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

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hiking
15 hours ago

Second time up this trail. Beautiful hike with lots of things to see. Saw two mountain goats near the top this time. Lake is worth the extra hike to the top but is the most challenging stretch. Not much traffic on way up around 7am but pretty heavy coming down.

This is my favorite spot. Hiking up to the top is work but once you get there the view from the lookout tower is amazing and worth it. If you are not use to the altitude make sure to take many stops and bring lots of water. You will never regret doing this hike.

Has anyone ever made it to the lake?

Loved this! I’d agree with the moderate description—trail is well marked though. There are quite a few large rocks and tree roots along the way so just take care, especially if it starts to rain. Views at the top are gorgeous though. Didn’t make it to the second lake due to weather but will for sure be back to finish!

Great hike. Very manageable with amazing scenery at the end.

It was my first time hiking in Colorado, great place to start. Really fun and enjoyed the beautiful views. Was a bit hard for the first time but I bet if you are used to hiking it would be a pleasant hike.

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!

Beautiful trail with spectacular waterfall

Really cool trail! Especially if you’re looking for a hike that isn’t going to take all day. The fire tower was amazing, the views were insane! My boyfriend discovered that he was terrified of heights but definitely worth the climb! Haha.

hiking
3 days ago

A great hike to a wonderful lake on Monday, 8/13. I originally planned to get to bluebird lake but called it at the junction and decided to partake in just Ozuel - it didn't disappoint! Note that there's not a lot of shore space to sit down.

I'd read on here that it tends to get hot in the treeline areas which is kinda true. It's not very shaded about a mile past the falls but it's less than 10,000' feet (read: not above treeline). The lack of shade is due to a fire in the late 1970s (Google Ozuel Lake Fire for interesting information on RMNP allowing the fire to burn naturally) and therefore a lack of mature shade trees.

All in all, a really neat hike with great views of Longs and Meeker. Lots of people to the falls and thins out a bit afterwards.

A few notes:
-From GAIA GPS: 10.00 miles, 5:27 hours (58 minutes stoppage time), 1545' ascent
-I arrived to trailhead at 9:30am and there were about 10 parking spots left
-Saw two big ol' cow moose alongside road between entrance station and trailhead
-As others have said, be sure to take small trail to left of large falls to see 40' falls head on

Nice trail with a variety of terrain. This trail may be considered hard for those who do not hike frequently... some narrow, rocky areas with over 1000 ft of elevation change. The river was a nice spot to stop for a rest half way through the hike.

hiking
3 days ago

We were told by the bus driver that Crater Lake was a lot more dried up this year, and that was completely obvious once we saw the lake. I’m sure it would have been a lot more attractive if the water were higher. But pretty views throughout the hike! Saw a ton of families, so should be doable for most kiddos. And if you have a dog, they’ll probably enjoy cooling off in the lake at the top.

I’m physically active so I thought the trail itself was mostly easy, but we flew in from GA ~18 hours before the hike and I definitely felt some negative affects of the altitude adjustment. If you’re not used to high altitudes, bring plenty of water and remember to take deep breaths.

Over 7 miles to first camp site.
Springs not marked

A perfect hike for a time period of about 2 hours! Amazing views at the top! Have hiked this trail multiple times and it never disappoints!

A nice workout with a strong hill qt the end. - beautiful - the river was great for my dog too :)

Quick and fun. Did it with my nephews - both 7 years old. They enjoyed the Tower and talking with the Ranger at the top. The views are fantastic.

Great trail with beautiful scenery. Recommend spending at least an hour at the lake walking around and having a snack. Started at 9am and there was only a few people on the trail on the way out. Started back at 11:45 and it was much more crowded.

Beautiful hike, but super busy (of course, for a Saturday). We went beyond the lake to the upper lake, which doesn't show an official trail on the map. Lots of scrambling and hard to breathe above treeline. The second lake is pretty, but the first one is better. Another group saw some mountain goats beyond the second lake, but they had run off so we didn't attempt to go further. One note on the trail - wear sturdy boots because there is a lot of traversing over rocks and lots of tree roots. And on a hot day, bring lots of water.

This hike was absolutely beautiful! The falls and the views were totally worth the above moderate climb.

One of my favorite hikes. It does have a bit of a steep start and it's exposed so the sun can feel really intense. After it levels out it's a great hike through rocks and trees, over a few small streams. You come to a small meadow with amazing views then the waterfall...so gorgeous!
We timed it right and had it too ourselves for about 20 minutes. The water was cold and refreshing.
We have horses and don't care that there's poop on the trail.
We also don't mind people because they're just out enjoying it too.

The hike is great, lake is underwhelming. Views along the hike are awesome.

Super nice hike! Only went to the first lake and the waterfalls. Overall, well marked trail, few stretches over boulders that were a bit harder to negotiate, well shaded for lots of the way, quite a few hikers. Parking is a challenge (only 3 spots at trailhead) but road parking farther down. Scenery is beautiful. Good for intermediate hikers.

For those of us not used to the altitude (we are from GA) this was a pretty difficult hike on the way to Crater Lake. Mostly uphill and very rocky. Took about an hour hike to get to Crater Lake but the view was gorgeous! Plan on packing a lunch or snacks and taking in the view—and a short rest! Definitely want to get there early as it gets very crowded on the narrow, rocky trail as the day progresses. We got to Highlands at about 8:15 to take the bus up to Maroon Bells. Go early—very popular destination! Bring lots of water too.

absolutely beautiful and full of amazing scenery♡

hiking
7 days ago

Easy climb up to a pretty lake with an island in the middle. Lots of fisherman. Saw multiple moose around the surrounding areas and roads. Can pick up American lakes from this trail too.

Ok for kids? Have twin 9 y/o’s not in climbing shape yet from move

Great option to Mohawk Lakes, which we do every year. Was very similar, but everyone in our group actually liked this one better! Beautiful falls and lake at the top!

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.

I love this trail. beautiful views, not too far from golden.

Great hike with beautiful meadows. The effort to arrive at Lake Columbine is well worth the effort. I definitely will do it again.

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