Explore the most popular lake 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.

Easy and flat trail. My dog loved playing in the water. Good for young kids, elderly, and strollers. Does get a bit busy at peak times. Not the best views out of some others in the area but definitely one of the easiest.

this trail can lead to many different ones

Wonderful trail

hiking
4 days ago

One of the worst trails ever!

1) No sign at the trailhead
2) No sign ever at which way is the trail
3) Super steep and no place to grab for your safety- No stairs, but just dangerous paths.

I was able to get to the top where the flag is- but there was no way of making to the "loop" as the map suggested. I got lost so many times even following the map, this 2.7 mile hike turned into 4.1 mile hike and crazy enough to tell you but the "trail" took me to nearly to death experience because the path I follow took me to a cliff and I fell from my face. Yep, I didn't think I was going to be able to get back after all. Today's weather was foggy, misty and nobody was around get a help from. I DO NOT recommend this trail to a beginner and kids. Although the views were amazing. Wish they do better job on making this place safe.

Oh and please do not go there by yourself!

Beautiful, easy, popular hike.

awesome hike, steep sandy areas, views of river all along hike are amazing.

off road driving
7 days ago

Good trail with quite an elevation difference. Gets very narrow and close to the edge during the last stretch. I would like to note that there is a locked gate at about 12,000 ft. right before the Mount Baldy Reservoir, so you can't actually make it to the summit in a 4x4. Still had a great time in the forest!

Beautiful hike but lots of people. Guess that's anywhere in Colorado on a Saturday. I'd go back and hammock up in the trees!!

trail running
10 days ago

Gorgeous views of Pikes Peak and surrounding area! I started/ended at Rainbow gulch and my app said I completed 15.73 miles. Relatively flat run for the area but my feet were smoked! I will be completing this run many times in the future!

hiking
11 days ago

This is a beautiful trail along the Platte River. WE wondered why it was rated as hard until we got to about mile 3.5 and it was a scramble to get up so we decided to turn back. There are some places that are extremely narrow and the footing is soft. Hoping to go back and complete this at some point. The trail has markings but they are not well defined and we did stray a few times from the trail unnecessarily.

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful! I started the trail on the other side of the dam for enormous views of Pikes Peak. Side trails take you to the water. Tons of huge rocks on the beach for climbing. The water is so pristine and bright blue/green. Most of the forest on the other side of the lake was burned. I definitely recommend starting this trail from the dam.

hiking
17 days ago

Hiked this yesterday (5/5), had to bust out the snowshoes a mile in. Snow was too melted/soft in some places, sank through to the creek several times (wet feet! :( ) gorgeous views though and tough workout, not a soul around for miles.

hiking
17 days ago

oh boy. today was an adventure! first, the beware of the bathrooms at the trail head . . . no toilet paper and garbage all over the floor - if I would of had a garbage bag with me, I would of gladly cleaned it up.

the beginning of the trail was quiet and beautiful and then it got hard to follow. luckily I ran into an older couple who were having the same issue so we decided to hike together. the only real helpful (if I can even call it that) sign on the trail was nailed down to a rock with dotted lines in a circle that stated where there was water access, the gill trail or the upper cheeseman parking lot. we wanted to get to the reservoir so we stayed on the gill trail which ended up being a dead end. so we back tracked and took the upper cheeseman parking lot trail which did eventually lead us to views of the reservoir but at this point we were at 5.5 miles. the signs at the trailhead made it seem like you could hop on the road and get to the original starting parking lot fairly easy, but that wasn't the case. we figured hiking back almost 6 miles was a little far. we ended up hitching a ride to the starting parking lot by some friendly folks who had just came out from backpacking on the goose trail.

overall this trail was okay, I kind of wished I would of spent my Sunday hiking something worth while. and there isn't anything hard about it except staying on the actual trail and then having the desire to hike all the way back to parking.

Great hike with beautiful views! Not sure I’d say it was hard though, maybe moderate. Watch out for snakes!

Easy trail for us older folks. Through forest, next to creek and around a portion of the reservoir. Great half day hike.

Did the full 16 mile loop from rainbow gulch. Very little elevation gain but definitely tough on the feet. Hadn't planned on doing the whole loop but it was well worth it.

Very, very high pressure

Really interesting landscape with all the downed trees from fire damage. Pretty easy hike and great views of the lake and dam below. Very exposed to sun - was hot.

hiking
25 days ago

Enjoyed this hike. Little foot traffic but well maintained with nice views. Certainly 'easy' as opposed to the 'moderate' rating listed on the site.

Awesome hike! First mile are so are through the remains of a forest fire, so there is very little tree cover but awesome views. Bring sunscreen! Only saw a couple of people. This connects to the Gill Trail in the canyon which has river access and is great for dogs. There were a bunch of people fly fishing. The Gill is pretty difficult so we only did 2 miles before turning around. I highly recommend this trail, though it would be very hot in the summer.

hiking
30 days 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!

Had a fantastic hike here today with a buddy- weather was fantastic and lots of friendly fishers were at work in the stream. A bit of small climbing areas if you stick on the higher trails but overall pretty manageable and a great workout- leaves you feeling satisfied when done!

Great hike! Not hard but enjoyable! Make sure your dog is on the leash :)

This trail is absolutely gorgeous! It was snowing pretty steady the whole time I was on the trail and it was literally like strolling through a hallmark card. I would recommend this trail to anyone who loves a steady trail and great views. I will definitely be doing this trail again and again!

Hiked on April 14th, 2018. I'd recommend spikes, but you can get away without them. Definitely don't need snowshoes. Trail is pretty well marked, but make sure to keep an eye out for cairns above treeline.

This trail is very hard at times if you start on the Green Mountain Falls side. But the view is WELL worth it.

Beautiful hike. Incline was a majority of the hike, would have been easier if I wasn't wearing an infant. We went on a Sunday and it was pretty crowded but still totally worth it. I would do this again but on a weekday.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this a week ago on a beautiful, warm, April day! Not one speck of snow. I would not consider this trail hard...a lot of ups and downs and scenic views along the river. I parked at the canyon trailhead on road 126 so I went all the way to the dam turn around (warning signs saying no trespassing) then turned back and took the trail leading to the other parking lot. If you park at the canyon trailhead definitely take the trail at the rock split (it's obvious, there is a map on a rock), otherwise you will miss awesome views of the reservoir! Once I got to the higher parking lot on road 211, I walked/ran back on the road which was definitely faster than taking the trail back. Sorry I don't remember all the parking lot names! If you are more of an advanced hiker, this really is not a workout or hard hike. I would recommend this more for a peaceful nature stroll!

Happy hiking!

hiking
1 month ago

Great, steady up and down. Didn't make it past the loose gravel at the 4mi turn because of older dog. Beautiful views of the river.

Long but easy. Wide trail. Beautiful scenery. Follows a gorgeous creek for a while and ends at a lake. Fishing allowed. Saw a lot of families.

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