Explore the most popular views 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.

hiking
6 hours ago

A challenging hike. I felt ecstatic upon reaching the summit. Great sense of accomplishment. However there are a couple detail you need to know before attempting this hike. First, there is no parking at the trail head. You should park at the Visitor's Center. From Academy Dr there is a road not far from the Visitor's Center that takes you to the trail head. You will see a trail to the left as you go up the road. You won't notice the trail head sign until you walk into it a short distance. After about a half mile the trail becomes confusing. There are some false trails that will just wear you out and lead to nowhere. The thing to do is follow along the stream which is on the left. You will eventually see the trail which will take you across the stream over some rocks. As you get closer to the summit there is another false trail that peters out after about a quarter mile of less. Instead of taking that trail go to the left up another trail that is steeper and goes toward the summit. The only real views are on the summit.

SOLO hike with my dog. 12.2 miles, 1900 ft. elevation gain and it was awesome! We hit the trail at 8am and took our time. We were all alone on the mountain. This is a slow and steady hike. Though the elevation gain is 1900 ft. it doesn't feel like it until you make the turn at 8.3 and go up Redskin Creek Trail and even then it was quite gentle. The trail is very well marked; there is no way to get lost! Poles are not necessary if you're a seasoned hiker. This segment is loved by mountain bikers and it's really torn up in places; it's as wide as a boulevard! The intermittent streams were not running. There was one stream at 5.1, the Tramway Creek, which had enough water to use to resupply if needed. There is also a lot of shade on this hike and trees galore! I would definitely hike this segment again but I doubt I'll ever have another totally alone day on this mountain again!

Out and back 2.5 total hike with 1000 ft gain. Beautiful long vistas at several points. Very few wildflowers or birds. Watch tower is an unusual historical element with impressive 360 degree views. We ate lunch in a green fairytale meadow anchored by two opposing granite walls.

hiking
20 hours ago

Mt. Rosa is an excellent hike, panoramic 360 view well worth the climb. A high clearance, short wheelbase vehicle ( jeep ) is necessary to get to Frosty Park via 379. The climb is moderate in difficulty, trail easy to follow, rock cairns as you approach the summit, which would be very helpful if the trail was snow covered. The footing can be treacherous on the descent, lots of small rocks/dry sand. Overall, I would highly recommend this hike.

Great little hike! Mostly switchbacks to the top and it’s highly trafficked. It was super windy the day we went so make sure to bring layers (it was especially windy on the stairs to the tower). The park ranger was at the Lookout tower! Well worth it! Beautiful views!

It's a fairly easy hike. No steep ascents just gradual climbing all the way to the lookout. Enjoyed the many huge rock outcroppings and treelined trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Excellent medium to low-intensity hike with some spectacular views. The first quarter-mile takes some work as does the last quarter mile as you reach the top, but it is worth it for sure. You pass through a number of meadows and along a stream (though on our hike there wasn't very much water moving downhill since most all of the snow and ice has melted in this area).

The primary feature of this hike, as the name implies, are the granite formations shaped by the wind and water. Some really beautiful aspects of raw nature especially once you get close to the end of the trail. Beautiful views at the top looking across the valley to the Sawatch Range in the far west.

Did this trail with kids (ages 10 and 12) and it was good exercise but well within their skill level.

Our full trip ended up closer to 5 miles.

Great hike on 5/23. Did the full loop. Trail is mostly dry with a few isolated snow drifts and occasional mud at higher elevations. I brought traction with me but never found it necessary all the way to the summit or on the descent. I would only recommend attempting the summit from the north approach (Left at the marker - walk through Horsethief Park). This section is fairly well established and the trail has a number of cairns to aid in way finding. This will eventually take you to a large boulder field as others mentioned. There are multiple cairned routes through the boulder field. As others have stated, it seems best to try to stay left. I originally started taking one of the routes more to the right side which seemed more direct and eventually had to make my way left anyway to get to an easier route. Staying left initially would have saved time. Summit requires some class 3 moves. USGS summit marker is in the top of a rock slightly north and slightly below the highest rocks at the summit. The southern part of the loop which descends into Horsethief Park near the falls is much less clearly marked. I didn’t see any cairns or tape or anything else to denote a route on the descent so I was happy to have GPS with me. This part of the trail gets very vertical in some spots but is generally doable with caution. Some class 3 down climbing over rock formations I found necessary sticking to the GPS track, YMMV. Overall beautiful hike and the views are well worth the effort. If I were to do this trail again I might consider backtracking the way I came after summiting rather than doing the loop as it seems this section is both much more clearly marked as well as less vertical.

backpacking
1 day ago

Awesome hike, the Barr Trail is well maintained. The Barr Camp is an excellent place to stay the night and relax. Just remember to bring plenty of warm dry clothes.

Still too snowy. Made it 500' below the top but had to turn back. The snow made it dangerous going down, even with spikes. I wouldn't recommend this trail except in the summer with no snow.

One of my favorites! Go all the way to the reservoir for amazing views! Nice aspens in the fall too.

stand atop boulder at top, take in Pikes directly South. The Rockies to the NW
great place to Airbnb- chipita park, Cascade Falls.

hiking
1 day ago

This was a good hike just to do something short and go outside without exerting myself. It’s nothing really spectacular, and it’s fairly short. But this can also be a good thing. I would recommend this trail for if you have children, or if you just want to go outside and don’t have too much time :)

Loved the walk along the running creek. Beautiful scenery.

My cousin and I tackled this bad boy last Monday (5/21) around 8 am. It took us about 6 hours to complete this out-and-back hike, which let me tell you, is no walk in the park.

There wasn't a single car in the parking lot when we started and there were only three additional cars in the small lot when we returned. We only saw one fellow hiker and his pups on the trail, as well, which added to the tranquility of our journey.

The first 1.5 to 2 miles of this trail are relatively easy (and misleading), but it is a very gradual climb for the next 3 miles until you reach the ridge line at about 12,000 ft. Around 10,000 ft. we started to see some snow on the trail, and that continued to get deeper all the way up to Bison Peak's summit.

The trail became quite difficult to follow at the ridge line, as there were no visible footprints or trails to the summit, and we ended up misreading the All Trails map and summiting a neighboring peak instead. We eventually figured out that we were well off our course and found our way back to the trail.

We made our own way to the summit by postholing and scrambling over some boulders to reach the top. The views from the peak were absolutely magnificent! I will most definitely be returning to conquer this peak in the summer when the trail is dry and a bit easier to follow.

This is NOT a hike for the faint of heart, as the almost 4,000 ft. of elevation gain is a real butt-kicker! We ran half way down on our descent though, and that almost halved our return in the process. The weather was beautiful the entire time with the exception of a few raindrops on the way down.

A must for anyone who's in shape and looking for a challenge!

off road driving
2 days ago

The 311A obstacle has been removed from the trail. It is still in the area, but it is no longer blocking the trail. Some parts of this trail were pretty narrow, but a Titan with a 3" lift and 33" tires made it fine. Most of the loop is simple, but be careful and take it slow on 311A.

hiking
3 days ago

Pretty steep in the beginning but do-able. Short trail with a pretty waterfall at the end. Nice and relaxing. If you go early, you will hardly see any people

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.

hiking
3 days ago

Did this trail last year when I was 6 months pregnant. It was a little steep at parts, but totally worth it. You get a huge variety of scenery, it is absolutely beautiful. there’s a stream that runs alongside majority of it, my dog really enjoyed it. Hidden gem.

I went early on a foggy day and it was great! Had the trail to myself the entire way up - several large groups were at the bottom around 10:30am. I’ll definitely be back on a clear morning

I hiked this trail carrying my 30 pound toddler. I wouldn’t recommend this trail with a baby/toddler as a good portion of this trail is very steep.

they say the burn area is not a place to see..It is beautiful as it recovers.

Great pack training hike for distance and steady incline. walking along the river is always nice

on Whale Peak

snowshoeing
4 days ago

Don't underestimate this little 13er! The terrain is rough and the road to access the trailhead is even rougher. You will not be able to access the trail without a off-road decent vehicle (we had an awd Subaru outback with good tires, and still barely made it). That said, the trail is very nice, if somewhat poorly maintained. We saw moose, ptarmigan, marmot, pika, and deer. The views of Gilpin lake & the surrounding valley are fantastic, as is the view from the summit.

Absolutely loved this hike! The first .7 miles is along Hondo Ave. The trail is steep, narrow, and rocky in sections, but the scenery is amazing.

This is an amazing trail! Well marked, not too busy, and billion dollar views all around. Worth every step! The weather can change quickly. Started off sunny and warm, and ended with snow falling and winds whipping at the end on 5/20.

trail running
4 days ago

Fun trail run.. ran from start of Waterton Canyon to a few miles above Lenny’s rest out and back. The lower canyon up to the dam is nice and gradual - great for any easy hike or ride with the Family. Some great elevation on the single track above the Dam. Unfortunately views today were restricted with low cloud cover above the dam.

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome hike! We did a lap around the lake and added 5 miles and some bushwhacked a bit.

this trail can lead to many different ones

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