hiking

views

wildlife

wild flowers

walking

forest

nature trips

birding

lake

no dogs

river

horseback riding

waterfall

kid friendly

snowshoeing

trail running

camping

fishing

backpacking

fly fishing

wheelchair friendly

This section of the Rocky Mountains has ecosystems varying in elevation from the over 150 riparian lakes to Montane and subalpine forests to the alpine tundra. Large wildlife including mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, and cougars inhabit these igneous mountains and glacier valleys. The fourteener Longs Peak and Bear Lake are popular destinations.

14 hours ago

backpacking
15 hours ago

hiking
15 hours ago

Loved the West Creek trail. It was a more challenging “moderate” trail than we expected. Hard for some in our group. It’s also a hard trail to find as the trail head is not marked and the directions link wants to take you past the trail head. The marked trail head is with Crow Creek Trail and North Boundary Trail. Take the North Boundary Trail just past (north west) the McGraw Ranch cabins. There is a vehicle path just left of a fire hydrant. Head up the vehicle path and within about 20 yards a single foot path begins. As other’s have stated, the first accent is step, but relatively gradual before heading back down the ridge to West Creek. The trail is well defined, but there are many fallen trees over the path. At the creek, there is a nice log foot bridge before heading up parallel to the creek to the falls.

The West Creek was flowing hard and full, as expected with the recent runoff and precipitation. The entire trek was wrapped in lush green foliage with occasional mountain flowers. The fall did not disappoint. It was accessible and able to get right up to the falls. The pools were inviting and if the day was warmer we might have gone in.

The other nice characteristic about this trail is how few people seem to be aware of it. It does appear to be a hidden falls trail. The road parking is limited and it was full at 9:00 am (this is Memorial Day Weekend). However, we only ran into one couple during our 5 hour trip. Since it was hard to find, I asked a Park Service person at McGraw Ranch road for some help and he had never heard of the West Creek Trail. He said he had heard of another falls, but regarded it as a hunting trail.

Overall, I loved the hike, trail and falls. It was rigorous and rewarding. The fact that it is hardly known and used was a bonus.

hiking
16 hours ago

Went on May 28 and it was fairly snowy but doable in tennis shoes. Lake was beautiful and peaceful with a little less traffic than Bear Lake where we started from.

Beautiful lake and views but very, very busy (we were there the day before Memorial Day) and very snowy, so we actually didn't go around the lake but went on to Nymph Lake which was also nice. Couldn't get parking so had to take shuttle and there was enough line for the shuttle to have to wait for two buses.

hiking
16 hours ago

Beautiful views not only at the top but all the way up. We live in KS and so are not used to altitude, but I do run 2-3 miles most days and this was very doable although I was out of breath at times. Going down was quick and easy. Some rocky areas, but nothing too difficult to climb over. Took us 2 hours and 37 minutes not including stops for pictures and at the top.

Pretty waterfall, not too hard but we can from bear lake so maybe less uphill. On May 28 still had snow but able to pass through in tennis shoes. Some wet spots. Pretty busy.

hiking
17 hours ago

hiking
17 hours ago

hiking
17 hours ago

Incredible views from the top. 360 degrees of the whole park. Mostly forested going up. The end part is tough if you're not used to the altitude, but we were able to do it slow and steady. Round trip under 5 hours. Spikes necessary on may 28th

Incredible views from the top. 360 degrees of the whole park. Mostly forested going up. The end part is tough if you're not used to the altitude, but we were able to do it slow and steady. Round trip under 5 hours. Spikes necessary on may 28th

on Dream Lake Trail

18 hours ago

hiking
19 hours ago

hiking
19 hours ago

Great trail for beginners

Just got done with the trail. Moderate dry hike up turns muddy and some snow, but not a big deal for those with the right shoes. Beautiful lake hike and not as busy as Emerald Lake...recommend!

hiking
21 hours ago

Felt much longer than 1.7 miles from trailhead to Gem Lake.

hiking
21 hours ago

Awesome hike, slept in my car overnight to catch the sunset. Overall awesome experience. If you would like to see the hike and location before you head out check out the video I made.

https://youtu.be/wNmjU7MHsrk