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

Nearby Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Nice, easy and peaceful trail along the Tompson River. We didn't make it as far in as I would have liked due to time, but I definitely plan on returning

trail running
24 days ago

I would say this trail is between easy and moderate. Going into the trail it is all downhill so coming back is pretty much all uphill. Lots of shade, nice views. Also no crowds and I got there around 9:30 am! If you have a vehicle with some ground clearance (small SUV and larger) you should be fine getting up the road.

Beautiful hike!! It was long and got rough near the end, but the lake and cirque views are worth it!

hiking
26 days ago

Be prepared for butt punishment on the way back up. WOW.

Okay, let's start from the beginning. As it says, it can be confusing, and I really thank Allison Meyers for her description of where to go. As you go on the dirt road, it will eventually come to a fork and you want to go UP the hill off to the left to get to the lot. Now my friend and I ended up parking below the lot, as we weren't so sure our car would like the slightly rocky and lumpy terrain. I saw a minivan get high centered right in front of my car! It is absolutely doable, but there are some spots that suck.

THE HIKE: Beautiful! Going down, you get shade and forest and meadows... it is single file hiking through forest or meadow, but it is so pretty. The homestead was great to see...there is an old stove or something and for some reason, a box spring mattress bottom. So confused how it got there!! But a good relic of the past. The rest of the way was pleasant and we almost stopped, however I recalled seeing that there was a river or water feature up ahead, so we soldiered on. The path has washed away and there are a few tricky areas. I had to slide on my butt on the way back... so steep!
The water area was gorgeous and as others have said, I heard the 2013 flood washed away the rest of the area. :( But the water was great to sit and take a breather.

STARTING BACK- we felt it was confusing to figure out how to get back to the path... thankfully, there was a wonderful woman who had put up blue flags (she told us it was her!) to let others know where to get back onto the main path was. If she wasn't there, we would've panicked just a bit. Thank you! Hopefully her tie bags stay on...it was helpful to know where to go to get back. You get disoriented with that many rocks and don't recall where you came from! Take note of where you came from!

THE HIKE BACK... this is the firepower. It is hard, IMO. Some sections are OK and others are butt burning up the hill, "I want to live here so I don't move again" type hills. Our dogs were getting tired. It really kicks it back up a notch from the homestead area back up towards the car. I felt so rewarded going back to the car, like we really worked hard! We had tired dogs and some had to get carried. LOL
This was tough to get back up the hills, especially in warm weather.

I'm toast. But that was a great hike for a late Sept day. There were enough people to feel comfortable that you weren't going to die in the woods alone, lol..but there were maybe 6 or 7 groups total...it isn't a Boulder Chatauqua type busy hike! I would do this again now that I know what we are getting into. :)

we went on a Monday and arrived around 11 am, only saw two other people and some campers that we're across from the trailhead but definitely not high traffic. i agree it was a little confusing to arrive to but the directions helped, stay left at the fork and keep going uphill. also like other people said, it is really downhill the way out, so the way back be prepared it's a long way up! great trail, looking forward to doing it again !

Molly Lake Trail was closed, so we went back to this one. Very nice and easy trail with some stream crossings.

Up to Cirque Meadows is very easy. The aspens are changed, making much of the path very colourful.
We were confused at first about the marked campsites which are farther up the trail past the meadow-the sites were nice, site 3 has a good view.
The rest of the way was tougher, and some places we lost the trail as it wound up the boulders.
The end views are breathtaking, and great photo opportunities. I plan on going again in June when the wildflowers are bloomed.

on Lion Gulch Trail

hiking
1 month ago

This was such a beautiful trail the 2nd week in October! It was dry enough that the steeper inclines were easier and had enough debris to grip to. We took our pup with and she loved it too! So calming crossing the Little Thompson river.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice views.
Scenic drive. The trail dead ends at South end of lake so you must back track or complete a loop around the lake which isn’t very scenic.
Heads up: A $14 park pass is required to park in the parking lot. You must purchase the pass at the park office which is about 10 minute drive from the parking lot, and easy to miss. Not worth it since there are so many other free, beautiful hikes around.

hiking
1 month ago

not recommended. if you don't like first quarter mile you won't like trail because it's about the same. No views or panoramas at all. Quite gloomy and closed in the whole way. Main reason to do this trail would be to link to Lost Lake at end of this trail but that's another 4.4 miles or to join Boundary Trail back to Cows Creek but best of luck doing that one! Just done Lawn Lake which is better in every respect. Try that one first

backpacking
1 month ago

found a perfect spot to hang a hammock

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Our group actually went up to Lost Lake and a day trip to the glacier near Lake Louise. Great times.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike with river, meadows and Mountain views with very few other hikers

I just wanted to follow up on @AmandaNowak's comment. The Antelope trailhead indeed only has about 10 parking spots and no parking allowed along the street. The Bitterbrush trailhead on the other hand has 2 huge parking lots. These 2 trailheads connect up and it's about a 2 mile hike from one to the other (one way). I think it's a little bit of an easier hike to go from Antelope to Bitterbrush than Bitterbrush to Antelope, but you'll end up having to go both ways to get back to your car, so if you plan on doing the full distance it probably doesn't matter which trailhead you start at. The directions on this trail will take you to the Antelope trailhead, but you can Google map Bitterbrush Trailhead in Lyons and find that one instead very easily (from downtown Lyons you head towards Allenspark instead of towards Estes like you would for the Antelope trailhead). Also there are no bathrooms at the Antelope trailhead because it's so small but there are a couple toilets and picnic benches under a shelter at the Bitterbrush trailhead.

Beautiful trail but not we’ll sign posted. Wasn’t sure which gorgeous formation WAS Mt. Margaret!

hiking
1 month ago

I did this trail yesterday and it was absolutely stunning. The hike up to the Cirque is relatively flat and I think would be doable by most people. It is lined with aspens so would be really pretty if you catch them in turning season. The trail is very diverse-aspens, then pines, some meadows, lots of small lakes, streams, and some waterfalls, wildflowers, berries, mushrooms...it was nice and cool as well. Not crowded. The lakes surrounded by peaks and snow were beautiful blue. I think it was more like 11.4 miles, and I was shocked that it went by so easily, mostly cause a lot of it is mostly flat.

hiking
1 month ago

I consider this a get right hike. This hike has everything without being too physically demanding. It has good flat parts, good inclines, a beautiful halfway turnaround spot at the Cirque Meadows, a high alpine lake, aspens, rivers, wild flowers.

If you have been on some rough hikes this will be perfect difficulty to get you right. We started at 8:00, reached Emmaline by 10:10, and were done by 12:45. A dip in the lake was cold but surprisingly refreshing.

We arrived on Saturday at 8am and left around 1045. We only saw 3 people who were just starting as we were leaving. The river at the end was worth the whole trip. Our pup loved playing in the water, and we got in up to our knees. There’s a lot of tall grass, so tall socks or pants might be good.

hiking
1 month ago

Hi! I took my dog and my friend/ her dog on this trail this morning… It is very easy with a few elevations, and very pleasant! We did the entire loop in about two hours or less. It is very well marked, which is very important. There are numbers around the trail head and they show you where you are in relation to the map. I highly recommend this trail for a semi-easy nature jaunt. There weren’t very many people there as well!

Great trail. Starts out downhill and continues in and out of the trees. Also trail has some ascents that can be sorta steep and then descends but in all very doable.

Went earlier in the summer and saw a lot of birds and a snake.

walking
1 month ago

It was a little dried up but still a nice easy walk for my pups. They loved it!

hiking
2 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail. Arrived at 4pm on a Sunday. Only saw three other people. So quiet and tons of wildflowers. Didn’t see any wildlife besides birds, but the river at the end was so lovely to cool off in and relax. Also loved the cabin. Would definitely do this hike again.

Off leash dogs under voice control allowed.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, a few steeper spots but generally easy. We saw almost no people on the trail which is increasingly difficult in the front range.

The entire elevation gain is the 3ish miles closest to the lake, where the incline hits you like a wall! We found ourselves scrambling quite a few times up and around rock walls. The lake is underwhelming, not sure if the final climb was really worth it. The weather was beautiful though, and friendly hikers and packers that we passed along the way.

absolutely beautiful and full of amazing scenery♡

hiking
2 months ago

Did this yesterday. They did a great job fixing this trail up, there's still signs along the trail of erosion from the flood, but the trail itself is in good condition. A fun mixture of up and down the entire way, and the homesteads/artifacts were awesome to explore! It's a good reminder to never take anything from these sights, but it was cool being able to look at the artifacts up close. Lots of sharp rusty metal and glass around the ruins, so watch your step, especially if you have kids. Also a LOT of poison ivy, so stay on trail and cover your legs!

hiking
2 months ago

The homestead meadows and trails up there were a great surprise. Wasn't expecting too much from a trail that starts on the side of busy highway 36. I'll be back to explore more of the system.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous trail! Lush + green most of the way with abundant, tall wildflowers, even moss and ferns. Shaded. Follows the creek most the way. Rocky in spots, but mostly soft trail. 10 campsites along trail. Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, trout + bear scrapings. Ample parking @ trailhead. Bring bug repellent -- sneaky biting flies today (probably from nearby stables). You will see damage from big flood a few years back, but all bridges are rebuilt for the 3-4 creek crossings.

Load More