Explore the most popular wildlife 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 Easter hike. Great earlier season hike. Recommend microspikes from half way point on. Scenic rewards abound in last 20% of trail. Had lake all to ourselves and basked in its glory!

hiking
2 months ago

This is an enjoyable, gently inclined but sustained, fairly long, non-technical hike with a lot of possible elevation gain, good for getting into shape for the 14ers or just to do for its own sake. If the weather looks favorable, go all the way to Bennett's summit!

hiking
3 months ago

Great little trail. Have seen moose here several times. Sadly the forest fire we had a few years ago, went around this area, so the view isn't as good as it once was, but it's still a beautiful trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. I was fortunate enough to see a mountain lion cross the road, close to the trail head. It contains beautiful shaded areas that open into lush fields. The constant sound of moving water is very relaxing. Definitely recommend!

hiking
4 months ago

I’ve hiked this many different times since my cabin is just a few miles away. Beautiful hike. Great gradual elevation changes and heavily shaded by dark timber. Can’t take any ATV larger than a quad. It is along Frisco Creek so the sounds of running water and great.

Beautiful! Only moderately hard as well, though we didn't go all the way up...

Favorite CO hike!

hiking
9 months ago

Recommend going with someone who has done the hike before. Just a few spots near the top where you can go in the wrong direction. This is a very challenging hike but still do-able. Kids included.

hiking
9 months ago

Wow! We made it! What an experience to see a lake named by one of our ancestors. The hike was really tough - after the 26+ switchbacks, there's still a ways to go. But the lake is worth it! It's even been stocked with fish!

Super rewarding hike and not difficult at all! It's long but with very gradual elevation gain, we did a day hike starting at 8 and got back to the car around 4. Hiked around the area too. Magnificent views

fishing
10 months ago

This was a tough one. I didn't think I would make it. Pace yourself. The views are EPIC! Also, don't get your hopes up once you pass that 26th switchback, there's more up ahead. Prepare for mosquitoes from hell and even worse weather. We made the hike only to stand for 3 hrs in the hail! Good luck.

trail running
10 months ago

Dope. Sweet climb that isnt crazy technical and has some fun views

11 months ago

The hike ended up being 8 miles and that included going to the falls which is off to the side of the main trail. There are some fallen trees in the middle of the trail, a horse wouldn't be able to get around. If you're looking for your prince there's tons of frogs to choose from at the lake. Watch out for wood ticks along the way, I found 2 on my clothes on my way up. The GPS doesn't take you to the trail, if you look to the right just before turning on old bridge road there's a sign that points you in the right direction.

backpacking
Friday, April 28, 2017

Love this area! Hiked it a couple of years ago. The trail is absolutely beautiful until you reach the last mile or two when it coincides with the four-wheeler road (I had no idea ruts could possibly run that deep) - it was INCREDIBLY muddy. Also, it you plan on making this a day hike, I would recommend going really early to avoid potential rain/lightning in the summer months. Lots of wildflowers in the high alpine meadow near the top, varied landscape and terrain throughout, and it would be irresponsible of me to fail to mention the whole hoodoos-in-the-mountains thing. Pretty unique. Four stars ONLY because I wish the walking trail remained separate from the road the entire way up.

hiking
Monday, November 14, 2016

The hike is moderate to difficult. The thing that makes it hard is the length. You also climb the last two miles back to the trailhead at the end and that was tough for me. The hoodoos were very cool and no one else around!

backpacking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

This is a fun trail with about 2500 ft of elevation gain at the front. It's beautiful and Ruybalid lake is well worth the hike. However, if you're looking to follow the trail past the lake and hook up with "No Name Lake" trail be prepared. The trail after the lake is non-existent. Even with a good map, compass, and GPS we weren't able to find the trail. We ended up bush wacking our way through marshes and thick forest to get to No Name Lake.

bonus: less than a mile up there is a detour to some of the most amazing falls I've ever seen. Definitely take it.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Really nice short day hike with lots of different scenery. Best to have a high clearance vehicle to reach the trail head.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Very easy hike. good with kids.

hiking
Wednesday, July 06, 2016

I'm reviewing to provide some up-to-date information. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to hit the entire trail but I'll definitely be back for the whole thing. The trail is pretty easy to find. From Antonito take HWY 17 to Horca and turn right onto FDR 50, a dirt road. This will take you past Rainbow Trout Ranch. Take FDR 50 to Record Bridge Road. *Note if you turn left to take Old Bridge Road following GPS you will not be able to reach the other side of the Conejos so go up one street. Pass over the bridge and there's a little parking area with a sign for the trail, #855, the San Juan Wilderness, and a couple of lakes. The trail head is just slightly to the left of the parking area. 1.3 miles into the hike are The Falls. There is a sign that marks where you can follow the trail to the falls. We took this and ended up heading all the way back over the rocks to see the falls up-close and personal. They're beautiful. The hike up to this spot is not terribly challenging, just watch your footing on the rocks and take it slow. The trail has pretty good coverage with the trees at these early spots so you're not constantly in the sun. The trail had some people on it but it was certainly not crowded.

camping
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Great place to camp. It has an awesome view of the valley. It can get really windy, though.

camping
Sunday, October 06, 2013

great NF campground. views of the dunes. Great hike to Zapata falls, a must do when in the area. Other hikes in the area. The national forest web site does not show the campground. It is there.

hiking
Monday, September 09, 2013

I hiked out the foot trail from wheeler monument September of 2013. It was s fairly quick jaunt because it was mostly a decent from higher elevation. Beautiful hike along open fields, pine forests and creek valleys. There was a decent amount of mud on the trail even though there were no heavy rains in the recent past.

hiking
Thursday, July 18, 2013

Great views of waterfalls, nice trail and beautiful scenery, some areas of the trail were steep, but overall it's a very rewarding and amazing area to see anytime of the year!

hiking
Sunday, June 30, 2013

Absolutely loved this hike, very rewarding. The first two miles feel like your going straight up. Lots of steep switch backs but the views of the valley is amazing. Take the time to go see the waterfall on the way up it's great and only about 300 yards off the main trail. Take your fishing gear the Rainbow trout are huge. This is one of those spots you want to just hang your hammock in the tree and enjoy the amazing scenery.

mountain biking
Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trout Creek trail is an ATV trail that is also great for mountain biking. Not your typical ATV trail that is rutted, rocky, and torn up, this trail is well built and maintained. You could also call it the Switchback trail because there are tons of them! The trail traverses two ridges to get back to the creek, approx 500 ft of climbing each ridge, so by the time you reach the creek you will have climbed about 1000 ft. Remember you will climb about the same amount getting out as you did getting in. The most popular way to do this trail is an out and back. 4 miles one way to the creek, or you can push on further where a singletrack branches off of the ATV trail. The singletrack climbs a lot of elevation and is very rocky. There are some huge cliffs and boulders along Trout Creek that would be great for rock climbing.

hiking
Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wow what a beautiful trail! Crestone is such a spiritual place and you will feel it as you meander through this beautiful mountain forest along the ice cold creek. Plenty of interesting things to discover along the way - a bridge someone made out of logs, lots of little caves and crannies in the mountain, waterfalls and a breathtaking view of an Aspen forest once you get higher up. The trail is moderately challanging but well worth it. If you find it to be difficult, just take your time and rest after the more challanging climbs because there are plenty of flats and downhills as well! Highly recomend this trail!

hiking
24 days ago

camping
2 months ago

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