Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Uncompahgre Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Long hike! The valley connecting the two is spectacular. Both are moderately easy with Wetterhorn having some steep ascents with narrow walkways. The road there has many abandoned mining operations, one with a blow out damn

Lots of wild flowers! Moderate at first then steep for the last two hours

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

This was tough, I made a night attempt at the summit and lost my route maybe 100’ from the top. I couldn’t see anything, and there were cliffs all around. Once I noticed I was off the route All Trails showed, I decided to turn around. I just made it back to my car at 11 pm. I’ll try again tomorrow, I definitely underestimated the climb at the peak.

Such a beautiful hike. The views were incredible! All the hikers were friendly and courteous.

Beautiful trail. We backpacked over the ridge into the basin below the peak. It was somewhat of tough backpacking trail in parts but well worth it. This would be done easily with a day pack. Went late August and there were still beautiful wildflowers and snow. Would absolutely recommend to a friend!

We hiked from West Fork (wetterhorn basin trail) to Coxcomb trail to Middle Fork trail to East Fork trail and we made it take 3 days and 2 nights. The views at all three passes were amazing. Definitely would recommend. One thing to keep in mind is that this is bear country so be prepared to see bear track all over. If you are camping, be careful!

10/10 would recommend

fantastic hike. perfect amount of adventure and beauty. will definitely do it again some time. trails in great condition. did help to do a little homework on 14ers.com on some of the route finding at the top.

Backpacked the trail to treeline. Magical upper basin through waste deep wildflowers. From camp we climbed Uncompahgre Peak. A very beautiful valley. Some avalabche snow to cross. A couple of great campsites just below treeline wher the middle Fork Pass trail and Coxcomb pass trails meet

hiking
3 months ago

Long steep switch backs lead up through trees into open meadows above tree line with fantastic views. Spotted herd of 30 elk across the bowl from the top, Still snow on top of Pass, did not attempt to walk across that snow field. 3 hours up , 1.5 hr down

hiking
4 months ago

We did this hike with our 10 year old and our little 11lb dog. Both did great! This trails starts with a couple easy stream crossings and then is switchbacks up to the meadows. There were several spots where you could get close to the waterfalls and cool off in little pools of water. There was avalanche debris in some places but it's been cleared off the trail pretty good. We did have to duck under or climb over a few downed trees. Once you get to the upper meadow you get a gorgeous view of Sunshine Peak across the way. We also saw a mountain goat come bounding down the side of the mountain above the tree. We did not hike all the way up to the lake. We did about 5 miles round trip total. We loved this hike!

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Due to a huge snowfall enter before, we had to cross a couple of “streams” even after going over the main river crossing on a bridge. After that, the trail climbed along a cascade filled stream with lots of wildflowers, viewpoints and a meadow higher up. We didn’t make it to the lake due to time and snow, but the lower portion of the trail was more than satisfying.

hiking
bugs
rocky
4 months ago

My husband and I use All Trails to hike every weekend. We’ve always found it to be accurate until this trail. I would accurately label it more moderate because the entire 2.0 miles to the lake are incline, with little areas of flat trail to “rest.” Also, much of the trail is a large loose gravel road which isn’t pleasant to walk on. If you come in the summer, expect swarms of mosquitos throughout the trail. I also had my hopes up for a lake but I would describe this more as a small marshy pond. According to my Apple Watch, from the parking lot to the lake is 2.0 miles, so it’s also a bit longer than 3.6 total, because we didn’t stray from the trail. I enjoyed the views of the city, the wild flowers, the ground squirrels, the aspens, and the lake area was peaceful.

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

Moderately steep but scenic day hike to pretty lake and even better ridge if you find the social trail. Right now the trail is unreasonably buggy. Worst near the waterways but even in the high meadows they'd find you if you stood still long enough. Bring a headnet, or wait until fall when the aspens will be even better. The ascent is relentless but it gets you there quick. In an ideal world this climb might have been spread out over another mile or so but by no means overly steep. It climbs through enormous aspen stands that are currently exploding with Lupine flowers (and swarming with mosquitoes). Meadows offer vistas of Lake City below, and eventually you get high enough to really appreciate the mountains across the valley. The trail reaches a flat meadow where you will find some picnic benches leading to the eponymous lake. The open meadow ahead offers the first decent camping spots of the hike. Only here in this tundra did the mosquitos chill out to the point of not being a distraction, and they'd still find ya if you stopped moving. You did all the work to get up to this flat, easy area, you might as well explore the meadows or follow the social trail up to the ridge to check out the San Juan Range. Continuing on the trail past the lake takes you to the Larson Lakes trail, which connects to a network of other trails in the UWA. There are signs saying to park near the cemetery, adding nearly a mile of steep gravel to the actual trail head, but I'd recommend obeying these signs. I wouldnt take anything less than a 4x4 with clearance up that road, and there are only 3 spots with few opportunities to turn around. TLDR: Steep but efficient climb through aspen to large meadow and small lake with great vistas and MOSQUITOES!

Gorgeous views and dropping into the basin is just breath taking. Went in July and the flowers were spectacular. Summited Wetterhorn the following day and enjoyed every bit of this area. Would recommend to anyone able to hike it.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Great hike. Awesome views.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful scenery. Went in mid June after a winter of record snowfall. Had to traverse trees and debris in several spots due to avalanches. Couldn't finish the hike due to too much snow in the higher elevations. Still a great hike.

Sat Sep 22 2018

The road is the worst part

hiking
Sun Sep 09 2018

Great trail up to the big water fall, lots of waterfalls and views along the way.

Hiked/climbed to the summit of Wetterhorn. Solid class 1 & 2 til last !20 ft to the peak which is exposed class 3. Great experience with typical amazing 14er views from the top.

hiking
Thu Aug 09 2018

This is a constant climb to the lake. Beautiful views of Lake City, aspen groves, and the Mountain View’s are beautiful. But the climb is up 99% of the time...so beware!!! If you’re not in the mood for a 4 mile ascent, this is probably not the trail for you.

Did an overnight hike with my friend and I to camp in the basin, and return to the trailhead the following morning. This trail was VERY difficult to backpack do to the strenuous ascent to West Fork Pass, but the beauty of the Basin is well worth the effort. We spent a good amount of time seeking cover in the tent due to scattered showers and thunderstorms. July is definitely the best time to see wildflowers, butterflies and lots of different types of bees. We spotted a coyote, lots of deer and marmots. The lightning can be very formidable when camping in the basin so make sure to watch the weather before doing this hike!

hiking
Wed Jul 25 2018

Beautiful waterfall near our camp. I carried my 3 year old the entire way and only got out of breathe once. :) Has a small area that was a little difficult, but otherwise a pretty easy hike.

camping
Fri Jul 13 2018

Did an overnight trip here. Very beautiful and a few places to camp away from the trail just below treeline. The views from the overlook are just incredible!

hiking
Sat Dec 09 2017

Really great hike. I'm sorry Kevin below didn't enjoy it as much but I thought it was really spectacular. The Aspen forest was huge, one of the largest I've seen, and the lake was gorgeous, although frozen and snowy in parts which might have added to the beauty. Perhaps early December is the time to go, if you don't mind snow. The dirt road leading to the trailhead has a few forks along the way, take the first left and stay straight the rest of the way. Also, this trail does not actually make into the wilderness boundary. Still feels like wilderness though.

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