Explore the most popular skiing 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.

Better with snow... just a dirt road!

Started at the beginning of Nellie Creek road which made for a 16ish mile roundtrip. Being as I got an early start (5:30am), the road hike wasn’t all that bad. If one was to start later though I could see where the extra 8 miles would be a slog. As others have said the actual trail is beautiful and there are lots of wildflowers this time of year. The last 1000 feet are tough as the switchbacks and the short scramble is rather steep. There isn’t much exposure though unless you really want it. Took about 6 1/2 hours to complete with some running mixed in on the downhills.

hiking
6 days ago

Hiked June 15. A few small patches of snow that will not ruin your day, a million fat, hilarious marmots that will absolutely make your day, and a sketchy drive up Cinnamon Pass that'll give you a right good jostling. We parked about 1/2 mile away from the trailhead in our CR-V.

If you're concerned about smoke from the 416 fire, I have asthma and while we could smell the smoke in the morning (6am), it didn't bother me enough to notice.

I wouldn't call this easy (I'd put Bierstadt and Quandary above this in terms of difficulty though), but it's got a little bit of everything. American Basin is truly stunning. If you do this one, you won't regret it.

Great trail accessed via parking in the free Mountain Village parking garage and riding the free gondola two stops. Some snow to trump through a couple of weeks ago (Memorial Day wkd) but totally manageable with normal hikers. Hiking poles help some, especially on the scree coming down. Amazing views as the trail/ski run name implies.

hiking
11 days ago

beautiful

hiking
22 days ago

Hiked Handies late March and left around 9:30. Still quite a bit of snow on the trails, so we lost the trail a few times, but it was easy get back on track. I hiked in trail running shoes and they got wet from mud and melted snow, but worked perfectly otherwise. Beautiful views. Good for beginners who have done some preparation for the altitude/incline.

Great views and good trail starting at the gondola. If you time it right, you can even go to Happy Hour at Allreds after.

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!

4 months ago

This was my first 14er and was perfect for that, as there is less elevation gain than most and the trail is gentle. It was far more impressive scenery-wise than I expected. I've hiked 6 other 14ers since and while some others offered more interesting scrambling, wilder exposure, and so on, none quite matched the visual beauty of this hike. I did it in the late afternoon after a big morning thunderstorm, which is unusual, so I got the beautiful late light, which contributed to my experience greatly.

Lots of friendly marmots!

Don't hesitate to give this a go!

I hiked this beautiful trail on 10/14 after driving up from phoenix the night before. With perfect weather, I was confused why I only saw 1 other hiker the entire day! Spotted a fox and some pikas. I would recommend an ice axe to be secure in the section before the saddle. No snow past the saddle (albeit I turned around at the false summit), but lots of loose rock. So be mentally prepared to slide when coming down. The road to the TH is pretty rough for 2WD. Just before big bear creek (which was very low), there was a giant pothole taking up the road filled with water. With the right vehicle, I would imagine it would be fun! But I parked immediately after that and hiked the remaining distance to the TH.

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.

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/

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!

hiking
9 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.

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!!!!

Great morning hike

trail running
10 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.

This trail is at least 9 miles round trip if you go to the summit. Bring your helmet if you go further than the saddle. Lots of loose rock. It was beautiful but pretty hard!

10 months ago

Love this hike!!! Do it, you will not regret it!!!

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

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome hike my first 14er! Wildflowers blooming all over so gorgeous!

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.

hiking
11 months ago

Wow! The most beautiful 14er we've done. Wild flowers in full bloom. Mountain steams, waterfalls, and amazing views from the saddle to the summit. A must.

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