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off road driving

fishing

backpacking

snowshoeing

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scenic driving

hiking
1 day 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 it 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.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful area and not very busy on a Saturday morning or afternoon.

Most of the trail had tree cover, sunscreen optional.

Some of the trail near the 3 mile mark was hard to follow due to all the downed trees.

Did the trail in April and did run into some snow/ice, however easy to get around it.

If you are a backpacker, saw two camping spots, marked them both on my recordings 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 days ago

Great hike with easy access from Salida. We went up as far as the third bridge today and it was a mix of light snow cover and semi wet. Beyond that snow got a bit heavier and looked like snow shoes would be the way to go. The drive to the trail head is fine. Everyone agreed the hike was beautiful and we'll be back when it opens up further this spring.

on Music Pass Trail

8 days ago

will definitely be back!!! would love to camp at the top sometime. gorgeous in the fall!

hiking
12 days ago

Trail not too bad for early April...a few water crossings & ice/snow cover towards the start but dry for the most part. A few trees over the trail but easy to detour or climb over.

walking
17 days ago

Good trail for the kids. Not hiking but a nice walk around the lake. It still had a bit of snow/ice in the shady parts but great walk.

Used to love this trail but it has been destroyed by logging. The view at the end is still amazing but the hike up is depressing.

When I was a kid I helped build that cabin. Loved hanging out up there for a few days at a time during summer.

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.

This was the best hike I did in 2017. We went in the middle of July. There is great dispersed camping before you reach the gate. Once you are at Lilly Lake you will need to walk the rest of the trail-you cannot drive to the point that the description shows as the trail head. So you will walk along the old road until it turns to the trail at the old parking lot. There were lots of insects when we went, so bug spray is a must in summer. The wildflowers were amazing! I felt like I was walking in a rainbow. The trail is easy and gradually goes up. Because the trail actually starts farther back, the hike was probably about 10-12 miles (we didn’t keep exact track). If you have high enough clearance you can park near Lilly lake. We parked farther down the road so it made the hike longer.

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
29 days 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.

rock climbing
1 month ago

Usually hike, rock climb and or drive on the trails weekly. Lots of space for different activities. During the summer it can get very busy. During the winter it doesn’t get much snow so it’s good for rock climbing there almost year around.

Loved it

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

snowshoeing
1 month ago

This hike was great! Our snowshoes broke halfway up (crappy rentals), but we were able to hike on the packed down snow until about a quarter mile to the lake. Unfortunately the snow got too deep before we could finish the hike to the lake, but it was still very beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

My all time favorite mountain (despite it being a few hundred feet short of being a fourteener)! I absolutely love the Spanish Peaks Wilderness in general and West Spanish Peak is the pinnacle of this region's beauty. The first part of the hike is quite easy and gradually ascends through the forest until you reach treeline. After treeline, the hike gets abundantly more difficult. The trail is mostly easy to decipher on your way up but at times you may have to look for cairns. You pretty much trudge straight up through the talus and scree with the occasional switchback here and there. I would definitely recommend poles for balance and security on some of the trickier, steeper parts of which there are quite a few. Traction devices may be necessary if you're hiking before April/May or after October. The 360 view from the top is incredibly beautiful- particularly looking toward the Sangre de Cristo Range immediately to the southwest. East Spanish Peak is also gorgeous to view from this summit and you really get an expansive perspective on this wonderful area of southern Colorado, my favorite part of our state!

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.

Awesome hike for an overnight trip. In August, I was able to just keep refilling my 1 liter nalgene along the trail, there is plenty of water. Trail is well marked and the views are stunning the entire way. The trail gets steep just before the lower basin and can gas your legs. There's a neat little abandoned cabin along the trail after breaking off the Rainbow Trail. I hear there is good fishing up there, but I had no luck.

This was a nice hike. I had long wanted to summit this peak, having often admired it while going over La Veta Pass. On the mountain proper, it gets pretty steep and the footing can be a little loose and wobbly in places. Be careful! Trekking poles add stability.

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails in the Leadville area as it connects to an old railroad route and leads to the abandoned railroad tunnel. This trail is the most direct route to the tunnel, thus is a bit more strenuous. However, one can take advantage of the old rail bed on the way back down. There are remnants of Douglas City and other misc. industrial pieces on the way to the tunnel.

2 months ago

Great views, nice rock outcroppings, family friendly.

hiking
3 months ago

Steady incline the whole way. I was by myself with two dogs and we all made it fine. A few hours in I noticed some mountain lion poop and got a little nervous. All in all it was a nice quiet hike up the mountain...bring good shoes (lots of snow, ice, rocks). I went middle of January and it wasn’t too bad.

Challenging and breathtaking. One of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever hiked. HIGHLY recommend

off road driving
3 months ago

Best experience of a lifetime! as if crossing the Continental Divide isn't cool enough Jeeping was a great experience. the views were spectacular, Mount Ouray in the distance as the trail go straight up into this sky... plus love the history of this Pass must we never forget that! it's not just a trail!

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