Explore the most popular cross country skiing 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.

Pretty hike through the woods. We opted to leave the snowshoes in the truck. Snow-packed trail. Once you get a few miles in (past the gate) we had fresh tracks on the switchbacks. The first part of trail is really a road. I would estimate road portion to be ~2 miles. We felt that part was a bit boring. The reviews said road is rough. I would think any decent SUV could make it to the gate with competent driver. Albeit...parking places near gate limited. Saw lots of friendly dog owners on trail.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is public as it is on USFS land. Only the trailhead @ gate 5 is marked for residents only. Respect that and park at the public parking lot/trailhead off N. Pagosa Blvd. as shown on the All Trails map.
If parking is full there there are several other USFS gates that are on public land but all require street parking which is usually not a problem as long as you're not blocking the road.
This map shows a MTB/road biking loop but for hikers/snowshoers better loops can be made from 312, 311, 315, 305 trails. Nice scenery and rarely used in winter. But bring a map/compass/GPS as some of the trails are hard to follow when snow covered.

Pretty trail for seeing mountains. It’s well maintained and fairly flat for most of it - perfect for an easy afternoon.

hiking
3 months ago

Great little hike. Well marked. Saw horseback riders and a group with a couple dogs. Beautiful views of the mountains!

Love this hike! Soooooo gorgeous with the gold & red & green leaves falling! Beautiful year round!

Did with baby and dog - challenging but doable.

hiking
3 months ago

Enjoyable trail , pretty views. Took us about an hour and a half.

Nice hike for kids and dogs. Lots of trees and shade.

This trail has many trails interlinked with it but if you drive past where the GPS drops you off and find the actual trail head it is a nice little loop. Not challenging or any great views by any means, but it's a nice loop to do in the morning to get some exercise and be in nature.

wonderful hike, not hard trail, some of it is rocky but it is well used and maintained. this trail will offer you a lot of nature and from some vantage points you can get a good view of the valleys below!

Nice view of mountains. Lots of meadows and some forests. Mostly in the sun. We

Pros: 70% shade
Cons: no signage, manure everywhere, no cave access— walked by 3 times, but never found, no good views.

Beautiful - we crossed the creek and went up He west side to the waterfall - about 9.5 miles round trip from the parking lot. Road to parking is very rough and it is further in than you think.

Beautiful views!!!

Beautiful lake - the trail could use some better markings - it is easy to wander off but overall a good portion of shade and relatively flat.

Hiked out to the bridge over Engine Creek on Cascade Creek East Fork trail. Beautiful hike was a little over 6.2 miles out and back from where I parked Jeep.

hiking
5 months ago

Trail is very pleasant but could have better markings. Great for day hiking with family or pets.

Great little hike to get warmed up for longer harder hikes in the area

Nice little hike. Easy to get to, no off-roading, just park off the road and you are right at the trail head. Pretty meadows, and nice Mountain View’s. We saw eight deer and one coyote. 18 minute drive to downtown pagosa for lunch afterwards. Trail is well marked and easy to follow.

hiking
5 months ago

Very nice trail. Difficult to navigate. Lots of beautiful scenery, a couple waterfalls, cool mining site. Lots of shade. Worth the trek. This is also a horse trail so watch out for horse poo.

hiking
5 months ago

This was our family's 1st hike, and it was a good test. It was cloudy and rained a bit to keep the heat down. Wete not in good shape, but we made it up the few climbs and enjoyed the views.

We did this walk with kids (both under 10) and found it fairly easy. Most of the trail is nice - unremarkable - but nice enough. The sections along the creek are pretty and the trees provide a bit of shade on a hot day. The kids also liked the old mine and other remains along the trail.
We did not do the section that over looks the lake.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice, easy, loop trail. Mostly flat, but winds up and down a couple small rises. Big open meadows, mature Ponderosa's, Gambel oak. Saw a few deer. Looks like earlier in the year there are probably a lot of wild flowers.

Beautiful flat trail! Great for young hikers and novices. Took us 2 hours with 4 adults and 3 little ones (8, 7, & 6 years old) stopping a lot along the way. Great views of mountains and mule deer. Not a lot of shade, so I would recommend morning or night hike. Would give 5 stars if there was more shade. Shared the trail with 4 other groups and 2 individuals. Will do this again in the evening next summer when I return to the area.

hiking
6 months ago

I checked this trail out today as well. The trail is probably not private - but parking and entry at "gate 5" is. http://www.plpoa.com/News/22408~404096/GATE-5-PARKING-IS-ONLY-OPEN-TO-PAGOSA-LAKES-RESIDENTS. this should probably be removed from all trails. My regards to Pagosa Lakes Residents, giving me a bad impression of the people and area.

hiking
6 months ago

nice trail . finding only 6.2 miles to waterfall. Road very rough r we commend 4x4 or high clearance.

Saw lots of mule deer and a bear with two cubs. Open trail and not real woody but some great views.

We connected to this trail from the Cascade Village townhomes, where we are staying. This was a quiet trail - didn’t come across any other people. But be on the lookout and prepared- we did see a mama bear and a cub. The creek was beautiful and I loved all the flowers and butterflies on the hike. The route we took had great views of Engineer Mountain!

Shady trail. The first part is great because you hike near a creek and come across an old mine. Trail isn’t marked well so it was a bit hard to navigate. Bring your lunch and enjoy it overlooking the lake!

Great hot weather hike! Very serene with some short interval hills. Much of the hike is tree covered for great shade.

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