Explore the most popular camping trails in San Juan 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.

hiking
9 hours ago

Beautiful hike with plenty of switchbacks to help alleviate the elevation increase of 2430 feet. Filled with waterfalls year round. But LOTS of water flowing this time of year. If you go anytime soon I suggest gloves for the very last half mile of this hike as you will be thigh deep in snow when you fall in crossing it. I’m 5’4 and almost disappeared a few times. There is no way to avoid the snow nearing the top of the trail but push through it, it’s worth it. Other than that short sleeve and shorts were fine temperature wise. Lake was frozen over on arrival, but snow covered mountains made for a nice view. Saw many Marmots, 2 elk, a porcupine, and a LARGE Black Bear. Will be back to see the lake unthawed later in the year.

hiking
1 day ago

My all time favorite hike

Awesome trail!! We were unable to get to the upper lakes because of deep snow and the lower lake still had a small amount of ice on it. The waterfalls throughout the hike are amazing. We ate lunch near a huge waterfall right beside the split to go to the upper lakes. A hard hike but definitely worth it. It look my husband and I 3hrs to make it to the lower lake (we stopped frequently for lots of photo opportunities) and 1.5hrs back down.

hiking
4 days ago

I was very excited about this trail, especially after all the fantastic reviews. The campground is perfect. We had a spot all to ourselves right next to the river after the bridge. A wonderful way to spend the evenings.

We got up early to start the hike and had no trouble finding it and heading in. That said, once we really got into it, it was fairly treacherous with all the fallen trees. Almost every step for about 3/4 of the hike was climbing over and under the fallen trees. I imagine later in the summer, once they've cleared it, it would be an amazing hike. But in May, no bueno.

It appeared that people had gone through and broken limbs off trees to make it 'easier' however, because they left loads of nubs, it made it harder to avoid the inevitable scrapes and scratches.

I finally found the hot springs, and while a beautiful spot, definitely not that hot. And in my opinion, not worth all the very hard work to get there.

All this said, I LOVED THE CAMPGROUND and could easily wile away the hours near that river. On a side note, we didn't see any wild life, which was kind of strange.

We hiked this trail two days ago and it was still in the same condition as about a month ago. There are A LOT of downed trees so if you are going to try to make it start early in the day. We added about an hour each way compared to our usual pace. We had our large dog with us and she was able to make it. There is a lot of over and under trees however so just know that ahead or time. Also pay attention to the trail directions. The turns are hard to see with all the downed trees! Pay attention. That being said, we found the hot springs and had it all to ourselves. The risk was worth the reward!

hiking
14 days ago

Loved this trail! Perfect if you’re looking for a simple day-hike. Only negative is the trail isn’t marked very well, in my opinion. We will definitely be back.

Great trail! We didn't make it to the lakes. There was still snow on the trail.

Not marked well

hiking
27 days ago

We decided to see how far we could get on this trail in April knowing that we would probably hit snow at some point. There was less snow this year than usual in Colorado (2018) but we were not able to get to the top in regular hiking shoes (snowshoes definitely would help). We kept falling through the top layer of snow/ice up to our knees/thighs which made trudging on very difficult. We got about 1.5 miles in / 1300 ft up before turning around. The trail was lost to the snow eventually too (used phone GPS and looked for cut logs where the trail would be cleared). It was still very pretty and worthwhile but we'll have to return once the snow is gone. The temperature at the end of April was quite pleasant: just had a hat, some long-sleeve layers on top, and shorts (even in the snow it wasn't that cold).

Very beautiful hike! Intense at times walking in ice and snow at mid day, but well worth it to see the view at the top from the waterfall as well as the lower basin! Was not able to make it to the main ice lake basin due to snow and lack of snow shoes, but we went a little early in the season! We will be coming back in July to see the lakes thawed!

Absolutely stunning and completely empty this time of year (April) . There were a lot of trees down but only one was hard to navigate around. Definitely a favorite!

hiking
1 month ago

One word: SPECTACULAR!!!

I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!! Great trail difficult with snow and ice in areas but still amazing! We took one trail up and a different one back crossing the creek on top of logs and rocks. It was so quiet and peaceful only seen one other biker. When we reached the falls with it was an amazing site the combination of snow, ice, and rushing water was worth every step. This was my first Colorado hike but won’t be my last. Thank you Colorado

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is NOT open yet. We had to park outside the first gate, which adds 2.5 miles onto your hike each way (bathrooms are still locked at the campground and everything is closed). The trail itself needs some hardcore maintanence to be done which hasn't happened this season yet. We ended up having to go over about 50 to 75 trees, some of which were in rather dangerous locations. Dogs should def not attempt this trail right now. It took us about 4.5 hours to do 11 miles. We ended up not finding the hot springs before it got to dark so we turned around at the river (about 1 mile from the campsite and trail to hot springs). Overall, I would not say this trail is not by any means 'Open' in April, as the trail had stated at this time of attempt.

UPDATE: The description has been updated to accurately reflect a better time of opening.

An excellent hike and or an overnight x2

Very pretty hike but be prepared to hike in snow knee high at times.

This is probably one of my all time favorite hikes! I suggest getting there early in the morning to avoid crowds and to make sure you give yourself enough time. This is so scenic, everywhere you look is picture perfect! Wear layers, goes from hot to cold quickly. Bring snacks and plenty of water

Beautiful but busy! I left about 7 and made it back by 2. It's a bit of a burner but honestly the water is breathtaking and well worth the work. There were Llamas just chillin by Ice Lake which was random and amazing. I did continue up to Island lake which was awesome as well. People were fishing there and I sat for a good 10 minutes admiring the view. on the way there were quite a few people headed up. A few early morningers met me on the way up.

Good hike but well traveled at times.

Purely amazing

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely amazing!!

Beautiful trail with great views.

hiking
2 months ago

My first real hike in the San Juans. Gorgeous.

hiking
2 months ago

ATTEMPTED MARCH 2, 2018

I have heard great things about these falls and have seen some cool winter pictures so I decided to try this while down in Durango for a long weekend. Started at 10am with perfect sunny weather. I had to park just off 550 since the road to the trailhead / lot was covered in snow. The trail started off fine, snowy but not bad. After a couple miles the snow started to get deeper and deeper. I gave up probably 4 miles in because the snow was deep and the only tracks were cross country ski's. The entire creek was covered in snow. Not really any good views at all. Would recommend waiting until spring/summer/fall for this one to see the water flowing.

AS OF NOW SNOWSHOES / SKIS ARE REQUIRED TO GET TO THE FALLS.

I gave 4 stars because I have seen great pictures of the falls and plan to try again in a couple months.

walking
3 months ago

This was a beautiful hike however be aware that the road (county road 7 I believe) is closed. The last 4.4 miles of driving become walking. Also the snow was very deep (up to my waist at points) so bring snowshoes. It was still beautiful but be warned that this 8 mike hike is a 17 mike hike in the winter!

hiking
3 months ago

ATTENTION: The road to the trail head was closed when we went this past weekend (2/3/2018) so expect an extra 3 miles each way along slightly boring, flat forest road. We parked in the turnout along the highway and walked in.

Snowy and icy, but not something that would require snowshoes or traction devices. Gaiters could be nice though for some parts. Not difficult as far as elevation change goes. I found the directions a bit confusing when it said to go left at the last fork and pass the campground... the only left path at a fork was closed off by logs and we never saw an official campground. Nonetheless, the hot springs were easy to find by just heading low near that fork and walking along the river.

Lots of algae in the springs.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! Was very icy in some areas. would not recommend hike if you do not have good shoes and are able to do steep climbs down and up. The springs are a pretty good drop down to get to. Gorgeous views and the hot springs are beautiful. Well worth the long hike

One of my favorite hikes.

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