Explore the most popular camping trails in Eagles Nest Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
7 days ago

Still pretty snowy, overall. The first mile was pretty dry. The next mile was wet but no snow. By about the 3rd mile it was getting getting snowy, and we turned back a little before mile 4. The snow wasn't too bad, and traction wasn't needed, but there was a bit of postholing.

hiking
9 days ago

The trail is very snowy still (mid May) I post holed up to knee for the latter 2/3rds of the trail. Turned around just before gore range trail. It was all swamped out with ice water and I couldn’t divert to avoid getting more wet. Also a good deal of dead fall over the trail. It needs some chainsaw love and probably a couple more weeks of thaw. Hope to return in a month.

Have done this trail a few times. Definitely a more difficult trail. Trail is difficult to find with snow, but this app helps a lot. Most of the way is uphill, but worth it. Especially if you continue up to the ridge to see Lost Lake. Gorgeous views.

hiking
1 month ago

I really love this hike. I went up in early June last year. The first week I went there was a significant amount of snow. The next weekend had zero snow. Very scenic, away from any road noise and not very busy. There were a ton of downed trees in the trail but I had fun getting over them. There are also a few water crossings and one or two that are challenging. I would recommend wearing shoes that can dry out quickly in case you fall in. I wouldn't say this is a terribly difficult hike, I've gone up with friends that aren't fit and it just required more breaks. The lake itself is beautiful and totally worth the trek. I'd like to backpack up here this summer.

2 months ago

The only reason it get 4 stars instead of 5 is because I couldn’t make it to the lake due to the snow conditions. Just to early in the season to expect to make it to Gore Lake. Regardless, this was a beautiful hike. I had to start cutting my own trail after about 2 miles, so be prepared with snowshoes if you plan to get very far. I can’t wait to be back in late summer to attempt getting to the lake again. The views across the valley are breathtaking. Very impressed with my first hike in CO.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Hiked part of this trail yesterday, the snow was packed enough for sturdy waterproof hiking boots for the first 1/2 hour or so thanks to XC ski tracks, then I threw on my snowshoes for the next hour. There seems to be plenty of side trails if you have GPS. I'm excited to do it in the summer months but will outfit myself and pup in bright colors as it's a hunting area in season.

Did this a few weeks ago and it was tough in snow shoes! The bottom of the trail is along the highway but if you park in the free copper lots it’s way better. We were the only people on the trail with fresh powder, Doesn’t get much better than that!

hiking
3 months ago

If you're picking this trail because of the lake(s) - I'd say don't. We hiked this in the late summer/early fall and while the trail itself was nice, the views were a little disappointing.

Pretty difficult, but very enjoyable. Great views of Copper. Lakes completely covered and barely visible this time of year but still beautiful while it’s snowing. Definitely need snow shoes! Make sure you park in the Copper parking lot which is just across the bridge- easy access to the trailhead!

snowshoeing
4 months ago

Tons of snow at the top and great views of Copper! Beautiful but definitely steep and challenging. We were the ONLY people on the trail! Worth it once you get to the top!

snowshoeing
4 months ago

Trail to Lost Lake was nonexistent, so bring a topo just in case. Trail to Wheeler lakes was clear but definitely need snow shoes this time of year, pack the crampons just in case.

4 months ago

We used the recommendation of parking at Copper Mountain Alpine Lot. It was worth it! Only hiked along the highway briefly. Spikes are highly recommended especially coming down the trail, snow shoes would’ve been nice once we got to the lakes but a pain to carry up. You can survive without them though. The views of the mountains are completely worth it once you get up near the lakes. The lakes are covered in snow so a little disappointing but everything else made it a great day. Oh and if you find a dog bootie let us know ;) we lost one in the snow.

hiking
5 months ago

Something you should know that no one commented on previously —half this trail is along the highway. This is the least scenic hiking we have ever done—you walk right along the highway like a hitchhiker for the first mile and you can still hear traffic 40 minutes Up the trail. You will inhale lots of exhaust fumes. Once you get up to the trail split for the wheeler lake spur the trail is much more scenic and peaceful however the wheeler lakes are really more like ponds. The views of the mountains at the end of the trail are worth it but this is probably not the most worthwhile hiking trail around. The snow was packed down pretty well until the last half mile and the trail was easy to find. The grade isn’t very steep and the footing was good. We took just under 3 hours round trip with breaks from the gore valley trail head.

hiking
5 months ago

Made the mistake of backpacking this trail in late May. Still knee deep snow, so the lakes were under a foot or so of snow once we got up there. We did manage to find some dry ground in the trees near the lakes and camped out for the night. The views were great even without the lakes and I would love to go back later in the summer and give it another go!

Also free (limited availability) parking near the Conoco across from the Copper Mountain parking lot not far from the trailhead.

follow the protrails info on this hike to get directions closer and bypass some of hiking along i70. I liked this hike! got the heart pumping and great views. especially do the spur at the second lake. I slipped 3 times on ice but I was too lazy to put on my spikes. also I ran into two sets of hunters, so just be aware and I would recommend dogs on a leash.

7 months ago

This is a great trail. Hiked the beginning of October. Snow on the upper half. Some slippery spots. Beautiful views at the top!

7 months ago

We did this hike on a Saturday. It was busy, but not too busy. I think the reason it is rated as hard is because the incline is non-stop until you reach the lake. I prefer more of a rambling trail with both incline and some leveling out. The trail itself was well-worn and easy to follow. Not many views...mostly forest of aspen and pine. It was beautiful...but just know that it is a constant uphill.

7 months ago

My GPS said 14 miles round trip to Gore Lake and back. Magnificent colors, well worth the hike. The last 1.8 miles is steep.

hiking
8 months ago

Very nice trail. Although it is rated on this site as "Hard", I would rate as "Moderate". My only guess for the hard rating would be because there is a steady upward grade for about 2 miles. The trail itself is well worn and easy to follow. The trail to the top was about 3.6 miles and took about 1.5 hours. Total for the hike was 7.2 miles and 4.25 hours (this included 30 min for lunch). Take plenty of breaks on the way up and you'll be fine. Pretty views of the ponds and the mountains at the top. Bring some extra warm clothes. There was a cold wind blowing and it hailed for a short time. Only downside was hearing the traffic on 70 West for a period of time.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail. Not difficult. Wish the skies were blue and clear as the views are beautiful. Very hazy from the fires.

backpacking
8 months ago

Decent elevation gain. Well planned trail. A lot of traffic on the weekends.

hiking
8 months ago

Not a difficult trail. There is a short maybe .5 mile section that is "difficult" but because most of the trail is not like that, I'd say it's moderate! Really good views and a great place to hike to to eat lunch.

backpacking
8 months ago

From the trailhead you rise in elevation pretty quick, so be ready to start with a climb. After about a mile you get to a more moderate incline all the way to "the graves" which is around 4 miles total. You are in and out of the trees that first 4 miles with good views. Once you get to the graves you follow the signs and take a hard left towards Gore Lake. We actually camped one night at the graves and made the push to the lake. We didn't start hiking until 2pm so that was the plan all along. The next 1.8 miles are steep. This section is why this trail has a hard rating. Keep pushing and get to the lake! It's worth it. There are dispersed camping spots around both sides of the lake. We found a great spot and stayed 2 additional nights at the lake. Came into the lake mid day Friday and only saw 1 other group camping. Was a little more crowded on Saturday night, but not bad at all. Remember DO NOT camp or have a fire within 100ft of the lake. Amazing views, good fishing and crips air! Now, let's talk about the goats. There is a high possibility you may be visited by between 1 and 30 mountain goats. We were visited by 30, for about a 4 hrs stretch on Saturday morning. They are curious creatures who will keep coming until titles see what they want. They are harmless. We made some noise and kept them at bay just enough to keep them out of our immediate camp and just let them hang out and do their thing. They really didn't like my dog so that kept them from coming, well within 10 feet. Ha! Don't be scared of them, but DO NOT FEED THEM!!!! Overall Gore Lake was a great spot and we would go back. Goats be damned! :)

backpacking
8 months ago

Definitely more difficult than I expected. Especially for my first time backpacking. Pretty area with lots of camping spots (no fires, unfortunately). Make sure you go the extra few miles to Upper Cataract!

hiking
8 months ago

I would not call this a moderate trail, it is more difficult than expected. Went in mid July. Steep, rocky incline for most of the hike. I'm physically fit and this was difficult for me. I hike it with an out of town friend who is moderately fit and she struggled with the steep incline plus the difference in altitude. Definitely not a beginning hikers trail. The scenery is wildflower meadows at the beginning then gets to be forest for a good majority until you reach the lake. We got rained on mid hike and it got pretty chilly, so bring a light jacket as a precaution. Going back down the mountain is also quite challenging as it is easy to slip on loose rocks and dirt. Would recommend walking sticks or some kind of aide for those who have ankle or knee issues.

Nonetheless, getting to the lake makes the hike worth it. It is a beautiful view and has plenty of areas to relax and take in the scenery.

P.S. DEFINITELY BRING BUG SPRAY. we used it aggressively.

hiking
8 months ago

We enjoyed everything about this hike EXCEPT for the initial 3/4 mile along I-70. So unnecessary! Don't park in the scenic overlook parking lot to begin your hike - unless you have a fondness for the sights & sounds of interstate traffic. Take exit 195 and either park off to the side as you exit westbound or park near the Conoco station on the eastbound side and walk across the bridge over I-70 to the trailhead. The trail is beautiful through aspen forest, meadow, and along the lakes. Be sure to continue beyond the 2nd lake for a gorgeous view down Tenmile Canyon and the surrounding mountains.

backpacking
8 months ago

Awesome trail. All of the really hard part is in the first 2 miles. We logged this as 6 miles in and 6 out on the GPS. After Surprise lake the trail mellows. We saw lots of mushrooms. No great views until Cataract lake due to dense forest thus the 4 stars and maybe 40 people were up there by Saturday night, we were glad we went Friday as people were struggling to find spots by Sat night. Cataract Lake was hard to fish, nothing bit on good worms in 2 days of fishing. We only caught 3 baby 5 in brookies with metal spoons. Also this is a difficult trail, almost 3,000 ft of elevation gain and 12 miles I'm seeing 8 mile trails with 2,000 ft that are called difficult.

backpacking
9 months ago

Yep, it's mostly uphill but hey, most of Colorado is! I led the boy scouts up this trail and we made a 4 day event of it. The trail passes Surprise Lake - a picturesque lake with flowering, floating Lilies. If you camp at this lake, I recommend as soon as you see the lake, hop over the little hill on the north and drop down the other side. It's more secluded and off the trail. As the trail continues towards Cataract Lake, it levels out for awhile then, one last upward trek to some really great views then quickly drop down to Cat and Cataract Lake. Be prepared for any weather as we had over an inch of hail that lasted for 20 minutes. Afternoon rain was regular but that didn't last long.

Easy and quiet in beautiful CO

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