Explore Summer - 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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Guys, DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH SEVEN FALLS! For one, this is free. Also, I had much more fun here.
Keep going up the mountain/road after Helen Hunt falls and you will see a huge parking lot. Go west through the gated dirt road and then after 0.7 mi (according to GPS/Fitbit) you will see the 622 post. My husband and I had fun taking pictures at every bridge we hit. I really enjoyed this hike. From the parking lot to the end of bridge 7 and back, my Fitbit clocked 3.47 mi.
There seems to be paths everywhere, but remember the whole path is along the creek. If you think you’re getting too far away from the creek, you probably are.

hiking
22 hours ago

make sure to get there early! also we had some trouble finding the signs haha but it overall was absolutely gorgeous and very nice.

Beautiful waterfalls.

hiking
2 days ago

Hike was good. Good footwear needed- kinda rocky. Beautiful scenery with majestic peaks. Make sure to bring sunscreen- in the heat of the day there isn’t much shade. Only downside is the occasional passing vehicles- not too much of a problem, but we had our two dogs and had to step off to the side any time a truck or ATV passed. A bit dusty too but worth it! They do charge to swim at the Crystal Mill but there are plenty of spots to stop off for a quick dip or refresher along the stream. The hike took us about 6 hours with stopping for lunch and pics at the Crystal mill, and letting our dogs take numerous river dips. Bring water shoes if you can and you’ll really enjoy going in on your own accord.

Love the coolness of the trails through the forest. The bridges are pretty well maintained. The views are amazing.

The falls are amazing, heed all advice regarding footwear.
The road up is 3 miles of extremely rough terrain.
I saw all sorts of cars, slow going.

hiking
3 days ago

So, the trail head on this one is misleading as there are 2. We parked at the LOWER TH and this will add 2 miles each way to your hike. The lower trail/road is not marked very well, we only saw 1 arrow pointing the way. The upper TH is apparently 2 miles or so up the road, we never got that far. The road is a 4X4 trail and looked a bit rough. We saw a newer Ford Explorer go up but I would not venture up this one in my truck. We came across a very nice guy in a jeep (at our turn around point) who said we were half way to the upper TH, even though we were 2.5 in?? We did decide to return to the car as we had some time constraints. This was a beautiful hike none the less. We are hoping to head back up on 4 wheelers and find the upper TH and the true trail. The elevation gain and distance listed are most likely from the upper TH and not the lower one. The climb up the first leg has steep areas and will make the heart pump but is not bad. There is a restroom at the lower TH and is clean for the most part.

hiking
3 days ago

I completed this hike during the week in mid August 2018. The trail had a few people on it. I had heard that it was often crowded on the weekends. I hiked well past the seventh bridge staying within site of the creek. After I hiked across several steep sandy parts void of trees, I was in the trees again. I could see what I thought was the summit. The weather rolled in, it started to rain so I turned around and headed out. I will return to this trail again.

hiking
5 days ago

Did this trail on Aug 5. Took us about 1 hr and 45 min total with young children. There's a bathroom at the TH, and about 18-20 parking spots in the main lot plus a lot more along the road and in another parking lot plus a picnic area with its own parking lot. There are a lot of benches along the way up the trail. It is a "hot" trail with not much real shade, mostly consisting of short trees, shrubs, and cactuses. Nice views of the sand dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mtns including the Crestone Needles. Bring water shoes and a small towel--it was definitely nice to have warm, dry socks and shoes to slip back into after walking in the ICY, numbing water! The water level was about ankle deep in most places. Fun, but our young boys didn't enjoy getting their feet so cold. The falls with the cave were definitely neat!

Great hike. Very beautiful. it was a little hard to find the right path to the trailhead, but once we found it it was great from there. Most of it is shaded. Lots of little streams and waterfalls. Just be sure to bring lots of water!

Simple and straightforward hike. I would say it is very family friendly. Well shaded and cool with a creek flowing through. The area is extremely busy on the weekends.

hiking
10 days ago

My family (including my 2 year old) went on this hike on a Friday morning. We got to the parking lot around 8 and it wasn’t too busy. The walk along the road is about .5 mile, then you turn right at trail 622. It’s not well marked. After the road it is beautiful, shaded, and a little rocky. My son loved going over all the bridges. Great family hike! On our way back (around 10:30) it was pretty busy and the parking lot was full.

on Crystal Mill

hiking
10 days ago

Best money ever spent. Hire Smitty‘ Jeep tours to take you to Geneva Lake trail head and hike that amazing hike then hike down the three miles to Crystal Mill and get picked up. I did this on a Monday and there was not much atv or jeep traffic.

hiking
12 days ago

Nice easy hike for any skill level. Once you get to the trailhead, rest of the trail is pretty much shaded and cool. Few doggy poops and bags were spotted but not enough to ruin my day. There were no bugs, no bathroom and no hiking stick is required.

great little jont to the falls!! walking the falls was great wish i had my rain boots!

A+++

backpacking
14 days ago

Went on a three day backpacking trip to Venable lakes. From the parking lot at the trail head, you have about a half mile of uphill until you hit the rainbow trail. You stay on the rainbow trail for an extremely short distance, about 30 meters, until you hit the Venable creek trail. From there you walk pretty steadily uphill with two or three major switchback areas. You can stop about half way up and see the Venable falls. If you stay on the high trail, there isn't much to see due to the vegetation, but if you are willing to drop low and walk back up, there is a great view from the creek. The trail sign says that the distance to the lake is 4.75 miles, however we tracked with a Garmin and from the parking lot, to where we set up camp in the lower Basin, it was about 5.88 miles.
If you are looking to fish, the lower Basin that is next to the old fallen cabin, has no fish and in fact is just wetlands. However, there are trees unlike the upper lakes and there are more camping spots available then the higher lakes and is safer with lightning and wind. The upper two lakes, the ones more prominent on most maps, have some nice fish and bite on both lure and fly depending on the day.
Overall, it's not the most beautiful sangre drainage, but it is still worth the walk in.
Great hike, beautiful views, and delicious fish!

Really beautiful hike along the creek. Was gorgeous after a light snow the night before.
After the 7th bridge we continued up the trail-622-Seven Bridges to Jones Park. We encountered a large adult brown bear at the aspen grove on the trail. He was not aggressive, but interested in us.
We called the Colorado Park and Rec to report and they said he has been hanging around there for about a week and is deemed not aggressive. Make sure you have your bear spray and are aware of what to do in an encounter.
It was worth the adventure because the meadow was so pretty.

Nice Trail keep your eyes on the trail markers pretty easy to lose the trail in several spots. Be prepared for weather. We hit a hail storm on the way back down took shelter in some rocks and trees. The hardest part is the hill to the trail head. You have to park at the bottom of the road and walk the dirt road. Interesting houses along the way though.

horseback riding
15 days ago

This was my second time riding this trail. The first time we were snowed out just above the old cabin remains. It's a great ride, allbeit extremely rocky for horses. I recommend shoes. My horses have done this trail twice barefoot; however, one is a mountain mustang and the other is mountain horse stock, both of which have always been barefoot and worked over rough terrain routinely. The views are amazing and well worth the effort. If taking horses above treeline, I recommend only very experienced trail horses, as the path narrows considerably and the slope becomes very precipitous. I actually got off and led my horse for the last half mile; my partner chose to ride to the lakes. Hiking or riding this is a great trip to make.

hiking
16 days ago

Used to love this trail until tourists and inexperienced transplants found it. No one respects this trail or their fellow hikers. Constantly running into people who refuse to leash their dogs or pick up after them, and parents with too many small children to keep track of or keep safe and mindful with cyclists and runners around. Definitely will only return to this trail in the winter when I don’t have to share it with hoards of disrespectful and clueless people.

Beautiful!

17 days ago

This is a nice 3 star hike. While the scenery is a 4 star, the regular ATV and 4WD traffic make it far from ideal.

On both sides of the road you will find private property signs. Additionally, the Mill is not much to see and unless you pay $10 are not welcomed to go to the waters below. The town at the end while small could be much more accomadating. They prefer you pay for a drink and leave just as quickly as you can.

backpacking
18 days ago

Beautiful hike. Had 3 dads and 6 kids on this trip. Spent the first night at the lower ponds. Second night was at Venable Lake. We enjoyed the views and quiet, but would not recommend being above tree line during Summer afternoon thunder showers.

Hiked yesterday once we found out our Nissan Rogue should probably not be on this road... lots of ATV's but we loved every minute of this hike! Gorgeous area and we came back with lots of beautiful pictures! We loved every minute of this hike, including nibbling on a few wild raspberries that we found! Everybody sharing the trail/road was wonderful! A definite must-do!

Tourists destroy this location in the summer... learn how to park in the top lot please, don’t litter, and use proper trail etiquette

Wonderful hike! My 3 year old made it up to the reservoir but coming back down was a little much. Other than that loved everything about it. Definitely be back!

hiking
21 days ago

Definitely worth the BUMPY ride up to the trailhead.

I hiked this yesterday; started at noon and finished a few minutes after 2. It was my second time on this trail. The weather was perfect and it was moderately challenging but had places of reprieve. The meadow just past the creek is so gorgeous and is filled with lush green grass, wildflowers, and tall sturdy trees along the perimeter. Once you make it to the split, follow the sign for Raspberry Mountain. It gets tough here. Very steep climb, but it’s shaded, so that helps. When you get to the large boulders, follow the trail through them and them hug the outside of them as you round out beside them. The trail seems to disappear a bit, but just stay near the rocks and after about 100 yards, you will see the rocks that you climb up to the top. The view is insane and totally worth the climb. The only drawback for me was the enormous swarm of gnats that cut my viewing pleasure short.

It was a quick, easy hike. Like previous reviews say, it’s a little steep at first but after the first quarter mile or so it levels out. My 6 pound chihuahua hiked to the end with no problems. Highly recommended for out of towners.

I did see something on the trail that really upset me... I’ll post the pictures in the pictures of this trail. Towards the end of the trail, right before you get to the falls, there’s a giant tee-pee that someone put together. While walking up to the tee-pee, I see two boys standing at it, their Mom appears to be taking pictures while one of the boys is carving his name into the tee pee, and the other his initials! With the mom standing there, taking pictures of them doing it! I couldn’t help but say “Wow, really?” The Mom looked at me, and I highly considered saying something, but didn’t want to make a scene in front of her young boys.

If you feel the need to carve your name into a tree, or anything that was put out in NATURE for people to enjoy, then you are a JERK! Of course, the little boy doesn’t know better, so it’s his Mom that’s the jerk for allowing and encouraging something like this. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR NAME CARVED INTO TREES, or ANYTHING ELSE that’s on a nature trail!!

Now the beautiful tee-pee at that’s the end of the trail will forever have IAN and MC carved into it! The other boy’s initials, that are under Ian’s, aren’t as big and noticeable, but still there. This will probably encourage others who are just as ignorant to carve their names in it as well, and before you know it that beautiful tee pee is going to have names carved all over it and be ruined :(

HAVE RESPECT, and teach your kids respect, or STAY HOME! You can let your kids carve whatever they want into the trees or anything else on YOUR property!!

End rant. I really hope the Mom reads this. This was also the only reason I gave the trail 4 stars.

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