Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails in Sangre de Cristo Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike with a friend and well worth the climb to see the 1st lake. It is an emerald green and so clear you can see the lake floor. We went to the 2nd lake and ate lunch before we headed back. The leaves were falling fast, so the autumn beauty is fading fast. Plan to do a weekend trip and camp next year.

off road driving
1 day ago

Found this trail to be quite nice. Views were absolutely stunning. Several water crossings but not bad for a stock Wrangler. Will definitely come back again.

backpacking
5 days ago

Backpacking camping weekend trip with Boy Scout Troop 268 from Colorado Springs. 17 Scouts and 4 adult leaders. Took upper trail on the way up on Saturday. Left trailhead at 8am and first group of 10 arrived at meadow a couple miles from lakes at 12 noon. Second group arrived within an hour after. Setup camp next to the stream for a water source. Spent Saturday night sharing stories, skits and general Boy Scout fun. Rocky trail in some areas but relatively moderate trail. Beautiful scenery with aspens changing colors. 10 Scouts went to the first lake with daypacks and enjoyed the hike and the lake.
On Sunday broke camp at 8am and came down on lower trail. Steeper and very rocky. Arrived at trailhead at 11am. Had a simple church service and headed home. All had a great time. Temps during the day were in the mid to upper 70’s, night down to mid 40’s. No rain and no clouds. There was no moon so stargazing was phenomenal.
Great trail for all to enjoy, highly recommend it!

hiking
7 days ago

Rough terrian but 100% worth it!

Beautiful trail, aspens, and lakes.

Great hike. The aspen are GORGEOUS now. However when you get to the sign that says Rainbow trail and points both right and left, go right. You have to be a Mt. Goat to do the left trail. We lost quite a bit of time going that way then turning around to find the right trail. Didn't make it to the lake so are heading back next Sat.

We took the swift creek trail which led to a sign and we took the Lake of the Clouds trail marked 3.75 .. it was probably 6-8 miles total from the trailhead to the gorgeous lake. We walked through the aspens and the leaves were changing to gorgeous yellow and orange. The lake was crystal clear perfect for trout fishing.

This trip is a strong uphill on a trail that is overwhelmed with rocks and hard to get into a good flow. For 4 miles you are in trees with glimpses of mountains but no real view until the top. Once at the top it is pretty but I don't feel it is worth the effort required compared to other hikes in the area.

Plus side is the drive in is on pavement most of the way. Downside is you have to dodge horse crap in the parking lot

Great trail. The last half mile before the lake is quite steep and difficult. The lake is beautiful and well worth the effort.

Does anyone know if there is dispersed camping on the way up?

We hiked about 3.5 miles up-for a round trip of 7 miles-on August 29. Gorgeous trail. Some aspen groves up on the mountain and on the trail starting to go golden. Saw one person starting ahead of us and one person on our way down. Puppy dog loved all the smells. Creek crossings easy.

hiking
24 days ago

We (my wife, 9yo son and 6yo daughter) started this hike from the Hayden Creek Campground about three miles down the Rainbow Trail. As a result this was a 10-11 mile hike but we avoided the long, bumpy drive to the Bushnell trailhead. The Rainbow section is a steady, mild ascent but pretty easy most of the way. We saw mountain bike tracks but passed none on this sunny weekday.

The switch to the Bushnell Lake trail is well signed. The first 8/10 of a mile is the steepest Clark mb, an unrelenting 1000 ft of altitude over loose rocky ground but then one gets the first views of the valley below and peaks above. The next half mile is flatter, drier and in and out of the trees. This is followed by another easier ascent to the first lake, which is fed by a waterfall from the second lake. I took a quick dip in the lake to cool off and we watched the trout for a while. Pretty good sized fish for a small lake. As it was getting late in the day we returned from here. The whole trip took about 8 1/2 hours and the pool at Curry’s felt great!

Awesome dispersed camping spot in an aspen grove about ~4 miles into the trail on the left marked by a post if you’re headed to the lake.

Excellent trail for beginners. Tons of wildlife and scenic views. Overall a great experience and will definitely go back.

backpacking
29 days ago

Beautiful trip for my first time backpacking, only passed a few people and largely had the whole trail to myself! Some really nice camping spots set up for disperse camping, there were some raspberry bushes along the trail close the lake and the lake itself was gorgeous!

hiking
29 days ago

This trail was challenging but the views were beyond worth it.
The drive up was good until about 3 miles out. The dirt road was very very rough for that last section. You definitely need a clearance vehicle to drive up!
The all trails gps is also wrong and told us we arrived at the trail head about 2 1/2 miles short. Just continue up the road ends at the trail head.
The mileage here is also off. The hike out and back was a little over 8 miles.
The steams made the trail a little hard to find. Just stay to the right and you’ll be good!
It’s a decent climb until the last 2 miles then it’s a booty kicker. Once you reach the large waterfall you’re so close! You’ll follow it up for the last of your decent and be welcomed by a beautiful clear body of water above the tree line.
I did this hike with my almost 2 year old in a carrier on my back so it can be done by moderate to experienced hikers no problem. You end at roughly 12.500 ft so be prepared for the evaluation

backpacking
1 month ago

This was my very first trip to Colorado and the lakes are still my favorites in all the state. It is a rocky uphill climb, and for a "flatlander" Hoosier like myself, the elevation was challenging to adjust to. As it also was my first real backpacking trip, I pretty unprepared as far as gear and choice of clothes. The campsites up top were a great place to unwind and recharge for a couple days. A very friendly doe lived up there while I visited and followed me around most the time I was there. Beautiful mountains, lakes, and insanely undisturbed, dark-night, galaxy-filled skies await at these lakes.

1 month ago

cbc 3b 0xx schest cvs4xex guheby c u 45 mvr

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful spot with very little traffic. A few camping spots along the path.

hiking
1 month ago

Had noooooo idea what I was getting myself into. Just decided that I was going to take the Lakes Of The Clouds trail and it was definitely challenging. But the view was beyond amazing.

backpacking
1 month ago

This review is for backpacking the trail. It was an absolutely beautiful but challenging hike. With 3,000 vertical ft gain over 5.6 miles, expect to be going uphill most of the time. There's some strenuous uphill stretches that start about 2/3rds of the way in but you are rewarded with amazing scenery throughout. We set up camp about a half mile from the lake. The trail was pretty lightly trafficked which was nice.

This was a challenging hike with a pack on, but I can see how day hikers find this more of a moderately difficult hike without the extra 25+ pounds of weight. The trailhead sign states 12 miles roundtrip which was accurate, but the time estimate of 11 hours seemed exaggerated unless you are a beginner hiker, not acclimated to Colorado altitudes, or not in great shape. The hike up took us a little over 5 hours with frequent breaks, the return around 3 hours. I would estimate hiking with just day packs should shave off around an hour each way.

backpacking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

My SO and I planned to do this loop over 2 nights but were cut short due to weather. We hiked up to venable lake, it was 6.5-7 miles. The aspen groves were beautiful and the view before making the final climb amazing. The lake area was open and rocky, but good for setting up a tent. Unfortunately we got all settled in and the predicted light rain turned into a pretty bad storm and we had to throw everything in our packs and make a run for the trailhead. I’ll definitely be back to finish the loop another time.

hiking
1 month ago

The roads to the TH are mostly paved followed by a short section of an easy dirt road.
Although this area is beautiful, I'm only giving it 3 stars because my friend and I lost the trail. We hiked it on July 29. Our guidebook ("Hiking Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Wilderness" Falcon Guide) had incorrect directions--the correct directions are to go right at the Rainbow Trail and then left on the Horn Lakes Trail. So with the extra detour of going the wrong direction at the beginning, this hike didn't start off well. There is a bathroom at the TH. Only a few downed trees on the trail, lots of wildflowers, and even wild strawberries that were quite yummy! Complete solitude--we only saw 2 other hikers on this trail the entire time. AROUND TREELINE, THERE IS A SECOND CREEK CROSSING--MAKE SURE YOU GO RIGHT AND CROSS THE CREEK! We went the wrong way and continued straight ahead on the well-worn trail that ended at a pond in the beautiful basin. We should have turned around and backtracked, but we thought the trail was overgrown (like some others in the area) and thought we'd soon find the lakes. No such luck! We bushwacked for 1 1/2 hours through thick bushes, mud, and what must have been game trails with lots of (bear?) poop, and we finally gave up when we figured out we were on the opposite side of the basin where the lakes were and it was time to head down.

backpacking
1 month ago

Went backpacking up the Venable part of the loop in a group of four of us over the weekend. We measured it as a 7 mile hike from the lot to the largest Venable Lake on a Fitbit and an Apple Watch, which is different that the map. I am new to utilizing the app so not sure what happened but it took us by surprise as the sign notes that the hike to Venable Lakes is 4.75 miles. The last section to the largest lake was very challenging with significant elevation gain. It is straight up the side of the hill/mountain to a small plateau. There is a great camp site near the first lakes. The hike itself is very beautiful, with wildflowers and groves of aspen. The views are incredible as you can see across the valley to the Wet Mountains in several spots. Most of the hike was in the forest until the last section. We camped just off the trail near the largest lake. The fishing was incredible. There are some big cutthroats in that lake and each of us caught at least one. The trail is very rocky and coming down was more of a challenge and it was hard on the feet. I didn't notice it as much on the hike up. Perhaps a recent washout with the storm that blew through. We were visited by a few deer bucks at our camp site each night. They were very tame and curious and were content to be 30 yards away and watch us cook dinner.

horseback riding
1 month ago

I love the Rainbow Trail; it doesn't get any better for me! Swift Trail up to the Lakes is steep and rocky but the beauty at the end is worth every step!

The trail is beautiful. It runs along N Crestone Creek and the water is in sight much of the way, making the surroundings lush and green, with plenty of mature aspen. We also encountered some interesting rock formations, and possibly the remains of an old mine.

I would say the difficulty is more like moderate+, not quite as difficult as the Willow Lake trail, but not categorically different either. Caveat: we did not make the whole trip, since we wanted a shorter hike this time. So we went in just a couple of miles before turning around.

A word about mosquitos from someone who lives here: this year has been unusually devoid of them due to the severe drought we had winter/spring. Normally, they are out in force from about the end of May to late July or early August, with the worst of it being in June. Just thought it was worth mentioning since someone said there were no mosquitos.

hiking
1 month ago

My daughter and I hiked the Comanche side from Alvarado Campground to Comanche Lake and back. The elevation gain was challenging for us flatlanders (from Houston area) but it was well worth it. The trail was a little rough at times with washout and rocks but just enough to keep you engaged. The forest was very peaceful, with plenty of wildlife and the views of the valley were spectacular. Comamche Lake is a jewel and worthy of the effort. An awesome experience. I am looking forward to completing the loop one day.

off road driving
2 months ago

Did the trail all the way from Great sand Dunes up and over onto county road 559 (south of Bradford). Going up and over the pass was doable in a 4x4 Wrangler without having to air down or up but the sand was damp from previous rains. We couldn’t turn on 69 south however because the bridge was washed out headed to 25. We ended up going to Westcliffe to make our way to CO Springs. The whole route over the pass is about 22 miles with the last 1/4 being on private lands (signage will definitely let you know when you get to that point)

So scary ... so awesome... only party to summit today ...I had to use the rope after 15 yards up in hour glass cuz I’m not a good enough climber to make it ....rocks coming down gully, hour glass and near summit are a major threat. Once u get to hourglass ... stay focused and take breaks cuz the little bear will take ur life...

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