Explore the most popular birding trails in Grand Mesa National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
3 days ago

My wife and I took her sister and her three kids (8, 10 and 12) to do this trail in July of 2018. We ended up splitting the hike into two portions. We did the loop around Mesa Lake first then broke for lunch at the picnic area. After lunch we went back and did a small portion of the loop trail to get back to the intersection for the Lost Lake trail. The lake loop trail was very easy. The trail to lost lake involved a little more elevation gain to get to Lost Lake but was definitely worth it! We were the only ones on the hike and only two fisherman were at Lost Lake when we got there. It was a beautiful day with some clouds and a nice breeze to make the 70 degree temps feel even better. There were tons of wildflowers in bloom too that made the hike that much more enjoyable. Having done multiple hikes on the Mesa before we knew to load up on mosquito spray. It came in handy as there were a few spots along the hike where they were pretty thick.

One note that might be important to others looking to do this hike. The directions that All Trails gives to the trailhead will put you on the trail but not where the map shows the trailhead. The All Trails starting point is a free parking area where the actual trailhead as shown on the map is inside the Mesa National Forest Mesa Lakes picnic and camping area which is a fee area ($6 self pay at the entrance).

hiking
3 days ago

The “directions” from AllTrails is terrible and does not take you to the trail head of this hike. Drive yourself to the ‘Weir and Johnson campground’ for parking. I followed the instructions in the comments below “follow 717” and did not end up anywhere near the peak. Actually according to my Garmin I went the exact opposite direction by following 717. Gorgeous area though!

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful hike. The lower rim is closed through the end of the year, so no loop option. However, just over 3 miles will get you to the beginning of the Crest, and it's amazing. You can continue along the Crest for an additional 3 miles before the path is closed. The mosquitoes are extremely heavy. Bring bug spray.

Loved this hike! We missed the turn off to go up to lost lake and ended up walking the perimeter of south Mesa lake before we realized. Also beautiful! We eventually walked back and found the correct trail to get up there. Was pretty easy. Has a few places to stop off to rest on the way up. We went last September and the trees were all yellow! Definitely recommend around that time.

Lower crag crest trail is closed but hiked to the top area, very beautiful!

lower route was closed. love the view

Easy trail with more than a few mosquitoes but it got better as the trail went on. very nice views of the lake. there were some trees down on the trail .

on Crag Crest Trail

1 month ago

Well-maintained trail. Heavily used but OK. Awesome views.

Download the map beforehand. The trail is not well marked and it would be very easy to get lost.
Fantastic views, and good clean mountain air. There's nothing better.
Use a good bug spray and apply it liberally.
If you use the cheap stuff, the mosquitoes and knats consider it a seasoning.

Great hike! Make sure you follow 717 (turning to the right along the lake out of the campground) to get to the base of Leon’s peak; the other trails can be deceptive and will not take you to where you need to be. Definitely some boulder scrambling, but manageable.

hiking
1 month ago

The hick was awesome. Be warned: when you come to lower part of the loop there is a logger road that cut through the trail. Finding the trail again is a bit tricky. We missed it and it added 4 miles to our hick. My kids was not impressed :/ come to find out that the trail picks up just before the bridge. It’s the only one there so if you cross it you’ve missed it. Other then the poor trail markers this hick was great. Definitely one of my favs.

very nice hike, met a mid 80's lady hiking with her dog on the upper east crest edge. Very Motivational!
great views, a little windy on the crest.
11 miles maxed out my fitness level.

Great trail! All clear of snow. Lower loop closed due to logging so recommend doing it as out and back on the upper loop. Amazing views

Lots of bug and not much wildlife unless you count the young man with his female companion and the dog that appeared to be a part Bulldog and Border Collie

scenic driving
1 month ago

Wonder views and a very scenic drive. Wanted to hike a few trails but snow is still covering the trails that I wanted to hike

Hiked up on snowshoes 2/17/18. Went as far as the Narrows and came back down. Had to break a trail through about 12 to 14 inches of new snow. Winter views from the Narrows are spectacular!

This is the type of trip where you shouldn't be in a hurry. The wind can be a major factor.

Great views. Be aware of your altitude before you start your adventure.

This is a really beautiful hike. I was up there just before sunrise and it's so quiet and peaceful, and as the sun rose I got to see and hear the forest come alive. I saw 2 bald eagles and some sort of water rodent (muskrat maybe ?). The trail is well maintained and used, even with snow on the ground it was easily seen, which is good because the signage is not good. I wondered around the park looking for a sign for awhile, I had read a previous post about the trailhead being near the cabins so I started there. In the winter part of the road is closed but there is a road at the cabins that leads to a picnic area, that's only sign (To picnic area) on the cabin side of the lake, the trail picks up there. There is another parking area past the bridge, to the left, at the end of the main park road with a sign for Glacier springs I believe, you can start the hike there as well, I think there were 2 signs on this side one for Glacier and one for Lost Lake.

on Grand Mesa Scenic Byway

7 months ago

Our family loves this drive. We live in the valley and enjoy driving this route periodically during the year, unique beauty with every season.

walking
7 months ago

Magical! Best kept secret. The trail is easy, the nature incredible.

off road driving
8 months ago

We rode this in October of 2017 with two friends on large adventure motorcycles. Mine is a BMW R1200 GS. We asked about the road on advrider.com, where a few guys said it was totally doable on our bikes. Which it was. There had been a snowstorm two days earlier, but it had all melted, and the road was slightly muddy, but solid. it got a little sketchy at the very top, but nothing we couldn't power through. I would say that if you are moderately experienced on big adv bike, stand on the pegs, and are comfortable counter-balancing as you go through those hairpins, you'll have no problem. If you're someone who sits and doesn't get what I just said about standing and counter-balancing, this is going to be too much for you, unless it is super dry. The views are fantastic. The biggest issue was, as a first-timer on the road, not knowing exactly what we were going to encounter. At the lower elevations, everything was easy-peezy, but as I said, at the top, things get a little sketchy (the road narrows, and its colder, so some of the snow remained, and there was more mud), and it's not like you are going to want to turn around, head back down and do a 60-mile detour to get back on your track. Funny, at the top there's an observatory, but we were so geeked about getting to the top that we skipped it. Also, the top is paved for a few miles along the edge of the mesa. Then it turns in and turns back to dirt, and yo basically just cruise till you connect back up with the main highway across the mesa.

hiking
9 months ago

This hike was amazing. It will be in my list again for next year.

Great hike in the snow, which fell on September 24, 2017. The trail has multiple lookout points and the views of the all the mountain ranges and valleys in the area. Once to the ridge the views are spectacular.

10 months ago

With the changing colors the hike was simply beautiful! Really enjoyed crest!

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing trail. From the West trailhead, it's not a difficult climb, but has spots good enough to get the heart rate going. Well maintained trail and enough other hikers that I didn't feel unsafe hiking alone. Views up to and from the crest are breathtaking.

The lower loop is a different story. Good hike if you're looking to put miles on your boots, but if you're looking for dramatic scenery, this is not your hike. It has its own qualities, but certainly not the beauty of the upper crest.

Great hike overall. Will definitely do again.

Beautiful flowers, woods and views but long and uphill often

hiking
10 months ago

Pretty, but it shouldn't be rated as moderate. Very easy.

on Crag Crest Trail

11 months ago

Beautiful! Bring extra snacks or an extra sandwich. You will want to stop and admire the mountains.

hiking
11 months ago

Trail is nice and pretty well marked. Beautiful views from the top and several nice picture spots along the trail. Tough trail in some areas make sure you are prepared but overall a good hike.

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