Explore the most popular lake trails in Uncompahgre 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.

I've hiked seven 14ers so far. This was my least favorite, but still worthwhile. I approached from Matterhorn Creek TH, as I also climbed Wetterhorn the same day.

The people I met on the trail were great!

Big exposure on top if you want it! Don't trip or slip!

off road driving
4 months ago

Fairly easy trail but one of our favorites in the area. We did it in a stock jeep unlimited sport with no problems. Great views. Passes by the waterfall they use in the Coors commercials.

Did this hike on December 16, 2017 during a month lacking normal snowfall. Although there wasn't much snow on the road leading up to Bridal Veil Falls, we weren't able to drive all the way up to Bridal Veil Faills. We had a 4WD vehicle but didn't want to attempt it with the icy sections (and we're glad we didn't). We hiked two miles up to Bridal Veil Falls and continued on to Blue Lake.

There were plenty of areas completely void of snow on the trail, but as we got higher, the icy sections increased. Microspikes were very helpful, but my husband did the entire hike without them. The trail was steep the entire way, but easy to navigate until about two miles in.

When the ground became covered in snow, we just continued to follow tracks that apparently follow Bridal Veil Creek up to Lewis Lake. We followed this incorrect trail until we reached a high point and thought we would run into the lake and there was nothing but an icy basin (not very scenic in the winter and we never reached Lewis Lake, which was even further past the steep section we hiked).

We turned around and eventually saw that we missed the sharp left turn on the trail because there were no other tracks on the trail. This turn off was probably somewhere around mile 2, but we have no idea for sure.

We continued on the correct trail up to Blue Lake and this last mile or so up to the lake was very steep and icy. The lake was gorgeous and icy, but after getting lost, we didn't have time to hang out before racing back down before sunset. I get the sense that this hike would be much prettier and scenic in the summer when the creek isn't icy and the trail isn't buried in patches of snow, but the winter hike was alright, too.

worth the hike! beautiful

Lots of elevation gain for an absolutely breathtaking view on top. Ran into a red fox, which was cool. Most challenging and rewarding hike I've done so far.

off road driving
7 months ago

Gorgeous scenery. Easy for high clearance Jeep.loved it.

Gorgeous trail-completely worth the climb. My husband and I did the Blue Lakes Pass route, which, although longer, has incredible views and is well worth the extra couple of hours. I wrote a complete trip report if you're interested in seeing photos and getting more information on trail conditions, gear, and general tips and tricks : http://borntobewandering.com/2017/09/15/the-ultimate-guide-to-mt-sneffels/

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful lake with tons of wildflowers, marmots and old mining equipment. Definitely worth the hike up - I recommend driving to the base of bridal veil for the hike - otherwise it'd be a tad long.

This was our first 14er, and to be honest it was the most difficult thing we have accomplished yet. We started early at 540, very dark out and lights were necessary. This is mostly uphill and the trail is mostly rocks, very much a workout. It was worth it, but don't underestimate it!

A little creepy in the dark! We drove up at 5am in an Acura sedan, made it just fine!

hiking
8 months ago

Went up September 2015. It was hard for sure. Some of the trail at the top is hard to find. Some terrain is steep with loose rocks. Caution is required. The views on a clear day are amazing and worth the hike.

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Was an epic adventure going up to the peak. And coming down was a blast sliding down the dirt and rocks!

Mentally challenging
A great physical work out

Definitely a class 3. Only 1.2 miles from TH to summit but also a 2,000ft elevation gain. Hands and feet bouldering all the way to the top. And the boulders are your friend. The V notch isn't bad...people help you through it. And the summit is completely worth it. It is very steep and exposure at the V notch and a little after up to the summit!
It was my first 14er...definitely a challenge!

There is a great video on YouTube that shows the V notch...

One of my favorite 14ers (25)! 4x4 trail is rugged but if you can start from the upper parking lot....it's one of the best hikes imaginable. Best views of the San Juan Mt. Range!!!!

off road driving
9 months ago

Had a great trip and amazing scenery. Took the Jeep all the way to the top with no problems. Beautiful trail with Twin Falls and many other sights along the way.

trail running
9 months ago

Gorgeous!!! Beautiful rolling green slopes. Brutally up hill on the way there but manageable. There even some little kids with their parents coming down as we went up. If you have to walk the 5 miles up to the trailhead it adds a lot so be prepared.

The views are beyond a 5-star rating - completely out of this world and so different than any other 14er. I have to give it 4 stars though because I don't think I could ever push myself to do it again - it was by far the most mentally challenging climb I've done to date - many "life or death" moments with steep steep uphill scree shifting beneath every step you take up to the ridge and then again up to the summit. The V-Notch was a test of true grit, be sure you research this part well so you're not surprised when you see it. The summit wasn't crowded at all, we even had about 5 mins of it completely to ourselves. It was hardly windy either which was a plus and a surprise. But all we could think about was the journey down, and it certainly was difficult. Had to use 3 points of contact minimum for most of the stretch. Great experience but one should really assess their mental stamina and physical capabilities before daring to attempt this one.

Loved everything about this hike minus the 4 mile drive to the TH and out.

off road driving
9 months ago

This IS the place for taking pictures. We will go back with that in mind. We prefer the Ouray to Yankee Boy to Imogene to Telluride route. Late lunch in Telluride. Then your preference back.

I gotta be honest, we hike a ton! We live in Ridgway and had been wanting to do this hike for awhile. Let me tell ya, it's probably the last time we will do it. We hiked it 8-6-17 and it was way more work than fun.
We parked at the bathrooms the normal spot, about 2 miles away from the trailhead. Take the trail when you see it, skip the road. It's more scenic and takes you around wrights lake with great views.
The trail... started on packed down scree, easy, no problem. Then once it started straight up, there was no trail, just crazy slick rock and dirt. This climb was shitty. We have had a ton of rain so I don't know if that affected the "trail" but it was basically just pick a line and take it. This portion easily took us an 1.5 hours each way.
At the top of that, you climb straight up a boulder field for around 300 feet or so. Of course the views were incredible but we definitely felt like we missed out on some of the fun by how focused we had to be. There are other hikes that offer these views without the risk of death. Lol! But really. Very tough on the knees, especially coming down. We were surprised by how we felt after about not wanting to do it again but we aren't trying to die on a hike. Bring a helmet.

The views are terrific, but this hike is not for the faint of heart. It is VERY poorly marked. The first ascent from Ames to the cliff tops is well marked, and the path on the ridge is fine, but in between there is a dense woods and the trail completely vanishes. I got lost both on the way up and the way down and had to forage and follow deer paths for almost an hour each time. GPS would help.
For a day trip, park at the electric power plant in Ames (very historical) and follow the road up along the creek until you get to a foot bridge over the creek. The trail begins at an unmarked gate on the other side of the bridge.
Dense brush waist high that you have to push through, for most of the low-altitude trail.

Snow blocked the last part of the trail, but great views to that point.

It was my first 14er. The views and surrounding wilderness are worth the difficult climb at the end. We were in the clouds at the top, so we couldn't see the view of the mountains at the top, but still beautiful regardless. Coming down from the top is a little scary because of the loose rocks, so have make sure to have good supportive shoes and take your time. I would do it again!

Not too long, good distance to elevation ratio. Some loose rock spots, but nothing too tough.

This was a beautiful and moderately challenging hike! We started out hike at the lowest end of the four wheel drive road. Ten miles of hiking from start to finish. We started at 6am, reached the summit at noon and then returned to our starting point at 3pm. The pictures do not do this scenery justice. It is a must do in my opinion! Plan for weather around mid day. The clouds moved in around 1130. We were fortunate that the rain didn't start until we reached our vehicle.

The hardest part might be getting to the trailhead. Once you start the hike it is easy to get thrown off the trail towards a 13,000ft peak, don't do that.

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing views and gorgeous wildflowers

off road driving
10 months ago

Hopefully, I'm headed up there 7/11. Will a long bed 4X4 truck make it?

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