Explore the most popular hiking 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.

In my opinion, this trail is a lot harder than moderate for a relatively “in shape” adult. It is a steady incline the entire way to D.P. with some very steep portions that are rock/gravel. Trail is relatively easy to follow.

Of course, the views along the way are priceless and 100% worth the journey. Approximately 8-9 miles round trip, depending how much wandering you do once at the top. We averaged around 1 hour per mile. We are from Illinois and the altitude had our lungs working pretty hard!

Overall 4/5. Would try again with better preparation.

In my opinion, this trail is a lot harder than moderate for a relatively “in shape” adult. It is a steady incline the entire way to D.P. with some very steep portions that are rock/gravel. Trail is relatively easy to follow.

Of course, the views along the way are priceless and 100% worth the journey. Approximately 8-9 miles round trip, depending how much wandering you do once at the top. We averaged around 1 hour per mile. We are from Illinois and the altitude had our lungs working pretty hard!

Overall 4/5. Would try again with better preparation.

I’ll definitely go again. Easy and enjoyable loop. Not a lot of traffic. I was thankful for the downloadable maps as there are no trail markers and I would have gone off the trail if not for having it available. Would recommend to friends and family. I’m looking forward to taking my dogs next time.

Took the dogs and kids. Amazing drive up, beautiful views. It’s a must.

This trail is terrible and depressing.
There are mounds of cut trees and debris that the forest service I guess has been cutting down for some time.
Don’t waste your time , plus trail is not well marked and turns into a wide road in the dirt probably for the loggers. With not much views and all of this going on no wonder there was no one there on a Sunday afternoon.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike- about 1.25 hours to get to the top and about 1 hour to descend! Pretty much elevation from the trailhead to about .5 miles from the top. Elevation is gradual most all the way with minimal “steps” which usually denotes steep climbing. Very beautiful vistas from the top- mostly the Sangre De Cristo Range- all white-capped this time of year! Of course, the beautiful rock formations at the top are unusual and really do look like stacks of pancakes. Great moderate hike in length, difficulty, and cost/risk benefit! Would love to do this one in September as the Aspens are turning.

hiking
1 day 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.

Very sandy trail, mostly flat. The monument rock halfway through might make it worth coming back.

hiking
1 day ago

Unbelievable rock formations! Easy valley hike until you get to the base of the Crags. But worth every step!

Has some really neat rocks at the top and has great views. As far as I know, there's no trail from the saddle to the summit.

Nice hike! Got there a little after eight and there were a few cars in the lot but I only saw three or four other people on my way up. A little icy about 3/4 of the way to the top but I did ok in just sneakers, just had to go a little slow on the way back down. Lovely views all around from the lookout. Seems like a good one to bring visitors to as it’s not too long but you get great views at the end.

The road is bumpy — you’ll definitely get jostled in a few places — but my Honda Accord made it up no problem and the beautiful drive through the forest more than made up for the bumps.

Amazing hike! Very up hill, lots of stoping points.

Good hike. Great view at the top. There is some rock scrambling which made it fun. The fall color is about done but the aspen grove near the top would have been gorgeous a few weeks earlier. It’s more just under 4 miles round trip because you have to park at the visitors center and go up the road a bit.

Great hike! Did get steep at some parts but the view at the top is amazing. You must go all the way to the top —you won’t regret it!

off road driving
2 days ago

This trail was not very difficult, but still somewhat fun. The views are amazing, but I just wish the trail was harder. As of 10/20/18 there are hunters everywhere, but that is probably ever October.

Parking is easily accessible. I turned around at the junction with Craig Park Trail (9 mi, 3000ft elevation gain round trip) due to the snow being a little deeper than my liking and my legs not wanting to trudge through anymore. I was also alone and had seen a TON of animal tracks. Didn’t see any people until I was on the way back down about 2 mi from the TH. Pretty diverse with the stream, aspens (who have lost their leaves) and evergreens. I’ll be back in the summer to go all the way up!

Other reviews mention the trail isn’t well-marked, but it’s not terrible. I got a little lost, but I didn’t go far before realizing I needed to retrace my steps. Trail is fairly well-trodden.
Views at the top are absolutely amazing.
From car to car took me four hours, but I am still acclimating and it definitely slowed my pace. Will definitely be doing this one again!

hiking
2 days ago

Nice loop trail. Took my dogs and stayed off the main path - lots of side options. Was nice to see other people with well mannered dogs off leash.

Incredible views once you make it to the overlook! Staircase to the top is a little unnerving.. but 100% worth it! Caution... the road to the parking area for this hike.. is a bumpy ride from hell.

hiking
5 days ago

Amazing views! I was hunting 511 and wanted to gain some elevation. The views from the top are incredible. It is one of the tallest points in the valley so once your up you can see for miles. It’s very easy so id make sure you’ve got something else planned in the area

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.

Good description of trail and views. Mid October was very nice. Not too warm. Trail could’ve been marked better.

on Cheesman Canyon

8 days ago

Hiked this Trail on October 13, 2018. hiked 3 miles up and 3 miles back, that put us about a quarter of a mile into the Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail. The trail is easy to follow although the crumbled granite gravel trail is washed out in some places and a bit slippery because of how dry it has been this year. As others have said there is a Y in the trail in several places and you can hike by the river or on the higher trail. We did the higher trail. This trail and the Upper Cheesman Canyon trail are together the same trail as the Gill Trail on All Trails. US Forest Service calls it the Gill Trail #610. By parking cars at both the top and bottom you could hike the entire trail about 4.25 miles one way. I found the part we did beautiful and fairly easy. I'm 70 years old, but I hike frequently.

hiking
8 days ago

There may not be a ton of drop dead views or challenging hikes but this place offers miles of easy hiking. You can see Pikes Peak and other mountains (further back on the property) The aspen groves mixed in with the pine are gorgeous. Great for fall foliage pics and in winter this place will be awesome for snow shoeing. Enjoy!

The reward at the end of this hike is so worth it. You get a 360 degree view! Breathtaking! The hike is moderate but if your not use to the altitude there are small spots that can be difficult. Rest take your time, enjoy the quiet and beauty along the way.

off road driving
9 days ago

Great trail for stock 4x4, views were excellent. There was a fair amount of traffic Saturday morning going up stage coach and gold rush... once we got up to almagre trail we felt pretty secluded! Our stock Jeep Grand Cherokee did excellent we had no problems, had a blast.

Trail is closed during the winter. Didn’t know til I tried today 10/14/18. I have to pick a star so I chose 3 but I really don’t know. I just wanted to tell peeps this place is closed.

We took the alternate route and met up w/ CT, Seg 1 @ Lenny’s rest. Stryker (my pup) and I spent the day on this trail. Beautiful aspens in the beginning feeding into quite a bit of elevation and some beautiful views. Lots of great camp sites.

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