Explore Trails for 2016 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trails for 2016 Map
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hiking
2 days 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)

Went Aug 12-13th and stayed at campsite 17. Absolutely a beautiful trail from start to finish. Ran into 2 small groups of hikers on the trail which was amazing. Made you feel like you were the only people on the trail. Plenty of alone time. The hot springs itself was crowded at night...kind of annoying, but the people were nice....the morning however was very quiet and peaceful. We only stayed one night and I don’t think that was enough. I would have liked a full day of relaxing at the hot springs instead of feeling rushed to do the 9 mile hike back to the car. Campsite 17 is about a 20 min hike up to the springs FYI. I heard some negative reviews about the hot springs being dirty and It wasn’t at all. I think the new permit system has really helped cut down on the over crowding. Please be respectful of this beautiful gem! Pack in and pack out!

hiking
5 days ago

Delightful moderate hike above the treeline. Outstanding vistas. Last cairn is a throne!

on Hells Hole Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Once you get to the top, the view is great but other than that, eh, there are way prettier hikes in Colorado.

hiking
6 days ago

What a great way to get away into the mountains fast! We drove from Carbondale in the morning on a Wednesday in late August. The 3 of us had the full spectrum of hiking experience, so we hiked to the pace of our slowest friend—and we had a great hike! We parked at the hairpin turn (the upper trailhead) that you encounter before Independence Pass—plenty of parking there and it’s a paved surface. So we did the hike counter-clockwise and reached Independence Lake after 2 hours of very slow hiking. My friend has a heart condition, so we’re happy she could come so far! We hiked to the saddle above the lake and stopped for a half hour as we watched a herd of mountain goats approach and pass us on the trail. We decided to turn back to the car so our friend could rest but my athletic husband decided to trail run the rest of the loop (so he continued on past Lost Man Lake). So we split up and by the time I reached the parking lot for the Lost Man Lake Campground, he was already there (albeit very sweaty). I’m posting this long narrative hoping it shows just how awesome of a trail this is—a short morning hike, a trail run loop, a picnic spot, wildlife viewing, wildflowers even in late August, a camping option, clearly marked trail, and easy access.

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

I live this hike. I don’t remember it being very difficult.

This trail was amazing. I went two nights 8/6-7. I suggest going two nights. Spending a whole day just relaxing is worth it.

I went up solo. It took Me quite a while to make it up. Start early and take breaks as needed. It’s not a race. The altitude was pretty rough for me. The trail is pretty rocky so bring solid foot wear. Also many parts of the trail are through thick brush. Long sleeves will save some scratches. On the way back down by the ponds past the creek ford I encountered moose. But I came up on the with no coverage or protection. The bull was chill enough that I could back off slowly and not spook it, but easily could have been bad. Be mindful out there.

The people up there were all great. Just a group of strangers all there to relax and enjoy the hot springs. Everyone was there for a great time. Don’t be uptight cause there will be drinking, probably nudity and a few were smoking pot.

I would suggest bringing foot wear you can wear in the spring. It’s great but the bottom and edges are super rocky. It’s very painful getting in and out. Sunscreen and bug spray cause flys and mosquitoes were all over me. Also don’t skimp on cold weather stuff. The days were very nice, but even early August as soon as the sun sets behind the mountains it got VERY cold.

Did this in the evening around sunset. Absolutely INCREDIBLE at that time. We stayed late and could see the Milky Way!

Great trail, stunning views!

hiking
10 days ago

The perfect acclimation hike. The hike itself is at high elevation, but generally flat the whole way so you can become comfortable moving around at high elevation. We loved all he different historic sites from the boom town up there. You could step off the trail and wander through old wooden house frames and find metal cans, rings from barrels, bricks, etc. We also did the little side loop towards the end around mile 5. The way out was nice, but the way back was essentially non-existent. You could either walk out to the end of the rail line there and then turn back, or just be ready for a bit of bushwhacking.

on Lost Man Trail

hiking
10 days ago

My favorite hike! Majestic views with lovely lakeside picnic spots. Makes for a wonderful day in the mountains. Two-car
shuttle is perfect with starting point at Linkin Lake/Lost Man TH and second car awaiting at Lost Man Campground/TH below:)

Absolutely beautiful hike! Flowers/colors are amazing! We hiked in on 8/3 for 1 night.
Took us about 5 hours to get to the first camp site #19 and at least 30 minutes more to get to site #4 (our site). The hike from #19 to #4 may have been the most difficult part of the hike. We saw 3 moose, a few deer and a far off bear sunning itself in a rock near silver dollar lake! Rangers stopped us on our way and asked to see our permit, ID and bear canister. The springs were spectacular and surprisingly uncrowded. Took us 3.5 hours to hike out.

Nice steady climb up and a beautiful view at the top.

We got there early on a weekday and only saw six other people. The aspen groves were fantastic and we’re planning a trip to go back when the leaves are turning.

We were planning to make the Halo Ridge traverse over to summit Mount of the Holy Cross, but the weather came in hard and fast at noon.

The notch mountain trail is beautiful. The switchbacks Offer gorgeous views and the lakes and valleys below. The shelter up top perfectly frames Mount of the Holy Cross in the window.

Next time, we’ll get an earlier start and make the Halo Ridge traverse.

on Jasper Lake Trail

13 days 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
14 days ago

We did this hike this morning, which is a Saturday. Decent sized parking lot, and we got there about 9:15 and there were only four or five other cars in it. There is a bathroom at the trailhead, but it’s essentially a port-a-potty. The trail is quite steep for the first three miles (first mile especially) and then levels out a little the rest of the way. We didn’t see too many other people on the trail, so the whole thing was nice and quiet, especially once we got to the Hell’s Hole area. The trail is almost completely in the woods of Arapaho National Forest. Hike was a great workout, but I don’t think I’d want to do it again-once we finished at the “top” and headed back down, we were ready to be done. The trail is pretty straight the entire way, so you’re just plugging along and navigating the rocks. It took us 3 hours and 55 minutes to complete, and my tracking app said it was 8.77 miles total.

hiking
14 days 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
14 days 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!

Did this hike a few years ago. Totally worth it!

Love this trail.... so amazing. the views!

backpacking
15 days 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.

hiking
16 days ago

the trail was pretty easy the whole way. beautiful view from the top of the tunnel. went around 12 and saw maybe 10 people the whole time. definitely recommend giving this hike a go

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

hiking
19 days ago

Moderate hike with cool bristlecone pines at the top. Hardly saw anyone before heading down.

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

it was a rough three miles up, but then it levels off and once you are in the bowl, it is beautiful.

Very beautiful hike. The views are amazing! Saw lots of marmots. Not a hard hike

Great trail, challenging. We got caught in a small hail storm and hid under a tree for a little while which definitely will make for a lasting memory.

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