Explore the most popular river 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 to navigate, awesome views from the tower.

Wonderful trail

Beautiful, easy, popular hike.

Great Hike, low traffic, amazing views

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

Loved the trail today with my pup. The drive in is long and very different for this new Coloradan. Trail is pretty easy and the views are amazing. Saw lots of hikers and dogs out.

hiking
5 days ago

Tough trail, but well worth the effort! If not for other posted reviews, not quite sure we would have made it. Once you leave the creek and start climbing, the trail becomes pretty nonexistent. We went into it assuming we'd get lost as others have commented due to it being poorly marked. Despite our best efforts to follow the trail map, it only gets you so close. There are so many random trails up there, but they all appear to eventually end up in the same place. Definitely watch for the cairns, they are your best resource once you start making your way around the dome to begin to climb. The arch takes a bit of effort to get down to; to the right and down the dome face towards the organ pipe rock will get you there. We didn't see anyone else out there until we were finally heading down to begin the hike back. Great workout, would do it again. Would not recommend for novice hikers

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!!

This trail is closed

Loose rock

New plant growth at risk for damage from hikers

Sharp pieces of metal. Not safe for dogs or clueless hikers

High risk for danger and low chance of rescue + heavy prosecution

Do not disturb the neighborhood attempting to go here

Allow this beautiful place to heal and respect the rules. They are there for a reason. Don’t be that guy who gets hurt and further shuts this place down even more.

hiking
9 days ago

Only did a part of it but it was gorgeous. There are plenty of people but it didn’t seem overcrowded. Plenty of “river access” spots to go directly to the river.

hiking
10 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
10 days ago

Awesome hike with massive views of the surrounding mountains at the Fire Tower. There are tons of dispersed campsites and other trails nearby.

The road to the TH is pretty rough in certain spots. Nice hike up and easy trail to follow. The view at the top is amazing!

hiking
11 days ago

I expected more based on other reviews. It’s an ok trail with some nice parts - the trail is clearly marked and easy to traverse. But beyond that the loop to the left is largely a steady incline for 2 miles that moves along - or near - a power line; it’s not as busy as the other portion of the trail, and I didn’t see one person the first 2.5 miles.

The loop to the right has a nice grove of aspens and is an easy stroll with some stream views but is much busier with mountain bikers and hikers - it has that “I expect to see plenty of people” feel to it. The trailhead to the beginning of the loop has dog poo scattered here and there, which is sadly the case with most trails.

Dirt road to the trailhead, most cars should be fine. The trail itself had snow/mud and was a bit slippery but nothing too bad, we did it in regular hiking shoes and were fine, just mind your step. This is a gorgeous hike and the views from the top of the tower are a must see!

As previously mentioned, the roads are good all the way to the trail head. It was a great hike with an amazing 360 degree view from the fire tower. Make sure to wear bug repellent, as there are swarming bugs when you reach the tower lookout area. Unfortunately, there's a lot of graffiti written on what used to be information signs- now completely unreadable. Additionally, it's a pack-in pack-out so make sure you bring all of your trash (and dog poop) back out of the hike when you leave.

Very steep and difficult right off the bat.Trail was very muddy in some parts and still quite a bit of snow. The view from the top is amazing! Unfortunately, no actual falls as they were buried under snow. We could hear the rushing water, but never actually saw any. A wonderful woman directed us over to an amazing lookout after a steep but short rock ascent-made the whole hike worth it and I so appreciate her.

I love this Trail gone on it many times. I only wish people would keep their dogs on the leash and pick up after them as there is dog poop all over the trail. love to take my dogs on the Trail but never have them off leash. met some people on the hike who had their dog off-leash they didn't even notice that their dog had turned around and went the other way until I said something. then the lady got mad because I said she needs to keep her dog on the leash. otherwise beautiful Trail.in the winter it's covered in ice and the views are well worth the hike up. nice place to have a picnic

Went with my two dogs yesterday and was amazing. Great conditions for hiking. The first few hundred feet were a bit muddy, but other than that it was completely dry. Beautiful views along the way, but the view at the end was one of the prettiest I’ve seen. Easily my favorite short hike I’ve taken in Colorado.

it's a hard hike, then you come through the hard rock to heaven. they should rename this to the hard long journey to bliss. it was so amazing.

the parking is pretty crappy but once you get on the trail you realize pretty fast how steep it is. It's a long accent but at the top the views are top notch

Beautiful hike! Shade the whole way, fairly busy on the Friday we went. My kids loved the hike(3, 6, & 8).

hiking
15 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.

Did this trail on 05-05-18. Great weather but the last three miles were heavily snow covered making it hard to see the trail. We were exhausted at the end and hitched a ride back down.

Road was open , road to trailhead is clear. Trail was very scenic, lots of trees :) The view is unbelievable:) Put this on your list!!!

The weather today was too good to NOT go on a hike! The incline is steep but the majority of the trail is a gradual incline that is very nice. The views of the river are nice as well. it is a low-key hike and there was not much traffic. HUGE drawback which may deter some is there were people across the river staying in the cabins shooting. What should have been a quiet day in the woods with the calming sound of a rushing river turned into holy hell-I hope they are shooting safely and not across the river!

One of my favs

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

The road is open again. The description needs to be updated.

It's a nice hike through a beautiful forest and there are some spots with great views along the way. I'm in average shape and had no issues getting up there with a few 30 second stops to catch my breath and sip some water. Just take your time going up. The views are definitely worth it. The crowds come and go in waves. If you hang out for a bit you can have the place to yourself for a few minutes until the next wave of people.

The view is 5-stars, but I agree with what the previous reviewer said about the condition and general respectfulness of the people on the trail.

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