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.

off road driving
1 day ago

Great easy 4x4 trail with camping. We ran this many years ago with a group of friends. 4x4 Low and air down your tires. Watch water crossings during snow melt they can get high. Take a compressor so you can air down for sand and back up some for the trail. If you go with your friends who have a Discovery 2 make sure they know how to engage 4x4 low. LOL

Wonderful hike! The lake is beautiful. This trail is actually 12 miles round trip and goes to Cherry Lk, not Peanut Lk.

hiking
11 days ago

This was the best alpine lake payoff of any trail I've done. We did it early in the season so the mosquitos weren't bad yet. As others have said, the first set of switchbacks are the hardest and the ones on the rock scree were the windiest. I'm out of shape and my wife is 4 months pregnant - our total time was 7.5 hours, 5.5 of moving time. 10.1 miles total. We saw some bighorn sheep on our way down and also swear we heard a moose, though not to be seen.

Just did this trail. It’s pretty rugged I’m talking very rocky areas all throughout that will give your feet, ankles and legs a huge workout. The snow is melting fast and there’s a lot of run off. The snow mounds that remain are deep I’ve slipped into a few and the snow went past my knees and there was a broken tree hidden inside one which gave me a nasty scratch about two inch cut on my lower leg. So be careful!! The trail is also unkept, fallen trees liter the path forcing you to find creative ways around them. But that view at the end. My god. Amazing.

off road driving
15 days ago

Took our off-road Tacoma on this trail yesterday - such a blast! There are quite a few stream crossings but shouldn't be an issue if clearance is high enough. Definitely a good amount of rough/rocky terrain, nothing we couldn't handle but not the most comfortable.
Park ranger mentioned not to drop the pressure in your tires TOO much, you do have to go over some very sandy portions of the trail but still need to maneuver rocks as well! Apparently a few people didn't listen and ended up with a dented rim.

hiking
15 days ago

Willow Lake was a beaut. No need for any type of traction. Lake is completely thawed and there was a huge trout in the stream below the lake. Bringing the rod next time! RT took 7 hours with a long break at the lake and lots of stops for photos. Garmin watch clocked 12 miles RT but we dink around a lot.

hiking
18 days ago

I went up to the lake a couple days ago 5-4-18. I took the regular route (not swift creek, the signage is not so confusing once you understand there are 2 routes up to lake of the clouds) There was a fair amount of waist deep snow drifts 1/2 way up, it took me 4 hours, but I believe it will be "ready" or normal within a few weeks. BTW saw 2 bears right below the snow line (they were not aggressive at all) bring protection if hiking alone or in a small group. I didn't see another person the whole hike, true solitude. The last half is all snow but totally doable if you have the patience, seems to be rapidly melting.

lost our dog Lindsey. trained pitbull grey with white belly with stand up ears and was wearing a brown jacket. if found please post a comment saying she's found

hiking
1 month ago

Day hiked to this gem last week with the pooch. 200 yard wide, 100' tall ice waterfalls were a site to behold. Microspikes a must in upper third of trail. Worth every step with rewards starting at meadows within first couple miles on up. Would be a nice place to basecamp with nice views if Kit Carson if one were looking to do an overnighter right now.

on Lakes of the Clouds

1 month ago

Totally worth the hike!!! will definantly be back to this one but this time with plans to camp at the top.

backpacking
1 month ago

This is a tough hike at the beginning but once you’ve gotten past the switchbacks it’s pretty easy going to the lake. Leave early the weather can turn without warning and the wind really picks up around 2pm.

off road driving
3 months ago

Hell of a road! Super fun

So beautiful! We did this hike in November and the frozen waterfalls were awesome!

This is a gorgeous hike, one of the best in the area. I hiked it on a one-day ascent and descent of Challenger Point and Kit Carson Peak, and so didn't have time to explore the area around Willow Lake much. I want to return to do some more photography in the area. Well worth the hike!

I went in December 2017:
Okay- the good and bad:
1. This trail is 11 miles off highway 50 on a 1 lane dirt road. You need a high profile vehicle or you won’t make it. It took us about an hour to reach the trailhead via the road. It’s rocky, ruts, washboards, washed out, etc. I probably drove around 4-6mph the whole way
2. The trail is pretty much straight up. It was well maintained, but a lil tricky and it will get your heart racing for sure. There aren’t switch backs, just up up up (you are climbing a mountain, after all). The hike down was a bit slippery it’s so steep. It had just dusted snow when we were there.
3. The view is incredible. The trail is gorgeous. I can imagine you’ll likely be the only one there, it is remote! The silence is incredible. The lake at the top is worth it!!!! True gorgeous nature.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a well maintained trail and is somewhat challenging. The steep grade and altitude make this a fantastic workout of the body and mind. This hike has it all sweeping views, streams, waterfalls, and alpine lake, and moss covered forests. We loved it!! Give your self plenty of time as it is a very long 8.6 miles. In fact, I would say it is more like 12 miles out and back. If you go in July, BE PREPARED FOR EPIC MOSQUITOES !! You will need long pants and long sleeves and bug repellent. If you take these precautions you will be fine. We went in shorts and short sleeves and it added a layer of challenge to this hike.

on Lakes of the Clouds

5 months ago

normally a moderate hike. 3/4 of the hike was over snow. Definitely a trying hike but absolutely beautiful. took 5 hours in and right at 3 hours back. well definitely try to make it again before too much accumulation. our 6 year old hiked it like a champ.

Great trail! Started hiking at 8am. Enjoyed the views. A bit confused by the open meadow that you backtrack before entering trees again and start climbing in elevation. Also struggled to find the first creek crossing since it was November and the creek was pretty froze up. The creek crossing is on the trail and it raises quickly from the drainage valley where you would expect it. Then struggled again to find the switchbacks at the camp site mostly because of the snow on the ground. So ate lunch around 11am just where the switchbacks start and headed back. Arrived back at the truck by 2pm. Enjoyed the day!!

epic. saw elk. Aspens were yellow and great did it in about 4 weeks ago. lakes were clear and amazing. snow on the peaks.

backpacking
7 months ago

Great trail. Well maintained.While the hike is somewhat challenging with a full pack, the abundance of amazing views makes it worth the effort. Views of Willow Lake are a breathtaking reward.

fishing
7 months ago

epic trail, the lakes area is incredible. some snow at the peaks. colors of autumn, saw 2 bull elk near beginning.

hiking
7 months ago

Excellent hike. A little bit of everything. Challenging but not overwhelming. Beautiful views worth every step!

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike with well maintained trail. Made it to the lake in 3 hours.

hiking
8 months ago

The trailhead shown on the map is actually the Gibson Creek trailhead. at the termination of County Road 172 (Not hermit Road which hits Rainbow trail much further south. Hermit road is a continuation of County Road 160. The best description of the trail directions is at the San Isabel National Forest website.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/psicc/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=12756&actid=50

hiking
10 months ago

Wrote a detailed blog post. You can read it here http://wp.me/p7ZycW-2l :)

Beautiful scenery, and I guess "moderate" is accurate, but they didn't give it that rating with 62 year old guys in mind. Consistent climb over rocky terrain and easy to miss the trail on the downhill leg. Trail marker at base of Rainbow Trail by my gps and my body was totally in accurate. From Gibson trail head, this is a 9-10 mile round trip.

The route shown on this app, is not the best route in my opinion. There is a route if you turn left (walking from the parking lot, to the trail on the app) following the Forest service signs, that is shorter and more scenic. I went up on the shorter route, and back on the longer route. The longer route has nothing to recommend it, again this is the route shown in the app, as it bypasses both of the impressive waterfalls I enjoyed on the way up, and the added mileage is almost entirely on an ATV track that is not particularly scenic.

backpacking
10 months ago

Hiked Lilly Lake trail numerous times from June through Sept.
The lake itself is a great place with generally low traffic. Mount Lindsey attracts most of the attention and that trail leaves Lilly Lake trail about a mile in to the left.
The first part of the trail after leaving the trailhead parking drops into a gorgeous valley! After the split mentioned above, the trail ascends by traversing the slope without switchbacks for about a mile giving sweet views of the valley and Upper Huerfano River.
After about a mile there are spectacular camp sites at the edge of the slope looking into Blanca Basin and the rising peaks of Blanca and Ellingwood Point are in your face!
In June there are numerous snowmelt waterfalls to add an even wilder atmosphere.
Beyond this the trail turns to the slopes just below the lake making several switchbacks with a few more nice camp sites.
The lake itself is a beauty with, dare I reveal it, good size cutthroat trout in abundance.
An upper lake is situated about a half mile or so through fairly tough talus and boulder fields. There are fish there as well, as I understand it.

Great day, beautiful hike. Saw only 2 other hikers.

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