Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

This trail was spectacular. We parked at the Brainard lot because the road was closed. Three miles to the trailhead, but pretty and easy. Once we hit the trailhead we slapped on our snowshoes and were on our way. Nobody other than a cross country skier was out there. The trail wasn’t overly difficult but we felt the hills. We’re doing it again end of March. Beautiful trail for snowshoeing.

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.

Lots of snow. Need microspikes and snowshoes. It is a great workout as it is steep.

If you want an intense workout to start your hike, I highly suggest this trail. The first part is more difficult, lots of switchbacks but there are some great landscape views. The town's that surround these trails have done a great job of allowing us access, while they rebuild, after those devastating floods.
Totally worth the drive to get there❤️

At the start of trail it is a shooting range. Lots of gun fire and you don't know where they are shooting. If I know of all the gun fire would not of done this trail. It was a great hike slippery in spots and the old cabin was cool but too much gun fire at the start.

One of my favorite hikes of all time, but difficult to navigate due to snow unless you go in July or August. Absolutely gorgeous. The little lake at the top is quite a climb but worth it.

Spikes were sufficient until about a mile before the lakes

Gorgeous. You absolutely need snowshoes. The road to the trailhead is closed so tack in another 6 miles rt. Awesome trail. Nobody- other than us and a skier out there.

Ceran St Vrain was a pretty easy hike. I decided to continue and follow the trail 252 up the hill to Millers Rock to see what that had to offer....it offered some pretty amazing views. That part of the hike was tough. The trail was icy in spots and snowy in others, with a touch of clear trail. I wore my spikes the whole way through just to be on the safe side. I'm glad i did.

15 days ago

Great hike! If you're going in the winter, be aware some parts on the trail are super icy so be prepared! The trail isn't really marked throughout so be aware of where you are going, easy to get lost if there is snow on the ground! About a half miles to the start of homesteads, the first two are not intact. Free parking!

Great and dogs can explore off leash!

1 month ago

Went on a snowy, but calm morning and it was beautiful. So quiet and peaceful. There is a couple of inches of snow on the trail, no a big deal. Just be careful because I came across multiple spots of ice hiding under the snow cover and wiped out once, almost a couple other times, because of it. Beautiful trail and not too strenuous. I saw nobody until I was almost done. Traction and walking pole would be helpful but not necessary.

Snowed all morning, but no wind. It was awesome. Most of the trail is good enough to walk on with hiking boots, snowshoes would have been extremely helpful, skis would have also been nice. I have neither snowshoes or skis so I didnt make it to the lakes, started post holing every step about 3/4 mile to the lakes so I turned back. Hey it was worth a shot.

Such a gem of a place. Lost my Tripod head for my camera so if you see it it’s mine. I have to go to work otherwise I’d find it.

Very windy day, which wasn't too bad in the forest. The snow was pretty firmly packed on the trail. I used hiking boots most of the way without a problem, then switched to spikes about a mile - mile and half from the lakes, and then snowshoes for the last stretch. Unfortunately, the wind made hanging out by the lakes pretty miserable, so the trip was cut pretty short. Still gorgeous, though. Lots of skiers!

Completed 1/14, made it all the way up to the first lake with yaktrax/hiking boots. Last mile was definitely slow-going. Beautiful day, no wind. The trail was pretty obvious to follow.

Early morning hike. Surprisingly, the trail was well traveled and easily followed unlike other times. Once making the turn from Rollins Pass, snowshoes are a must. Always a great hike and take the time on some of the steep climbs.

***Get there early as the parking lot was 1/3 full at 8:30 and was full at 11:30. About 75% of people were skiers.

Wife picked this trail on the way up, without telling me it was rated hard/difficult haha. Got there, and only after the first mile or so I asked what the rating was, since the inclines were no joke, especially using snowshoes with 2-4ft snow the entire way. Finally got to the lakes, much too windy to actually see them, but still an accomplishment to get there. The trek down was fast and a ton of fun though.

Note: The snowshoes were a must to make it all the way to the lakes; the trail was not very packed down for the last mile and you would post hole the whole way if just wearing boots!

Know when going to see homesteads that you still will need to hike a minimum of 2-4 miles MORE to actually see a homestead. Sarah Walker homestead is the closest, only 1/4 mile longer but is burned to the ground in the 2002 fires.

1 month ago

We took the dogs out Friday for a warm-up hike before snowshoeing. The trail isn't well marked in some places but is a fairly easy hike. The down side is the lazy hikers who leave their dog poop bags on the side of the trail. At the moment is has some beautiful tiny waterfalls and ice formations.

You will need snowshoes if you want to make it to Blue Lake.

Made it to the lower lakes easily- the last push to upper crater lake was no joke with deep, soft snow and we turned around at about 10,800ft. Used spikes until the last mile up then switched to snow shoes for the rest. Perfect day with no wind!

1 month ago

Fun little hike with great views. A great place to go if you don’t have much time but want to see a good view of ranges.

1 month ago

The trail is very easy to follow. There are some steep sections and there is a bit of ice in spots. We did it without traction, no problem. The creek is frozen enough to walk across, although most crossings have enough rocks that you don't have to walk on the ice. We only saw one other group today. It's a beautiful walk, sheltered from the wind.

2 months ago

This was a fun trail to get onto very mellow but fun with some options after getting through the canyon part .

Great trail conditions. Hiked on 1/14/18. No snow pack or ice, just clear trail bottom to top. I have done this hike in Summer and Winter and it's a good day trip, takes about 3:45 depending on how long you linger at the summit. Steady, moderate climb with steeper terrain over the final 1/2 mile.

Windy but beautiful. The trails are perfect for snowshoeing. It isn't for beginners.

2 months ago

This trail was completely enchanting. There was light snow and ice so tread carefully. These trees are really something special to see. Great areas alongside trail for a campfire. Will definitely return.

Don't let the lack of snow on the drive in fool you. We went up today 1/9/18. The first 1.6ish miles you can get away with microspikes, yax or even just boots honestly. But if you go up the actual crater lakes trail, it gets pretty deep & steep once it splits off from the Rogers Pass trail. We were confused because two people we passed said they made it to the lakes in just spikes/yax, but we never saw their tracks. The snowshoe tracks eventually went off trail and eventually just dead-ended at an overlook. So we cut our own trail and it may not have been the best route, but we eventually wound up at the southwest most lake and circled back to the land between the two lower ones. Sorry if anyone is scratching their heads when they follow our footsteps. But also, you're welcome for us breaking trail. ;) haha. Never saw any tracks near the lakes so I have no idea where those other people went. It was a beautiful view & pretty snow, but slow going and challenging for sure.

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