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

June / Waterfalls Map
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Hiked towards the tail end of August and caught a little rain, but it was nice. I parked at the lowest parking lot (I’m trying to get rid of this spare tire and wanted the extra mileage) so I can’t give any tips on the road up. Tip for 1st lot parkers.... DONT WALK UP THE ACCESS ROAD. Use the Spruce Trail to get to Mohawk Lakes. It was super lush and green. The trail is marked with blue diamonds nailed to trees to help stay you on the path. If you make it to Lower Mohawk, take the extra time to go all the way to Upper Mohawk. The views are better and the upper lake’s water is crazy blue. When you get to the upper lake hang a left and gain a little more elevation to really see how blue the water is. 4/5 stars because the trail is a bit spotty towards the end. I took a wrong turn once that lead me away from the planned destination but it’s no big deal. Exploring is what it’s all about

Beautiful area of Colorado and worth a trip! I recommend backpacking to truly experience it but you could definitely do a day hike (leave early in the AM!). We did 3 days/2 nights and it took about 4.5 hours up (total) and 3.5 hours back with our heavy packs. Our first night camping was in the Cascade zone and second night was in the Crater Lake zone. There's 12 designated backpacking sites in Crater Lake zone - 3 of them about half a mile below the lakes, 2 at Mirror Lake, and the remaining 7 at Crater Lake. Unfortunately we were hit with pouring rain for most of our visit, which isn't particularly fun when you're backpacking (we were damp and a little grumpy on the way back). We plan to come back to take more advantage of the area with better visibility and less rain-soaked gear :)

fishing
15 hours ago

wonderful place. easy hike. watched the moose from on top of the hill play in the water.

hiking
20 hours ago

Excellent hike but very difficult. Our group had 8 kids ages ranging from 1-16. We had the 1 year old on our backs the whole time and the 3 and 4 year olds were able to do most of it without being carried. It’s was still challenging but extremely worth it but it was slow especially at the steep parts. It took us at least twice as long as expected. The views of the alpine meadow are unparalleled. Make sure to bring lots of water. Kids had a blast, but did do their fair share of complaining because of the length and difficulty.

hiking
1 day ago

It was a cloudy and cooler day but the views are still amazing. A very well traveled and marked trail most of the way. There is an area that is confusing as there are many paths up on the the steeper accents before getting to lower Mohwak Lake. Just pick one and follow a general up and right direction and you’ll me fine. Don’t stop at just the lower lake. Take the few minutes more to se the upper lake too!

This is one of my favorite trails yet! It’s scenic but does have parts full of trees. Snow lake at the very top is gorgeous as well. Loved everything about this hike.

Absolutely phenomenal hike! Arguably my favorite hike ever, for sure in Colorado. I refuse to come here for less than 2 nights because there is just an overwhelming amount to do. Beautiful walk around the lake, tons of wildflowers (late June), creeks and waterfalls, meadows if you get off the beaten path, an absolutely limitless of beauty. You do need a permit to camp here which can be difficult to get. I always hike in from the Granby side which is gorgeous and less strenuous than hiking over Pawnee Pass.

One of my favorite Breck hikes. You do need a good off-road vehicle for that last bit to the top parking lot, but most vehicles can get farther than you think. Bring water and food, this is a great place to spend a few hours at the lakes. Keep your eyes open for the mountain goats, I see them often up there. For those of you parking in a lower lot, there is a trail in the woods if you don't miss it, I don't think you have to walk the road. We saw some people going up after 2 pm yesterday with dark clouds and light rain, not smart. You will be exposed at the top, get there before 9 and you are good most days. Moderate is a fair rating for this trail. Not difficult, just high enough that you should be smart and have water with you. STAY ON THE TRAIL!

I’ve hiked this trail many times...nice moderate trail if you’re in good shape and acclimated to elevation. There is some decent rock scrambling coming and going to the second lake, where you need good shoes and solid footing. I wouldn’t take small children or out of shape friends to the second lake. We saw 19 mountain goats on the hike...a herd of 13 on way to second lake, which was spectacular! Also saw around 10 marmots sunning themselves on rocks along the trail. Please leash your dogs so you don’t spook the wildlife or get your dog injured!

I would rate this trail as difficult. Vail is already at 8150ft with this trail giving you a steady incline of +1000ft which was pretty rough on us coming from California coast only the night before. We went as far as the falls for this hike and took a lot of rest. I would say the very beginning is the steepest stretch, so don’t get discouraged when you start. There were a handful of flat areas a few meters long, with the valley opening being the longest. This area was a very beautiful view of the vegetation. For the falls you do need to cross two creeks but there are rock stepping stones, so your feet will not be submerged. A good portion of the path is rocky, so I’m glad we wore our hiking boots for this one.

I would say this is more moderate hard. the last mile or so was kind of difficult. the top is definitely worth it tho and there is another lake if you keep going. saw some mountain goats as well. cool waterfalls along the way. you can park right up by the trailhead which I recommend otherwise the first two miles is hiking along a dirt road.

on Mohawk Lakes Trail

off road driving
4 days ago

This is an excellent, somewhat challenging hike; lots of different experiences to be had.
The moderate difficulty rating is an accurate description, and this trail is not for those that are not in decent physical condition.
First of all, be aware of the parking situation. There are three parking lots along the trail, perhaps 4 depending on how you look at it.
The first lower lot is for 2WD vehicles; be aware if you start hiking at this lot, the total hike distance is just over 8.5 miles. But about 5 of those miles are on a fairly steep rocky gravel access road, so not real scenic, but good exercise. If you have young kids, there are better trails; they will be tired and bored before you even get to the trailhead. As a second option, the Spruce Creek Trail is a little south of this trail for a better walk on a trail in the woods but again no great views; the Spruce Creek Trail and the access road both end up at the Mohawk Trailhead.
This brings me to the second parking lot on the access road, which is the first 4WD lot about 2 miles in; if you decide to go up the road to this lot, do not think you can make it in a 2WD, and in my opinion, you need a 4WD that has decent ground clearance and 4Low. Our 4Runner SR5 with Nitto Terra Grappler G2's had no issues. There are fairly good size rocks sticking up (8" or so), large divots, loose rock, and washouts that make it a road for 4WD's. We saw a Toyota Sienna try it, and they turned around in the first 1/4 mile.
The third lot is the second 4WD lot, and the road to it is a bit more challenging than to the first 4WD lot; steeper grades, bigger divots, looser rock/dirt. Again if you have a decent 4WD, (stock with frame), you will have no issues. We were lucky in that we saw only the Sienna, and then after that the trail was all ours so we could maneuver for the best lines.
The drive to the 4th parking lot is not suitable for stock 4WD's; it is extremely steep, rocks are loose and dips are big all the way up to the top, which happens to be where the Mohawk Lakes trail head begins! Almost 3 miles in.
From the trailhead, terrain is still steep, but not technically difficult, just lots of roots, and rocks to traverse on foot.and it's mostly shaded. Any person in decent physical condition should be able to complete the trail. Take your time; its about 1 1/2 miles to the lakes and fairly steep walk.
Each of the lakes and water falls are beautiful, and worth the long trek in my opinion. We did the drive/hike in late afternoon/early evening, which makes the views even better with late day/dusk light. Don't wait too long; you won't want to get caught on this trail in the dark; good opportunity for ankle turning and falling.
In summary, this trail has several stages, either with or without a vehicle. If you walk up the access road, it's a lesson in patience, but once you get to the lakes, it makes it all worth it. Without a vehicle, take the Spruce Lake Trail.

Second time up this trail. Beautiful hike with lots of things to see. Saw two mountain goats near the top this time. Lake is worth the extra hike to the top but is the most challenging stretch. Not much traffic on way up around 7am but pretty heavy coming down.

We love this trail. The dirt road to get there from Vail is not always well maintained but this year in August of 2018, the road was passable with my Impreza sedan. It took us 2 hours to hike to the falls, enjoyed beautiful views from the well-maintained trail. We sat on the rocks by the falls and rested. saw a scampering animal that may have been a marmot?? Some very friendly folks eating their lunch (which they offered to share) near us asked if we'd seen the beaver but it was not likely that. The weather yesterday was absolutely perfect, no need for extra layers or rain coats, which I brought. Took us 1.5 hours to walk out. My daughter wore tennis-type shoes, I wore my hiking boots. Both of us we fine. The elevation gain on this trail is not significant but there are a few easy places where you pick your way across stones and a little trickle of water crossing the trail. Always good to start with a full water bottle to stay hydrated. This trail is a real treat for us, have hiked it several times, always delightful.

It's too late in the season for this trail. Wildflowers are gone, and the falls don't have enough water to be impressive. However, the walking surface is good, and the lake is pretty.
We had no trouble with the rough road in a Malibu. It took 30 minutes at 20-25 mph.
This looks like it would be a nice hike earlier in the season.

Loved this! I’d agree with the moderate description—trail is well marked though. There are quite a few large rocks and tree roots along the way so just take care, especially if it starts to rain. Views at the top are gorgeous though. Didn’t make it to the second lake due to weather but will for sure be back to finish!

Hiked only to the falls. Great hike.

hiking
5 days ago

Just an awesome trail with a creek, giant waterfall, panoramic Mountain View’s, wildflowers, and the choice of 4 lakes. It’s a very good workout, so bring enough water and snacks. Enjoy!

hiking
7 days ago

My wife and I did this yesterday. Nice trail with wildflowers and great scenery. It is a combination of open fields of wildflowers and areas with large shady aspens. There were also some wild raspberries and blueberries (or possibly huckleberries) along the trail of which I munched on here and there. I would recommend hiking shoes as the trail can be rocky in places although I did see many folks in tennis shoes along the trail. There were several steep places where a trekking pole came in handy. I'm 63 and about 220 lbs and I find a single trekking pole helps balance and knees on the steps. My wife and I made it to the falls in 1 and 1/2 hours. I'm from a southern low land area but we've been here about 5 days to get somewhat acclimated to the elevation. While getting a bit winded at times, it wasn't that bad. Would do this again.

hiking
8 days ago

Reviews are a bit confusing - there is the scenic gravel road, but also unmaintained forest service trails above the dam. we hiked around for about 2.5 miles on these and were rewarded with beautiful views, wildflowers, marmots, pikas, chipmunks, and even mountain goats! beautiful alpine streams and scenic overlooks. altitude was rough for a Floridian's first day in CO but definitely a good choice for an early hike! not too steep but still gorgeous, and not crazy crowded at 8 am. be sure to keep driving past where the GPS tells you to go to the upper trailhead on the right side of the dam.

Did a one-nighter here. Absolutely gorgeous. Hiked in about 4 miles and set camp and then did the rest of the ascent without packs — definitely more enjoyable than camping at mirror lake itself (bugs were awful).

hiking
9 days ago

Says Hard but I don't think its hard. Beautiful trial.

I am in Vail for a 9 week post-surgery checkup for my hip. I had a personal goal to do some hiking while in Vail. This trail was steep but had enough shade and flat surfaces that I was able to complete it! The hardest part, for me, is getting used to the elevation. Make sure to pack plenty of water and healthy snacks. I found a walking stick, which was very helpful. We took alot of breaks and completed the trail in and out in 5 1/2 hours. Great scenery and plenty of friendly, encouraging hikers along the way.

Beautiful hike, but super busy (of course, for a Saturday). We went beyond the lake to the upper lake, which doesn't show an official trail on the map. Lots of scrambling and hard to breathe above treeline. The second lake is pretty, but the first one is better. Another group saw some mountain goats beyond the second lake, but they had run off so we didn't attempt to go further. One note on the trail - wear sturdy boots because there is a lot of traversing over rocks and lots of tree roots. And on a hot day, bring lots of water.

Awsome !

Super nice hike! Only went to the first lake and the waterfalls. Overall, well marked trail, few stretches over boulders that were a bit harder to negotiate, well shaded for lots of the way, quite a few hikers. Parking is a challenge (only 3 spots at trailhead) but road parking farther down. Scenery is beautiful. Good for intermediate hikers.

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail with a nice reward at the end. Lots of shade for those hot days. Bring a towel. To see Hidden Falls, you’ll need to wade through 15’-20’ of up to knee-deep water.

Great option to Mohawk Lakes, which we do every year. Was very similar, but everyone in our group actually liked this one better! Beautiful falls and lake at the top!

Amazing views along the way with lots of wildflowers. There are parts that are steep but manageable. There are plenty of places to rest on the way up that are shaded. Enjoy the gorgeous views of the falls at the top!

off road driving
12 days ago

Drove as far up as allowed in stock 4runner TRD off road. No problem but the road is pretty beat up and has only gotten worse with time. Would definitely recommended a good 10+ inch clearance if you are gonna go past the last parking section. Once to end of the 4x4 road it was about a 30-45 minute hike up rocks and steep incline. Did this at the end of the day saturday and it wasn't too busy. Any earlier and the trail is generally mobbed with people.

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