Explore the most popular hiking trails in Handies Peak 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
27 days ago

Absolutely worth the trip. The drive in from Cinnamon Pass was sketchy like a lot of people have said previously. I’m an inexperienced off roader driving a Jeep Patriot and I made it down but it was shaky. If you are about the views getting to Handie’s then definitely go through Ouray and Cinnamon Pass, if not and you want an easier drive in, take Co 30 in. The hike itself was a pretty steady gain. I did this as my first solo 14er and absolutely don’t regret it. But never underestimate a 14er, even the ones considered easier. Make sure to start earlier, 7/8 at the latest, so you can get down before afternoon storms start up.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this yesterday. Even though this is rated as the easiest 14er, it was still a relatively challenging hike. For being a class 1, I was surprised at the amount of loose rock at the top. Trekking poles would have been a good idea. No wildflowers along the trail anymore but also no snow yet. Views at the summit were beautiful, obviously.

Love this trail. Hiked it with my wife and millennial son last June...early. A lot of elevation early and all worth it. Plenty to do when you get to the divide. Would love to hike this again with an overnight stay.

2 months ago

Did this yesterday. Excellent hike. A relatively easy 14er, but a moderate hike. Past peak wildflowers.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike. Easy 14er, but a moderate hike. Past peak flowers, but nice views.

One of my favorite places! The wildflowers are so good. Pretty easy hiking but super busy.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike, beautiful views. Tons of wildflowers. The lake was really pretty and a welcome sight for the pups. If you have 4wd, follow the road up to the highest parking lot.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Made it to the upper parking lot in my Ford Escape but it was definitely a little sketchy at times. I would recommend driving a car that has a little more clearance than mine. I would rate this hike as an easy to moderate hike. One of the most scenic hikes I've ever done and the dogs handled it really well!

Well marked and the scenery is beautiful!

Loved this hike! Lots of flowers and a beautiful waterfalls!

3 months ago

was a great hike! beautiful!

hiking
3 months ago

Great first 14er! Rolling hills and beautiful views!

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent hike. Well marked trail. Beautiful wildflowers. Long hike. Last mile short, steep, slippery switchbacks. Amazing view at the top!

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked June 15. A few small patches of snow that will not ruin your day, a million fat, hilarious marmots that will absolutely make your day, and a sketchy drive up Cinnamon Pass that'll give you a right good jostling. We parked about 1/2 mile away from the trailhead in our CR-V.

If you're concerned about smoke from the 416 fire, I have asthma and while we could smell the smoke in the morning (6am), it didn't bother me enough to notice.

I wouldn't call this easy (I'd put Bierstadt and Quandary above this in terms of difficulty though), but it's got a little bit of everything. American Basin is truly stunning. If you do this one, you won't regret it.

hiking
4 months ago

beautiful

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked Handies late March and left around 9:30. Still quite a bit of snow on the trails, so we lost the trail a few times, but it was easy get back on track. I hiked in trail running shoes and they got wet from mud and melted snow, but worked perfectly otherwise. Beautiful views. Good for beginners who have done some preparation for the altitude/incline.

7 months ago

This was my first 14er and was perfect for that, as there is less elevation gain than most and the trail is gentle. It was far more impressive scenery-wise than I expected. I've hiked 6 other 14ers since and while some others offered more interesting scrambling, wilder exposure, and so on, none quite matched the visual beauty of this hike. I did it in the late afternoon after a big morning thunderstorm, which is unusual, so I got the beautiful late light, which contributed to my experience greatly.

Lots of friendly marmots!

Don't hesitate to give this a go!

on American Basin Trail

off road driving
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

We rented a Jeep in Silverton and drove over Cinnamon Pass to American Basin arriving around 11:30 AM. We spent some time walking the trail to the south, taking lots of pictures of mountains and wildflowers. We were in a monsoon weather pattern so our time here was cut short by rain, but it was well worth the journey. The flowers were amazing, expecially the Columbine. There were quite a few people here on July 21, 2017. I'd love to come back and spend some time in this photographer's paradise.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Love this hike!!! Do it, you will not regret it!!!

hiking
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Awesome hike my first 14er! Wildflowers blooming all over so gorgeous!

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Loved it

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Loved it

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Wow! The most beautiful 14er we've done. Wild flowers in full bloom. Mountain steams, waterfalls, and amazing views from the saddle to the summit. A must.

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

first 14er in the san juans, it's far away from civilization, and the American basin during labor day weekend is so full of color.

hiking
Saturday, April 08, 2017

My son and I tried for Handies in Oct. of 2013. We got to American Basin and started in on the hike. There was snow right off the bat but it wasn't enough to keep us from going. We got just below Sloan Lake and decided to take a short break. While sitting there, my son became ill due to the elevation so we turned around right away and went back down. I believe we would have made the top if it weren't for that. I would try this again some time as it is an easy 14'r for the most part. I will say, the road over Cinnamon Pass and down to American basin is as ugly as it's always been. There are some really nasty sections along that. Once again, my Expedition handled it all, but I had doubts a few times about clearance. 4 x 4 for sure here

hiking
Friday, March 17, 2017

We did this hike in July of 2015. It was our first 14er. We had no problem getting to the American Basin in our jeep. The wildflowers were beautiful and Sloan lake was spectacular. It was a little difficult near the summit for us since we weren't use to higher elevations but was well worth the extra effort when we reached the summit.

hiking
Saturday, February 25, 2017

Absolutely stunning scenery once you get above tree line. We hiked up Grizzly Gulch and it was definitely harder than I had planned, but having a dog who was sick all night didn't help. The views were spectacular and the ptarmigans were in abundance. Hiked in September, it was quite chilly in morning and there was a bit of snow on the trail. We will definitely do this earlier in the year and leave the dog at home.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Gorgeous summer hike! It's one of the easiest fourteeners as the trail begins slightly above tree line and is very smooth passing through less than 1/4 mile of scree field along the beautiful route. Anything higher than a typical car should make it. We did it in a Crosstrek and didn't scrape once. To continue past the trailhead turnoff and over the pass to Silverton you'll definitely need a HC vehicle with low gearing.

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