Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

Beautiful trail that winds through lodge pole forest, aspen groves, and meadows and crosses over a few streams (with a bridge). There are frequent opportunities to step aside and enjoy the views while catching your breath.
This route to Lily Pad Lake was completely clear of snow and almost completely dry on 5/19. The route to Lily Pad Lake from Ryan Gulch had a few more snow and mud patches, but nothing unmanageable. The aspens are just starting to leaf out! Enjoy!

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.

Hiked on 5/7/18 ( a Monday morning) with my dog. Lots of snow, slush and mud. Requires careful footing as the snow is fairly deep in many areas. Mid hiking boots were fine, but snow boots or trax would’ve been better. Also wished I had my trekking poles with me. Found some sturdy branches. Overall, it’s a very pretty trail and lake. Worth the hike. However, this was on a Monday morning with no one around. Would definitely avoid going here on the weekend.

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.

Snow packed about a mile in. Still fun. Be careful!

Great packed trail. Made it out just after the morning snowfall. Suggest spikes or yaktrax. Many off leash dogs for head pats.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Mar 24 2018 - Easy morning snowshoeing adventure. We got some snow the night before, so snowshoes were necessary for the duration. Some falling thru fresh powder involved here. I had the serene, snow-covered lake to myself at the top, and it was a really nice experience. No real excellent panoramic views and sporadic forest coverage. [3.3/5]

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.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

the trail was really packed down at the beginning so could get away with just yak tracks, but about a mile in got a little looser and you would probably want snowshoes. Overall a nice mellow meander through the snowy forest.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike through beautiful alpine meadows with wild flowers and marmots. The lake is stunning!

hiking
2 months ago

Well packed trail, we only used shoe spikes. Didn’t feel the need for snowshoes. Great view of Frisco along the trail, the lake at the end of the trail is beautiful!

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!

on Lily Pad Lake Trail

3 months ago

Great trail! Perfect length !

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Really nice little snowshoeing hike. Not too long and not too short. We had a blast. Weather was great!

snowshoeing
3 months ago

This was my first time snowshoeing and this trail was great. Beautiful with fresh snow just a day ago and not too hard. Next time I'll try more elevation gain and/or a longer hike. Great views near the trailhead and a pleasant place to stop at the lake.

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!

cross country skiing
4 months ago

Watch for falling trees with gusty winds!

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.

trail running
4 months ago

Awesome little run on packed powder. Great conditions!

Beautiful views!

snowshoeing
4 months ago

Great trail!

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.

hiking
5 months ago

Was up there this week on Wednesday the 22nd of November. I hiked up to the falls at first and that was a piece of cake. The falls around about 4km one way and then I hiked towards the lake. Did not need any special gear. Had solid 3 season La Sportiva waterproof booths and great hiking / also use them for skiing north face summit series pants. Since I forgot my gaiters a taped my ankles with a lot of masking tape. All he Way from the shoe up to my knee. This served as my gaiters. Past the falls I was was the only one and also the first to do a snow pack. There was no need for crampons (maybe snow shoes) and I did struggle in terms of a more strenuous effort of going up. It was heavier on my stamina. I turned around about 0.4 miles from the lake or so. Like someone in the comments below suggested they saw the trail end there lol! I turned because it was 3pm and I needed time to go get down + room for extra light in case of an injury. I had a drone with me so I flew up from the spot I was in and got to see the lake that way :) I was really close but at the end it was just snowing + getting dark + the snow in some parts was chest deep without any trail or snow pack to follow. Kinda bummed out since I was so close but all an all great hike. I think this hike in the summer is a peace of a cake. Curious if you can hike from the lake to one of the peaks? Does anyone know ? Cheers! My time was 3 hours up (including a lot of photography) and 30 minutes down (full on running)

hiking
5 months ago

Completed this hike in both the summer and winter. Yesterday I attempted to make it to the lake but there was a lot of snow, I was not properly prepared. The trail to the falls was snowy but doable without spikes/traction devices. Past the falls the trail was barely trafficked and my spikes were necessary. The trail disappeared about 0.25 miles from the lake and the snow was thigh high in some places. Trekked through it for a bit but I eventually had to turn around (no snow pants or snow gear with me). On the way down I saw a lot of people struggling to make it to the falls without spikes/ traction devices. Highly recommend them for the second half of the trail in the winter months.

Awesome trail!

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