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

To do Map
5 days ago

I started my trek around 10:30 am after having to run to the gas station to get cash for the $5 fee that was required to park in the lot. It was slightly overcast, but the sun was shining through the clouds and I broke a sweat after climbing up the hill and pushing forward around the bend on Mesa Trail.

It was a relatively gradual and easy climb until I reached the fork in the trail to take Shadow Canyon North or continue on to Beak Peak. This is where the trail earns it's "Hard" classification, as it is a 2.2 mile trek directly uphill to the ridge line where South Boulder Peak and Bear Peak trails meet.

From the ridge line it is a easy trek to the top of the peak, with just an additional 300 ft. or so of elevation gain. There is a false summit near the top, though, and if you want to reach the top you will need to scramble across some boulders to reach the true summit.

Reaching the summit is well worth it, as you have incredible 360 degree views of Longs Peak, the Flatirons, the city of Boulder, South Boulder Peak, and so much more!

This was a somewhat difficult hike with exceptionally rewarding views upon reaching the summit. Definitely not for the faint of heart, as this was as taxing, if not more taxing than some of the easier 14ers I've completed in the past. Absolutely worth it for those of you looking to test yourself with some beautiful landscape along the way!

(It took me about 4 hours to complete the hike, with a few stops along the way)

5 days ago

Enjoyed a hike near Boulder.... it felt a lot like the fourteeners I’ve climbed.... quite a lot of elevation gain in short amount of distance..... fun! I’d do it again

My wife and I where looking for a nice trail to hike on and decided to tackle this Maxwell Falls Trail. We really loved it. This is an easy hike through the forest for anyone looking to get out and have a bit of fun.

We ended up on this trail a little bit by accident. The parking lots at our first choice trail (Doudy Draw), just east of El Dorado Springs, were completely full. We arrived at the park around 10:30 am and parking was already tough. Remember to go all the way up to (or close to) the Visitor Center to start this hike. It’s very steep for the first mile and was annoyingly crowded, but the views get amazing quickly! We went up about two miles and the second mile was much more pleasant than the first. Definitely be careful on the way down as the gravel is very loose and I totally bit it. No snow, ice, or mud on the trail. It’s a great hike if you are in decent shape and the views are worth it but I wish we went earlier to avoid the crowds.

Took my sons dogs on this great hike . No snow . No people . Lovely & close enough to Denver

It's still really icy in places - we definitely needed yaktrax and/or poles to manuever some places. The falls were frozen, but parts of the stream we're thawed enough for our pup to play in. It wasn't horribly difficult, so our leisurely Sunday hike was great!

great beginner and intermediate hiking. Beautiful meadows and forest views. Plenty of hiking trails to change it up.

Wonderful hike great views along the way. Very dry not muddy at all! Enjoy

14 days ago

I'm a novice, so this is for those of you who are planning on trying Quandary because it's considered easy: This hike is still a grind, particularly in the snow.

We ascended on April 1, beginning a little late (around 8:30 am). The trail was mostly packed and easy to follow, particularly below the tree line. It was close to 50 degrees at the trailhead but dropped to around 14 degrees at the summit (not accounting for 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts).

Between 13,000 and 14,000 feet, as someone with very little high-altitude experience, there were times where it felt like I needed to stop and catch my breath every minute. Those already acclimated to high altitudes will have an easier go but if you're a first timer, prepare for the fatigue (and don't be afraid to turn around if you begin to feel strong symptoms of altitude sickness). Also, prepare for the wind gusts. There were times where I had to plant my feet and just withstand the weather for a moment until it passed.

If hiking in the snow, I'd recommend the use of spikes, poles, and snow shoes. On our way back down, back within the treeline, we spied what appeared to be a well-traveled cut-across leading downward. This was a mistake on our part, as it led to 20-30 minutes of postholing up to our waists when our bodies were already weak and exhausted. So... stay on the trail.

If you're an advanced and/or experienced hiker at altitude, I'm relatively certain you'll knock this one out of the park. I was passed by numerous skiers who were skinning up Quandary and skiing down (I was quite envious of their speedy descent).

It took me over six hours to complete this hike. As a small addendum, make sure your slather any exposed skin in sunscreen, even your lips. With the snow's reflection, the sun is not going to be kind to your face up there.

Not too long. Something you could do with younger kids. A little steep at parts

15 days ago

A must! Was last here Weds the 16th of March when Boulder got dumped by at least 4-6 inches of snow. It was so different from my first hike when it was dry. It was instead very windy! I had to hold on to rocks, branches or get pushed off the trail. Both hikes were extreme n both times I summit the peak. Each occasion made difficult by ice/snow/wind. But this is gorgeous!

Amazing hike! We did the hike in late march and while there was snow on the ground it was actually pretty warm, around 55. We were in t-shirts and so we're a lot of others. The falls is frozen until May(ish) so there isn't much to see falls wise and it's nearly impossible to find unless you know what you are looking for. Only the first part is a loop then it's and out and back to the falls. Once you are on your way back from the falls, you catch the other side of the loop. From the parking lot start on the left trail going up!Over all though amazing!

trail running
21 days ago

Always spectacular

Fantastic hike! Challenging and fun hike! Trail is in great shape!

Excellent trail. A bit muddy this time of year but offer the perfect amount of scenery and challenge mixed into a single hike. Great trail for dogs!

trail running
22 days ago

Great trail to run. Starts and ends steep, more hiking then running. Wasn’t that muddy, only a few snowy parts after the snow fall. Really nice overlook of the Denver skyline 2 miles in or so.

scenic driving
22 days ago

I did not go down to the falls but the view up top was breathtaking. This is one of the most beautiful falls I’ve seen.

24 days ago

Beautiful trail and views! Love this waterfall just 40 minutes outside of Seattle!!

25 days ago

I wouldn’t say simple but also wouldn’t say hard, it was nice and beautiful. Could be strenuous for those new or working to improve their skills. Completed the hike today (3.27) fresh snow at the base of a couple inches, upwards of a foot near the top. My 8 y/o son did it with little motivational pep talking. Rewarding views once you get to the top, we had a slow pace with the kid and made it up in just over 2 hours with the fresh snow. Had Micro’s with but didn’t need them, good boots all around. By the time we got to the bottom, nice and muddy and no snow. Good, fun Colorado trail.

27 days ago

Hiked 3/25 in hiking boots without spikes and the trail was manageable. Right as you’re ascending toward the lake at the very end of the hike, the snow gets about knee deep so you should try and stick to the packed sections. Overall, the hike is worth it with amazing views , just prepare to sink in snow in a few spots.

Difficult and rewarding hike with astounding views. We ascended NCAR and West Ridge to the summit, and descend via Fern and NCAR. I highly recommend it!

28 days ago

Really loved this trail! It’s a challenging hike that offers beautiful views.

Falls are still frozen. Second half of the loop was unmarked and pleasantly less crowded.

28 days ago

Hiked today Saturday 3/24. Mostly covered in snow, though did not use snowshoes. Used microspikes the first half going up but would have been OK without those as well. Top third was very dip and you'll sink down every once in a while but it's more or lass packed down at this point.

Great hike with great views. You can always find more breathtaking views in the Rockies, but you can't beat this one only an hour from Denver.

1 month ago

Went last Saturday. The weather was perfect! No wind at the summit. Many other people were on the trail that day so by mid afternoon, a lot of the snow was sloshy. It was breath taking seeing the 360 view of snowy mountains

1 month ago

Huge fan of this trail; it isn’t easy, but it’s very much worth it. Spectacular views and scenery, and it’s not far at all from Boulder. Highly recommended.

No trax needed, couple of icy spots no mud frozen falls beautiful trail low traffic start at 9 am. First trail sign takes to cliff loop come back other way

1 month ago

Really scenic trail. I didn’t use spikes or snowshoes though spikes would have been helpful. The trail is pretty packed down and easy to follow, but if you get off the trail you’ll know right away when you end up in waist deep snow.

Bunch of switchbacks in the beginning. Very nice hike in the spring. The streams are definitely worth the complete hike

Did this trail out and back via shadow canyon on 3/13. In my opinion, it's a pretty uninteresting trail from a view and geological standpoint until the last 0.3 miles, but what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in physical challenge. Trail was completely clear of snow and pretty dry !

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