Explore Winter Park - 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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Beautiful hike! The colors were so pretty with a few aspens interspersed in the ponderosa. Keep your eyes out for the sign down to Maxwell falls off the trail - it can be easy to miss depending on which way you come up. You have to walk ~100m upstream to see the main falls. Also, please pick up your dog poop bags! We saw at least 6 bags at the trailside.

Pretty busy at the bottom, but we’re able to get to the peak, and found a little goat path back down so we were able to make it a loop and get away from all the people.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful. Once you get above treeline this is one of the most beautiful places in CO.

Not much scenery as it’s in a valley. Barely any changing of the leaves so not recommend right now if that’s your goal. Lots of uphill and rocky. Great cardio. Never made it to the falls. Heavily trafficked...

It is beautiful and fun. It takes awhile to get to the falls so be prepared to hike! It’s also very much in the forest and you don’t see mountains or the sky a whole bunch.

very short steep hike. only took us 15 minutes to get to the lake. we ended up climbing up the rocks to the very top of the mountain which was worth the view!!

Great hike! Aspen trees were on fire! My husband and I hiked this trail 10 years ago in the spring time. Seemed to be tougher climb this time but, maybe my age. Lots of beautiful creeks flowing by the trail. Brought our pup but, needed to be on leash. Lots of great views at the top when you reach the lake. Had a nice snack and headed down. 3 hour hike both ways!

Great family hike, most of it is a well worn trail with easy grades. The lake is stunning and the views there are breathtaking! It is well traveled and I saw wildlife! I would highly recommend it for a family with Colorado kids or a first hike when you need to ease into our high mountains. There is a fee but if you have a parks pass it is free

It was beautiful, once we got to the top me and my friend decided to climb to the highest point we could. Which was passed the pile of boulders was the height point. Someone left a water proof container and named the peak Mt. Chuck. It had funny notes and quotes.

short hike great place to spend the day

Three stars because this trail is way too packed. You'll need to get to the trailhead between 6-8am although people tend to park on the side of the road. This is a moderate trail in the true sense. The beginning is mostly an incline and there are a series of ups and downs. You can wander a bit off the trail on certain parts for some amazing view points of the mountains. The flow and intensity of the fall will depend on the time of year you do it. Enjoy folks!

7 days ago

Great for tourists

This trail does get packed later into the day and holidays, so the earlier you go the better and there are two parking lots (north and south of the trail) that cost $5.00 cash to access. The trail head is in between the two lots. While I was there, there weren't many people on the trail and it was very peaceful. If you take the trail to access the lake just follow the main trail, don't veer right until you start to see the lake through the trees on your right hand side, then you can climb down to it using the paths.

The drive up to the trail head is beautiful in the fall, aspens cascade down both sides of the road (which has been newly paved at the time of writing this). The trail starts off wide with some loose rocks, but it is not difficult to hike and it's a short hike if you're just trying to make it to the lake itself. The main trail is nice with lots of foliage and boulders to rest on if you need to catch your breath due to altitude. Once you get to the lake the landscape becomes absolutely breath taking! While my husband I were there the water was unbelievably cold and it's colors were beautiful! Shallow parts of the lake were tan, but then others had a beautiful blue hue and it was completely clear!

If you want the hike to be a little more challenging (and a bit longer) hang a right and walk around the bank of the lake and go up towards the glacier. There is a trail to follow that goes up to the glacier and then up to the very top of the mountain itself. There is a warning sign saying it's not an official part of the trail, so take caution. There is wet ground and slippery rocks around due to the glacier and you may lose footing if you aren't careful or wearing proper shoes. My husband and I climbed up to the glacier bit and looking out over the lake and physically feeling the glacier was a wonderful experience. Pictures will be posted on here soon! Over all, this trail is easy, but you can make it more challenging and looking out over the scenery next to a glacier is not a bad way to spend your morning!

Not sure where the main trail head is, we walked 20 minutes over all rock. Tried to hike up next to a waterfall like stream and had to turn around. Terrain and climb was moderate to difficult with little or no payoff. Many people around us were really confused too-very disappointing.

As noted by others, the real trail is a bit different than the one listed on here, but the real trail is easy to follow and well marked, about 4 miles to the lake from the trailhead. In mid September, the trail had tons of beautiful foliage lining the ground and lush greenery for most of the hike. We also only ran into a handful of people — definitely not a busy trail this time of year. The lake itself is incredible. So clear and serene. Some backcountry camping spots are also available around the lake. I’ll definitely be back soon!

I actually hiked this trail in the middle of winter and only saw 1 other hiker and her dog. It was quite peaceful and serene. The waterfall was frozen over and a perfect place to set up my hammock and have a snack. Not a hard hike even with some snow cover on the trail. A great winter acclimization hike for newbies.

hiking
8 days ago

Great easy, short hike for out of towners with a high reward. Extremely crowded which is to be expected for such an easy hike. I highly recommend continuing up to the glacier for a bit more of a challenge plus some great views.

Nice walk! Pretty easy but lovely and a nice morning walk that is not far from Denver! Hiked 8/16/18.

Nice little hike. Decent views from the ridge up above the falls. Popular trail, so it pays to get there on the earlier side. If you are going to bag your dog poop, please remember to actually pick up the bag; the trail is littered with good intentions. ; )

Great hike overall! Parking was easy. There are a few points when the trail was unclear, but we were back on the right trail pretty quickly. Took our dog and it was good for him too! Some pretty exposed parts where it got very warm, bring your sunscreen! Awesome views of the changing leaves!

we hiked this trail with our 3 and 5 year olds and it was great! easy enough for them to do without complaining. it took us about 25 minutes to get from the trailhead to the lake. the views from the top were beautiful! the actual hike is fine but not particularly scenic and quite a few people which is to be expected for a beautiful Saturday. we will definitely do this hike again!

nice short and easy trail with a well worth it view

hiking
10 days ago

Fun and quick trail. It’s a bit rocky and steep, but an easy trip to do for a nice view of the lake. The lake was pretty and there’s a good area to hangout and swim.

Amazing hike! Trail is well maintained and the views are extraordinary. The aspen were in peak color. Columbine Lake is a treasure—make sure you start early, bring some lunch and enjoy the lake views. Road to Junco TH is bumpy so take it slow.

Absolutely gorgeous views for a relatively short hike. The incline makes you work a bit!

hiking
11 days ago

This was my introduction to Colorado. It was the perfect distance (for a guy coming from 700ft about sea level). Absolutely beautiful place and great for breaking in the lungs too!

hiking
12 days ago

The start of the trail was a little confusing. It’s mostly a rock path. Once you get close to the glacier it gets pretty steep. It’s a beautiful hike nonetheless!

hiking
12 days ago

This is a popular place. I used to live in Colorado and do this hike 3-4 times a year. In the early spring you get a lot of run off. Late July and Aug is the best and you can even take a dive into the lake. Great place for pictures as you summit to James Peak. In Feb/ March this is a great place to sled or ski. We have hiked with our children up to the lake and sled all the way back down to the parking lot.!
Go on a weekday or non holiday! every other day is busy and too crowded. Easy hike for all levels

trail running
13 days ago

At one point I got turned around on Cliffloop and didn't pay attention to the map until I was about 1/4 mile in. So, there will be a place that's not clearly marked like it is the first few miles. I only saw two hikers going up but by 10:30a I saw half a dozen or more on my way back to the trailhead. There's lots of tree coverage to keep the sun out of your eyes.

hiking
14 days ago

favorite hike in the Fraser valley! tough & challenging but totally doable. mentally, the toughest part is the walk down the road once you come off the trail.

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