6/15-17. You want to enjoy lakes in close proximity to each other? Do this hike. We enjoyed a two night three days backpacking trip here. Stayed at the Solitaire campground. From here all the lakes from Verna lake n on is accessible all the way to Fifth Lake which is the very last lake on the map. Its marshy and about a foot deep in but if u don’t mInd then by all means head up towards the Fifth Lake- it’s gorgeous!! Lots of downed trees and the trail is not maintained after Verna Lake and you will see a sign that will indicate that. Lots of water and gushing falls. Bonus: a few actual man made steps makes the uphill hike a beautiful photo op. Lots of vista points as well. Very busy trail head but thins out and it’s just you and the wild as you go higher. A bear crossed our path on the way out. Never happened to us in our 12+ years of backpacking. Reminder that this is CO and is there’s very much “wild” left in the wilderness.

I really enjoyed this hike and Lake Verna did not disappoint, but it was long! This was the longest day hike I have attempted (I hike very slowly...it took me 5 hours to get there...) and while I would have enjoyed seeing Spirit Lake, I didn't have it in me. Next time I should backpack and stay at one of the backcountry sites and split it up. What I liked about this hike was the variety of terrain: meadow, cliffs, aspens, pine forests and so many waterfalls! Lone Pine Lake was not that exciting, but Lake Verna was beautiful.

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