Explore the most popular river 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.

Easy trail. Went with my 12 year old son. No snow, great hike! Son left hiking sticks on trail for other hikers. See photos :-) he said leave walking sticks for return hikers when done

very nice trail follow the hand carved signs no snow now

Good trail but map my walk showed it was a 9.5 mile hike to the falls. Steep for the last mile.

Beautiful trail. Breathtaking views at the lake near the start. The parking lot closest to the trial head is closed until 6/21/18 so we had to hike the 4 miles in from the lot at Lost Lake, but even with that extra mileage it was worth it.

What a fun hike! Waterfall is beautiful and very little snow.

The hike is finally dry with almost nonexistent snow on the trails. I love this hike! I started on the Willow Brook side which makes the hike a little shorter, I believe. It can be kind of confusing because of all the off-chutes but just follow the hand carved “Willow Falls” signs (on the main trail markers). There is a lot of vertical but it’s still pretty kid friendly. Depending on the time of year, the falls are at different intensity but always beautiful! This isn’t the type of hike where you have scenic views around every bend, but the forest is cool and mossy as is the river you stay near almost the entire time. WORTH it.

PS: As with any hike, don’t do this after dark. REALLY don’t. I underestimated my timing a few weeks ago doing a shorter loop and felt like something was stalking me! Turns out, there are mated mountain lions that live right in that area. Be cautious!! There are also lots of moose in the area. Just be alert and you’ll be safe!

Only did a bit 2.5 miles as we went with family (3 kids). Perfect difficulty for a 4 yr old.

Great hike. Parked at the Willow Brook trailhead. Streams were in full force. Trail was well maintained and marked. Trail has a semi-steep beginning and ending with a beautiful moderate hike in between. Willow Creek Falls are tremendous. Well worth the effort.

One of our faves. If you’re headed for the waterfall, starting at willowbrook trailhead is helpful. Trail was mostly dry today with only a few tiny wet spots. You no longer need snow shoes, micro spike, ice axe etc. Good to go.

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!

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
4 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
5 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
5 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.

Beautiful views!

5 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
6 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
6 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.

Awesome trail!

It is one of the most beautiful, scenic hikes I’ve taken ( it would only improve if there were some above-tree line hiking. It didn’t hurt that the Aspen where in full golden-glory with just enough of a breeze to “flutter” the leaves. Simply stunning. This is not a hike you conquer; it is one you savor, like a slow-cooked stew, a well aged Scotch, or a crisp evening around a campfire or burn pit with good friends or loved ones.

The moderate hike rating is accurate if for no other reason than it is nearly 9 miles round trip. And even though I hiked the trail on a Saturday it was not very congested (not at all like RMNP). I recommend this hike, take your time, you will not be sorry.

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.

My wife and I age 30 in good shape hiked this trail at a moderate pace to a boulder at the very top of the waterfall for a picnic lunch. We stopped in an open field to the left about 2 miles in that had a lake and a gorgeous view of mountain peaks. In all we stopped for a total of about 2 hours. We left at 9am and were back to the car at 3:50. Beware of horse poop and when you get to the middle of the waterfall, go through the woods to the right off the path to get to an upper path that takes you to the highest point of the waterfall on a bald boulder for a complete overlook. It doesn’t seem a lot of people know about that. We found it by chance. Absolutely worth everything. It was breathtaking!

8 months ago

We mistakenly took the trail head and lower Piney lake and then Meadow Creek Road. Still pretty but the 9-mile dirt road made me like it less than others.

great hike! Aspen groves, rubber crossing, water fall at the end. no complaints.

8 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!

8 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.

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