Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Great running and hiking trail. Maintained extremely well. Drive to the trailhead (4x4 just to be safe but not needed) and save the 2 mile road walk from the reservoir for more hiking on the single track.
Deep snow one mile from the top (late May 2018).
It’s gorgeous in the afternoon

backpacking
1 day ago

Our family of four hiked up to the boiler as our first backpacking trip with the kids. Our boys are 8 and 9 and the trail was just about at their max difficulty point on the way up. The uphill sections are broken up with some nice level sections, so it's not too sustained. The stream crossings were a big hit and a mini-adventure each time we got to one. None of the crossings were too hard for the kids to do - just balance on the logs and walk across. The scenery was nice, with a good mix of boulders and trees. There are a good number of fallen trees, some quite recent, but they don't affect hiking on the trail. We saw lots of cool beetles and heard lots of birds.

We made it to the boiler in about 2.5 hours. In that same area are multiple (non-official) campsites. We picked one with some young aspen trees and stream access behind it. It wasn't very far off the trail, but it didn't matter, since no hikers came through after we arrived.

Minor note for those staying overnight: this location must be on a major cross-country airline route. Once the sun went down, we heard airliners going by every few minutes. This definitely took away from feeling you were out in the wilderness. We also heard lots of happy bird noises and a mouse who found some granola in one of the kid's packs.

In the morning we had breakfast, broke down camp, and hiked out in 1.5 hours. It was a pleasant walk out, with a different perspective.

The road in is fine for SUVs and probably most cars. It is only really bumpy after you leave the mountain park (0.9 miles to the trailhead). We passed a road grader smoothing out the road in the mountain park and then hit the somewhat rutted road to the trailhead. I wouldn't hesitate to drive it unless I had a car with low clearance.

Hiked in late April. Trail is open, easy to navigate until you reach the sign that warns you about rock slides and flash floods. After that you're basically on your own. We made it all the way up to the falls which has amazing views, but there's a ton of lose rock and no sure fire way to move around. Hike it with serious caution!

Very beautiful this time of year! Lake is thawed and hardly any snow

I really enjoyed this hike. The trail was well maintained and easy to follow. My favorite view was when we came out of the trees and into a meadow area. Beautiful!

Great trail, beautiful scenery. Friendly people. You can primitive camp near the trailhead in BLM land for free!!!

Clear trail all the way in. Be ready for a moderate climb on the back half lasting about 45min. Views and camping we’re worth it though! Cheers :)

what a lovely hike! hidden flowers along the way, hummingbirds, a creek, and the falls were amazing!

Very nice gentle walk. Beautiful. Enjoyed the Interlaken remnants. Recovering from a leg injury and it was perfect just to the old cabin... which you can go in! I did 2.5 miles in and then back.

The falls were beautiful this time of year. First mile is a little tough but the second half is worth the climb!

Blocked by waist deep soft snow about 1.3 miles in. Will try again as the grade makes for a great hike up.

hiking
8 days ago

Really easy hike with good views. Last stretch to the falls is not really a trail, mostly loose rock. Would not recommend for small children or if you're not sure footed. Not a lot of traffic.

hiking
8 days ago

Still a lot of snow as of 5/14 right after the turn for the pass. Post holed for over a mile before turning back. First part of the trail has no snow. Still offered some amazing views!

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
10 days ago

Fairly easy little hike. Mid May very sunny, little shade and a nice breeze. Probably very hot in summer.
We did a loop with Race Track to Dead Bird to Lost. The All Trails map does not show Dead Bird connecting with Lost, but the map at the trailhead shows the connection and trail signage connects the 2.

Hiked 5/13, trail was all clear with little to no postholing. Brought traction but never took it out of the bag, was a perfect day to summit

hiking
11 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
11 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!

hiking
13 days ago

still lots of snow on the trail... if you don't mind cold wet feet and post holing to your hip, it is stunningly beautiful right now. wildflowers peaking out of snow and lots of snow melt runoff making the creek roar. made it to creek crossing, but too much snow and creek running too high to safely make it across. met a wonderful young couple along the way, thanks Sofia and Kevin (Cooper & Barrett too

Still impassable with snow up to your hips. Only made it s few yards before turning back. Definitely need to wait until June for the snow to melt more.

hiking
18 days ago

Summited this early September as my first fourteener and it is one of my favorite hikes to date. I camped at one of the sites along the road to the trailhead and met our group at the trailhead the next morning. Definitely needed a 4wd vehicle with some ground clearance to drive up to the "official" trailhead. First half of the hike was tree covered which kept temps cool. Second half was mostly above treeline. There was a great flat section midway through with a lake perfect for cooling off. The dogs in our group took advantage of this. Switchbacks lead up to the final ascent which is a pretty challenging but well marked scramble over loose rocks. Views from the top are prime! Overall a moderately difficult hike as far as fourteeners go.

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

backpacking
18 days ago

Not what I would describe as an easy hike, however, incredibly rewarding. VERY steep in places especially from tree line to the first peak. From that point on elevation change is very manageable but there is a lot of scrambling over rocks. Our group is from Kansas so thin air was a challenge and we did fight some altitude sickness. Nonetheless, our group aged 40, 17, 16, 11 made it to the top and back with minimal trouble. Trail head to summit took us 7 hours and descent took 4 hours. Just below tree line we did have to battle some snow. Finding the trail reentering tree line was a bit difficult but I was warned about that so we just took our time.

As other have said, easy hike. Would be good for younger hikers capable of 4.6 miles. Dexter House and the old Inter-Laken Hotle are very interesting. Dexter house is open and worth viewing.

hiking
19 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.

22 days ago

Great family trail. My 4 year old did the whole thing. Great views of the Sawatch Mountains and Salida. Steep in parts. I recommend going up Dead bird and Lost down. Lost is much steeper.

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