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

try these - near Denver Map
7 hours ago

One of my favorite hikes close to Denver. Great views and the Lomond is beautiful.

I loved the hike. Only went as far as the reservoir because we started late. Go early to avoid the heat because you’ll need it for the incline areas. It was a “good” hard hike. The difficulty was due to the incline at altitudes of 10,800. But we’ll worth the challenge...you will say that at the end. Careful bringing dogs..,lots of rock I would believe to be hurtful on there pads.

14 hours ago

Difficult as advertised but excellent hike! Will need poles on the descent due to loose rock. The only negative is the trail has been heavily used & eroded so that there are exposed tree roots with 6-10" of space underneath the bottom of the root and the trail. Use caution. Wish I'd known the restrooms at NCAR were open and available on a Sunday.

1 day ago

Beautiful trail, good views, wildflowers and enjoyable.

ATTENTION DOG OWNERS: for the safety of your animals... if your dog is off leash and you run into a dog on a leash, please grab your dogs or call them over. If another dog is on a leash; they tend to feel restrained and threatened when another animal is approaching them and can become anxious or aggressive. There are plenty of beautiful spots there to take your pups off leash so they can run around, please be cognizant of surroundings.

1 day ago

Wow what gorgeous views!!! But the Hard rating on this was definitely deserved, mostly due to the last 2 miles or so are steep and technical. Gorgeous wildflowers and views the entire time, some tree coverage for the first mile- mile and a half. Definitely start early for parking and avoiding the afternoon storms!

off road driving
2 days ago

Super fun wheeling. Some tough spots overall great trail for our 1993 Landcruiser . Kids played at Lake and on streams. Half way up we photographed a great stream with wildflowers. will be back on a clear day for sure had some cloud cover.

I have hiked many trails in Colorado and this has to be my favorite all time. With beautiful waterfalls along the trail all the way back to the epic views at Crater Lake you just can't go wrong. I was fortunate enough to see a variety of animals including multiple moose, marmots, mountain goats, a weasel (I think) and my buddy saw a black bear about 50 yards away from us that scurried up the mountain when it heard us coming. If you are overnight camping, make sure you have a permit. With the weight of a full backpacking pack, the trail is challenging and it works you with many rocky inclines all the way back to Crater Lake but it is well worth it! Its like camping in a painting. It is simply stunning!.

2 days ago

Some people say this hike isn't strenuous. Maybe with just a day pack it's not. If you plan on backpacking in, it's very strenuous. The views from the upper lake are incredible. Apparently, CO has a statewide fire ban. If you plan on staying the night, bring a gas burner (jet boil or similar). There was very little mud along the trail and the temps were 70ish during the day and low 40's over night. The first 1 mile is mostly downhill. The last 4 miles are uphill.

2 days ago

Great hike but tricky. Mega incline technical footing. Trail starts at the parking area near the lake. Walk around the lake by the picnic tables and ascend from there. It does not start at the visitors center mentioned below. Start early as it rains in the afternoon

Not as hard as it looks, the most technical part is the airplane shoot since there is still snow melting

3 days ago

Beautiful area, the three lakes are amazing, definitely a good spot to keep in the rotation.

Wildflowers are amazing right now! Great hike in spite of hour or so of rain, sun broke out just in time. At first wasnt sure which path to take to get to upper lake because there are a few forks all at once... go with the "middle-ish" one that passes an abandoned camp stool, easy to follow after that.

Absolutely incredible backpacking spot! The hike in was relatively flat the first 4 miles before any steeper sections and switchbacks. The trail ended up being 17 miles total for us. Completely worth it to get to Crater Lake! Beautiful along the way with multiple waterfalls and great wildflowers.
Recent reviews mentioned snow-absolutely no snow/ice on the trail. Very hot and lots of bugs, sun protection and insect repellent are musts!
Also a good trail to see moose, saw one about 30 feet off the trail.
Definitely going to plan to come back and spend more than 1 night!
Make sure you get you camping pass early and you can get your car pass at the trail head.

Lots of wildflowers folks!

Did this hike yesterday and it was easily one of my favorites. Ended up being closer to 16 miles and took us around 9 and a half hours with a bit of stopping and admiring the scenery on the way up. The first 5 miles up to cascade falls is very easy-moderate and after that if got a bit more challenging but definitely worth it. The scenery the whole way is breathtaking. Definitely plan on coming back to camp. Also you need to make sure you get a parking permit.

8 days ago

We hiked on 7/8 and it was beautiful! We parked on the street outside (no parking sign but once we finished there was 10 cars so just be respectful) 8 miles RT from the road to the upper lakes and back. Go to upper lakes! Trail is on the other side of the lake and goes straight up a little discrete. But you can see the 3 hidden lakes on the upper side of Loch Lomond.

The hike up the road is most definitely worth it. Once you hit Loch Lomond, I would suggest going to the right and finding the trail up to the three lakes above. Lake Oh Man is worth the effort and not too hard to get to.

9 days ago

Amazing hike. Ended up being around 11 miles with the climb to the top lake. Beautiful wildflowers all over, not too much elevation gain and it was spread out throughout the whole hike. Definitely recommend if you’re looking to get some miles in.

Great hike and views but definitely deserves the hard rating for the length.

Tough and rocky on most of the road up, but about halfway there’s a trail that loops off into the forest and over creeks and offers some shade before getting to the summit. Nice to put our feet in the lake and have some lunch before going back down. Tons of gorgeous views.

IF BACKPACKING GET YOUR PERMIT BEFORE YOU GET TO THE MONARCH LAKE TRAILHEAD. The Ranger station is run by volunteers and not always open. Lots of Rangers on the trail so you can’t sneak in without one. The trail is not super difficult it’s just long! The lake and views of Lone Eagle Peak are so stunning!

Hiked in on 07/02 , and hiked out on 07/04. Absolutely beautiful trail with an even more stunning destination at Crater and Mirror Lakes. There are some nice day hikes that can be had from Crater Lake - I did Pawnee Pass which was about 8 miles round trip from camp.

A word to people not used to altitude (like me, I'm from Pennsylvania) - note this begins a little above 8,000 feet and ends around 10,300 feet. I was not properly acclimatized and got altitude sickness which made the last part of the hike and first day miserable. If I do this again I may stay one night at the Arapaho Bay campground (right near the trailhead) to acclimatize.

The review from early July that notes deep snow - there was no snow at all on this hike.

Great workout

Hiked on 7/7. From start to finish, this is one of the most stunning hikes I’ve ever done. The scenery was amazing the whole way. Lush green forest (sometimes it felt more like the PNW), multiple waterfalls, rushing water, so many wildflowers, beautiful grassy clearings with views of towering granite, the breathtaking destination....the hike felt shorter than it really was because it was a constant feast for the eyes. And Lone Eagle Peak was simply incredible to finally see in person. As others have mentioned, the “Hard” rating is misleading. Besides the distance, this is a pretty moderate hike. With the exception of a few short-lived steeper sections, the incline is very gradual. Lots of fairly flat sections. I arrived at the trailhead at 7:30 and the lot was already pretty full (possibly from campers), but it’s easy to just park on the side of the road. It took about 3 hours to get to Mirror Lake.

Note: the review below me (appearing to be from early July) mentions 3-4 feet of snow. Rest assured, the trail is totally dry. Not a bit of snow the whole way. Not sure what’s going on with that review.

Good trail for a second time out. It was closed about 4 miles before lake. We were told it is opened about July 15.

10 days ago

Great trail with some climbing.

10 days ago

Followed another reviewers advise and went up the upper lakes. I don’t think I initially took the right trail up (found it one the way back down). It’s quick but steep up to the upper lakes but so worth it! Me and my labradoodle had a blast!

Beautiful hike. First mile or two are more decent after you reach little dam it opens up and incline starts.
Started at 6 AM, finished back in the parking lot at 10:30 AM by Echo lake , had a 20-30 min rest at the top. Trail started to get busy after 9 Am. As for parking - it is free but obviously limited.

11 days ago

Lots and lots of downed trees on the trail, but the forest service was there on our hike out clearing. From the Rock Creek trailhead up to Willow Lakes, it's lots of up (nearly continuous), but it's a rewarding trail with very little to complain about.

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