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
11 days ago

Hiked to the first lake last weekend and there was around a foot of snow on trail which made it take like 6 hours round trip. Only thing that was lame was that you have to walk along 70 for a solid mile or so. The solitude was nice tho, lakes are frozen fyi

Highly recommend this hike! It’s definitely high moderate and the Aspens were spectacular! I parked at 8:15a today and only one other car was in the lot. My dog and I didn’t see any other hikers on the trail at all and we went up to Upper Cataract Lake. Met a few anglers on their way up as we were heading back. Next time I’ll bring my fly rod!

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

Its a moderate hike but because we were going up for several nights (backpack weight), it took the wind out of my sails! You'll pass Surprise Lake along the way. This is a great lunch spot. Dispite the challenge, it's still very well worth it. When you get to the Cataract Lake, I highly recommend you cross the out-flowing river (creek) and venture up into the trees where you'll find some great campsites. Fly fishing was good with 11-12 inch Cutthroats (very colorful fish)! Its starting to chill-down up there and the mountain tips got a dusting.

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

I measured about 3.2 miles from the trail head to the lake. The first 3/4 of the hike is a steady climb with several small water crossings. At the lake (as others have noted) there are quite a few lily pads in the water but that didn't seem to effect the fishing. Which was pretty good! Most were Brook Trout, about 8-10 inches. Fly fishing from the shore is a bit challenging due to trees and brush. Camping on the East side of the lake is spacious but windier. Camping on the West side is also spacious but all the hikers continuing up the hill will walk past you. No open fires! Please respect this.

hiking
1 month ago

gorgeous trail. last 1.7 miles is not easy for beginners. very difficult be ready. many long vertical inclines

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike. Thick forest that almost looks enchanted with the color changing on the forest floor. Only saw 5 people the entire hike. Three of them were in a group. The peacefulness on this hike is like no other. The only sounds of the ‘real world’ was the occasion plane in the sky. Taking the trail a bit farther from Upper Cataract to Mirror Lake is well worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Super fun moderate trial- leaves not ready yet- had the lakes to ourselves

backpacking
1 month ago

My brother and I hiked to Gore Lake yesterday and camped there last night. NO CAMPFIRES ALLOWED! We spent the first hour after we arrived at the lake putting out someone else’s campfire that had spread. Everything about our trip was perfect. The trail is long, but the lake, as well as the views along the way, more than make up for the difficulty. There are plenty of great camping spots on the lake, though we had the whole lake to ourselves. I will definitely be doing this hike again.

trail was awesome, my 11 year old son, my brother and I made it up in 5 hrs. I'm 45. and a little on heavy side. the trail had @ 75 percent uphill and the rest down. coming back was a breeze because of this. in 3 days, there was no one at the lake where we stayed which was the first big willow lake on the left of trail past salmon trail exit. the trout were a plenty and they were biting suprising easily. we sought out a high rock and could see them chasing our lures. average size @ 10 inches long. another great surprise was the family of Billy goats that came by our camp in the evening and then again in the morning, they stayed for over 2 hrs grazing away. I had a 4 season tent and my brother stayed in a 3 season tent with a thin pc of painters plastic under the rain fly, no complaints, I thought it would be colder in mid September but suprising not this time. one of my favorites now. if you bring wife or smaller kids, may be a good idea to take an hr lunch/ break 1/2 way up to avoid making journey feel like forever. note, if you will be using water from streams, best to fill up at big steam close to willow falls exit because next running stream is 45 min from willow lakes area. forgot to mention that we started at the willow falls trail head in Silverthorne, just had to have someone drop us off because of no overnight parking.

backpacked this trail last weekend. trail was in great shape and very lightly used. stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect so plan accordingly. Also if you are camping at willow or salmon lake campfires there are prohibited well that's what the sign said at least. in general great trail with many lakes so perfect for fishing.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This hike is not for the faint-hearted but 1000% worth it. It is a looong 6+ miles up to the lake (my fitbit recorded 8). The hardest parts are the first incline of the hike and that last 2 miles after the junction at the gravesite. It took us about 4.5 hrs to get up to the lake and about 4 for the trek down. If you have weak ankles like me, wear your high-top boots and take your time coming down. The steps are steep and there are loose rocks. We did a day-trip but next time will plan to bring our packs an stay the night on the lake because we wish we could've spent more time up there and fish in the morning and evening. We fished from about 1 to 3:30 pm but it was pretty windy by then and the water was rough -- only saw a few rises and had a couple nibbles but no catches. In hindsight we would've gotten an earlier start to the hike (we started about 8:30 am) so that we could've fished longer. If you're planning a day-trip, definitely start as early as you can so that you can take the time to relax and enjoy the lake and still have plenty of time to hike down before it gets dark. WILDLIFE - there is a ton of life on this trail, as you hike along the creek for most of it and also through some meadows. We saw a family of foxes as well as some mule deer. We did also see a giant moose track and some bear poop so they were definitely around somewhere. Additionally, right now the wildflowers are still in bloom AND the aspens and leaves are starting to turn for fall -- that combo made for incredible vibrant colors that are gorgeous. All in all - this hike was amazing and worth the challenge. We will definitely be back here. Never have been disappointed by Eagles Nest Wilderness.

backpacking
1 month ago

Repeating what a previous reviewer said - there IS overnight parking at the Rock Creek TH (where this page is directed), but not the Willowbrook TH (which is the OTHER Alltrails entry for Willow/Salmon Lakes). Awesome hike. Amazing lakes. It was challenging to find campsites for three tents in the dark, but we managed with the help of clever topo map reading, stubbornness, and other fine skills. Hiking out in the day we saw many more opportunities for campsites. If you hike in at night like us, bring a nice, bright light. You'll thank me later. Bugs weren't really an issue, but it was also cold so YMMV especially if you hike this in July. Not that many trees to hike over as of Sept 15 2019. Maybe 6-7 that cross the trail itself. Really not hard to pass even with full pack weight. TONS of downed trees in the forest surrounding the trail making bushwhacking searching for a campsite fun (watch for unexpected marshy areas...)

2 months ago

A great, great hike. But the first mile and the last 1.5 are steep! Took me about 4 hours to get to the lake (with a pack) and about three to get down, both directions at a moderate pace. Camp at the lake if you can — it’s beautiful. If you climb the hill the to the left of the lake it will give you great 360 degree views of the entire valley. Did this on 9/7 to 9/8.

hiking
2 months ago

Hi Guys, so I got to the parking area and there is a large sign saying Day Use Only. Kinda spoiled my plans. Hope this helps.

hiking
2 months ago

I backpacked here on 9/1. Once you get to the graves, that's where the trail gets steep but it is worth it! It took me about 3 hours to get up to the lake. Do yourself a favor and suffer through the incline to set up camp at the lake - you won't regret it!

hiking
2 months ago

Parked at the scenic area/rest area just east of the Copper exit. Added an extra mile but worth it to have a parking space and stream for the dog to cool off in at the end. Hiked with our 9 and 6 year old who are seasoned hikers but still like to whine. It was a perfect “challenging” hike for them. We stopped at the first lake and had lunch. Dog got to swim. Only thing keeping from 5 stars is the proximity to the highway for the first bit.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail with lots of options. We spent the first night at Surprise Lake, and the second at Upper, and also took hikes to Kat Lake and Mirror Lake. Good fishing at all of them and plenty of options for camping. Beautiful everywhere you go. Lots of dogs on the trail

hiking
2 months ago

Easy, slow, steady climb. Beautiful, sunny day. Trail is well marked. Can walk around upper lake. Well worth it for photo opportunities of lake w/ Peak One in background. Still a lot of flowers blooming. A few people on path, but not crowded. Agree with others who suggested parking by gas station on other side of road.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail the whole way up - meadows, waterfalls, a creek, wildflowers, aspens and obviously the lake. Doing it in one go was not the best idea since I have grandma joints, but was able to do it in about 5 hours and 45 min (including hangout time at the lake) - will probably backpack it if I do it again. I would note that about 75-80% of the people there do NOT heed the rules about keeping their dogs on a leash. Super frustrating if you have a dog who’d prefer to keep to his or herself...so heads up if you also have an introverted doggo. I’d imagine they’d all be loose while camping up at the lake, too, but we were in and out before that happened.

backpacking
2 months ago

Didn't actually do the hike. Warning for backpackers: overnight, 4 vehicles were broken into. Remember not to leave wallets, purses, cell phones, or other valuables in view in your vehicle. Unfortunately, even in places we feel are safe, things like this can happen

hiking
2 months ago

Didn't actually do the hike. Warning for backpackers: overnight, 4 vehicles were broken into. Remember not to leave wallets, purses, cell phones, or other valuables in view in your vehicle. Unfortunately, even in places we feel are safe, things like this can happen

I don’t know what everyone is talking about a slow gradual incline. The first mile or so is very steep. It did eventually become a gradual incline, but I wouldn’t say that first part was easy. Very rocky trail with lots of roots and stream crossings. And yes, bring bug spray if you plan to sit by the lake and enjoy the view for more than a couple minutes.

hiking
2 months ago

started a bit late - so really hot, but very beautiful views and still great wild flowers. bring lots of water. RT 3 hours. Not crowded even on a Sunday.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Starts off along I 70 for 3/4 mile and then heads into the woods. Lots of wildflowers, views of Copper Mountain and of course, the two lakes at the top. No bugs and only a few people

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Beautiful trail and lake with fresh creek water for your dog at least 80% of the time and under cover about the same amount. Greeted by bald eagles when we got to the lake. Take time to walk around the lake and up to the top of the back rocks to see more great views. Total distance on my gps with hiking around the lake and up a bit of the back was just over 14 miles out and back.

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