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

Southwest CO Map
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hiking
22 hours ago

Hiked up to the lower lake this past weekend. Microspikes were helpful. I wore gaiters, but my partner was fine with just waterproof pants. We continued on to the second lake with the goal of making it up the pass and encountered pretty deep snow. The trail was snowed over completely and there was a good amount of post-holing and route-navigation. A snowstorm began mid-way through our hike and continued for hours so I'd expect a lot more of the trail might be covered by now. Didn't see any other parties though.

I think the "Hard" rating is a bit generous unless you don't normally hike at this altitude and grade.

Very easy and worthwhile hike. Took about half an hour, which included several stops along the way to either take in the gorgeous views or let my two dogs get in their "necessary" sniffs. Look out points have guardrails, so I could rest easy knowing the puppy couldn't launch herself over the edge. Highly recommend if you've only got a few minutes

This is a beautiful very busy trail after a long ride on Dallas Creek Road parking can be extremely difficult.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked today, 10/29/18. Take county road 7 (Dallas creek) literally until it ends. Its a bit further than the directions tell you-- but no worries you get there. I started my hike at 9:45am and reached the second lake in 3 hours. Just about 2 miles in (around the Mt. Sneffels wilderness sign) I stopped and put on my micro spikes and gaiters. Gaiters weren't needed until the VERY end and spikes were hit or miss but it definitely made it much easier to maneuver.

I made it easily to the lower lake and it was GORGEOUS. I continued on upwards to the second lake and the views of the lower lake were incredible. The snow drift was quite strong and foot prints started to get scarce and it also felt like I was being pelted with small ice from the winds on the back side of the mountain. I looked at the second lake and it was 70% frozen over so I decided to turn back as I was hiking alone. It is definitely worth traveling up there for the views of the lower lake though! If you go that high definitely spikes and gaiters this time of year!

Definitely beautiful. I only saw 2 other hikers all day which was amazing =)

hiking
22 days ago

My first fourtenner and a good one for first timers and beginners. Awesome view and easy incline!

hiking
25 days ago

on Mesa Creek Trail

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful fall colors, well kept trail. My 6 yr old did this with ease. The river is really low but still amazing scenery. Restrooms at the top. Well marked and easy to find. There are a few access spots to get to the water. We only saw 3 fisherman the entire time.

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of variety. Spectacular lake.

hiking
1 month ago

My fiancée and I took on this trail. I did it a couple years ago in September and loved it so I wanted to share it with her. She had never really hiked before, so with a lot of perseverance we made it to the lower lake. She said the trail was challenging but satisfying, the lake was worth the hike and the people were exceedingly friendly. She was glad we got her some high quality hiking boots and socks. Being from Missouri, we sucked a lot of air, but we used a neat little portable oxygen tank we found at the store and made it without too much trouble. I would highly recommend these to those without experience hiking at altitude. It made a big difference. The aspens were beautiful. The vistas were outstanding. We saw marmots, a couple cow elk, a grouse, a trout in the lake and countless songbirds.

Beautiful hike with color around every turn. The only reason to go past the first lake is to see it from above, absolutely awesome, the other two lakes are major waste of your time and energy

Disappointing trail, gorgeous lake destination. Did this hike September 26. 90 per cent of this trail is through dense forest with no vistas - you could be in an evergreen forest anywhere in Colorado. Extremely overused trail, not well maintained and poorly designed, employing steep straight up gradients where switchbacks should have been built. No fall color here and in late September obviously no wildflowers. Blue Lakes are in a beautiful setting, especially Lower - with cinnamon orange slopes framing the lake to the east, sharp snowy peak and talus slope to the south. Try Ice Lake Basin nearby for a far superior trail, though harder.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike!

backpacking
1 month ago

Awesome hike. Pretty for sure. Pretty tough with a 30lbs pack on though.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely worth the trip. The drive in from Cinnamon Pass was sketchy like a lot of people have said previously. I’m an inexperienced off roader driving a Jeep Patriot and I made it down but it was shaky. If you are about the views getting to Handie’s then definitely go through Ouray and Cinnamon Pass, if not and you want an easier drive in, take Co 30 in. The hike itself was a pretty steady gain. I did this as my first solo 14er and absolutely don’t regret it. But never underestimate a 14er, even the ones considered easier. Make sure to start earlier, 7/8 at the latest, so you can get down before afternoon storms start up.

Absolutely beautiful hike!!

I hiked to the bottom lake on 15 September 2018. I probably should not have. wasnt ready for this trail. lol. know your limitations, then pass them by. awesome hike. so beautiful. friendly people along the way. 3 hours to the first lake for me. 2.5 hours back down. my goal is to get down to 1.5 hours going up. definitely recommend this hike. dont quit. the view is worth the a fib. lol

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of the most enjoyable hikes I have ever done. Gorgeous views the whole way. Mild ascent to the first lake followed by a short (but steep) climb to the upper lakes. Hiked this trail on 9/15 to enjoy the fall colors.

One of the best overlooks at the canyon.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this yesterday. Even though this is rated as the easiest 14er, it was still a relatively challenging hike. For being a class 1, I was surprised at the amount of loose rock at the top. Trekking poles would have been a good idea. No wildflowers along the trail anymore but also no snow yet. Views at the summit were beautiful, obviously.

backpacking
2 months ago

This was my first ever backpacking experience. Nothing will make you feel like you over packed quite like this incline! It was definitely hard but so worth the trek. We went the Thursday and Friday before Labor Day to avoid the weekend camping crowd. The views and feeling of seclusion was a great way to round out summer. You can’t have fires up in the campground area, so be sure to pack some fuel for a camp stove and pack layers. It was fairly windy most of our stay there, but being in the tent at night was plenty cozy.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was beautiful! It was my first backpacking trip and I was not disappointed! The day I went, there was a chance of a storm... luckily there wasn’t. My friends and I truly enjoyed it! Awwwww sooo fun! The incline was a little strenuous, but nothing too difficult!

hiking
2 months ago

Busy area and trail but very beautiful. I thought the atv's were loud until a car full of tourists showed up around 6 a.m. On my way down, a group of young white people, whom thought I was out of earshot or just didn't care, started making fun of how I looked. Sad way to end the day but everyone else I crossed trails with earlier in the day, was very kind.

hiking
2 months ago

Busy area and trail but very beautiful. I thought the atv's were loud until a car full of tourists showed up around 6 a.m. On my way down, a group of young white people, whom thought I was out of earshot or just didn't care, started making fun of how I looked. Sad way to end the day but everyone else I crossed trails with earlier in the day, was very kind.

Great hike. Went up to the pass. The trail is very well maintained until the trail goes above the vegetation line. It's a little rough above that but very doable until the pass.

A great view of the canyon, though the river is not as visible as others.

hiking
2 months ago

Outstanding hike. First part is a pretty decent incline but after mile 2 or so it isn't too bad. The climb from the lower lake to the second lake is, once again, a pretty decent incline but the payoff of the view makes it all worth it. Lower lake is aqua blue and crystal clear. Upper lakes are still amazing but totally different feel than the lower. Ran into quite few groups of hikers but never felt "crowded" by any means.

One of the best view points in the park.

Nice easy trail with view of water most of the way. Lots of spots to hang by the water. There's one picnic table right off the trail. Its been dry, so no waterfall.

Beautiful hike!

on Blue Lakes Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Arrived Sat morning at 10 am had a few parking spots available. We hiked past the 1st lake to the overlook above the lake. Amazing views! Steep incline thru most of the trail. Took us 5 hours to complete.

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