Explore the most popular views 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.

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.

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

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.

Beautiful views!

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
4 months ago

I also lost my father's beloved grey/dark brown cashmere scarf, from Banana Republic but almost 20 years old. If anyone finds it - please, reach out. It may have been 'off-piste' or on the general trail, but I would so appreciate its return.

alexandrakonkina@gmail.com

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked this trail a week ago.

As some reviewers have noted below, the trail gets severely snowy towards the end. I suspect I was nearing the end of the trail, but I had to stop and turn around because I got very lost in the final stretch of trees. The trail almost completely disappeared and I was unable to find it (and on the way back) for about another half hour.

I was also alone, which wasn't the greatest idea. I would recommend hiking this trail in groups of 2 or more, especially in the winter. No mountain lion tracks, but some bobcat tracks were visible.

Good views, and a great workout. Not icy right now, but wear snow boots.

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

We hiked this trail yesterday and it was one of the prettiest trails I’ve ever hiked. As others have mentioned, It was hard to find the trail in certain points and it is uphill nearly the entire way, especially in the beginning and at the end. It was a great work out, taking us a little over three hours to get to the top and another two or so to the bottom. Definitely bring your snowshoes for the last part of the trek.

I would not recommend this hike for beginners, or for visitors who have yet to acclimate to the altitude. The views on this trail are amazing, especially once you get to the “meadow” section.

I’m excited to come back to this trail in the Summer or Fall when Aspens are in color. Super hike with not one other person on the trail. 5 Stars.

Great long and very scenic hike. Plenty of small little tarns to hit with your line. And plenty of scrambling fun to be had.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked on 12/9/2017

Made it about 1 mile until Pitkin Lake before having to turn around. We had lost the trail several times over the first 4 miles but kept finding the trail again to continue. Trail is under about 1 ft minimum of snow (powder not packed snow), at times 3 ft. Turned around after not wanting to walk through deep snow anymore. Started the trail at 7:30am - back at the lot at 12:30pm. Several stops to figure out where the trail was, 1 food break and lots of stops for photography (our main reason for going out there).

Highly recommend this trail but should wait a few months before hiking unless you have snow shoes. I will be back to complete this hike in Summer. Trail is most difficult at the beginning. No snow at the trailhead but starts about 1 mile into the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Steep trail with great views

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

This was the highlight of my trip to CO. Catching wild fish with our bare hands(and obviously releasing them) was something I'll never forget. The hardest part is in the beginning but when you get to the top its worth it.

on Pitkin Lake Trail

hiking
5 months ago

Completed hike in August, beautiful wildflowers, wonderful hike... fun. One item to watch-out for are the damn aggressive wasps who got us going up and down!

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.

Loved this trail! It was absolutely gorgeous.

hiking
6 months ago

Great in/out hike today. First, half of trail wasn't too bad, some mud and snow. Later half was covered in 3-5 inches of snow. Wish we had some spikes with us but nothing too bad. Didn't see anyone except a few hunters.

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.

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