Explore the most popular snowshoeing 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!

3 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!

off road driving
5 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.

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.

backpacking
7 months ago

Incredible hike, stunning views... can't wait to do this again!!!

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.

Great trail with huge views! Agree with Tom and Alison's review, below, that the description and map are confusing. Out and back distance of 16 miles from Lizard Head Pass to junction with Cross Mountain Trail (below Lizard Head Peak), then back, sounds about right. But although there's plenty of uphill, elevation gain is nothing close to 5900 feet - map shows it's about half that, and that's what it felt like to me.
Saw nice flock of White-winged Ptarmigans - rather than taking flight at my approach, they "hid" from me, just a few feet away, some of them hunkered down right in the trail. Cool!

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!

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

hiking
8 months ago

Its a long stretch but interesting trail- def what a prospector might use. Awesome for bikes too. The uphill is gradual and has some exposure but safe. There are 2 nasty quick hikes that are steep - otherwise its long and covers some territory. Being plenty of water. My 4 yr old crushed most of it but the 2yr old was on my shoulders so be active and somewhat experienced. Bring lots of water and a snack. Its a great bike ride but a fulfilling hike. Safe for kids. Both biking and hiking i have seen a lot of wildlife.

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.

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.

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!

9 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
9 months ago

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

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.

Love this mountain range! Beautiful views and so peaceful. We saw a handful of people on the trail which gave this hike a 5 star for solitude. A recommendation is trekking poles. It had rained the night before and left the trail very muddy and slippery. With the steep incline it made it a more difficult hike. Note to dog owners keep them leashed please. Every person we saw with a dog didn't have a leash. This trail has many steep drop offs and blind corners. One dog surprised us on a corner and scared us and him and became aggressive and lunged towards us before the owner could even get his hands on him.

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.

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