Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Flat Tops 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
1 month ago

So calm and peaceful in the Flat Tops with all the fall colors and so few visitors. Of all the trails we hiked in the Flat Tops, this one had the most people on it, but in a day’s hike, we probably only saw 20 people and 10 dogs

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Awesome hike- We intended to do the whole loop but our dog could not be convinced to cross the causeway, leaving us no choice but to turn around. CCW takes you to the causeway faster and has some good switchback and a final steep stretch before reaching the summit.

hiked at the end of July over three days. Tons of bugs at that time. wildflowers were amazing. saw 12 people the entire time, loved the feeling of solitude. We were supposed to do the maroon bells loop but that needed ice gear still and the Rangers asked us not to go. This was so much prettier than I thought, and honestly with the lack of crowds probably better for me.. I want to go back and do China wall next year.

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

Perfect day! The extra few miles are extremely easy and very scenic! Definitely some fresh down trees on the trail. There was some ice on the trail in the morning, better get your hiking in the cold weather is coming!

Very windy today! Forest fire started near Stillwater reservoir. Didn’t cross the causeway.

forest fire out of control. 1.2 m down from th bear creek trail side of loop

Awesome hike, beautiful views, challenging.

I would do this hike again! Each section has its own unique challenges and views

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this hike! Wildflowers were still gorgeous though probably at peak 9-14 days ago I’d bet. Gorgeous views the entire hike up and down. I didn’t cross the Causeway- it is no joke!- but did get up to the the top. Really loved this hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Saw a beautiful moose! One of the most beautiful trails for hidden lakes and wildflowers!

Echoing what others here have said - this is an awesome loop! Hiked it over Labor Day weekend (3 days, 2 nights). Did the loop counter-clockwise, which is definitely the preferred method for camping, seeing as you'll run into issues with no water access up along the China Wall. We camped the first night at Causeway Lake, about 5.5 from the trail head. Plenty of great sites to camp, and getting water isn't an issue. We made the hike from Causeway to West Lost lake pretty quickly, about a 6 mile hike. Instead of calling it there for the night, since it was still pretty early in the day, we decided to load up on water and make the push up to ~11,700 feet. Plenty of great (though a little exposed) camping up there, just no water, so make sure you have enough for dinner, and the 3rd day as you make your way back to the car. If we'd gotten an earlier start (or were maybe faster/stronger hikers!) you could probably do this hike in 2 days, by hiking straight through to East or West Lost Lake. Gorgeous views once you're up on the China Wall! Like others said, you'll probably lose the trail a time or two, but don't worry about it. Recommend having the Alltrails map downloaded offline to look at every so often, if you feel like you're too far off course. Generally, try to stay up towards the top of the ridges (don't lose too much downward elevation) and you'll be fine. Even off-trail, it's super walkable, tundra-like grass. Devil's Causeway is definitely sketchy, but just don't look down and you'll be fine :) Oh yeah - and bring some bug spray. They weren't the worse I've ever seen, but still worth having in your pack.

hiking
2 months ago

Loop done in 6 hours, including several stops! 1.5 liter of water per person was a bit tight. Tons of amazing views, lots of flowers, almost no mosquitos (except last 3 miles).

Outstanding hike. There was a constant breeze which I believe kept most of the bugs away today. Hiked CCW to the Causeway first. Causeway was thrilling and fun in its own right, but the highlight for me were the stunning fields of wildflowers coming down the Bear River trail back toward the reservoir. Great views. Great weather/temps. No snow to speak of on any part of the trail. Go now! The flowers are amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike today. We did the loop counterclockwise from Stillwater as suggested. It was perfect as the clouds started gathering once we were on the plateau. We did not encounter rain though the wind was fierce and the mosquitoes vicious below tree line. We were glad we had used bug spray. Nice surprise that there were still so many wildflowers in bloom. Probably not for long as it was 49 when we started the hike. Frost will be coming soon I imagine. Not many on the trail.

on Devil's Causeway

hiking
2 months ago

A really nice hike. Only saw 4 other hikers the entire day and the causeway was empty. The bug situation in the forested portions of the hike must be very variable as I only saw a few unlike others who have reported more. I did the causeway using my hands since I am not the most coordinated. Another person with whom I hiked used poles and stood upright. Lots of wildflowers at lower altitudes and alpine meadow/tundra on the tops of the buttes. Sheep could be seen in the distance but the herding dogs were never near us.

This loop was awesome. Nighthiked in Friday night to Causeway Lake. Lots of campsites, and some trash there, but not too bad. Sadly...I broke my own rule of packing out everything and I dropped my prescription glasses in the dark...looked for a couple hours in the AM with no luck. Then hiked to West Lost Lake Saturday and relaxed for the afternoon/evening. Lots of campsites and a few campers. Sunday completed Chinese Wall and the Causeway. Look for cairns at the top and follow general direction and you will be good! I crossed the causeway with my backpack and my dog harnessed just fine. Could be very cumbersome depending on the dog, though. The wildflowers were insanely gorgeous, especially at East Lost Lake. I would highly recommend this loop. Bring some bug spray.

The loop was great, did it in 3 days, 6 in to causeway, then 6 to west lost, then finished up. The last day is a haul around 11 miles and a good climb. Bring plenty of bug spray, devils causeway is scary with a pack on if you are me. There is a lake after west lost lake you could potentially camp at too reduce the third day or to fill up on water, but it probably doesn’t have a lot of fire wood. Fishing was great. For a moderate backpacker, about 3-5 trips a year, this was a moderately challenging trip because of the last day with 11 miles and elevation gain, also after you get up to the lost peaks the navigation could be difficult, there are sticks and Karins but I had a GPS that was helpful.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike! The trial is well maintained and easy to follow. The wild flowers are in full bloom right now. Bring your mosquito spray.

hiking
muddy
snow
3 months ago

AMAZING hike. Probably in my top 3. We went to the right at the fork so that we would go over the causeway earlier in the hike instead of later and we definitely recommend that route. First couple hours are a bit challenging as you ascend to causeway, but other than that it’s flat on top so you can get a good pace going. It took us about 6 hrs start to finish but we were stopping about every 10 minutes to take pictures of the breathtaking views (wild flowers and bright red mushrooms were incredible), as well as stopping for a lunch/snack midway. We even saw a herd of sheep grazing up top with their cowboy/shepherd. There was still a little bit of snow on top, which was melting into mud, but it was easy passable. Watch out for super aggressive mosquitos in the trees (I’m covered in bites, they bit through a long sleeve shirt and leggings). Causeway is heart pounding but very doable if you have both hands free. Would not recommend for children or babies in backpack.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

my 17 year old son and I completed the Loop on 8/10/19. Outstanding hike! First couple of miles has decent elevation gain. we got a late start (after 11am), so the trail had a number of weekend hikers on it. Getting to the narrow "rocky bridge/shelf" was beautiful, many wildflowers, still some snow patches. Crossing the narrow bridge with the incredible drop-off on both sides was a bit harrowing, not for people with fear of heights or vertigo. The rest of the loop was very different, but beautiful as well...not as many hikers doing the whole loop apparently. We took many water breaks and a lunch break, made it in a gentle 5 hours around the loop. One of the best hikes EVER! BUT.....do not forget your bug spray, may want to reapply as you descend back.

hiking
3 months ago

Lots of dogs! Most of the elevation is at the end. The meadows with wildflowers were awesome!

fantastic trail. the trip up to the causeway is beautiful, if traditional Colorado scenery. it is after the causeway that this hike really becomes something special. the tundra walk and views are unlike anything else. then the descent down to the lakes I'd full of beautiful surprises. added bonus, the wildflowers were a color riot, too beautiful to believe.

One of best hikes I’ve done. Causeway worth the effort. It’s short but a lot of fun. My wife who is afraid of heights reluctantly crossed, but didn’t regret it. After that it’s pretty steady downhill. Bring bug spray. Flowers starting to show.

Bring bug spray. Name says it all. Flowers starting to show.

hiking
3 months ago

Top 5 hikes. Actual Causeway crossing is short but worth the hike up. Amazing views. Bring bug spray.

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