Explore the most popular birding trails in State Forest State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The best in Colorado

Gorgeous country and great hike. Very peaceful and the trail is certainly challenging at times.

Awesome trail! Couple of inches of snow on the trail this morning! Time to start whipping out cross country skiis and snow shoes!

hiking
29 days ago

Our 7 and almost 4 year old had fun on this hike! The lake is a great place to play, have a few snacks and take in the scenery!

Went up in mid-September on a Friday morning, and was happily surprised to only encounter one other group on the trail. The last section up to Snow Lake is short and steep, but very worth the push! We logged just over 8 miles, including some exploration around the lakes.

Not too steep or rocky. Incredible views of mountains, lakes and alpine glacial terrain. Want to revisit for a trail run!

Beautiful scenery, very diverse (meadows, forest, open space above tree line with amazing views, stunning lake), trail well maintained. Would highly recommend and would do it again! One thing I would like to add is that the mileage seems a bit off. I measured about 8 miles out and back.

on American Lakes Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked today and was impressed with the views...then we saw the moose on the trail. Incredible! Just hike up to Snow Lake...you won’t regret it. Maybe 15-20 people in the 10 miles we hiked.

hiking
1 month ago

Outstanding! Ideal for backpacking in to camp at the end of the trail before it gives way to trails to Thunder Pass and Snow Lake. Could hike to Thunder Pass one day and Snow Lake another, or crush them both in one day!

hiking
1 month ago

Mildly steep, quick ascending trail. Totally beautiful reward arriving at Lake Agnes. All by ourselves, no one out there but us. Monday 6a start time.

hiking
1 month ago

Stunning the whole way!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful, short hike with some short areas of heavy climbing. We parked at the winter lot because that is where the GPS directed us, and walked up the road. I think it's about 2-1/2 miles roundtrip when parking from this lower lot,

hiking
1 month ago

What a great hike! 6 Moose and some deer along the trail. Lots of wild flowers and enough of a distance and elevation gain for a good workout. The lakes at the top were amazing. Quite a few campers staying over night by the lakes. Trail is very rocky in several places, but easy to follow with so many different views from thick forest, open meadows to hill top scenery.

beautiful trail and view. Well maintained.

Really enjoyed this trail. It was pretty easy going. We took our three dogs along and it wasn’t too difficult for them. They loved playing in the lake at the end. We did not hike up to snow lake or thunder pass. According to my Fitbit, the distance was closer to 8 Miles. Saw three moose on the way out of the parking lot. Would have been a great trail for backpacking.

My new favorite hike! The first section starts off with a steady uphill, but it levels off with lots of switchbacks with views around every corner. We saw a bull moose resting under a tree and a baby moose snacking in the trees. We didn't see mama, but we know she was near. Michigan lake is absolutely stunning especially if you make the hike to Snow Lake. Snow Lake was pretty, but the view of Michigan Lake from there was breathtaking.

fishing
2 months ago

wonderful place. easy hike. watched the moose from on top of the hill play in the water.

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails yet! It’s scenic but does have parts full of trees. Snow lake at the very top is gorgeous as well. Loved everything about this hike.

This road is a fun road to drive. I did it in my Nissan Frontier. It is very rocky, and there is one place on it where of you don't have a lifted vehicle you won't make it up, but otherwise it is a good road.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy climb up to a pretty lake with an island in the middle. Lots of fisherman. Saw multiple moose around the surrounding areas and roads. Can pick up American lakes from this trail too.

My daughters and I packed into the lakes, and saw only a few people. We had no bug issues and had only one other group at the lake. We caught a good number of natives in American Lake, on flies. We saw moose, elk, fox, and bald eagles, all around the lake.
Keep your dogs under control, not everyone loves your dog! Please don't camp right next to the trail, and clean up your trash.
I don't know why we have to even say these things.

hiking
2 months ago

Great little hike with rewarding views!

hiking
2 months ago

The first portion of the trail is a access road, so not very scenic, but once you hit the Clear Lake/Kelly Lake junction it is very stunning. The trail does not get too difficult until the last few miles so you can cruise the first portion pretty fast. The wildflowers and the mountains are really beautiful. *WARNING* they do run cattle through this area so don’t be surprised if you run into a cattle drive in progress. We ran into several groups of cows (including an active drive) on the access road so it did slow us down quite a bit. They easily move out of the way, just slow going as to not spook them. This trail is also heavily used by equestrian groups (as it is near the equestrian camp) so be prepared for groups on horseback. Over all a great trail.

backpacking
2 months ago

My two sons and I had a great 3 day trip. We got back to our truck around 10:30 yesterday morning and saw the two moose in the parking lot that was previously mentioned. Beautiful lakes, good fishing, and quite a few people. Oh, a note to people with their dogs unleashed, I’m fine with it. I love dogs. But, keep them under control, please. When we were casting into the water, a Lab and a Labradoodle came bounding down the hill, into the water where we were fishing. The owners were 100 feet up the hill and trail yelling at the dogs, and didn’t apologize. The dogs were chasing our lures and are lucky they didn’t get snagged. As the dogs continued to frolic in the water, we just decided to move down the shoreline. Confrontation wasn’t worth it.

I am glad I got to the trailhead early, there were 2 Moose in the field right by the parking lot. The flowers were still in full bloom.

2 months ago

Beautiful lake, the trail is in great condition! It was wonderful to see all the families on the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

I parked my Forester near the yurt and hiked to Ruby Jewell Lake (at treeline) from there, about 3 miles each way. Trail is well marked. Beautiful, green, lots of wildflowers. Cutthroat trout in the lake.

backpacking
2 months ago

Gorgeous views, tons of wildflowers, and a very moderate hike in. We also saw several moose during the trip. Not a ton of camping spots, so if you're backpacking you'll want to get up there really on the weekends, or hike in Friday night. The hike up to American Lakes (really only one lake) was borderline easy at only 3ish miles one way, I'm not sure why it is rated as difficult. Nice place to camp, as you can do little jaunts up to Snow Lake, Thunder Pass, and the couple peaks right on the basin (we did Lulu Mtn.), which are also quite moderate. This is a VERY popular spot given the short distance, so expect to see a lot of people, though most are day hikers.

One of my favorite hikes during flower season in early to mid July. It’s never too crowded. Be sure to hike up to Snow Lake too!

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was amazing. We ended up doing it a little different though. A 100k was going on when we arrived so we had to park on the grass and ended up hiking up the gravel road to the Lakes Agnes Trailhead. We hiked to Lake Agnes and then followed Michigan Ditch Trail to connect to the American Lakes Trail. We followed the American Lakes Trail the rest of the way. The lake was SO worth it, and I am still in shock with how beautiful the views and wildflowers were. We got a little rained on, but it wasn't too bad. On the way back down, we were lucky enough to see four moose gazing in the field. I highly recommend this hike!

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