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

West Trip Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Amazing hike! We went in mid July and wildflowers were in peak bloom. This hike has it all....wildflowers, Mountain View’s, and amazing alpine lakes. This hike is a must. I would recommend going early or going on a weekday to avoid crowds. Several great spots to camp of you wanted to turn it into an overnight trip. I would say this hike is moderate and not hard. Easy switchbacks the whole way up.

The first part of the trail is paved. It is quite demanding bc of how steep it is. We had our 4 year old with us. Made it to the Panorama Point and kept going despite the initial plan. We ended up doing 2x the distance of the loop bc the split of the trails wasn’t marked or was still under the snow. We ended up at the Reflection Lakes and had to go out on the road to ask for a ride up to the Paradise Inn. Before we went on the hike we talked to a couple who had the same happen to them but at the time weren’t applying it to us as we didn’t think our 4 year old would last that long. Something for the park rangers to fix. What could have been a fun walk ended up being a frantic trail running to get to the road while we still had some ambient lighting after the sunset. Hiked inadvertently 8 miles. If we got on a trail early during the day and got “lost” it would have been fine but bc we started late it was unnecessarily stressful.

Very pretty trail, nice waterfalls

Amazing views!!! Marmots and chipmunks everywhere! Remember your sunscreen cuz we forgot and 7 miles in the sun with the reflection of the snow left a nice burn....no tree canopy to shield ya. Totally totally unbelievably beautiful!!!

The views were absolutely amazing and definitely an accomplishment when you reach the top. I am glad to have hiked this trail.

Long initial climb about 1500 vert. in about 2 Miles, then becomes more gradual. Beautiful panoramic views, phenomenal views of the glaciers, amazing wild flowers, but no dogs:(

Great site. HIke is a simple walk to the base of the monuments.

I agree with Cade, trail was not hard but the last 1/4 mile or so was steep but easy with the built in steps (I’m 62 btw). Hiked on July 3, 2018 and a few snow patches remaining but easy to see the trail. Marmots and views rocked! A really great gradual uphill trail otherwise. I highly recommend! Poles not really needed.

Drove 2 1/2 hours to hike this trail a few days ago at 8 months pregnant. It was challenging but so worth it. We had some rain on the way up, but it passed and the view of Ice Lake and the majestic blue water did not disappoint. My husband and I had lunch at the lake and did not want to leave! If you can make it to the top, the hike back down is significantly faster and easier. It’s a must do!

This hike is absolutely fabulous. It is incredibly steep getting up to mile 2 - by far the toughest stretch of trail we hiked on our visit to the area. But once you get past mile 2 and the short distance through the saddle, the trail is flat and the views are raw beauty - the Rockies at their best. The lake color is spectacular. We enjoyed this more than the Ice Lake trail (which was also great).

A tip that we figured out the hard way: The road to the trailhead is a narrow “4x4 only” road. If you dare drive up the road anyhow, there is only room for 2 cars along the side - and if those spots are taken, there is not a good place to turn around. The easiest thing to do is park at the bottom of 679 after you cross the one lane bridge (by the camp sites), then hike up the road to the trail. The trail itself is 6.4 miles - adding the hike up the road made the total trip ~8.7 miles.

Great hike doable by most. Very scenic, unique.

Beautiful trail. Would love to do again on a sunny dry day.

hiking
4 days ago

Spectacular one of the most beautiful trails I have ever done. There was still huge snow drifts so we could have used poles and better footwear for sure but we made it through. Given the snow covering lots of parts of the trail we ended up going closer to 7 miles to finish the loop. There are lots of offshoots so we probably took some false turns as well. The views are incredible the whole time. Lots of marmots and chipmunks on the trail as well. Beautiful waterfalls and glaciers as well.

We only went 3 miles up and back down, but it was so beautiful!!! Lots of wildflowers and beautiful views of the mountains !

hiking
4 days ago

Have done this in spring snow and in summer during monsoon season. Beautiful hike any time. Lake is low lately (July 2018) but still a great trek with a payoff at the end. Family friendly.

I love taking photos of my experiences and this was the hike of all hike to do just that. Note 1: when you get to the first water crossing don’t head up the river and bear crawl your way forward. Cross the river at the bottom. The obvious trail switch backs nicely to the top of the waterfall. From here it’s switch backs all the way to a beautiful meadow that leads to the final push of switchbacks. Once you get to the top and see Ice Lake, don’t stop there. Keep on the trail that continues to wind up. There’s another beautiful lake a bit higher that will offer amazing viewpoints down on Ice. There’s an old structure up there too along with a picnic table to have lunch. And since most hikers just stop at Ice to rest you’ll have this area all to yourself. After lunch and as you make your way back down to enjoy Ice Lake your eyes will be amazed all the way down to it. From here head to Island Lake. The emerald contrast to the blue you just experienced won’t be disappointing. Note 2: Keep heading around the Island Lake and keep an eye out for a faint trail that will loop back down to the trail you hiked up making your journey a loop. It’s a bit steeper going down this way but well worth the views and perspective of what your accent to Ice was like is very cool. See photos @jeanpaul574

Such a beautiful hike!! We went up to Island Lake on the wildlife trail on the right side when you first get to the base- glad we did it that way because of the elevation drop into Ice Lakes. Dog was fine and there were plenty of places for him to get some mountain stream water

This is a beautiful hike. I got elevation sickness so it may not be for everyone. It’s worth it though. Take lots of water or a water filter (lots of water everywhere) and sunscreen and make sure your battery on your camera is well charged because your going to use it!

backpacking
4 days ago

Beautiful. Hike up to ice lake basin is steep but manageable. Camping in the lower basin is gorgeous- bring the bug spray!! Lots of mosquitos! Was there 8-10 July 2018. Lots of day hikers- not the place to go for solitude, but the crowd does thin out quite a bit if you venture on past Ice Lake to Fuller Lake/Island Lake. Coming back to attack the basin 13ers next year- didn’t see or hear of one person attempting while we were there. A CO must hike!

Unreal hike! The bit of the hike past the meadows is tough, but once you reach the lake you won't regret a thing. I continued upward to Island Lake - definitely worth the additional trek once you're there.

beautiful trail but the map shown on AllTrails is NOT ACCURATE. do not try to do this counterclockwise, just go to the trailhead (across the street from the natue education center, which is where the map above says it starts, but it actually doesnt).

Great hike! Beautiful lake! Take lots of water and snacks so you can enjoy the day there.

FYI Carson National Forest is re-open with stage 2 restrictions starting July 10, 2018

Breathtaking! Still snow on parts of the trails, but walkable. Look for the marmots; cute and social.

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done.

Absolutely gorgeous! The views at the top are amazing and walking by the creek was refreshing after doing so many inclines.

There are many river crossings, all had bridges as of July 2018.

There is a ton of poison ivy down by the creek and you can't avoid it, so wear pants and boots if possible.

Cool trail, wouldn't rate it as hard, maybe a high moderate. Our group got on the trail around 10:30 and got back just after 3 with a huge break at the top. Saw a deer with her fawn and some marmots near the top, pretty decent trail.

What an amazing hike! Wildflowers at every turn, two lakes, waterfalls, and some amazing views. I would also suggest to hike the small trail up to island Lake after you get to Ice Lake. I am from Texas and this hike kicked my butt, but it was so worth it. There was quite a bit of smoke also due to the fire out side of Durango. I can not recommend this trail enough!

Hiked today at Paradise and chose this and others trails for the views, which were spectacular. Part of this trail is still covered in enough snow that it makes it difficult if you don’t have poles or the right boots. It was also a little icy in spots.

Load More