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

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hiking
13 hours ago

Gorgeous views and a vigorous uphill climb. Traffic thins out at the first “summit,” which you’ll recognize by the little rock “shelters” visitors have built to protect from the wind. However, don’t stop there – the mountain keeps going! Shortly after the false summit, there’s a beautiful lake tucked away between the mountains. Bring a lift coat and gloves to protect yourself from the wind because it’s relentless. Views at the top are beautiful. We saw plenty of pika, marmots, and a woodchuck at the summit.

Overall, it’s a challenging and quick hike. Highly recommended. We arrived around 8:30 am on a Sunday and it wasn’t too crowded. Took about 3 hours round trip with several breaks on the way up.

hiking
14 hours ago

Delightful moderate hike above the treeline. Outstanding vistas. Last cairn is a throne!

Beautiful trail! perfect challenge for two sea-level-dwelling moderately fit people. the first two miles are a piece of cake, last mile is steeper and involves some light scrambling. We got there around 10 am on a Sunday and it was fairly crowded on the trail, but if you appreciate friendly fellow hikers and cute pups it's not a problem.

Great, challenging hike. You must go early to get a parking spot.

Great short hike to a beautiful view. Would highly recommend bringing visitors here to show, great views and easy enough up and down while truly being in the mountains. Definitely great for the dogs as well.

I liked that this trail had variety of sceneries. Many shaded area as well as some meadows and rocky terrains. Great for dogs since there is a creek running by, and the lakes to get to. Wild flowers are beautiful in August. I saw a coyote (I think) and moose!

When we do this one again, we will probably make it an out and back vs a loop. Half of the loop is on a gravel/rock road and isn’t very pretty. We preferred the tree-covered dirt trail.

What a gem so close to Denver and I-70! We hiked on a Sunday morning in August. I hadn’t expected all those wildflowers in August—so lovely! This was a short hike we planned for the morning-we had to travel on to Salida that same day, so the 3 of us allowed just enough time to hike at our own pace, touch the glacier, enjoy the views, and get back to the car within 3 hours. I am tempted to rate this as 5 stars except for: toward the top, so many hikers have made branching trails that we weren’t sure which path to take to reach the lake (a helpful hiker passing us said: don’t worry, they all lead to the lake); parking was really crowded with few options; and the main parking lot was really rocky and our “standard rental” car bottomed out and scratched the undercarriage (thankfully not noted by the rental people). The views from the toe of the glacier are just stunning, so we didn’t try to go higher up the rocky scree slope—that looked like it would take more time than we had.

Great hike! Parking was a bit chaotic but didn’t see a ton of people on the trail. We had a large group with several kids ranging from 7-16 yrs old. We enjoyed the hike through the forest and seeing the falls. But the best park was making it to the lake. Our dog jumped in right away to cool and swam around. Highly recommend this trail to families with kids!

hiking
1 day 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.

Scenic and forested. The last 3/4 of the hike got hard and had me wondering if I was ever going to make it, but it was worth the effort to get to beautiful mountain lakes.

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.

You want wild flowers then go here!!!

Also very underrated waterfall, photos don't do it justice.

First old mine is cool, second is not.

Steep trail, but beautiful waterfall early on and great tree coverage at the start. “Lake” and mine at the top are so so.

Perfect for a quick, easy, dog-friendly day hike. There were a lot of great areas to pause and soak in the view or just hang out for a bit.

Awesome ash trail! Bring $5 for parking

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
3 days ago

Very very pretty!

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!

This is an easy but beautiful hike! We love taking our dog on this one!

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!

We hiked this on the morning of 8/9/18, leaving the smaller parking lot at 8:45am. The trail to the lake is almost entirely rock; I’m guessing this was once a river bed, at least during the snow melt season in eons past. The lake, mountainside behind it, and the snowfield are stunning. We set off higher, and quickly lost the trail. There is a waterfall just below the glacier, and we ended up following some others up across the water below that - as in, through the water. This meant we were completely off the trail on the other side, but we stuck to other descriptions of staying to the right side of the glacier as we ascended. This was really tricky. We were just feet from the edge of the glacier, and the terrain is a mixture of scree and a variety of sizes of rock. Really slow going, lots of slipping on the scree. After about a half hour of this, we observed two people ahead of us walk across the snow (which eventually narrows to nothing as you proceed) and climb up the opposite side to a trail up there. We did likewise, and finally found ourselves on a real trail. Furthermore, at that height, we could see an actual trail on the side we’d been on, which wasn’t visible to us when we were lower. We continued on to see James Peak. It became obvious that unless we continued straight for an uncertain distance that all we would see was the top of the two mountains. At 2.20 miles from the start, we turned around. The trail we were then on was going to take us to the left side of the glacier, which then ends at the glacier, so we knew we had to cross back over and get on the real trail there. We skirted along the top of the snowfield, lots of scree there and steep, although not any long distance down. We got onto the actual trail, and picked our way down as there is still plenty of scree there too. We got back to the lake area, and found the official trail which, surprise, does not walk you directly through the waterfall stream. The rest was easy enough.

This is lengthy to let others know: 1) that the trail just up past the lake isn’t necessarily easy to find; 2) the trail farther up from the lake can be truly difficult to find (we saw several people ascending the way we’d gone); 3) there is no actual end point on this trail nor any “wow” view up higher; 4) so. much. shifting. scree, so be prepared for that.

We got to our car at noon, and the large parking lot appeared full as we drove past it. There were tons of people. It’s very popular.

AllTrails rates this as Easy. However, we have a book of hikes that rates it as Moderate. Our hike was a challenge, certainly not Easy.

Did this in the evening around sunset. Absolutely INCREDIBLE at that time. We stayed late and could see the Milky Way!

off road driving
4 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.

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked on 8/8/2018. I agree that the trail should be marked moderate. Still some nice flowers around. Skies were hazy due to smoke. Thus, visibility was not as great as it should be. Continued on to the CDT and Jones Pass for a nice round trip. Jones Pass was clear of all snow drifts. I couldn't find a clearly marked route to the CDT so I just picked what appeared to be the least steep route up to the ridge.

Great trail, stunning views!

I loved the views this trail had to offer with the lake and surrounding mountains. I will say though that it was probably my least favorite trail to hike that I’ve done so far, and I’ve done many trails including 14ers. The reason I didn’t like this one was because of the gravel when you go to hike to the top of the glacier. There is way too much sliding around and stressing out trying to figure out the best place to put your feet without falling. I was not a huge fan of that. Other than that, it was really pretty, and if you hike to one of the trails to the right of the glacier, there were a ton of wildflowers and even more pretty views. I’m glad I did it, but I probably wouldn’t care to go back because of the rocks and sketchy trail to the top.

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