Explore the most popular trail running 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.

Beautiful views and the sounds of the river and my knees only barked a little- LOVED!

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!

First hike in a long time went 18 mins up and back!
Hopefully a lot more posts to come

hiking
2 days ago

Still has some deep snowbanks that make navigating the trail difficult but should melt in a few weeks. Getting to the trailhead requires 4 Wheel Drive but the road is mostly dry. Overall a lovely hike!

on Opal Lake Trail

hiking
3 days ago

This is a beautiful trail. When there is average snowfall the road will not open until the first week of June, however it is already open for 2018. Parts of the trail are a bit steep, overall it is not too difficult. The trail is 1/2 mile to the lake. You are at about 9,500 feet in elevation.

hiking
4 days ago

Great easy trail, the first portion is kind of steep but opens into a patch of aspen trees. Very easy and the lake is beautiful. Bring big spray, lots of mosquitos near the lake.

Beautiful trail. Easy hike and easy to follow
Canyon, meadows and you are either by the river
and can easily access it or you hear the river
I did 6 miles out and back and the trail was dry as a bone

Poorly maintained access road meant the total trail distance was 11.5 miles. Very lightly trafficked trail with wonderful views at the top. Definitely recommend this trail.

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.

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked this trail on 5/9, absolutely amazing hike! The hike there is beautiful and then of course the lake itself is almost surreal.

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

hiking
9 days ago

The trail runs along the road through a meadow for about the first two miles, so you can easily lop 4 miles off the total distance just by driving further down the road before you start. There are lots of trails through the meadow.

You cross private property for 2/3 mile, but it's well-marked and trail users have permission as long as they stay on the trail. A bigger issue is the emergency access gate into the Bible camp; the camp belongs to First Baptist Church, so you might want to call ahead and get permission before venturing onto their property. Sometimes they have campers or vacation Bible school up there in the summer.

I had a hard time finding the back end of the loop at the camp; it's not where the GPS map says it is; just follow the road up the ridge when it forks.

Not marked well

No longer a loop unless you’re ok with trespassing. Trails lead right into peoples houses and driveways too. So many better and secluded trails on public land out there

hiking
19 days ago

as good a hike as I've ever done. got lost for awhile and didn't care

hiking
20 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!

You must take the 637 route not the 633 or you end up at a private locked gate that denied access to the falls. So take care to locate the right route.

hiking
25 days ago

One word: SPECTACULAR!!!

Lots of variation in scenery on this hike and all beautiful, can’t wait to see it when the aspens have bloomed. The view from missionary ridge is one of my favorites

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous scenery, but the weather made the trail that much better. Probably in the 50’s while we were there, but there were still spots along the river with frozen waterfalls and snow that hadn’t melted yet. As City folks, the wife and I wore sneakers so it made it a little more challenging with the ice and mud. Probably should of did a little more research on the trail to know when to turn around, but who doesn’t enjoy a good mystery. We turned around at the little bridge.

Good hike but well traveled at times.

Purely amazing

Road closed to the trailhead. Have to walk in two miles on a dirt road before actual hike starts

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