Explore Zen Hike - 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
5 days ago

CRATER LAKE/ANDREWS LAKE/MOLAS PASS AREA. Guide books talk this one up and I feel they’re right!
What contributed to a good experience today is that it was a Wednesday afternoon start and we had realistic expectations we weren’t going to make the full out and back plus the weather was perfect—no chance of rain, nearly cloudless and 70 degrees even at 11,000 feet!

I made it to the Snowdon meadow though I found out from an overnight hiker on his way back (Ben) that I had picked an alternative path. The usual way to go to Crater Lake is the right fork of the “Y” that presents itself at the register box.

Memorable moments: Seeing a Western Osprey loop repeatedly over Andrews Lake both as I showed up and departed—then seeing a second one! Noticing the texture change underfoot as I went from sturdy dirt trail to mushy marsh then to crunchy dried pine needles littering the forest floor.

I will certainly be pleased to trek all the way to the lake. It’s a “definitely do it again” alpine hike with no-sweat trail access. Lovely!

5 days ago

Beautiful lake to camp out at. It’s a very easy hike to get to. BE WARNED: the road to get to the trailhead is extremely rocky and uneven. You will need 4WD and probably an SUV. Also the trailhead is not marked. Other than that it’s a easy hike and good spot to camp.

Great, short trail with steep sections. Reward is a dip in the pool under the falls to cool off. 6 year old made it no problems, just got to hold their hand on the steep parts

Beautiful view and moderate level of difficulty.

hiking
9 days ago

I hiked this trail on a Thursday afternoon. Only saw a few people on the trail and got to spend a half hour at the lake all by myself. So peaceful and beautiful. The road to the trail head is very rocky and rough. I actually wanted to turn around a couple times coming in due to bottoming out my suv, but glad I didn't!

hiking
9 days ago

PARTIAL REVIEW. Attempted 2 weeks ago alone. My sedan only made it 1.5 miles up the ROUGH ROAD everyone warns about. It got riskier than I was willing to dare. I started up the FSR on foot and within 1/4 mile met a couple warning me there was a bear just yards off the trail in a thicket. The rain predicted was starting earlier than expected, and that combined with the ominous thunder was enough to put the fear-of-lightning in me.

Planning on returning and giving a much better rating!

ATTEMPT #2 was made 8.7.18
Road is truly horrid unless you can clear more than 8 inches undercarriage. Seriously people—it’s built for super duty trucks and hearty forerunners. Made it .6 miles to trail head this time. Set out 4pm. Trail is pleasant and is truly 10 degrees cooler than in Durango. Husband gave a hearty thumbs down because of how rocky it is. (I’m okay with rocky). What I’m not okay with is how slow my 6 year old creeped upon the rocky trail. We made it half way to lake before bailing because of time and a dispirited party.

I promised I’m only coming back with some other party and some big-a** vehicle. We played on the rocks at the Lily Pond and watched some Canada geese before loping back down menacing road.

Husband prayed to see a bear once we were safely back in car. Prayer was answered in 12 minutes time at end of trail where ^^goodness^^ there’s a big ole canyon that drops 150 feet away from the unaware bypasser at the start of Old Lime Creek Road. It was a beautiful, large black bear scampering around the backside of what looked like water treatment ponds across the 80 yard chasm. Safe distance!

This experience gets a 2.5 star rating. Third try may be a charm.

camping
10 days ago

My recorder shows 5.2 miles so unless the All Trails took short cuts, their distance is short(4.4 miles). Beautiful lake, worth the difficult hike. We backpacked in with enough gear for 2 nights. Had a trout dinner both nights. She said she would do it again even though it was “brutal”. She carried about 35 lbs on her back so I’m proud of her. Heard some coyotes yelping, saw a lot of deer, a marmot, and some beautiful birds. So far, my favorite hike in the Pagosa Springs area.

on Spud Lake

hiking
12 days ago

A good easy hike but definitely not the best in the area. There are some dispersed campsites around the lake. Quite a few people there on a Tuesday, including some people blasting music on the trail (please don't be those people). My Subaru did fine on the road in but I wouldn't bring a sedan down there.

off road driving
12 days ago

Was the starting point for an all day adventure! Great trail, moderate and transversed in high gear for some and low around obstacles. Super views.

Every section offered a new, breathtaking view. The trail was pretty easy - clearly defined, nice paths. A little more incline than I expected but still overall pretty easy. We passed a few people but it definitely wasn’t crowded. Our total mileage was closer to 11 miles and it took us under 6 hours to complete. We did sit at Crater Lake for awhile. The grazing alpacas were a surprise treat! Do this hike!

14 days ago

Love this hike and spud lake is amazing! Great to do with kids and dogs!

14 days ago

Beautiful hike and spectacular views at Spud Lake. Our 4yr old knocked it out with no problem.

hiking
15 days ago

Stopped here on our way into Pagosa Springs with my wife and kids (ages 18,16,13). Despite my wife being in flip-flops, and there being a light sun-shower, the trails weren't muddy and we/she didn't have any issues on the "main trail". A very simple introduction to hiking for us culminating in a beautiful waterfall. Planning to wear better hiking shoes as we hit other longer area trails over the next few days.

backpacking
19 days ago

Get there early

hiking
20 days ago

The climb at the beginning of the trail until about 3 miles in is significant - about 2500ft of vertical. I completed this trail with my wife and dogs on 7/19/18 and the trail was easy to follow and had been cleared. The scenery is amazing once over 11,250ft - this has to be one of my favorite hikes in Southern Colorado. Highly recommended.

Go early, trail gets crowded. Beautiful wildflowers.

Easy trail to hike. Easily accessible from the road and great parking. Beautiful scenery!

hiking
27 days ago

Amazing hike for a family. My 4-year old and 11-year old had no problem with the round -trip hike. We went swimming and I caught a brook trout on my tenkara rod. Don't be scared off by the warnings about the rocky road. We made it in our Subaru, and we saw a compact car that made it within 400 yards. The weather was 15 degrees cooler than in Durango. Just go.

I had so much fun on this 3 day trip.. very good trail, rolling hills and climb.. both ways are good exercise but still easy/moderate. We had a lot of visitors like deer, birds, chipmunks, etc. I highly recommend this trail for a day hike, or backpack, or even to get someone hooked to the outdoors, because the views are breathtaking and the rewards are high.

1 month ago

This is a great Family Day Hike! My little 3 year old boy loved it, plus we caught some Brookies.

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

Pretty and fun for kids. We did the loop starting on the steep “primitive trail” to the right and my 4-year-old niece had no problem. The waterfall is weak right now, but the views from the top are still stunning.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked up July 8, 2018. Easy trail, Beautiful views. The road to the Trail head is a little rocky. Cars will have a bit of a problem. We have an SUV and we made it no problem. Wife and I hiked up, enjoyed the views, circled the lake, and came back. Nice.

1 month ago

Just a great little hike. Perfect when you don't have a lot of time. The scenery is amazing

1 month ago

Just a great little hike. Perfect when you don't have a lot of time. The scenery is amazing

Perfect hike for our first in Colorado.

hiking
1 month ago

7/2 seems to be lightly trafficked and not particularly beautiful/noteworthy until you start to approach tree line which I'd say is about halfway. From there you've big views with lots of flowers all the way down to the lake. Overall great hike disappointed I only just found it. Took 4.5 hours there and back. Road in is rough but 4x4 not required.

Loved the primitive trail but take it down, not up! Ha!

trail running
1 month ago

Drove up in my wife’s minivan. No problem. Consistent climb from start. Trail clear. Once on ridge views are simply unbeatable. Made it to lake in 1:20. Back to car in 2:20 total. Wasn’t hammering, but worked hard. Great views, easy access. Highly recommend.

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