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

steamboat Map
2 days ago

Great trail minus the horse poo... Lots of elk hunters out currently. Only saw 2 deer on the trail. Lake is gorgeous. Hike the entire loop if possible. I believe the AllTrails mileage is off though. Our gps tracker said 5 miles to the lake from the Gilpin trail.

10 days ago

The leaves are starting to turn on the way up. The water color of the lake is as blue as Maroon Bells! Beautiful turquoise! Chilly water temp. Will do the full circle next time.

13 days ago

Very nice hike
Beautiful views
The lake is also beautiful
The way in is a steady gradual climb with only a few switchbacks
The first half is shady
Would be a nice trail run for advanced runners

17 days ago

My boyfriend and I were originally planning on hiking Mad Creek Trail yesterday, but realized that we had already hiked that several years ago. We decided to hike something different so continued to drive towards Steamboat Lake. We ended up finding Slavonia Trailhead, and decided that would hike a few hours and then turn around thinking that Gilpin Lake was actually 6 miles one way. Fortunately, another hiker told us that Gilpin Lake was only 4 miles one way, so we charged on. It was well worth it. Crystal clear lake and not too many people at the actual lake. We were sluggish that day, but it took us 4 hours round trip. Not too mention, the best part was that we saw a bear and her cub driving back from the trail towards Steamboat. :)

17 days ago

Prime time right now. Just go, you won't regret it. Spectacular views once you get about 2-3 miles in heading toward Gilpin Lake via Clockwise hike. Did one night, would have loved to have done 2. So much to explore and do including jumping into the lake!

Great hike.

17 days ago

Nice out and back hike with some good elevation gain. The view at the top is great. We got there around 9:30 and had no trouble with parking. There are some steep areas so trekking poles are helpful.

Absolutely beautiful scenery! Need sturdy shoes and lots of water. We went up yesterday mid-morning to afternoon, it was 92 degrees, the heat radiates off the sandy trail. Thank goodness for all the shade! Trail is well maintained, couple rocky areas to climb over. Rated as moderate for the experienced hiker, those with less experience or endurance it's going to be strenuous. The gondola offers a wonderful, free, option back down. You can also refill your H2O at the top.

Instead of doing this trail as an out and back we hiked beyond the barn to the right and crossed over the bridge and hiked back on the forest service access road (it’s more like a wide trail). We then were able to access the Strawberry Hot Spring trail and do that as an out and back and then hike (.3mi) back to the Mad Creek trail head. Total distance was just over 10 mi. Bring $20 per adult and swim suit if you want to swim in hot springs. There are nice restrooms and cold drinks at the attendant station.


The trail is just over 3 miles up to the lake; UP being the operative word! Took us just under 2 hrs. Just getting my hiking legs going so those more up to speed will get to the lake much quicker. We saw an elk near the lake.
You are definitely in the wilderness on this trail.
I would recommend.

27 days ago

The hike is beautiful but the road up is gnarly. VERY ROCKY, rutted and unless you have an SUV, truck, or very high clearance, it's stressful. Looks us 1.5 hours to drive up from Steamboat - so just a warning. Otherwise, a lovely hike. I would have given it 4 stars, except for the drive.

Great trail. Not terribly difficult. Water for dogs. Incredible scenery.


1 month ago

This hike was not strenuous but it was fun and it did get my heart going when I kicked up the pace. I have to admit- it’s hard to keep pace with the endless beauty this hike brings. I was mesmerized by the wildflowers, trees, mountains, and wildlife all around. The lake at the top was peaceful and I saw a moose and all sorts of smaller creatures all along the way. It took me about 5 hours up and back- but I stopped many times to take it in and get photos. I highly suggest going in the afternoon- there is more wildlife and less people! Enjoy!

I use this Trail 2-3 times per week for training purposes, as do many locals. With a 2200 ft elevation gain in less than 4 miles, it works for me! The trail is nice, shady, and dogs may be off-leash!

This is a beautiful hike. Most people go with the idea of going just to he upper waterfalls. Ones you get there you will have the urge to continue to the lake. Bring plenty of water.... lots of water. You’ll surprised how easy you drink a gallon of water .Use the app to navigate. You could lose he trail a couple of times. If you take a lot of pictures and use the gps on your phone bring an extra battery for your device
You could encounter a lot of wild life and plenty of scenery

Spectacular view and good experience overall. Was a little scary crossing the causeway section, and the elevation change was a bit tiring. But Sooo glad I made it to the top for the view!

must-do hike during the wildflower season, but be prepared! like other hikers, we had no idea how long this hike really was, as we heard everything from 10 miles to 14 miles round trip (and the signs were difficult to read). we went on july 14 and had only intended to go just past the upper falls, but decided to go to the lake at the last minute...not the best decision on a smokin' hot day (a high of about 90 in steamboat). it was quite strenuous simply because of the length, and i suffered heat exhaustion by the time i got back to the parking lot since much of the trail is in full sun. the lesson here is, during hot summer days bring plenty of water and snacks, take rest breaks and leave early so you complete this hike before mid- to late-afternoon. but it was well worth it!!

Great hike. Go early and will have lots of shade. Started at 7:10 and got to the top before sun became an issue.

This is two hikes in one. You start traversing above the glacial valley of the Middle Fork of the Elk through aspens on a smooth dirt trail. Halfway through, you make an abrupt turn into a hanging valley. The trail becomes much rockier and steeper as you switchback through a profusion of granitic dikes. The Aspens give way to subalpine firs. Three Islands Creek cuts through the adjacent granite. After a nasty hour, you arrive at one of the most beautiful and pristine lakes in the state. This is not a long hike, but a steep one and the road to the trail head features all the washboard you could want, but we traverse the state in Prius, so if we make it you can. Don't go. I want it for myself.

1 month ago

Really beautiful hike with some amazing views! Some shade but a lot of sunny parts as well. I also nearly stepped on a small garden snake on the trail, so beware!

on Devil's Causeway

1 month ago

The hike starts off in a thickly wooded area, the air is cool and the wilderness is great. The first mile is like this. The last 2ish miles are exposed but you hike up to the top of the beautiful Flat Tops. Great views all around. If you’re feeling dangerous, cross the narrow rock bridge on top!

Awesome hike! Beautiful the whole way! Not a “difficult” hike—more like a moderate— and the uphills had some nice flattish spots thrown in to give you a break. Wished we could have stayed longer to explore. Would definitely do it again!

Winded! A tough hike with beautiful meadows and a nice swim at the lake....once we got there. We were pretty confused as to how long the hike really was (before I got this app); and the signs at the trail head are difficult to read. Hiking all the way to the lake thinned out the crowds. We came here from much lower elevations and did this hike on our first day and definitely noticed the thin air! We wish we would have acclimated a little more first. We agree that bringing more water than you think you’ll need is a good idea! The sun was HOT in exposed areas!

I cheated to some extent. Went up gondola to catch the Friday morning yoga class, had lunch and then hiked down the trail. Nice views of valley and wild flowers. Challenging enough to use a walking stick.

1 month ago

This is a fantastic trail. The description on the website is incomplete though - the trail goes past Rainbow Lake, past lower and upper slide lakes (6 and 7 miles), and on to Roxy Ann Lake (10 miles). There are several moderately steep segments, especially at the end as you drop down to Roxy Ann lake. Elk Hunters favor Roxy Ann in the fall and will go in on horseback and stay a couple of weeks. Early September is perfect with no bugs, not many people, and hungry fish. Next time I'd like to detour and go to the top of Mt. Ethel - looks like a nice gradual incline to the top.

This is a well marked trail with a steady pitch all the way to the top. Beautiful scenery and lots of shade. We hiked up and took the tram down (free).

1 month ago

Did this hike for the third time this year. Beautiful every time! Did this on a Monday morning, on the trail by 9, and only saw 6-7 other hikers. No wildlife, perfect weather. A bit hazy toward the West with the wildfires.

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