Explore the most popular camping trails in San Isabel 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.

Done in May with no snow. Great moderate trail with lots of tree coverage so you're not in the sun for most of it. The start is the toughest part because of the initial incline and lack of shade but after 15-20 minutes it's very easy and doable. Great spots to picnic by the falls.

We made it just above the boulder field in August, 2017. We made the mistake as other have, of starting from the Young Life parking lot. Makes for a very long hike. We’re going back for more this summer and hoping to summit- driving up to the cell tower. Reached the summit at 16 when I was much younger and didn’t know it was tough. Oh, the ignorance of youth!

hiking
7 days ago

Love this hike, but I’ll write a second review to note that the trail that continues past the sawmill gets very difficult to follow! Soon we hope to go mark it better for ours and everyone’s sakes, wouldn’t want anyone getting lost out there. It’s worth the extra mile to the top of the ridge, the path is marked by rock piles (inuksuk) and trail tape VERY SPARSELY! Please be safe and enjoy the beautiful views!

camping
7 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike! Moderate rating on the maintained trail is accurate, though the trail continuing past the sawmill is harder by far and I would urge anyone going further than the sawmill to bring your own trail markers! The trail is sparsely marked after about a half mile. The extra mile is worth it though! Beautiful view of pikes peak.

Beautiful trail with amazing views!! When I went in mid May there was very little traffic. The trail was very well maintained and the people on the trail were very respectful of nature (we didn’t see any dog poo or trash which is rare for a nice trail in CO). It starts out with a decent incline then after about a mile (if even) it flattens out. I would highly recommend!

If you hate nature, beautiful views, well maintained trails, a bit of a challenge, and friendly people along the way - and would rather post hole all day, soaking the insides of those new boots, this trail won’t be for you.

If however you enjoy all these things, less the snow to the knees, this is a perfect spring hike, enjoy!

Was an amazing time. Amazing hiking with some amazing scenery.

hiking
14 days ago

5/5/18. Some places near the top still had snow in the path but was completely able to finish in hiking shoes. The rock face to the south as you hike the valley is stunning and the spring runoff was flowing. The waterfall was barely off the path to the lake. The lake itself was beautiful and jumping in was very cold. Overall was a tough hike but well worth the time.

nice quick hike. last half mile is still snow covered and icey as of 4/14. you'll need a vehicle with high ground clearance to drive to trail head.

hiking
1 month ago

On April 18, 2018, the trail was in excellent shape. No snow or mud. Creek crossings were easy, except one place about a mile and a half in from the trailhead where a large tree has fallen across the south side.
The Alltrails map depicts the trail ending just beyond the sawmill. But actually the trail continues north up the hill another mile or so to the top of the ridge where you can enjoy some breathtaking views of Pikes Peak and the Arkansas Valley. It makes the total round trip almost eight miles (about four hours), but it's worth the extra effort and time.

We walked this on an afternoon in mid April just as the snow melt was accelerating. This is one of our favourite hikes we've done in a long time; the views throughout the trail are incredible, and the variation in plants and wildlife is amazing.

I'd call this a low-moderate trail. Yes, there is a steep and strenuous climb at the start, but it is not technical and has no scary drops. Beyond that it's just a beautiful walk in the woods that gets easier - and better - as it goes on. Even with endless bird watching and a 40 minute stop at the end, it took us under 4 hours total, so I'd encourage people who are fighting fit to look into the lake route (double this one) and make a full day of it. We were sad we couldn't go further.

Saw a Hairy Woodpecker, plenty of lovely little Mountain Chickadees, some Townsend Solitaires, the lovely Dark Eyed Junco and some very cute little critters running about the wood piles!

The waterfall is incredible - well worth getting to.

Would it be a mistake to drive a Nissan Altima the 1.8 miles to the Upper Trailhead?
I’ve watched videos and the road does not look too bad. On the other hand if I got stuck it would be
bad. On the bright side walking the 1.8 miles would be a good warm up. All comments appreciated.
Thank You.

The trail was beautiful, it was challenging, but not overly difficult. Unfortunately, I think we went a little too early in the season. About 2miles in, it just got so muddy. We decided to turn back & try again in a few months.

Very easy path to follow. Hardly any snow until just the end of the trail getting to the falls— spiked aren’t necessary but were helpful on the way down. Used the “getting there” feature from this app and it was totally wrong. Found directions to the trailhead from a dif site. Gorgeous views of the surrounding ranges and great workout! Glad we found this gem.

hiking
1 month ago

Went 3/21/2018. There was still a little ice on the ground and some of the creek was frozen. Quit a lot of rock and roots in the trail make it easy to trip. It is very easy at time then other times you have knee high rocks to climb over, with a 20foot cliff on one side of you, so I feel averaging it out, moderate was a fair rating Trail seems well maintained and the road had no major issues for my jeep. Took the dog, he got tired halfway up like we did, but still worth getting to the sawmill, and then to top. At a modest pace with a few breaks on the way there and back we did it in about 3.5 hours. Would go again, but most likely just to hike halfway and camp.

03/16: Drove from 800 ft elevation in mid west, stayed overnight in Leadville and started hike early morning from south Mount Elbert trailhead parking (paved road from Leadville). Usual south trail was closed for renovations and there was a new trail that shoots off of the colorado trail further north. Follow the posted directions on the Colorado trail. Just wore winter hiking boots for most part of the hike but there was about a mile stretch where I had use snowshoes. At the tree line left my snow shoes and used only hiking poles there on. The wind grew stronger as I climbed further and had to wear balaclava. The views at the summit are just amazing. It was definitely worthy.

3/12/18-- trail was covered in deep snow, if it weren't packed it would be really tough to find. But fantastic views and extremely challenging!

Hiked in the middle of winter on a nice sunny day. Views followed by aspen groves and a few creek crossings made for a scenic hike with lots of packed snow closer to the falls. My 5 and 11 year enjoyed the hike but think about taking lunch or food in general if you have kids. It took my 5 year old about 4.5 hours.

Awesome trail. Hiked it today 3/4/18.

The road: no problem till the last 1/2 mike where it became muddy, snowy, bumpy. If you were really careful you MIGHT be able to get a regular passenger car all the way to the trail head. I would recommend a high clearance 4wd for the road conditions at this time, or you could just park on the side of the road before you get to the bad spot.

The trail: about 40% mud/ice/snow covered but manageable if you’re fairly sure-footed. Just wear boots/shoes with good traction and be mindful while on the ice. Snow is not deep at all- maybe an inch or two in a few spots.

The time: if you’re a quick hiker- you can make it to the old sawmill (steam engine) in about an hour and fifteen minutes, and back down in an hour or less even with the ice.

Traffic: I went on a Sunday late afternoon and didn’t see anyone for the entire hike. Amazing place , which is evening more amazing considering there was no one there and the drive is only about an hour from Colorado Springs

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful area and really nice hike, the creek was frozen in some areas.

Most of the trail had tree cover, sunscreen optional.

Recommend micro spikes or something similar due to the ice/snow on the trail.

Arrived at the trail-head on around 0900 and parking lot was empty.

A few primitive camping areas along the trail, mostly at the beginning and also near the steam engine. My recording shows the camping spots with pictures.

AllTrails does not have a way to communicate with other outdoor enthusiast, I can be reached on Facebook Messenger if you have any questions about this trail.

hiking
5 months ago

this trail is the old trail. it closed summer 2017. visit 14ers.com.for the new trail.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking the steam engine at the end is awesome

hiking
5 months ago

Very fun and moderately hard hike. Had a blast doing it as my first 14er!

We had a great time today hiking this trail. It seemed like the 1st 1.5 miles was the most difficult, as it was a steady incline. The rest was easy breezy. The waterfall was beautiful

Nice hike. Beautiful views. Trail well groomed. A lot of horse poop. Gradual incline on the way up but not too difficult . Falls are worth the hike! Trail head has restrooms . Several foot bridges to cross great variety !

I made it to the top today 11-5-17, it was really windy above tree line, I used micro spikes, gaiters, and trecking poles and had no problems. I would recommend a face mask, the wind and snow gave me an ice beard. I parked about 1/2 mile up the 4x4 road, started at 7:30am made it to the top at 11:30am and back to my truck at 3:45pm. The trail was easy to follow all the way to the top, below tree line there was about 1-2 inches, above the tree line on average it was ankle deep, some spots were wind swept clean other spots were mid shin drifts.

Beautiful falls. Great hike in the snow yesterday.

Not a challenging hike but very lovely. Gorgeous scenery and the waterfall at the end is a must reward. One of the best waterfall trails you’ll find. Great day and great trail.

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