Explore Memorial Day 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Memorial Day 2017 Map

We walked this on an afternoon in mid April just as the snow melt was accelerating. This is one of our favourite hikes we've done in a long time; the views throughout the trail are incredible, and the variation in plants and wildlife is amazing.

I'd call this a low-moderate trail. Yes, there is a steep and strenuous climb at the start, but it is not technical and has no scary drops. Beyond that it's just a beautiful walk in the woods that gets easier - and better - as it goes on. Even with endless bird watching and a 40 minute stop at the end, it took us under 4 hours total, so I'd encourage people who are fighting fit to look into the lake route (double this one) and make a full day of it. We were sad we couldn't go further.

Saw a Hairy Woodpecker, plenty of lovely little Mountain Chickadees, some Townsend Solitaires, the lovely Dark Eyed Junco and some very cute little critters running about the wood piles!

The waterfall is incredible - well worth getting to.

11 days ago

Great hike with easy access from Salida. We went up as far as the third bridge today and it was a mix of light snow cover and semi wet. Beyond that snow got a bit heavier and looked like snow shoes would be the way to go. The drive to the trail head is fine. Everyone agreed the hike was beautiful and we'll be back when it opens up further this spring.

The trail was beautiful, it was challenging, but not overly difficult. Unfortunately, I think we went a little too early in the season. About 2miles in, it just got so muddy. We decided to turn back & try again in a few months.

Very easy path to follow. Hardly any snow until just the end of the trail getting to the falls— spiked aren’t necessary but were helpful on the way down. Used the “getting there” feature from this app and it was totally wrong. Found directions to the trailhead from a dif site. Gorgeous views of the surrounding ranges and great workout! Glad we found this gem.

Hiked in the middle of winter on a nice sunny day. Views followed by aspen groves and a few creek crossings made for a scenic hike with lots of packed snow closer to the falls. My 5 and 11 year enjoyed the hike but think about taking lunch or food in general if you have kids. It took my 5 year old about 4.5 hours.

trail running
1 month ago

Didn’t actually make it up! The east access road is currently closed off to traffic. Didn’t know how to update that without a review! I’m sure it’s a splendid running trail though!

1 month ago

beautiful place to go.

Just stunning. Road has always been in pretty good shape for me

We had a great time today hiking this trail. It seemed like the 1st 1.5 miles was the most difficult, as it was a steady incline. The rest was easy breezy. The waterfall was beautiful

5 months ago

Cottonwood pass is currently open to the trailhead as of 11/18. There’s a LOT of snow on the pass and the trail. You would need 4WD and high clearance. No one else was on the trail though! Really nice hike with great views of surrounding 14ers. Lost the trail about 3/4 of the way up due to snow and down trees.

Nice hike. Beautiful views. Trail well groomed. A lot of horse poop. Gradual incline on the way up but not too difficult . Falls are worth the hike! Trail head has restrooms . Several foot bridges to cross great variety !

Beautiful falls. Great hike in the snow yesterday.

5 months ago

Went with a big group with ranging hiking skill levels. Everyone had such a blast - it was a very gradual incline that I'd consider easy. There's some snow on the ground, so be careful. Great views of some lakes surrounded by 14ers.

Not a challenging hike but very lovely. Gorgeous scenery and the waterfall at the end is a must reward. One of the best waterfall trails you’ll find. Great day and great trail.

Great family hike in the fall!

Beautiful fall hike. Most of the leaves had dropped recently which left a carpet of gold on the trail in some places. Parked at the trailhead..my 4x4 truck made it fine. Hiked to the 3rd bridge. Wanted to keep going but I was limited by time. There wasn’t another sole around except for a few mountain bikers on the road.

Beautiful hike!

This is a 10 mile chunk of the beautiful Colorado Trail with amazing views of the Aspens during the fall (like right now). It starts off of CR 306 and ends at CR 322. While this is a beautiful hike, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:

-THERE ARE NOT HOT SPRINGS ALONG THE WAY!! The image and description for this trail are extremely deceptive!!! The image is not even for this hike, I believe it is a picture of Conundrum Hot Springs outside of Aspen. Also, as stated, the trail doesn't even "feature hot springs". Which was the whole reason we decided to do this it in the first place, so that was pretty disappointing. We hiked over 17 miles trying to find them, only to come to the realization that the only hot springs are located in town, if you continue on the Colorado Trail for 3 more miles on CR 322. These are obviously NOT remote like we were made to believe by the picture, but instead commercialized and ones that you have to pay for. The hike into town is also on a paved road, which is not friendly on the feet. Especially after already hiking 10 miles with packs on, and then having to hike back up on the same road to get back onto the trail to find a place to camp. So, if you are looking for a trail with remote hot springs, you will not find them here.
-There are no campgrounds. There are spots that are ideal to camp within the first 5 miles, but the last chunk of the trail there are not many spots to set up camp, especially the last .5 mile which runs through private property. Yep... not very remote when you are walking though peoples properties and can see their homes.
-This trail stays on the outskirts of the mountains, and doesn't go deep into the range. So, you are walking next to the street and next to the town the entire way.
-If you start on CR 306, you will have to cross three roads within the first 3 miles, before starting your incline up the mountain. I would have preferred to already have been working my way into the mountains after that distance, and not still on a main street, and been a little more rugged. That being said, if you feel the same way, I would recommend trying to park on CR 343 or CR 344 where the trail intersects.

With all that being said, it is a beautiful trail with a challenging ascent to two clear openings with exceptionally breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and aspens. I am rating it 3 stars for the inaccuracy of the picture and description, and hope that this information will help other hikers/backpackers/campers know what to expect!

off road driving
6 months ago

trail is easy, maybe (2) S-M obstacles, but bumpy. since its a pass, obviously the views are amazing. if you'd like to see a video of the pass i have one here, but the second half is half of coney flats trail:


07 ranger manual
no lift
no locker
no sway bar

youtube trail channel: b roll offroad

have fun!

First of all: this is an EASY trail. The dude who wrote that you need lockers and off road tires has probably never driven on trail before. We went from Tincup to St Elmo which is the “harder” route. We did this in 2wd the entire way. We have a 3.5” lift on 35s with 1200 lbs of extra gear on our rack since we are an overlanding rig. There was one section with some water runoff which was slick, but I never had to put it in 4wd. There was a bone stock F150 on street tires that followed us up. He needed 4wd because of his tires and wheel base, but seriously.... a stock f150 did it. The shelf road is a 400 meter section on the St Elmo side which at its most narrow point still left me with 2’ of space on either side. Not narrow at all.

The trail is VERY bumpy, so just go slow.. other than that, I’d let my mom drive my jeep up this pass.

pretty easy hike. after the first bit of incline, it's practically a walk through gorgeous scenery. especially since the aspens are changing. beautiful views. My only complaint is all the horse poo.

Loved this hike!!!

Beautiful trail with Aspens changing color. If you follow the directions in AllTrails and park off Hwy 50, it is a 3 mile hike to the trailhead. The walk is nice through the forest, but it cut our hike short due to a change in weather shortly after we reached the trailhead. Higher clearance vehicles can be helpful in a few spots along the road off past the dam - plenty of parking at the trailhead.

Good views and pretty ponds coming up. Very steep towards the end.

Lovely falls at the end, did'nt mind the early elevation gain, not busy early afternoon during the week, but over half the trail not shaded, and sun was intense, mostly the walk away from the stream, occasionally see and hear it at the start , then further on. No views till about half way in when Mt Antero before you for a bit, then into cool pleasant forest walking, and a left for the falls. Vistas of the valley on the steep descent back to the parking lot. Saw pineys , a 2ft long prob garter snake , and 2 pairs of black Angus about 3/4 way in along the trail.

Great trail. Good for a quick easy backpacking trip.

1 star due to congestion on the trail. Granted, I went on a Sunday, but will never go on this one again. Passed about 20 people. If you're from the front range, you probably won't mind because you feel like you're hiking on the front range. Horse poop along the trail. It is on the easier side though, so if you have kids, this may be a good one for you.

Easy hike with a nice waterfall at the end. Lots of sun exposure for most of the way. And the trail is peppered with horses and their leftovers.

7 months ago

Brought our little kids here to hike, but we turned around after about 10 minutes. Very arid and dry terrain with lots of fire ant hills on the trails, and even cacti directly along the trail. Would not call this trail family friendly, although it is easy and flat.

off road driving
7 months ago

Took St Elmo to Tincup last week. Very very scenic drive. Somewhat crowded with jeeps and UTVs. The road is pretty rough from the beginning and it is slow going. Most of the trail is pretty easy but there are large rocks to watch out for. There are also a couple of alternate routes that would make for more difficulty and excitement. I was in a 2014 tundra and made ever obstacle without trouble. I wouldn't rate this trail as moderate. Anything 4x4 with a semi decent driver should make it just fine.

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