Explore Summer2K17 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer2K17 Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
snow
2 days ago

A lot of fun but difficult with the snow. Shoe shoes are required

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike on Thanksgiving Day. Went up to the falls and a bit beyond but there wasn’t a clearly defined trail and my GPS wasn’t cooperating so instead of snowshoeing our way around, we just turned back. Beautiful day to hike. Traction devices for your boots would be helpful but not completely needed. Snowshoes would certainly be necessary to reach the lake.

A few weeks ago I and three buddies I go to college with hiked the Conundrum Creek Trail to the Conundrum Hot Springs and camped overnight. A permit is required for overnight stays. The second day we hiked back in the late afternoon. It is a 17-mile hike round trip. There was clear sunny weather both days. The trail is in pretty good shape. It was a bit muddy in a few areas. A good pair of hiking shoes is essential. There were few others at the campsite overnight. We had the hot springs to ourselves that night. The second day we hiked a bit further south and then returned to hit the hot springs again before descending. The only people we ran into that day were an older couple on the trail passing by while we were in the hot springs and a guy and his two teenage sons who joined us in the hot springs.

I read a review that talks about people being "inconsiderate" because they were naked in the hot springs. Please note: These hot springs have traditionally been a place where people are naked. There is nothing inherently inconsiderate about this. My friends and I enjoyed being naked in the hot springs on our trip. Nothing more. Nothing less. The older couple passing by seemed shocked and shook their heads at us. The wife muttered under her breath that we could cover up when people pass by. By contrast, the father and his sons decided to join us naked in the springs and everyone had a pleasant time hanging out. Clearly the main difference between the two groups of people we met while we were in the hot springs had to do with their differing attitudes towards nudity. Please, either respect the right of others to enjoy being naked in nature or avoid the hot springs, however, do not expect others to stop enjoying this traditionally nude area because you have a problem with simple nudity!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail yesterday 10-27-18. Very snowy like the previous poster said. After the first lake it got really deep and we had to turn around. It was also pretty slick after everyone had compacted the snow and melting then refreezing at night. I would be cautious, there were a few parts that were a little touch and go. On the other hand, beautiful beautiful hike!!

hiking
2 months ago

Spectacular in the glacial cirque. Snow above the falls but followed the footprints and used poles. It was 5 miles to the lake - not sure why All-Trails map says 4.4. We hiked on 10/26 and saw no one above the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful hike, even at the end of October. It is a long one...took about 5-6 hours (we are Flatlanders) to complete the 10 miles. The snow slowed us down. Bring Yak Traks for the last 3 miles up...ice and snow. There were some hiking sticks left at the trail head and they really came in handy on this hike. It was hard to follow the trail on the way up with the snow but as long as you are going up you will catch the trail again. Alot easier to follow the trail on the way down. If you are looking for a good moderate legnthy hike, this one is great!

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked this trail on 10/21/18. Very beautiful area. However, this 7.2 mile out and back turned into 10.5 miles due to the snow. 80% of the trail had between 2 inches - 2.5 feet of snow. The snow and ice made the hike very difficult. Unless you’re experienced with snow hiking and snowshoes, I would not advise the hike until the snow melts. In the end, the snow got so deep, we couldn’t even make it the last 400 meters to grand lake.

One note though is that the first mile of the hike is easy (if no snow) and takes you to a beautiful small waterfall and small lake.

The popularity of this trail has completely destroyed the area, there's poop everywhere along the trail & around the campsites. This place has transformed into a rocky mountain national park or emerald bay of tahoe lake situation. Aholes that don't respect anything go & pollute so the forest service now requires reservations to camp in the middle of the wilderness. Thanks people!! Crappy fake casual outdoors people ruined it for absolutely everyone, great job!!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent hike. Agree that 3 hours to the lake is a good time estimate. Gorgeous lake, especially this time of year with the snow. 10/21/2018, intermittent snow above the falls (about 2 hours from falls to lake, I am a slow/moderate paced hiker). Snow is hard packed and surprisingly very manageable. Poles are useful nonetheless. Weather was warm all the way up to the lake. Trail visibility excellent.Highly recommend going on from falls to lake if in doubt. Trailhead parking lot almost filled up on a Sunday (my start time was 11:00 am, very late). Was back at the car 5 PM easily.

What an adventure! This trail was 9.6 miles to and from the hot springs so 19.2 miles round trip according to my iPhone health app. It was very muddy and there was lots of snow especially the higher up you go so make sure to bring reliable warming and waterproof gear. The trail was really easy to follow and the bridges were fun to cross (3 bridges total) but the altitude is something to watch out for going up. It’s true what everyone say the hike down is a cake walk. It took us 6-7 hours to get up and 4 hours to get down.

Absolutely loved this hike. Beautiful views the whole way. Went in fall and the aspens were gorgeous beyond words! The hike itself isn’t super difficult but it is long and I recommend camping since it is about 8 miles in and 8 miles back. The hot springs at the end are one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been to, very serene and also super clean. We ended up hanging out there for over 4 hours because the water felt so nice and we also met some other cool people who had just done the hike. I will highly recommend this trail to anyone who is up for some camping!

Beautiful hike! The hike was actually 18.5 miles round trip from the parking lot to the springs. One of the most breathtaking hikes I’ve been on. People aren’t very considerate of others presence; we had a large group of 5 men and 1 woman all get completely naked and get in the springs while there were others in it. Do everyone a favor and pack a swimsuit and towel, because no one wants to see you naked in the springs while trying to relax. Only thing that put a damper on this otherwise beautiful hike!

trail running
3 months ago

Amazing trail, the lakes and creeks are gorgeous.

Absolutely stunning and worth every step! Took us 4 hours to get up with our packs and 3 hours to get down. The springs were beautiful and the sunrise was amazing! Definitely possible to do it as a day hike but do yourself a favor and reserve a campsite!

Short off road ride to the mouth of the trail. Was a nice sneaky road to the trail. We took our stock Jeep Wrangler to the mouth of the trail with no problem.

backpacking
3 months ago

Really fantastic hike from Surprise Trailhead to Upper Cataract Lake. About 11 miles round trip. From Surprise Trailhead to Surprise Lake, it is 3 miles of steady uphill. Then gets easy the rest of the way.

From Upper Cataract to Mirror it is about 2 miles, mostly downhill. Total, if you go a little past Upper Cataract to Mirror Lake you're looking at 14 miles round trip, with only about 3 miles of difficulty in the beginning.

Once you get to Upper Cataract Lake the trail diverges in multiple places but it finally comes together on the way to Mirror Lake. We found a campsite about .33 miles from Mirror Lake and used that but there are plenty of spaces around Mirror Lake and it is less crowded than Upper Cataract and not too much further.

Note: there is NO camping within 100 feet of the lakes and no fires allowed within .25 miles of any lake. Stoves are ok. There are few campsites within .25 miles of any lake, so be prepared to camp without a fire if it is crowded.

Garmin Activity Going Up:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3055444761
Garmin Activity Going Back:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3055454799

The spring and scenery are worth the challenging climb. I was surprised that I finished it, coming from New Orleans at sea level. Make sure to bring extremely warm clothes, because we did freeze our butts off at night (late September)

hiking
3 months ago

Awsome extremely exhausting hike for someone not used to this altitude. We are from sea level. This trail kicked out butt, but is was well worth it. Beautiful views all the way up. Took 3 hrs to get to the lake. Just over 3000 elevation gain. Our most ever. Well worth it.

County road 1350 is between mile marker 109 and 110... We ended up too far north, it is across the street from the Blue River Campground. You can stop at the first parking lot or keep driving a little more and it will be a shorter hike by a about two miles. It is a beautiful hike. One of my favorites in the area.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike on Saturday, 9/22. Very few people on trail. Sunny, clear day, sea level friend joined us and did fine! The first lake you come to is just as beautiful as Lower Missouri Lake, which is just up a bit. We didn’t do the loop to connect up to Fancy Lake Trail bec two in our party were tired. Will try that next time.

backpacking
3 months ago

WARNING - DO NOT DEPEND ON WAG BAGS AT TRAILHEAD - BRING A SHOVEL!! We were expecting to find the advertised free WAG bags at the trailhead, but the box was empty. From the number of day trip permits piled up in the box, it had been a while since a ranger had been up. Luckily we always carry a shovel anyway, but it would have sucked to be digging an 8-inch hole with a stick up there in the rocky soil.

This was an amazing trail. My daughter and I have been backpacking together since she was 9, and 12 years later this trip was definitely the most incredible one so far. Our campsite was clean, our fellow campers/soakers were sweet and considerate (no late loud parties in the pool), and the views were mind blowingly beautiful. We spent 2 nights, which gave us a nice lazy day of hot springs time before heading back down.

It took us 6 hours to hike up, but the second half of that hike was in steady cold rain (the trail gets slippery). On a clear day it would have easily been 5 hours. We took a leisurely 4 hours to hike down, could’ve done it in 3 if we’d been motivated.

If you’re thinking about it, just get the permit and do it. You won’t be disappointed!

Excellent hike. My gps said was 2.8 miles to lake so 5.6 Round trip. Beautiful secluded mountain lake. Amazing views along the way. Great aspens !!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike to Fancy Lake today-9/19/18. We didn’t start til noon. Fairly easy climb. Lots of good switchbacks. Thank you trail groomers! This lake is stunningly beautiful! Next time we’ll hike on through to Missouri Lake.

Did this as a day hike (Sunday 9/17). A moderate trail, mostly gradual with a majority of the elevation gain during the last 2.5 miles. We showed up at the trailhead around 7:30 AM with 3-4 spots still available. Started hiking around 7:40 AM, arrived at the hot spring around 11:15 AM (about 3 hr 35 min with some food and photo breaks). Spent ~2 hours at the hot springs. Then took 3 hours to return to the trailhead. Would have probably taken up longer had been staying overnight and had more gear. We each carried about 2.5 L of water with us (probably drank about 2 L), and plenty of snacks. Wore long sleeve and pants for the morning, but changed to tank top and shorts returning to the car.

The views on the way in are fabulous, a lot of walking through aspen/pine forests and open meadows. The leaves have started changing with about 1/3 bright yellow and another 1/3 light green. The views while sitting in the hot spring itself (about 90-95 F when we were there) were even more incredible. We even had the spring to ourselves for a little while. We saw a lot of people coming down while we were going up though, so I’m sure Saturday was more crowded.

We recorded about 8.5 miles each way. You may add more mileage if there’s no parking at the conundrum trailhead (you cannot park on conundrum creek road!) or if you have to pit stop at a campsite (some are before and some are after the hot spring). Creek crossings were pretty dry when we went. The large ones have flattened logs going across. There’s one crossing that has a fallen wood sign before it that says “FORD”. Here, we actually found it easier to go to a path on the right instead and walk across some fallen trees/logs.

Definitely a long hike to do in a day (by the end you’re mentally willing the parking lot to be around the next bend), but doable and worth it. I haven’t tried camping overnight (the permits were all reserved), but I would assume we went a lot faster not having 2 days/1 night’s worth of stuff with us.

Also, for anyone with dogs - there’s a point at which dogs are no longer allowed past, which includes where the permitted campsites are and the hot spring itself. Not sure if anyone’s checking, but would be a bummer to get up there and not know ahead of time! We didn’t see any rangers (nor were we camping), but I’ve heard of rangers being there to check for permits and bear canisters so just be aware.

Tough hike but very beautiful. The road to the trailhead was a long dirt road but not bad as far as clearance goes-- only the last mile or so was uncomfortably bumpy/slow, I imagine most vehicles could make it up. The beginning of the trail is steep, then it levels out a little with less dramatic gains. Don't be fooled by the first lake you come to... continue up about another 1/4 mile ish to see the bigger lake, it's worth it! Gorgeous water color and mountain backdrop. Highly recommend this for a great workout and views. Not too much fall color change on the hike bc of the tree composition in the area, but the drive from Minturn was stunning with tons of aspens.

This was my husband and my 1st backpacking trip. It is not for the faint of heart and will challenge you physically and mentally if you are packing in gear. We came from 1700ft in elevation where we live, so the altitude definitely got to my husband. The views were tremendous and the trail was well marked. It is hard at the end, definitely felt like a "money pit" reference to people coming down, "1-2 miles" always. It took us 8 hours to climb up, and 4 1/2 to get down, many people passed us up. Everyone was super friendly and encouraging, loved hearing all of the different accents. We saw lots of squirrels and a few deer. Probably not the best for a 1st time backpacking trip but the aspens were turning and the scernary was stunning and the hot springs were not crowded and averaged around 100F.

Round trip 19 miles! If you’re very fit, this isn’t hard. The springs are amazing!! 9.4 miles ONE WAY!

1st water crossing: 2.5/3 miles
2nd water crossing: 6 miles
3rd water crossing: 6.5/7 miles.

No wading! Tevas were nice for the springs. Watched the sunrise. Started hiking at 330, made it to springs at 730 (4 hours), chilled for an hour or so. Made it back to trailhead in 3 hours. Not for faint of heart, but not impossible!

My partner and I did this entire hike (round trip) in a day, and it was rough. I have a Suunto trail watch and I tracked the hike closer to 13 miles one way - I’m not sure who’s numbers are more accurate but my watch uses GPS and tends to be accurate on nearly all of the hikes I track.

That being said, this hike is beautiful. The elevation gain is gradual and the most intense at the end right before the hot spring.

You cross three man made LOG bridges before getting to the hot springs. There are multiple rock and downed tree crossings - these don’t count ;)

Wear sunscreen. Bring a first aid kit for blisters. But be prepared for a stunning visit at the top.

Do us all a favor and if you see people eating in the pool or leaving trash, speak up. There’s permits in place for a reason and we want to keep this place as beautiful as it has been for centuries. Some people just don’t get it.

This trail was absolutely stunning! The hike itself is long though. It is closer to 10 miles in each direction so be prepared for a long day if you aren’t planning on backpacking. Definitely worth the trip though!

backpacking
4 months ago

We completed a overnight backpacking trip this past weekend, and it was absolutely perfect. It stormed a bit at night, but was perfectly clear by morning. There were plenty of other people staying overnight, but there are so many nooks to camp in that it was easy to feel like you were nearly alone. Incredible views and many places to scramble and explore around the lakes.

Load More