Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

hiking
4 days ago

First: I have tried summing Blanca before, also in the middle of October. The first time we weren't quite prepared enough and didn't feel safe without spikes or crampons. Also, Lake Como Road is a bit of an ankle breaker and it really killed my knees. So, this year we thought we'd be clever and try to mountain bike the road and had enough snow gear to do the summit. What we had forgotten: the majority of the road is not even bikeable on the way up, so we ended up walking our flipping bikes up 4k of gain to Lake Como. They were sort of worth it on the way down, but a large portion still was too sketchy to bike down until the halfway point of the road.
We ended up not being able to summit (again.....) due to weather blowing in about 6 hours earlier than we had previously been told. We did see a herd of big horn sheep, which was great. The rest was pretty meh considering we still didn't bag the peak. If we had I'm sure it would have been 5 stars.

11 days ago

So, this trail totally blows chunks. Little did I know Lily Lake is at the top of the pass not up and down the other side! To my surprise I misread the map leading to a dissappointing trail experience. Needless to say it was totally my fault for f'n it up, but still gonna go ahead and say one-star. Views were dope though.

hiking
13 days ago

We did this hike Sunday October 7. The trail is definitely longer than advertised— the whole hike I recorded via this trailhead from the parking lot to the lake was 10.1 miles total. The trail spreads the elevation gain out well and is marked clearly throughout. We got some snow at the top but trail was clear

fishing
14 days ago

So hard! I’m a park ranger and hike every day, but this trail was still hard for me! Definitely not a day hike.

Great trail worth the long drive with spectacular views.

hiking
26 days ago

I loved the scenery on this trail, but it was a bit confusing to get to! The trailhead is actually the Gibson Trailhead and then you take the marker towards rushing creek, from there it’s .5 of a mile until you see a sign that says Lakes of the Clouds. My boyfriend and I thought we were lost multiple times. Other then that, the fall colors were amazing!

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
27 days 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.

off road driving
1 month ago

Broke a rear locker and still worth it!

backpacking
1 month 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
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

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

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked August 28. 5.1 miles up to the lake and 5.1 miles down according to my garmin. First 1.5 miles of switchbacks are steep and sandy but doable. Clear trail all the way. Great mountain lake and waterfall. Saw woodpeckers, picas, marmots and a bighorn sheep.

hiking
1 month 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!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike!

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

hiking
1 month 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.

2 months ago

This is a beautiful, moderately challenging hike with a beautiful reward at the end. The hike is longer than the description and the trail map suggest. It’s not 8 miles round trip per the description. It’s at least 12 round trip. I got 30,000 steps on my Fitbit = over 13 Miles. We walked around the lake some but the trip from the trailhead to the lake and back is at least 12 Miles. So worth it and a great hike. Just beware of the distance discrepancies. It took us about 3,5 hours to get to the top with frequent stops to take amazing pictures.

hiking
2 months 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.

Amazing.

backpacking
2 months ago

beautiful trail all the way to the lake. please bring bear proof containers for food! The bear knows that hanging bags are food and tore into someone's food everyday we were there. he mauled our bear bags but didn't get our food fortunately.

backpacking
2 months ago

Amazing trail. Very easy for a fourteener, however the road in is very bad. We made it in about 3 miles in a Chevy Silverado. However, most people had to park further down the mountain. The trail was very nice though. Our little shepherd even made it to the peak.

backpacking
2 months ago

camping
2 months ago

This is a great, challenging trail. There’s a variety of landscapes and much of the trail is picturesque. The lake is beautiful and camping area is clearly marked. The road to the trailhead has many pull-offs for car camping, I recommend a high clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead but it’s not a long walk from any of the camp sites if you have a smaller car.

hiking
2 months 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.

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