Explore the most popular camping trails in White River 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.

hiking
23 hours ago

Summited 11/13/2018. Gorgeous blue skies with intermittent cloud cover. Good snow pack through the trees. Above treeline was alternating solid pack and some post-holing. We mainly followed the “Old Quandary” trail, although with the snow it was difficult to be sure we were on trail most of the time. Wind came in semi-strong gusts at about 13k and up, but oddly stopped at the summit. Gear used and recommended for winter: Waterproof Boots, Gaiters, Microspikes, Trekking Poles, Heavy Jacket and Shell.

A few weeks ago I and three buddies I go to college with hiked the Conundrum Creek Trail to the Conundrum Hot Springs and camped overnight. A permit is required for overnight stays. The second day we hiked back in the late afternoon. It is a 17-mile hike round trip. There was clear sunny weather both days. The trail is in pretty good shape. It was a bit muddy in a few areas. A good pair of hiking shoes is essential. There were few others at the campsite overnight. We had the hot springs to ourselves that night. The second day we hiked a bit further south and then returned to hit the hot springs again before descending. The only people we ran into that day were an older couple on the trail passing by while we were in the hot springs and a guy and his two teenage sons who joined us in the hot springs.

I read a review that talks about people being "inconsiderate" because they were naked in the hot springs. Please note: These hot springs have traditionally been a place where people are naked. There is nothing inherently inconsiderate about this. My friends and I enjoyed being naked in the hot springs on our trip. Nothing more. Nothing less. The older couple passing by seemed shocked and shook their heads at us. The wife muttered under her breath that we could cover up when people pass by. By contrast, the father and his sons decided to join us naked in the springs and everyone had a pleasant time hanging out. Clearly the main difference between the two groups of people we met while we were in the hot springs had to do with their differing attitudes towards nudity. Please, either respect the right of others to enjoy being naked in nature or avoid the hot springs, however, do not expect others to stop enjoying this traditionally nude area because you have a problem with simple nudity!

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked November 10. We started at about 8am. We didn’t summit and neither did anybody we passed (probably 15ish people total). We made it to about 13,000ft but the wind was too gnarly to make it the rest of the way.
We still had a blast, had a wonderful view, and were safe. If you’re planning on summiting bring some snow shoes and a good wind jacket and face protection! Hiking poles would probably be good too.
Definitely going to try again!

hiked this trail in July. it's a steep hike with lots of hikers on the trail but the scenery was magnificent with an incredible little alpine lake waiting at the top. start early so you can summit the peak and really get to see everything. I can only imagine how amazing the view must be from the summit. but if you only make it to Cathedral Lake, like myself, it's still very much worth the hike. people on the trail or super friendly as well. highly recommended hike!

16 days ago

This is not easy!!! This trail should be marked as moderate. With that being said, it was spectacular! Very well marked. We didn’t get to the lake because we reached 10,300 ft and looked down...the hike was too strenuous at that point to continue. Would love to do it again with more time and in better shape.

Hiked mid-October 2018 — Beautiful!! Had the trail to ourselves, but it was well traveled enough that we could follow the footprints in the snow. You need a high clearance, 4WD vehicle to get to the trail head. One of the Honda Civics in our party didn’t make it all the way to the trailhead. Definitely recommend gaitors and spikes too. No fee for parking.

Super easy hike. Gorgeous views!

Hiked in 10/20/18. We got to the trailhead at 6:30am before sunrise and there were a few other cars in the parking lot. Entire trail had some snow, but at that time it was all hard pack. Easy to follow the trail. Crampons not necessarily required but everyone in our group used them and they helped a lot, especially above the tree line. Beautiful views from the summit with crystal clear skies and light wind. Perfect day for my first 14er!

hiking
17 days ago

As of 10/28/2018, the trail is almost totally clear of snow, except for a very small patch nearing the end. At a slow pace, took me about 80 minutes to hike to the lake. Agree with Janis that there has been quite a bit of devastation, most notable in the first half of the trail. You will see many dead and fallen trees. This makes the view, especially to the south wide open. There is also a cutthrough to Piney Lake if you want to hit both trails in the same day (I had already done Piney). This was also suggested to me as a trailrun or bike route (trail itself in excellent condition).

Worthwhile! Great lunch spot followed by a rewarding and short walk. We didn’t make it to the end- just did the loop and still lots to see.

Amazing little hike. Creaky trees and beautiful path followed by outstanding lake. The path along the lake is impossible to find, but bouldering was fun.

on Quandary Peak Trail

20 days ago

Moderate to challenging trail. Those with knee issues or any leg issues; make certain you are
prepared with good poles and fitness level. I was not, so I learned the hard way. I’m happy I know what I need to do for the next time.

Trail is currently snow covered. I suggest wearing boots and taking your time. Will be well worth it. Some of the best views in Colorado.

The popularity of this trail has completely destroyed the area, there's poop everywhere along the trail & around the campsites. This place has transformed into a rocky mountain national park or emerald bay of tahoe lake situation. Aholes that don't respect anything go & pollute so the forest service now requires reservations to camp in the middle of the wilderness. Thanks people!! Crappy fake casual outdoors people ruined it for absolutely everyone, great job!!!!

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

This is one of my favorite hikes, but the beetles have devastated the pine trees so it has lost a lot of its beauty, but... baby pines are rising up! We couldn't make the final descent down to the lake today because there was too much snow and our hiking boots just didn't have the best traction.

What an adventure! This trail was 9.6 miles to and from the hot springs so 19.2 miles round trip according to my iPhone health app. It was very muddy and there was lots of snow especially the higher up you go so make sure to bring reliable warming and waterproof gear. The trail was really easy to follow and the bridges were fun to cross (3 bridges total) but the altitude is something to watch out for going up. It’s true what everyone say the hike down is a cake walk. It took us 6-7 hours to get up and 4 hours to get down.

hiking
28 days ago

Climbed 10/17/18 This was my first 14er so I did not know what to expect. Once above the tree line the wind was crazy, I would guess 50-60mph. At times I would have to kneel down so I didn’t get blown over. Very Icy and deep snow at summit, I was just wearing hiking boots but I managed. Was snowing on top and glad I left early because it looked like it got worse on way down. All and all a great first for me.

hiking
30 days ago

Hiked 10-13-18. Hit the trailhead around 0715 with barely any cars in the upper lot we were able to find convenient parking. The trail had about six inches of hard packed snow below tree line. Once you break through tree line there was a bit more snow but still hard packed. No need for snow shoes at any point the whole ascent. We did throw on micro spikes for the last 1000 feet of ascent and they were useful but not required. Wind picked up considerably on the summit and wasn't a fun place to spend more than ten minutes. A few more snow storms and snow shoes and/or spikes would be a great idea. Plenty of people who were not prepared or dressed for the elements, this always amazes me. All told, approximately 4.5 hours to summit and return to the car.

hiking
1 month ago

hiked 10-13-18. started at 9:20am. trail parking was already in overflow. first part of the trail was pretty icy. I would say overall 95% of the trail was packed snow or ice. only a few sections climbing up the rocks above tree line were dry. we did not use spikes but I would say 50% of the people we saw were using them. it was possible not to use them but was slipping all the way down. we did not make it to the summit. we decided it was not worth the risk without spikes as we saw people slipping down all the way. this is also the steepest part of the trail. as we came back down the sun had turned most of the ice and snow into slush. which made the slipping and sliding even worse. we were off the trail and to the car by 2:40pm.
we saw plenty of people later in the day hiking up in tennis shoes and not prepared for a hike of this caliber. no pack, lack of water, no spikes, etc. we even gave an extra bottle of water to one who was visibly struggling about half way up the trail. also, bring sunscreen. we did not and are paying the price. face is bright red and hurting. the wind, sun and snow reflecting sunlight was brutal.
we stopped at tree line and ate lunch. it took us 1.5 hours to get there. from there to the last 1000 foot climb to the summit it took us 2 hours. if we would have done the last 1000 climb I'm guessing another hour to the summit. on the way down I was surprised at how far it really was back to tree line.
overall this is a great hike with great views but don't underestimate it either.

on The Grottos Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Really unique area to explore! Not a real hike but definitely still worth a stop.

1 month ago

The beginning of this trail was heavily logged, very few trees standing. There were a couple scenic segments and good views of the Breckenridge Ski area much of the way. This was a day hike for us. Only moderately enjoyable.

on Marvine Loop Trail

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing views almost the whole way. Mosquitoes were very bad around 4th of July.

Breck trailhead just past peak 7 base. Easy hike with little elevation through beautiful forests

Wonderful trail that’s just wild enough to be challenging! Great views the whole way up to the lake and a great lake it is! Access road is dirt and is probably not well suited for late season travel unless you have a good overlander

Great trail, but our tracker came up with 13 miles. probably better to go from copper to gold Hill. Slightly less strainuous.

Hiked 10/7. Started at 8:30am., summit by 11:20am. Very windy most of the way. Strenuous hike.

Summited Oct 6.
Snowy clouds above treeline blanketed pretty much everything you could see. Thankfully it cleared a little at the peak! The entire trip took us about 6 hours with stops and very little time spent at the summit due to freezing winds. I did this hike with trail runners and no micro-spikes but today was probably the last day that's suitable footwear.

hiking
1 month ago

We hike QP on September 17, 2018- It was as advertised- beautiful views, open air, and rocky. We flew in from PA and strongly recommend taking a couple days of the altitude in prior to the hike. Also- we were in really good shape- and this hike challenged us. The altitude forced us to take a break about every 5-10 mins as we ascended near the peak- the pressure is intense. Its all worth it- but hydrate and take breaks. The climb down is LONG bc you are physically tired- both of our hands were swollen. I would do this hike again but def dont want newbies to think its a walk in the park. Enjoy!

Oct 5th my son Morgan and I completed. Spectacular views great weather , a bit cold very windy. Took six hours round trip. Lots of stops. It is a tuff trek.

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