Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Arapaho National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Loved it, challenging (especially w/wind) but easy down!! Beautiful!!

on Mohawk Lakes Trail

1 day ago

Awesome but long

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.

I loved this trail! It is a good workout but not too hard. It is well maintained. There are plenty of beautiful sights along the way and at the end there is a very big payoff in the way of a beautiful lake surrounded by an awesome rotunda of rock. I took a dip in the lake and it was exhilarating to say the least. Highly recommended

Trail was in great shape. Parts of the trail were technical and def need a well equipped vehicle to make the boulder field and few other rock sections. First time on the trail and will make sure I hit it again the next time I’m in Denver! Drove a 2014 JKU with 3in rock krawler lift and 35’s.

Not for the faint of heart, or stock of vehicle. Very rutted and lots of loose rocks, but a good line, good spotter and the right tunes get you all over this mountain with a smile on your face. Lift and locker advised.

Fun hike! between mile markers 18 & 19 off squaw pass road. Beautiful views at top!

Amazing hike and just the right amount of distance to keep the rest of the day open for more adventures!
Got to the upper lot around 630am and there were about 4 other cars there from folks backpacking and also starting early. The first quarter of the drive from the lower to upper lots is the worst of the entire part but it is nothing compared to how bad Grays and Torreys road is. Just take it slow on the bad parts. Even though the lower lots were jammed up, there were a few spots at the top when we finished around 10am.
Great colors with the fall foliage change on the bushes as well as the trees. Silver Dollar Lake(middle lake) was amazing and Murray Lake was about 300ft of elevation gain from there. Dont skip the third lake! There is a rock formation on one side that can be hiked from the backside which will give you a great topside view of the landscape.
As most hiking at this time, start as early as you can! The next few weeks will be jam packed with folks looking at the changing trees. This trail would be incredible with a little snow on the ground.

Great day. Near empty lot at 5AM. Accompanied my wife on her first 14er to Grays. I continued on to T’s with a friend. Back in the condo with a drink by 1:00!! Beautiful hike.

We tried the perimeter trail from the trailhead st the dam of Shadow Mountain Lake. The views of the lake and surrounding peaks are incredible! The devastation of the pine forest by pine beetles is regrettable and mars the beauty of this area. The lake was also being used by fishermen and boaters (loud outboard motors and the smell of their exhaust also detracted from an otherwise beautiful location.

The perimeter trail is mostly flat with a few downed trees and some end-of-summer growth beginning to encroach. We did not attempt the steeper climb up to the viewpoint.

Although it takes a while to reach the trailhead (where parking is limited), the hike around the lake is first-rate. The four+ mile loop is an easy to moderate trail shared with horses. This is one of the best hikes in the Arapaho National Recreation Area—don’t miss it!

This trailhead also allows access to other (more lengthy and difficult) hikes.

On our second visit to the lake, we watched kayakers and canoeists paddling around the lake. Fishermen were also in evidence.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful views for a not-so-difficult hike! It gets a little steep so I'd say be careful bringing visitors here if they're not acclimated to the altitude. Pair this with Squaw Mountain for about 7 miles.

hiking
2 days ago

Awesome hike with amazing fall colors and waterfall at the end.

Absolutely love this trail! The views all the way to the top were breathtaking, especially since the leaves had begun to change.

Couple of things to plan for:

- The first part of the hike and the last stretch up to the top are deceivingly steep. Be prepared!

- There are no trashcans, so think about what you are going to do with your trash/ dog waste prior to starting!

- There is less parking the longer you wait to get to the trailhead. The early bird gets the worm!

Can’t say enough good things about this trail! It’s a great workout for both people and dogs, with views that can’t be beat! Highly recommend!

off road driving
2 days ago

Very pretty drive in forested area. The lakes were very low, but it looked like very decent camping. Nothing spectacular.

Hiked this on Black Friday and with the road to the trailhead closed it adds about an extra mile out and back. Was pretty iced over and slick in areas so I hoghly recommend microspikes in the winter. I was the only one out there so I really enjoyed the serenity of watching the sunset over the frozen lake.

hiking
2 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.

Easy Hike, park on the side of the road. Hike has many exposed area and some shady areas. wear sunscreen. Summit is amazing. No bathrooms anywhere on this trail, plenty of nature

Definitely need awd vehicle! For my first 14er, this hike was great! Did both grays and Torrey’s, started around 7:30 and was down by 2:30. Hiked closer to 11 miles including the hike from the car to the trailhead.

Cool hike to the watershed. Some good views. Not a very strenuous hike.


Would have given it more stars except a group of *obnoxious* drunks down by the water edge yelling “FUCK YOU” and “I Don’t care” and “Dogs!!!” Across the water repeatedly. In fact the group did not shut up and were rudely yelling at other hikers across the water causing their dogs to bark back at them across the water.

Again I feel people that don’t understand hiking etiquette are literally ruining people’s experiences. I had to put headphones on to drown out the noise and yelling and obscenities. But I’m not out there to be forced to listen to music. I’m out there to hear **nothing** maybe birds and the wind. There are other hikers out there who travel from the city to escape people like that and yet these people are up there with absolutely no regard for anyone else. Selfish. Never witnessed such rude behavior on a trail before...ever.

Also saw people and dogs swimming in the drinking water, which I’m pretty sure is **prohibited**

Such a beautiful and fun hike! So many water features on the way up and beautiful foliage. Love every mile!

It’s a great hike - for sure moderate but... def prepare for the winds after the first mile or so - amazing views!

Started at 5:30 on a late summer Sunday and there were already 70-80 people on the trail. Parking lot was completely full - seems like it’s legal to car camp and possibly even camp on the trail, or nearby?

The road up there is insane: 3 miles of legitimate off roading; I almost destroyed my hatchback. At the road’s last mile is a particularly insane dip which only SUVs and trucks managed to clear. You will feel terrible about what this road will do to your car.

I did Gray and then Torrey and my Garmin said 9 miles, but you will have to hike more if you park far back. Took me 4.5 hours including 15 minutes resting at the top of Torrey.

By the time I headed down there were HUNDREDS of people on the trail. If you can do this one on a weekday I’d recommend it.

hiking
3 days ago

There are a lot of aspens about midway. In full color right now.

on Chief Mountain Trail

3 days ago

Do this trail!!! Such beautiful views for not much effort. The scrambling at the end is really fun!

off road driving
3 days ago

D

My car doesn't have AWD so I parked at the lower lot. When I arrived at 7:45am on Saturday there was still plenting of parking spaces. This trail packs a lot of great views in its short length. I found this trail easy except for the short but steep climb to the third lake, which is worth it for the views from the top. I recommend coming early to this hike, when I left at 10:30am the trail and the parking lots had become very crowded.

Got to the trail head at sunrise and there were 6 cars in the lot. when I got back down the lot was full and cars waiting for spots. Nice and brisk at the start, needed a jacket, but once the sun started hitting the mountainside, little by little ended up in shorts and a tank top. Initial start is up hill but nothing real strenuous and then it levels out and is a very relaxing walk. Saw a bull moose in the first mile of the trail off in the willows. Nice fall smells and colors. Enjoy!

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