Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Rio Grande 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.

Great little hike! The drive up is rough gravel but there’s a Honda Accord that made it up here in dry conditions (early October).

hiking
22 days ago

great fall hike there was a little snow and ice towards the top be careful on the way down i slipped and fell a few times

Great hike, short though. We were advised to bring shoes to wear in cold water and we were happy we did.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail yesterday. Beautiful views. The first half of the hike was fairly easy with some narrow places and loose dirt. We went down the highland trail at the junction and it was fairly easy and well marked until the last mile where there were numerous downed trees and growth and the trail seemed to disappear completely. We did not have GPS and after numerous attempts to locate the original trail we ended up finding our own way down to the trailhead. We have hiked the highland trail up to the continental divide trail numerous times, the last being 4 years ago and so did not anticipate any problems. I wish I had read other hikers comments before we started. Would not hike this again without a GPS.

Would be a really slow, long drive to the trailhead if you don’t have an SUV. Road is really rocky. But the hike is quick and the falls are beautiful. We took off our shoes once we got to the creek.

hiking
1 month ago

When I looked into people photos and saw the beautiful formation rocks. I decided to check it out. Its about two hrs atv to there. The road wasn’t that bad but long drive. When my wife and I get there we hike there looked around it’s beautiful as it said. The bad part was not enough trails to go around all the formations rocks. There only two place where you can see upper on the hillside and lower by the creek. To me not worthy the time.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent short hike to scenic waterfall. I recommend bringing hiking poles and a change of shoes if going into the creek to see the falls. The water in the creek is quite cold.

hiking
1 month ago

very easy hike with great payoff!!! The falls are hidden and fun to get to through the river. if you are careful, you can step on rocks and avoid having to step in the cold water. my boyfriend and I both left with totally dry shoes and socks. road to get to trailhead was definitely rough for low clearance vehicles with normal tires, take it slow and it's not impossible

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked 4.5 miles up for a round trip of 9 miles. We were the only ones on the trail. If you love aspens the lower elevations are full of amazing aspen groves. Got into an amazing thicket that was prime bear habitat-decently fresh poop on the trail. Didn’t seem like this trail was used too much at all-pretty overgrown, but easy to get through. Got steep and loose rock where we turned around.

hiking
2 months ago

Great stop on the way to Great Sand Dunes if you have the time. The river was flooded when I visited, but the trail has wide open views of the mountains, valleys, and dunes, and the falls are worth the little climb to get to them.

nice little hike and beautiful falls

hiking
2 months ago

The falls are amazing, heed all advice regarding footwear.
The road up is 3 miles of extremely rough terrain.
I saw all sorts of cars, slow going.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this trail on Aug 5. Took us about 1 hr and 45 min total with young children. There's a bathroom at the TH, and about 18-20 parking spots in the main lot plus a lot more along the road and in another parking lot plus a picnic area with its own parking lot. There are a lot of benches along the way up the trail. It is a "hot" trail with not much real shade, mostly consisting of short trees, shrubs, and cactuses. Nice views of the sand dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mtns including the Crestone Needles. Bring water shoes and a small towel--it was definitely nice to have warm, dry socks and shoes to slip back into after walking in the ICY, numbing water! The water level was about ankle deep in most places. Fun, but our young boys didn't enjoy getting their feet so cold. The falls with the cave were definitely neat!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! It is a pretty easy hike with only a little elevation gain, but a decent distance. The rock formations are amazing and the gulch you walk through is beautiful. It was pretty hazy from distant forrest fire smoke and some rain, so we didn’t get to see too far off, but this obviously has some great vistas when it’s clear. Also, found some great places to yell echos thru the gulch. Will definitely do this again in the future. Our corgi loved it as well!

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is a bit of a grind...head toward the notch on the left...beware rockfall. Once thru the notch its an easy ridge walk to Kit Carson over Challenger Point. We used our hands a lot on the way down to keep from sliding on the loose rock. Scenery is absolutely stunning!

great little jont to the falls!! walking the falls was great wish i had my rain boots!

A+++

This hike is 16 miles. The trail portion is 5 miles. It then connects to the road for another 2. After 7 miles you reach the information area about the eroded rocks. It's another mile to walk anywhere near the rocks. The forest is dead from beetle kill. The trail is not hard, just long. But having to hike 16 miles just to see the rocks made me think I would have rather backpacked in so I would have the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll around the rocks whose views is obscured by dead trees. Or in a day, I think it would be better to rent a RZR or horseback. If the forest weren't dead, perhaps I would have enjoyed the hike a bit more. I've hiked the whole CT so its not about not enjoying the scenery, it's just with a particular idea in mind, the rocks aren't visible for some time. More info and pics at https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/07/30/things-to-do-in-creede/

horseback riding
2 months ago

Had a chance to do this one today. Six of us along with two horses. We didn’t get all the way to the river with three kids, but it was a good moderate climb and the horses did great.

hiking
2 months ago

Rex Falls is just a short hike. The entrance to a parking area is straight across from the Troutvale Reservoir as you enter the Brown Lakes State Wildlife Area. The trail starts at the end of the parking area and is just a short hike up. You do cross the stream several times, but it is very shallow and there are quite a few spots where logs have been laid across. There were 4 other people there with two dogs.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail for my tribe. Made it halfway up and thunderstorms rolled in. We had ponchos but turned back due to lightning. I’d love to finish this trail.

Road is super bad! If u don’t have a GREAT 4WD vehicle, ur gonna have to hike a lot of the road and it is hard. Southwest ridge was awesome!! Def combo w Blanca.

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely worth the BUMPY ride up to the trailhead.

hiking
3 months ago

Great place to go for a enjoyable hike in the Valley. Easy trail through wide, shallow canyons and red rock cliffs.

backpacking
3 months ago

It is very steep and rocky. The hike is hard and the only water source was 1.5 miles from the lake. A great lake and very quiet and beautiful, but HHHHHAAARD if you ware backpacking. At least I know I can backpack now but it was brutal in the sun before the monsoon season.

hiking
3 months ago

Just hiked this trail with my 6 year old son and he had a blast! We saw some wildlife driving in as well as while on the hike. There is a lot of beetle kill timber all around the lake and I did not see but a few fish make a splash. It is a pretty hike with lots of flowers and is great for young children. Just be sure and watch out for all the dead timber.

hiking
3 months ago

This is an awesome short hike with great payoff. A few tips:
-the road up to the trailhead gets a bad rap, but I didn't find it to be too bad. I managed fine in my 2WD Ford Fusion. Just go slowly (5-10 mph max) and choose your line carefully. The road is plenty wide, so you have a lot of options to avoid the larger rocks. There are a few ruts in the road, but we didn't bottom out. Low and slow!
-The hike up to the river isn't difficult, but note that you do have to wade in the river to reach the falls; you can't see them from the trail. Tevas, Chacos, or similar might be better than shoes/boots. My water proof boots were great until I had to wade in water up to my mid-calf!
-If you feel like extending the hike, you could take the turn off to South Zapata Lake. The hike to the lake is long, but there are some old mining cabin ruins about 1 mile above the falls. The sign for this portion of the trail turnoff is misplaced (it must have fallen over), but the well-defined trail is on the right just before you reach the river crossing.

Enjoy!

fishing
3 months ago

Elusive Native cut throats ♥

Suggest a SUV, AWD vehicle for ride up to trailhead. Once there, nice little rocky hike to falls. Wear the appropriate shoes (sandals) to make it into the inner walls of the cave/falls. Sweet little adventure. Highly recommend

hiking
3 months ago

Uphill, rocky hike. Pretty quick trip, took a while to drive up the rocky mountain in our scion tc but we made it. Waded through the ice cold creek to the falls. Definitely wear hiking boots or Teva’s if planning to go all the way to the falls (you can’t see it from dry land)

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