Explore the most popular no dogs trails in Roosevelt 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.

3/13/18: Did this trail today w/my 9 y-o & 17 y-o. We parked in the lower lot but the upper lot has the bathrooms. We took the Nighthawk trail. No bikers allowed on this trail. The only issue we had was when the trailed forked off with no sign. The fork off to the right is what looks like a vehicle made path (what the path had been up to that point for awhile) and the fork to the left is a thin foot trail. We went right because it seemed to be going in the right direction. It wasn't the path but still got us to the same point - where you can take Button Rock trail or Nelson Loop. They need to put a sign at that fork! We took Nelson Loop to the right (east), stopped at the settlement then took Bitterbush trail to the parking lot. Almost as soon as we got on Nelson Loop the mountain bikes started coming. With the exception of the mountain bikes, our favorite part of the hike was Bitterbrush & Nelson Loop. If we do this one again we'll skip Nighthawk. It took us just over 4 hours to hike this. I don't think I'd brave this one in the summer. Not much shade. Must be really hot in the summer. We didn't think it was difficult but the kids complained that it was too long.

Maybe my favorite Boulder County open space. There are a lot of places where it feels more like plateau country than Front Range. Bike traffic is a big detractor for hikers on the Bitterbrush but it's often worth it due to the awesomeness. Especially love the rock garden area and it's fun to watch the more skilled bikers who can really ride it. A lot of the summer, this trail is a bit too hot. The mule deer here are not particularly afraid of people and especially when they have fawns and will often stand their ground when you meet them on the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy rehab hike. Haven’t checked this trail out til today. It was closed during the calving season and so I did Mud Lake.
No snow/mud. One short icy section.

Super late fall hike. In the 50s and was pleased to find that the majority of the hike was protected from the wind which was heard gusting in the vales.

Only had one glimpse of the Back Range and that was of Old Baldy. Better views on the Mud Lake hike.

The ruins of the Bluebird Mine and the DeLonde Homestead were quite interesting.

Managed to stretch it to 5.8mi.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy hike with small children. A little snow and mud, but avoidable.
Short drive to the Carousel of Happinesses after.

Awesome hike to the lake, but beware this time of year, the snow was knee deep in some areas and finding the trail to the lake was challenging. Worth it, though!! Beautiful views and the lake is partially frozen. Bring very warm clothing and crampons if you have them.

If you just want to hike this is not the trail you want to be on. There were so many mountain bikes. Too many to count, very frustrating.

Nice hike on a beautiful Saturday. Arrived about 8:30 am to plenty of parking and didn't encounter much traffic on the way up, but friendly bikers thronged the trail both directions on the way down. Encountered a rattlesnake on the trail within sight of the parking lot, but it wouldn't budge, so I backtracked and took Nighthawk Trail the rest of the way. This is a good moderate hike for diversity in terrain and inclines, and it has some nice but not spectacular views. Take a brief detour to Sleepy Lion Trail at the top for some really beautiful views of Longs Peak and the Ralph Price Reservoir in Button Rock Preserve.

Great easy hike with kiddos. Did it early to avoid the heat of July.

Nice little trail. Easy hike with a mine and artist in residence.

Early season (until mid-June) will have snow in areas. July to October it is clear of snow, but very heavily covered with loose rock. The trail can be technical in places. It is well marked.

hiking
7 months ago

Great area to follow streams and get lost in the woods

hiking
7 months ago

Perfect time of year to do this hike. I did Lost Lake trail early summer which starts off on the same trail head, much more enjoyable this time. Aspens are starting to change colors. Gradual elevation change doesn't feel like 2,700 ft. Awesome views at the top. Took about 6 hours with a few short breaks.

7 months ago

Just a fun easy look that takes you thought a part meadow part wooded hike. a good starter if your trying to adjust to altitude.

need 4WD to make it to the start of the trail. I had a small sedan so i parked a couple miles short of the trail and walked up the road

Awesome hike! Went with my husband and our two dogs. The very beginning is ROCKY but it smoothed out within a mile. Very well shaded! Was an absolute pleasure to hike when we did it August 19th of 2017. Started around 10am. Was lucky to snag a spot. There were lots of people on the early part of the trail (over 10 different humans spotted) but became much more sparse specially on the way back. Did spot a few people backpacking in and I can understand why. There are some beautiful meadows to camp on about a mile, mile and a half from the lake. Would highly recommend this hike! If you can, bring a hammock! This is an excellent trail to simply lounge.

hiking
7 months ago

This scenic little loop was perfect for a quick family outing and its proximity to Nederland made it easy to refuel afterwards. There was ample parking at the trailhead when we arrived around noon, but the trail was still fairly busy. The side trail to the mine is well worth the short detour, as there are a few structures still standing and several interpretive displays.

trail running
8 months ago

Beautiful hike!! Difficult to run the first couple of miles out due to loose/bigger rocks and gravel. The last mile out is also fairly steep for running, however, the middle section is good for running. I arrived at around 7:30 am and there was still parking near the trailhead, but I would imagine it gets very busy on the weekends. The first 4 miles are in the trees, but the last 2 open up and allow for great views of the mountains and the valley below. Not too busy and incredibly gorgeous!

hiking
9 months ago

Easy trail with beautiful views. Meadows are filled with wild flowers right now. Has offshoots from the main trail to an old mine and a large homestead with interpretative signs. Perfect trail for families with small children or those not used to the altitude.

on Caribou Trail

hiking
9 months ago

Great easy day hike. I like that there are no dogs allowed since people never seem to pick up after them or they leave the plastic crap bags everywhere. (Love dogs, not their inconsiderate owners). There are lots of interesting sights as well with the old mine and the house and barn. Don't like that there are so many horses allowed since they chew up and stink up the trail. One of the few County owned trails that you won't see bikes on, which is awesome. Most other county trails have been given over to mountain bikes, which makes it less than fun for those of us who just like to be in the woods and walk. Nice family hike. Also great for snowshoeing in winter.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice steady hike with tremendous views.

off road driving
9 months ago

It's free of snow all the way to Yankee doodle

9 months ago

really bummed there are no dogs allowed. it's beautiful, shady and sunny, interesting sights and wildflowers. Roaring river and meadows. but there is a LOT of horse excrement all over the trail and parts do smell like a barn as a result. They are also VERY strict about park boundaries and staying on trail. it's like the retirement community of trails. there are a lot of tables but no nearby trash bins so not a great picnic spot either. it really is beautiful though.

Great hike, nice few pit stops along the way, and great conditioning on your body. Really fantastic reward after a tough end to the hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Flat, variety of terrain and little exploratory stops at mining camp and homestead. Good for visitors who want a taste of Colorado outdoors but don't want to strain.

hiking
9 months ago

Fine for beginners, or leisure hikers looking for a low commitment hike that feels a bit off the beaten path. Some nice views of Eldora, James Peak, etc.

on Caribou Trail

trail running
9 months ago

easy hike with gentle ascent. Good for beginner trail running. However no dogs are allowed on this trail.

This is a great easy hike. Best in summer as it gets muddy. This is one that even little kids can do and they will love. Goes by an old homestead and also brings you into the woods. It has something everyone will love.

hiking
9 months ago

One of my favorite hikes yet. Pack snacks!

Hall Ranch is fantastic for train running.

One error on the Wildlife section; the deer are mule deer, not whitetail.

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