Explore Summertime Bucketlist - 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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We did it about a month ago! One of my favorites! Loved the colorful fall trees! Definitely a "MUST do" in fall.

Beautiful hike!! I have hiked this trail a few times, it never gets old! Great views any time of year! Slightly challenging to get to the lake without snow shoes in early may!
I would recommend getting there early as parking gets tight if you arrive after 9am, especially on a weekend. The road to the trail head is rugged, an off-roading vehicle or one with higher clearance is best.

Very quite, would probably be more enjoyable to the eyes in spring. No one on trail after beginning and decent amount of snow, afternoon of 10/26, especially after junction with the GRT. Didn’t make it to the top of the pass but attempted it, decided to turn around after snow got deep and the sun had settled over the mountains. An eerie area

hiking
23 days ago

Nice moderate hike with plenty of lakes and streams- although as a result probably not ideal during mud season... jasper lake was frozen but still beautiful.

A bunch of moose, a bunch of lakes

Beautiful hike with a lot of ups and downs! The views at Cowrock are amazing and you get another view shortly as you continue on to Wolf Laurel. As others have said the view at Wolf Laurel isn’t as grand as Cowrock but you still have a view & it’s very peaceful. Not too many people on the trail today but there was one very large timber rattler right off the side of the trail sunning itself. Just be watchful as the weather gets cooler for snakes trying to soak up the sun.

My wife and I did this last year. The best view of Lake Martin PERIOD as you climb to the top of Smith Mountain tower. A must see!!!’ Bring your camera.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful! Nice fall hike featuring some golden aspens and a couple waterfalls. In the early morning it was a misty hike through a cloud, which I thought made the whole experience even cooler.

Gorgeous. Lots of streams, wildlife and climbing.

Ah, this was a great hike. I went with my dog last Saturday and we had a blast. Arrived at the trailhead around 7am. It was pretty busy but still over 10 spots available. I started on Hessie Trail and went to Lost Lake. After Lost Lake, I hiked on Devils Thumb for a few miles. We turned around about 2miles from Jasper Lake because we were short on time. Wish I could’ve made it to the lake because the weather was perfect. My Fitbit said we went 12miles. Not sure how accurate it is though. We got back to my car around 11ish. Lots of cars waiting for parking and crowds of people on the trail. Again, so glad we got there early and hope to go back to hike to the lake soon.

This was an awesome trail, be ready to climb. With an almost nonstop gain in elevation until you reach the lake this is definitely an awesome workout with views that make up for every step you climb. Check out my IG for pictures from the hike @alvarado_dan_

Short trail with some moderate incline at beginning. Tower was pretty cool, and there were some interesting geological features on this trail!

Had a wonderful hike but lots of people. The fall colors were amazing and I’m sure everyone had the same idea to view them. Parking is awful so get there early in the morning or later in the day around 2pm. Hike isn’t long so totally doable

Had a great time hiking this Trail could only make it to the 8 story of the tower before I got scared and went back down. I can't wait to come back and do it again and try to beat my score of the 6th story

backpacking
2 months ago

Gorgeous trail! So many different types of terrain. Loved the open meadow entering into Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. We got a permit and camped overnight at Jasper Lake - it was rainy and windy, but campsite 3 is pretty protected. Used our bear canister as recommended - didn't run into any wildlife other than squirrels and chipmunks. The lake is rather low, but the views were still pretty and the aspens are chainging for a beautiful, colorful site.

on Jasper Lake Trail

2 months ago

Great hike. Parking is kind of terrible but so is every other hike in CO. They do have a shuttle if you don’t feel like walking to the trail head (but you are there to hike??) we hiked from our parking spot on the road up to jasper lake and then probably another half a mile or so up to a waterfall. Really pretty. Highly recommend hiking up to the waterfall. For us it ended up being about 13 miles and 4,000 feet incline (according to the recording that all trails records)

Go before 2:00 when the storms start to come in. This was truly amazing. The bristlecone pine were just stunning and the views were incredible. You can even see Denver when you get above tree line! It was rocky but our 3 and 6 year old loved it and did great. We went sept 1 and were comfortable wearing a hoodie or long sleeved shirt. After this hike, drive up to the top of Mt. Evans on the highest paved road in North America! It closes after Labor Day. Dinner or lunch at the lodge was also nice with a great view of Echo lake (one of Colorado’s oldest lakes) if you can get the right table. :). They also have a campground at echo lake!

hiking
2 months ago

Very rocky trail, too many people and a drained lake. It should be called a reservoir not a lake. People should be TOLD when getting a permit that the lake has been drained. Huge disappointment. (see pic of Jasper pond)

Absolutely beautiful! There were lil steams on the way up that my dog could drink from. I took the Diamond Lake trail and it was amazing!! EVERYONE had their dogs on leash. I was shook.

I usually love this hike but the lake was about half drained, almost no water.

on Jasper Lake Trail

3 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike with varied terrain. I arrived about 9am on Saturday and the trailhead was busy. Parking is very limited so I would suggest starting between 7 and 8am if you can. I noticed a shuttle taking people up to the trailhead but I'm not sure how often it runs or where the pick up/drop off location is. The bypass trail to Jasper lake was fairly dry. Not much snow until you got closer to the lake. Sometimes you find yourself maneuvering muddy sections or walking through a shallow stream. My feet stayed dry for the most part, wearing water resistant shoes. Highlight of the hike was sighting two moose. I can't wait to come back and do more exploring. Would highly recommend!

hiking
3 months ago

I haven't been on many hikes in Colorado yet, but this one is my favorite so far. Hiking all the way up to the lake is well worth it. There's a good mix of forest and meadows with lots of wildflowers. The elevation gain is gradual and not difficult at all. I've been able to do this hike a couple times already in tennis shoes. I highly recommend checking this one out if you haven't already!

My latest trip was on a Friday and I had no trouble finding parking along the side of the road at 7:30 AM...weekends and holidays are a different story. When in doubt, take the shuttle from Nederland (holidays and weekends in the summer I believe). I took the shuttle on the 4th of July and it was an excellent experience. It's FREE!

hiking
3 months ago

Everyone below is spot on, it’s very gravely in the beginning. Lots of family’s at the beginning too. Once you get up about a mile, it splits into a bunch of different directions. That’s when it gets good. I was very surprised how wet the trails was, so be warned. I had hiking boots, so I was good, my friend not so much! It’s gorgeous. It’s very green and worth it!

backpacking
3 months ago

Trail has a lot of loose rocks makes it hard to keep footing up and down. Very steep in places. Moose, deer, bear all in the area. Wild flowers, amazing! Don't even bother with trying to park at Hessie trailhead on the weekends. The shuttle from Nederland is quick, comfortable and very convenient and best of all FREE.

Super beautiful, takes about 3hours to get there from the creek at hessie trail. Make sure to have pups on leashes

3 months ago

We had a great time, the weather was good. It was incline most of the way, but very gradual, so it made for a great workout. The lake was lovely and serene, and the return was easily managed. Definitely recommend this trail.

Lots of loose gravel.. trail splits into king lake and devils thumb

Unfortunately didn’t make it to the top of the pass due to a persistent bull moose following us in the marshy/meadowy area after 3 1/2 miles or so. The first half of this hike, and the connecting trail to lily pad lake would be perfect spots for aspen hiking in September. At the very least, the part we got to hike was a good work-out.

I've been hiking this trail for over 30 years and was really sad to see how abused it has gotten in the last few years. It's a highly-used area and absolutely gorgeous. Therefore, we need to respect and PROTECT the land. Here's a few tips: 1) do not make or use shortcuts and avoid social trails (undesignated trails to look outs etc). If you just can't help yourself, please don't make these worse by not staying right on the dirt. If there is a log/fallen tree across a social trail, pls don't just step over it - this is the caretakers way of saying "pls don't go here." Similarly, uphill hikers have the right of way --So pls. STOP and step to the side of a wider part of the trail to let them pass. Pls. don't keep hiking and stepping on the side vegetation to give them room. This is a perfect opportunity to look up & appreciate this special place & only takes a few seconds. And GET MUDDY and keep on the harder/rocky parts of the trail. This trail used to be narrow and is now becoming alarmingly wideFollow the cairns (rock piles) near the top where there are boulders and be very mindful of staying on the designated trail rather than all the off-shoots (giving them a chance to recover) This trail used to be narrow and is now becoming alarmingly wide. Especially above tree line/tundra please please please STAY ON THE TRAIL - tundra is incredibly fragile & takes hundreds of years to recover from abuse. Our natural areas give us so so much and by doing some simple extra effort, we can show our appreciation and give back a little.

backpacking
3 months ago

Such a beautiful lake! More and more wild flowers the higher you hike.
Campers need a permit.
Parking is limited.

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