Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Pike 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.

Great pack training hike for distance and steady incline. walking along the river is always nice

trail running
4 days ago

Fun trail run.. ran from start of Waterton Canyon to a few miles above Lenny’s rest out and back. The lower canyon up to the dam is nice and gradual - great for any easy hike or ride with the Family. Some great elevation on the single track above the Dam. Unfortunately views today were restricted with low cloud cover above the dam.

Trail was mostly clear, did see mountain lion tracks so be advised. Lovely views, steep climb up to the Pancake Rocks.

on Rosalie Trail

hiking
24 days ago

Oof, this trail was a slog in the spring! Very beautiful, steady up and down for the first few miles (starting from the Bailey end), then was almost impossible to follow--big patches of snow and mud, wound up sinking up to my thighs in snow with my shoes filled with muddy water underneath the snow. It's gorgeous, but I'm going to wait until later in the season before attempting again! Made it up to the junction with Threemile trail (about 6 miles up at a beautiful ridge/plateau), soaked in some views, and camped a little ways below in the tree line. Want to try this one again when the weather is better and tack on Abyss Lake too!

hiking
1 month ago

Agreed a very solitary hike - did this trail last week and made it to the intersection between Rosalie and Abyss before I had to turn back due to trail pretty much disappearing from snow (highly recommend snowshoes!). Beautiful trail though with plenty of views - Mt. Bierstadt is visible throughout most of the hike. I’ll definitely be revisiting this one come summer with better conditions for a backpacking trip to the lake!

backpacking
2 months ago

Great introduction to hiking in the Rockies without any technical or strenuous sections.

backpacking
2 months ago

What was supposed to be a one nighter, turned into a day hike with our full packs! The trail is in good condition, we were met with some sections on the north side of hills that were icy, and one section well above Lenny’s Rest that requires microspikes to pass. Some sections of mud as well. Ran into more mountain bikers than anything and a couple of trail runners. We were met with perfect weather.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful. Solitary. Saw a total of 7 people in 3 hours. Trail snow packed and only needed spikes bit a bit difficult to follow. Wish it were well marked. 4 miles in and tracks stopped. I tried to venture further but lodgepoled. Snow too deep after that without snowshoes. Still, lovely trail. If you’re looking for stillness without a lot of foot traffic, this is it. Look forward to hiking this in summer.

As of March 17, most of the trail is snow and ice free but there were a few sections that required spikes. We witnessed a few mountain bikers that were turned around at around mile 10 or 11 due to a long icy section in the trail.

Overall pretty hike. We stayed at the camping area near Bear Creek and had a beautiful, clear night with 25 degree temps. Bear creek was fairly silty so a filter would be helpful. I was using UV and had to strain the water.

The 10 miles from the dam to the South Platte River trailhead should have a rating of 4 but the crowds in Waterton Canyon tend to hurt the overall Segment 1 trail ratings.

2 months ago

Great hike in the snow. Snowshoes not needed. Gradual climb, windy! In the forest the whole time.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful winter hike. Trail was packed snow for the first five miles and snow shoes were not needed until after the third stream crossing. I stopped at that point even though I had brought snow shoes with me. Extremely quiet. No one else on the trail for the 4 hours I was hiking.

mountain biking
4 months ago

gorgeous! bikepacking from Kenosha pass, camped in Grants pass and rolled out the next morning to Copper mtn. Plenty of water in this segment on the CT.

Fantastic Trail! It’s great even in the winter when there’s not much snow!

backpacking
6 months ago

Great trail! Had a 35lb pack and hiked in for a night off-trail. Hiked in on September 30. There were only a handful of hikers and many mountain bikers. All of the bikers were great and courteous. No complaints at all.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful trail and views! Nice steady climb and then beautiful views after 3 or 4 miles

7 months ago

Did the trail on October 4th. Nice hike, plenty of gorgeous views. Over one foot of snow at the top. Wet & mucky coming down.

wonderful hike. loved it

Aspens are at their peak and starting to drop their leaves. Walked from Highway 285 trailhead in 1.5 miles and back. Easy incline and amazing views. The trail is very busy with hikers, families, photographers, bikers and dogs.

Great trail with beautiful aspen groves!

This stretch is unaffected by the burn and features some truly amazing rock formations. Relatively easy hike, so bring the whole family, or take advantage of Little Scraggy’s cliffside for some scrambling adventures.

8 months ago

I did this trail 3 times. Very long but views are absolutely gorgeous! Saw a moose twice on this trail. I would do it again. Another gem in Colorado!! Never overly crowded!

8 months ago

I hike this trail every year! Another hidden gem here in Colorado ! Outrageous fall colors! Rated as hard but once you get up the steep hill it's smooth sailing!!

8 months ago

Hard to get past stream after the small lake. Don't literally follow map as it can entangle you in deep bushes, use it for general guidance. Keep extra pair of socks if you get wet crossing the stream.

backpacking
8 months ago

Great, challenging trail, great views.

backpacking
8 months ago

Matched this trail with the Abyss trail for a wonderful loop. Spectacular views and scenery starting a top of Guanella Pass and hiking down to junction with Abyss trail. Camped at trail junction and exited next day. This would make a great day hike as well. Leave a car at each trail head.

the directions on here take you to burning bear camp ground... this is not the trailhead. the trailhead is just past or right before the campground as is the TH for Abyss lake. I don't want others to go on a goose chase like I did today. will have to come back and actually hike.

Beautiful area. Lots of different types of mushrooms, guessing due to all the rain we got this year. Camping spots near the falls and in the open meadow. Recommend going to the meadow which is also a creek.

What I really like about this stretch is stacked granite rock formations all along the way, both in the distance and immediately alongside the trail. It's very cool to see the variety as you go, and there are plenty of water stops and camping spots all the way through. Mountain biking is allowed here so heads up!

The initial 6-7 miles of this segment is heavily populated with bikers, day hikers, and mountain bikers. But once you get past the dam, up to Lenny's Bench and then beyond, you really get the feel of being in the mountains. Mountain biking is allowed on the trail so you have to share the trail and be aware. Overall it gets quite scenic once you get up in elevation and about 10-11 miles in.

backpacking
9 months ago

I backpacked the first mile of this with my 7 & 9 year old boys. We found a great campsite about a mile into the trail and spent one night there before going home. The first mile had a few spots to cross the water. Two spots had simple wooden bridges. The third crossing had a make-shift log bridge that took a little balancing, or you could just walk through the shallow water. Overall my boys had a great time and were talking about going back as we left.

From the looks of the pictures on the trail we missed out on some nice vistas by turning around after a mile.

The dirt road approaching the trail head has a number of large potholes to avoid, but I had no trouble driving there in my small sedan. The trail head has a bunch of parking and we saw a number of people that were car camping right off the road. The National Forest website says you need a free permit at the trail head for backpacking, but we couldn't find any permits.

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