Explore the most popular fishing 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.

hiking
16 hours ago

I like hiking along the river but there are some significant issues on this entry.

First, 9.8 is point to point, not out and back. Seconds, parts of this trail are not marked and the map is flat out wrong in two places. Both of those spots involve forks and the trail takes you impassable terrain. We ended up doubling back to find an alternative path. Map needs to be updated.

Amazing hike. Really enjoyed the views and the weather was wonderful.. The hike wasn't as hard as I thought it would be!

This trail is only difficult because of the shale covered boulders. The trail goes up and down a lot so you have to walk slow and carefully almost the entire time to stop from slipping. That part wasn’t that enjoyable. The views are great and the river is beautiful but there are better hikes IMO. The verticality isn’t that strenuous, the footing is just very soft.

hiking
21 days ago

9-29-2018:
Pluses - Some fall color, no idea if it's peak or past, seemed mixed depending on the area. Not crowded. Well marked. Well maintained trails. Dedicated parking lot. Some good views.
Minuses - Power lines. Road. Generally not far enough from civilization. A motorcycle passed us on the trail.

hiking
21 days ago

Beautiful Hike, I started at Rainbow Trailhead and hiked too and around the reservoir in the counterclockwise direction. Lots of aspens changing colors for the fall! (29 Sep 2018) I started at sunrise and didn't run into anyone for the 1st several hours of the hike. The reservoir was very low, but, the hike is still very enjoyable and not very difficult, aside from the distance.

The dog restriction is unfortunate but was bound to happen. We would frequently hike out dog poop that others had left behind on this trail. To add insult to injury, the town didn’t have any disposal bins at the trailhead, so often times we would have to drive into town to dispose of the waste properly...that certainly didn’t help matters, I’m sure. I wish there was a way to punish the irresponsible dog owners and not all of all of us (some poop cams following by some social media shaming?) because this is bound to happen on all of our trails. If the city willing to spend money to have police officers patrol the trail, then please ticket the people not following the rules instead of punishing all of us. It’s frustrating to the good dog owners out here who are cleaning up after the bad ones.

hiking
27 days ago

Enjoyed the trail overall. The first mile or so was a little boring and the Aspens near the trailhead were mostly all green (9-23-18). The entire trail had a bunch of Aspens and it wasn’t until about the halfway point that we started seeing color. The hike was pretty easy - only a few parts with a decent incline. It took my wife, 4 year old and I about 3 hours to complete the loop with lots of stopping for pictures and lunch. I’m not a trail runner but this would be a nice trail for that. The only major bummer about the trail was following the power lines, but that was expected. Really enjoyed seeing views of Pikes Peak for the majority of the hike.

hiking
28 days ago

Small parking lot/trailhead was tucked behind some houses. Turn L into the parking lot with a city maintenance building (looks like a fire station) and the trailhead is just beyond it. Trail was nice and pretty well marked. Some beautiful views and the aspen trees were turning (some full yellow, others almost there). There were some steep climbs but they leveled off and most of the 5 miles was a pleasant level hike (we went clockwise) There is cell coverage so we were able to check the AllTrails app about 1/2 way through the hike to make sure we were on the right track.

This trail was OPEN yesterday-rough ascent and descent due to steep incline and trail conditions but worth it for views at top. Palmer lake police were patrolling it to enforce no dogs rule.

hiking
1 month ago

very nice trail. some great views and the aspens are beautiful. In a few days they will be glowing!!

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I could not finish it, we ended up turning around at the 3 mile mark, the trail was getting too rough. The trail is on the side of a hill and parallels the South Platte River. We are not novices, we hike every weekend, but we did not feel comfortable continuing on, there are some boulders you have to navigate around and some very steep (but short) parts of the trail

However I would recommend the 6 miles out and back we did, the scenery is gorgeous.

9/15/18: CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Trail closed due to erosion. No repairs are in progress. The gate blocking the road is closed and they placed tons of barbed wire as a deterrent as well.

1 month ago

On the way back, I’d recommend staying on the trail rather than getting on the Centennial Trail as there’s a nice stretch through young aspen.
Long Gulch is a gentle trail, in pines and/or aspen most of the way. The traffic on 67 repeatedly pulls a person out of a trail trance. That’s the price for a trail that is this accessible.
To paraphrase legendary Gazette sports copy editor Ray Evans: It’s the type of trail people who like this type of trail would like.

1 month ago

Awesome hike! Take plenty of water. This is a tough one!!

This trail is indeed closed for repair.

I do love this trail and am sad that it is closed due to erosion. It was my daily go to hike for a quick way to get out of doors. As for the folks that are condemning this trail because of the No Dogs Allowed policy, that is something you can blame on irresponsible dog owners. The town folk are not dog haters and there were plenty of warnings prior to the move to forbid dogs on this trail stating that people need to clean up after their furry friends or they would not be allowed. I've seen this time and time again on numerous trails where people don't pick up after their dogs and in this case, it is not only an unsightly and smelly problem, but it is bad for this environment particularly given that these reservoirs feed the town of Palmer Lake their water. Would you want someone's dog pooping near your water supply and the owners just leaving it there? Seriously, if everyone would take responsibility for packing out whatever they take in, things would be so much more pleasant for all.

Drove an hour to get to this trail with my BEAUTIFUL german shepard and pit bull and got there to realize that this is a no dog trail with an $800 dollar fine, what a hateful decision to make, our fluffy creators deserve to come with us on trails, to whoever complained this much about dogs being on trails SHAME ON YOU, way to ruin a great day, thanks for being so entitled. will not be coming back. 0/10

Good hike. No big “wow” factors, but a good hike to get away from city life and enjoy some fresh mountain air. Few good views of pikes peak. Little slippery going down hill on the gravel/rocks but not too bad. Trail is marked well along the whole trail. Definitely a horse trail...

Trail closed for repairs. Multiple signs

hiking
1 month ago

Did this trail with my wife and (adult) daughter on September 1, 2018 and overall it's a fun trail. We clocked it a 6.3 miles on both phones. Note that while there is water on the trail, calling it a creek is an somewhat of an exaggeration. It's mostly stagnant and is running very slightly at the beginning of the fork.

This has (or, rather, had) become one of my favorite hikes. However, just within the last month or so, the town of Palmer Laker (presumably driven by a few dog haters) has completely banned dogs from the trail.
It was bad enough last time I did it (about 6 weeks) ago -- they had plastered the trail with DOZENS of signs stating "Dogs must be on leash" -- it was literally visual pollution.
But, apparently that wasn't good enough for the haters, so now dogs are banned. I didn't notice the sign at the trailhead (I've hiked it 5-6 times, why would I read the signs), but saw it after we'd done the hard part and gotten to the first reservoir. This is a foolish and hateful decision by the town.

This trail was mostly incline on the way up, but the lake was so beautiful and peaceful, it was worth it! we set up hammocks and hung out for a few hours enjoying ourselves!

I just moved from Florida so I’m still getting used to the altitude change but not hard otherwise. Beautiful place for picnic at the second lake. Very serene by the water.

2 months ago

Where to Park: You will park in the Cheeseman trail lot.

You will find the path to the trail head past the “fancy” outhouse. Take that path over the wooden bridge. The path splits, go left. You will walk about 50 yards and come across a dirt road that interrupts the path. Just walk across the dirt road and the path picks back up across the street. You will walk about 1/2 mile through the woods/trees and come across the actual trail head and map of the trail.

The Trail: the GILL trail runs along the water that leads to Cheesman Lake. Its and out and back.

Suggestions: Bring plenty of water 100oz or more and have at least one hiking friend

We are VERY experienced hikers and this was a Incredibly challenging. The trail is very challenging to follow and the last mile to Cheeseman Lake was a lot of climbing and bouldering.

The views are BEAUTIFUL!

Beautiful hike, mostly uphill going in with a few flat breaks. Reservoirs are lovely. Kids ages 4-7 and grandparents age 60 had a great time.

Great trail. Scenic, very challenging

hiking
2 months ago

Great little hike. We took the dog with us and he seemed to enjoy it as well. Some hard scramble spots but the dog and I made it through with no issues. Beautiful views of the river from every angle!! Would do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

Very beautiful hike. Trail head is hidden, but it’s there! Follow the directions on this app to the trail head. This trail goes up and down the entire way. (Intense if you are carrying weight like a toddler) You cross a Main Street which is random.

My husband and I really liked this trail. Absolutely beautiful views and some good inclines to get the heart rate going. There were some great spots to stop and eat our lunch and just take it all in. We'll definitely do this one again.

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