Explore the most popular forest 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.

tough hike. great views at top. not many views on way up. nice aspen meadow. great exercise. only do this hike if you are in pretty good shape

will definately do it again.

hiking
16 hours ago

Great views! Definitely worth the hike and the tower stairs. Lots of nice spots to rest, and also some great rock overlooks.

However, the last 9 miles of the road to the trailhead are a very bumpy washboard so, be prepared.

Also, it was very busy today - lots of families and dogs. Perhaps a bit too crowded for me and definitely a bit too groomed, including benches along the way, for my taste.

All said and done, a very nice and rewarding couple of hours. A great place to introduce Colorado newbies!

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.

Fab trail. Lots of water features and views. My dogs loved it too!

Great hike with lots of good stopping points! Mostly shaded which I can appreciate! Dogs were all on leash which was impressive. The view from the top was amazing & the stairs were not bad at all!! Coming from a 6 month pregnant lady!!

Great views!

Fucking awesome hike; this is just a phenomenal experience. Democrat would be a great beginner 14er. Lincoln was really haunting. It snowed a fair amount (8/16/18), so be prepared with layers, gloves, a buff, etc. poles would’ve been helpful for the descent.

This hike is short, yet potent, but certainly doable if you are decently fit or at very least have determination. It can be a bit dangerous at parts, specifically because of the loose scree. I came here to say that if you are interested in spicing this hike up, different than the normal route, I suggest this:

Follow the main wide trail and turn left at the sign for Pikes National Forest Hummingbird trail. This will take you to a fork. Right for continuing hummingbird trail (the typical blodgett route) or left toward the Gamble Oak trail. Turn left. Follow this until you get to the junction of the Douglas Fir trail, turn right there. Take this all the way down until you encounter a stream. Cross the stream (it is very narrow) and you'll see a trail that runs both left and right. Turn left there (it is the uphill direction) and you will continue up Douglas Fir trail. This part a moderate hike. At the end of this trail, you will be on the summit of a small foothill, and you can clearly see blodgett peak from here. if you continue to look around, you will see cairns which will take you up to the top of the nearest foothill. once at the top, you can ride the Ridgeline all the way to blodgett peak, and back down the typical hummingbird route. it adds distance, but if you hike this often, it is nice to mix it up. Hope this helps someone!

Easily accessible trail. You start above treeline so there isn't a long trek before you start going up. Climb Bross first, there is a lot of loose rock and it is much easier to go up than down. Start early and bring some warmer clothes for up on top.

I started at 6:30 up bross. It was slippery rock going up so I couldnI’ll imagine it going down. I’m pretty happy with going that way. You get a nice “break” going to Lincoln and then Cameron. Then a buttkicker for Democrat. Buttkicker either way ! Amazing views. We even got some snow flurries up there. Finished the rocky trail at 1:30pm

This is my favorite spot. Hiking up to the top is work but once you get there the view from the lookout tower is amazing and worth it. If you are not use to the altitude make sure to take many stops and bring lots of water. You will never regret doing this hike.

Ok, so this hike is brutal only because it is so long. I did it all, so 26 miles, starting no at 6am. It took me 6 hours to climb to the summit, and I’m not an amazing athlete though I’m athletic. It then also took me 5 hours to get down the mountain. The hike is easy when it comes to actually climbing and the terrain, but the altitude makes it hard. The trails are well marked and clear. This is my second 14er and I found it to be easier than the other one that I did, Elbert. Of you are thinking about doing it, do a steady pace and take as few of breaks as possible. When hiking at high altitude, take super short and frequent 30 second breaks opposed to less infrequent 10 minute breaks. You’ll get up the mountain way faster. Overall it’s great, but the tourists at the top are really annoying so there’s that.

Mostly incline on the way up, but the views are worth it! Beautiful!

on Guanella Pass Trail

scenic driving
3 days ago

I will never get tired of this drive. I do get tired of the growing crowds though. A small inconvenience to deal with while enjoying the Colorado Gold. Heads-up. Lets practice good road and trail etiquette here, especially during leaf peeping. Many thanks from a CO native.

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.

4 days 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!

Really cool trail! Especially if you’re looking for a hike that isn’t going to take all day. The fire tower was amazing, the views were insane! My boyfriend discovered that he was terrified of heights but definitely worth the climb! Haha.

hiking
4 days ago

Definitely not for new to intermediate hikers. I decided to knock this out quick, but wasn’t quick at all +2K in climbing in 1.5 miles with extremely loose rock wasn’t fun at all. I recommend actual trail shoes and maybe poles. If you wear regular sneakers, I hope you like falling and the taste of dirt. Awesome views, however, the trail it’s marked or maintained well. I had to download the map beforehand and use it quite frequently, it was pretty annoying.

Breath-taking views at several points along the way. Was a bit of a steep scramble at the end but worth it. The overwhelming quiet was what struck me the most.

it was an amazing hike. lots of people are suggesting to srart going up from bross. I personnally wouldnot reccomend. I am beginner hiker and this was my 5th fourtener. Starting from bross you will loose all the energy you got an you may not be able to do all 4. Yes going down on bross is tough due to steep slope and loose rocks all the way down.

I loved this hike! Started with Democrat around 6:45am, then went to Cameron, Lincoln, and finished with Bross, back to the car about 6 hours later. My dad and I were worried after reading reviews about the descent down Bross, and made a game time decision to go ahead and go for it. In my opinion, it wasn’t as bad as a lot of people describe- definitely lots of loose rocks and prepare to slide a lot- but it wasn’t dangerous or life-threatening in terms of sending you off the mountain. I had my heart set on bagging all 4 peaks so for me doing Bross was worth the tough descent. My dad thinks maybe he would have just skipped Bross altogether. The rest of it we absolutely loved. Definitely the toughest hike up Democrat so I’m glad we got that out of the way first. My favorite view was on top of Lincoln.

Great parking at trail head. Good hike with views.

hiking
5 days ago

Loved this hike. Did it on a Saturday afternoon. On the portion of the trail along the creek, I came across 4 or 5 groups camping by the river. Once the trail left the creek side and started heading uphill, I didn’t see another person on the way up or down.

The trail is physically challenging for a relatively short hike, and in places the trail is slippery due to a bit of gravel on hardpack in steep sections. Even though the trail is in an area with a lot of burned terrain, the trail itself is probably 90% in the shade, so not a bad option for a hot day.

Finding the arch is slightly tricky. They key is knowing that you have to go over the summit and down the dome a few hundred yards.

Follow the cairns once you leave the creek side trail and you should be fine.

Great combination of open field and shade from the trees. Path was well marked and the sand was good for the dogs. Not busy at all Sunday afternoon. Great easy trail.

Excellent day hike! Did this with my father who is in his 60’s and my son who is 13. Make sure to check the weather before going and pack a jacket, it can be cooler in certain areas even in July when we went. Great views!

A perfect hike for a time period of about 2 hours! Amazing views at the top! Have hiked this trail multiple times and it never disappoints!

Walked this on the way down from the Incline. A bit steep in spots with beautiful scenery.

We didn't make it all the way around - also couldn't find the left (southern) fork at the beginning! It was very steel for about 1.5 miles, the kids were dying (I blame video games.) But we found some great rocks to jump on and will go back for a second attempt.

Rocked out this hike yesterday 8/11. Awesome hike! Highly recommend camping at trailhead the night before. Actual parking lot was already full by 10pm! If you dont camp you still will want to get there as early as possible, Getting stuck parking down the road will just add miles to your already tough hike! Took our jetta almost all the way to the trailhead but theres one large bump that our car could not clear so we stopped and camped there. only a couple hundred feet from the parking lot. Hit the trail at 445am done at 1215p with breaks and summit stops. I believe doing Democrat first is by far the way to go. Not only do I think going up bross in the dark would be terrible. Having to go up Democrat last would be a tough climb after bagging the other 3. Also another reason would be that by the time u would get to the democrat climb it will be packed. By 10am there looked like there was a line all the way up democrat. Going down bross was def tough and took a lot of concentration watching where you step and keeping balance. Poles for sure a must. Not sure what my fav was. Being almost to the top of democrat for sunrise was amazing, but being atop bross and being able to see all of what you just did was awesome too! Bross' summit is huge but lincoln and democrat's a lot smaller. Took our dog whose used to hiking and is a larger dog. She was very tired at the end and I got a little worried about her paws coming down bross as it is very lose rock but she made it down without any cuts and passed out the whole way home.
Overall amazing hike. Very fulfilling finishing all 4.

Load More