Explore the most popular rock climbing 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.

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.

great hike...Billy the Ranger was a treat!

great trail. great views

This was my third time doing this hike, it is one of my Colorado favorites! Mellow hike with 143 stairs to get to the tower. Panoramic views, similar to 14er views without the difficulty. Not a lot of aspens for fall colors, but the view at the top makes up for it.
To get to the trail there’s 10 miles of dirt road, manageable in all cars. The tower will be closed for the winter starting this Monday 10/8/18.

It’s a pretty hike with some really cool overlooks. The trail is super well maintained so, aside from the elevation gain, I’d put this as an easier hike. Not a ton of aspens out there but the ones that are were really pretty today! (10/4/18)

#twoenthusiasticthumbsup! start early and enjoy the views and a lunch at the top.

4 stars because it’s a Jeep road. However, it’s a fun hike and you can branch off to North Star. The cars started to come up at 11:20, just as I was finishing. Lovely views for sure

16 days ago

Crags trail is beautiful especially in the fall. The 360 view on the top was amazing and so worth the hike. It’s a little hard to tell where to stop but make sure you follow the trail up to the top! Great trail. One of my favorites so far!

One of my favorite trails. An uphill climb with lots of rock formations and overlooks.

Rocky covered with scree a d talus. Trailhead at about 12000, well above treeline. Easily accessible from hwy 285 just south of Fairplay north on County Road 18. Travel on this dirt road until a closed gate parking along the road in front of the gate where ever available. Parking is suitable for a weekend crowd. The dirt road is flanked by a healthy forest of limber and bristle cone pines. There is a short trail called Limber Pine Trail along the way that flanks a creek filled with willows. Great for possible moose sightings. The hike from the closed gate to the summit of Mt. Sherman is about 2.5 miles and about 2100 feet elevation gain. There is a very short area of exposure along the ridge near the top as well as strong winds.There are two false summits as well. Like any alpine peak, the view from the summit dismisses all experiences of wind rocks and fatigue. Great hike for a first 14er. It was considerably easier than most of the other alpine hikes I did this past summer. Sadly, I missed the wildflowers on this peak due to the lateness of the season.

awesome views are well worth the climb!

Roommate and I completed the trail in ~4.5 hrs, which we feel pretty good about considering how out of shape we are. No snow yet, but a lot of the trail is loose gravel/scree, and by the end I was wishing for my knee brace. It was extremely windy up on the ridge but calm at the summit. My little '07 Honda Fit made it all the way up to the trail head just fine -- can't say I'd recommend it, but if your only option is a low-clearance vehicle, it's doable.

Beautiful views, great for hiking in off-season (late fall/winter). Not anything gnarly like other 14ers, but it’s a great first one.

Absolutely perfect day for the hike. Hiked on 9/23 spots throughout the hike were pretty windy but once you get to the top extremely calm. Make sure you have some layers as the temperature changes throughout and something for your ears.
Views were spectacular!

trail running
22 days ago

Excellent trail, with great panoramic view at the end.

This was on the top of my daughters hike I visited her from Connecticut she lives in Boulder we were staying in Deckers co where my husband did some fantastic fly fishing. So when I looked into Altrails for close places to hike near Deckers and this trail popped up. Being what I consider myself a flat lander and noticed it was rated moderate I said why not for those of you that live below sea level should be aware that when it says moderate it is for us hard. But I was here and I was determined and let me tell you it was the one of the most breath taking views I ever saw and from the top we saw a Forrest fire which believe it or not was close to Deckers what are the odds. I am disappointed I didn’t have a chance to speak to Billy because I was pressed for time.

Great places to see the aspens in the fall! Also a great place to bring visitors to Colorado who are looking for a rewarding hike and view.

9/22 - Not a cloud in the sky, pretty windy but otherwise perfect conditions. Large, flat summit with amazing views! Easy for a 14er, just some pretty loose rock so be careful. The road to the trailhead can be a bit rough, but it’s far better than the Grays/Torrey’s Road. Would recommend highly as a first 14er or just a plain beautiful hike.

hiking
23 days ago

I love this trail!!!!

Not to be missed! Spectacular hike, especially in the fall.

Been hiking this trail for 35 years. Always fun and beautiful! Great for kids and dogs.

Good short hike, great views including Denver 30+ miles away. I did this hike on a Thursday late afternoon and only past 4-8 hikers heading up for sunset as I was heading down.

Traveling to trail head is a decent trek on a dirt road which doesn't require 4WD/AWD but does have washboard segments which keeps the speeds slow.

The dirt road was kind of a bumpy ride. But the trees are all yellow! It was a sight for me being from Houston. This was my first 14er and I had to take a lot of breaks. I took my time drank lots of water. My bandana helped a lot by breathing into it. It was hard but not imposible. The trail is soooo rocky, there was times when I couldn’t help but slide down. Watch your step. Don’t reinstall an ankle. I think I finished in 5 something hours. I run a lot in Houston so I think that helped me a lot. I felt really sick on the drive down. Could have been car sickness mixed with dehydration. I drank a lot of water and got really good sleep and felt brand new the next morning.

Good quick sub 2 hour trip.

This is my go-to hike for all my out of town visitors. Typically it is very crowded, but most people are courteous and friendly. Get an early start to get parking and be sure to bring water for the pup. Great views and a fun experience climbing the 143 stairs to the fire lookout tower and of course meeting Billy Ellis who has been stationed at the tower for over 33 summers!

This is definitely a "hard" 14er. Going down might be more difficult than going up. On the way up, you'll see a false summit ridge for most of the hike. Once you get past that, you can see the actual summit and then it's only about 20 minutes to the top.

What makes this hike so difficult is its steepness. Due to the sharp incline, some rocks are prone to sliding down the mountain. Look for steady rocks to step on in this hike's many rock fields. The loose rocks make the descent tiring and painstaking. Take your time on the way down and be prepared to use your hands at times.

This is clearly not the primary route up Lincoln, but still provides the spectacular views. On a summer weekend day, we saw about 15 people at the summit of Lincoln, none of which had taken this trail. If you can handle a very steep incline, this route is a good way to find solitude on a 14er.

hiking
30 days ago

After following the advice re: going to dead-end of road and following 'old' trail to meet up with the new Crag's trail, I recommend to all who are not familiar with areas they will be hiking to use extreme caution/avoid attempting to utilize old' trails. The further I hiked from the trailhead the worse the condition of this old trail became to the point where 'guess-timation' kicked in (should have turned back at this point). After a bit of this, I decided against continuing so turned back and began my attempt to retrace my path only to discover that numerous washed out, dead-ended trails and false 'paths' resembled the 'old' trail.

If you have hiked certain areas for awhile, or enough in the past as to recognize other landmarks to guide you back to the trailhead,...then you may very well do okay. But for newcomers to areas to attempt to do so...on your way back toward dusk, or simply hours later after the sun's position has changed and the shadows under trees canopy distort the very slight markings which might/might not be the old 'trail', or, your memory of it's very slight existence becomes muddled,...be advised: the apprehension/possibility of spending a night in the woods only to pick up where you left off in the morning is not worth cutting off a smidgen of your hike to avoid a strenuous portion of a new trail.

Loved this hike! Amazing views!
Only issue was our gps took us down a county road that was full of rocks and we had off road for 5 miles. We took another way out and it was fine. If your gps tries to take you down a county road and it looks rough don’t go down it, it only gets worse unless you have a Jeep or 4 wheel drive. We were coming from Colorado Springs.

Nice! Uphill 1st half then down way back. Plenty of shade along the way but no water for the doggo so bring some for them too! Great views from the lookout tower.

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