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

try out Map
9 hours ago

Awesome trail. Did it over Labor Day and still was quite empty. Could easily be considered hard due to length and elevation gain, but its all worth it for the variety of scenery. Although I saw a few 2wd sedans along the road to the trailhead, 4wd or at least something with clearance is recommended to get there.

Amazing hike. A little tough, especially if you’re not used to the elevation, but it has everything. Starts in a forest setting, crosses a couple of creeks and opens up above tree line. Shelf Lake at the top was a real treat and very few people.

Amazing hike and just the right amount of distance to keep the rest of the day open for more adventures!
Got to the upper lot around 630am and there were about 4 other cars there from folks backpacking and also starting early. The first quarter of the drive from the lower to upper lots is the worst of the entire part but it is nothing compared to how bad Grays and Torreys road is. Just take it slow on the bad parts. Even though the lower lots were jammed up, there were a few spots at the top when we finished around 10am.
Great colors with the fall foliage change on the bushes as well as the trees. Silver Dollar Lake(middle lake) was amazing and Murray Lake was about 300ft of elevation gain from there. Dont skip the third lake! There is a rock formation on one side that can be hiked from the backside which will give you a great topside view of the landscape.
As most hiking at this time, start as early as you can! The next few weeks will be jam packed with folks looking at the changing trees. This trail would be incredible with a little snow on the ground.

off road driving
2 days ago

Very easy trail, heavy foot traffic. A little bouncy, but good for any 4 wheel drive vehicle. We decided to hike to the upper lakes, and the views did not disappoint. This is a very good family outing!

2 days ago

Beautiful trail with a stream the whole way up. Fall colors are about at their peak. Loved the variety of terrain and scenery plus a nice challenge with some steep areas and decent elevation gain. Only saw 2 groups of people coming down when I was heading up on a Saturday afternoon. Spent 30mins up at the lake with absolutely no one else around. Saw a huge bull moose just about 30ft away on the way down. Will be adding this to my repeat list.

My car doesn't have AWD so I parked at the lower lot. When I arrived at 7:45am on Saturday there was still plenting of parking spaces. This trail packs a lot of great views in its short length. I found this trail easy except for the short but steep climb to the third lake, which is worth it for the views from the top. I recommend coming early to this hike, when I left at 10:30am the trail and the parking lots had become very crowded.

Nice relaxing hike with beautiful scenery, scenic overlooks and wildflowers. The second half of the hike is above the tree line.

Make sure you go all the way to the third lake.

Beautiful fall colors!!

3 days ago

Trail was great. Didn’t see any mountain lions.

Nice scenic lake. Easy trail. Hiked on 9/15/18. Aspens turning but not yet peak here at the lake (though is in nearby places). Warm week.

Silver Dollar Lake was beautiful and definitely tested my lungs! Be careful because there are a few spots where the trail becomes slightly unclear, but thanks to this app, we did not get lost! You will realize it very quickly if you start veering off course anyways. There was a river at a few different points and three lakes along the way to the top! When you get to the second lake, you have the option to continue onto the third, and it is totally worth it if you are willing to exert your lungs! (I have asthma, so it was challenging, but definitely do-able!) This third lake offers a great spot to hang out for a bit and eat lunch! On our way down, we saw 4 wood peckers! I got some great up close shots of them that I will upload later. There are not a ton of aspens on this hike, but there are on the drive to the trail head. The hike also does include lots of bushes that have changed to an orange color which provide great fall color!

off road driving
6 days ago

Nice trial! my first one..all ways easier on the way down..lol definitely a slow and bumpy trial! High clearance vehicle only.Lake was gorgeous well worth the trip. 2014 Xterra BFGTK 02 TIRES

Went here last weekend, this is now my favorite trail in Colorado. Super well marked, not a high climb, wild flowers, aspens in bloom, just amazing!

7 days ago

Beautiful trail and only saw two other people!

An awesome hike! Trailhead is a little hard to find because they recently moved the trailhead. Head up the trail that is connected to the parking lot and follow for about a 1/4 mile then you’ll see a sign for shelf lake. Dirt road was tricky is some spots, but manageable for most cars. This hike is also closer to 8 miles round trip.

Again, misleading on the mileage. Not sure how they manage the miles on this website, but three people of varying gaite came to the same distance of ~7 miles. No big deal... The parking from Hwy 93 is located on the left side of the road, just before the red barn on the right. It's a small dirt road leading to the trail head parking. Good parking, but overflow is on the road, so no worries.
There are two ways to attack this trail, one is to the right and one is on the left. Depends on how you really want to tackle the hike. Both are pretty even in their ratings, and nothing too difficult. If you go left, from the parking, you will have an uphill for the most part. Both trails start with a small run through the hills, but soon become service roads. No real big deal, but they are both in the sun, so wear sunscreen or wear a hat. After that, they meander through the mountains. Agree that the streams run the path, but with the lack of rain fall, not much so. It's a nice hike, shared with bikers and others. Enjoyable, none the less. Nice hike and would do so again. Considering this is the second time as we could not locate Burro trail There are many junctions off this trail.

Gorgeous fall colors! I couldnt stop taking photos.
I parked at the lower parking lot and its probably 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to the trailhead, not 1/4 like the description says.
The hardest part is from the second to third lake but its short so definitely do it so you can say you made the whole hike!

This was a great hike. We submitted Bierstadt the day before, and this was the perfect, relaxing, beautiful hike to enjoy after feeling worn out from that. Had some fun snowfields we had to cross, which my dog loved, and the trail was saturated and muddy in several places. We made it to the Silver Dollar Lake, which was beautiful, but an afternoon storm rolled in on us and we had to make our way back down, instead of continuing on to the second lake. Would do it again, if ever nearby.

Beautiful, easy hike. Road up to the trail probably needs 4wd.

12 days ago

good variety of terrain. lackluster views despite a long and grinding climb through the forest - good workout. stream was a mere trickle on labor day, but i can imagine how much nicer this trail would be if was in full flow.

13 days ago

A beautiful hike that passes through aspens, moss covered rocks, woods, over streams and ends at a lake. Challenging if you're not used to hiking at altitude, but an overall great hike!

13 days ago

A mile was added to the hike when the trail head was moved 1/2 mile south of the original location. Eight miles is a more accurate number now. The South Park and Shelf Lake trail heads were combined into one very large parking lot, rather than two very small ones.

Easy hike in 4 hours sleep and shitty knees

An easy but narrow trail encircling this scenic lake. Beaver-dammed pond at far end, always a treat to see. Plenty of parking at trail head and space was available on Labor Day at noon!

5.9 miles and 2362’ gain from Surprise Lake TH to Upper Cataract lake. Although steep in the beginning, the trail mellows out around 3 miles and it is so beautiful.

We backpacked one night. There’s a permit to fill out at the TH—please read the rules. All of the lakes here have a 100 foot minimum perimeter to camp nearby. Even though you see a spot right next to the lake, you should move back and away from the water.

We observed several groups of people and dogs camping a mere 4 feet from the lake shore. Please follow backcountry rules! Keep it beautiful.

We found plenty of great spots tucked up above the lake and in the trees, you just have to look for them. Great spot for fishing and set in a beautiful basin.

off road driving
16 days ago

Great trail, good for beginning off road drivers.

2 of the lakes were above tree line. But, the first lake, Naylor, looked like a private lake; however that did not stop us from looking or even take nice photos from far. We were glad the second lake, Silver Dollar Lake, and the third lake , Murray, for public use. The surroundings were breathtaking as we came out above the forested area. The brilliant colors of early fall were spotted everywhere. The views were quite beautiful and refreshing.

short easy trail for off roading. beautiful sites.

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