Explore the most popular fishing 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.

Coming from the Crested Butte side, things to know in mid-May: There is a gate three miles prior to the trailhead in which only locals can pass. The gate opens for a short 30 minute window each day if you’re lucky. Bring snow shoes, there is snow 3 miles up from the trailhead which gets as deep as five feet. If not, prepare for miles of postholing which will really slow you down. There are five water crossings. Two have downed logs to carefully walk across. The other 3 will get you wet below the knees. Once you’re above tree line, the snow covers most of the trail, making it slippery and slow moving. Don’t forget your permit, bear spray, and bear box as they are required.

Conditions report as of 5/13: Snowshoes highly recommended. The last 2.5 miles (starting at the pond) is waist deep snow. We did it without snowshoes, but we were post holing a whole lot. Most people without snowshoes gave up and camped in the snow, whereas most people with snowshoes made it all the way to the springs. Campsites are covered in snow, but there are plenty of grass patches if you want to set up camp wherever is convenient.

hiking
25 days ago

Beautiful trail. Much less crowded than Hanging Lake.

Scenic and steady hike up. Perfect amount of backpacking-per-day. Springs were great, campground was dispersed. We thought the hike was quite manageable, but we found two texans stranded on the trail with no water and some pretty bad altitude sickness. Creeks are everywhere, so bring a water filter. High avalanche danger in the winter.

Love this app!!! Just what I was looking for!

Absolutely beautiful hike.
Gets more difficult the higher you go.
We went this weekend and had two trees crossed over the path to climb over. Stunning views and creek.

Only able to get within 1.2 miles of the trailhead due to snowmobile only activity on the road. Wasn’t planning on the extra distance, so we grabbed another trail off of Berthoud Pass.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy trail with a beautiful creek to guide you for miles. I’ve been in spring and winter and both times are beautiful.

Absolutely gorgeous the whole way. Nearly everything was covered in snow and the lake was almost completely frozen. A majority of the trail was frozen too so be prepared.
Really not too challenging even with the ice. Nice and gentle inclines most of the way.

on Cathedral Lake Trail

5 months ago

Stunning views!

hiking
5 months ago

Accidentally went too far up Spruce Creek Road and missed the turn off to Crystal Creek Road. Cut back over on the Wheeler trail, which proved to be a gentler incline overall (for anyone looking for a less steep ascent). Made it about a half mile from lower crystal lake, at which point snow shoes were probably necessary (post-holing at least a couple of feet), and then promptly turned around when a bull moose entered the trail. The snow was too deep for bushwhacking around him, but views of the mountain ranges were pretty on the way back down. I know it’s tempting to allow your dogs off leash, but be careful out there with wildlife!

Great hike. I would recommend wearing snow shoes past the lake. Snow was somewhat compacted but some spots not so much and the snow was past my knees at some points

on Linkins Lake Trail

6 months ago

This was a nice hike to a beautiful little lake.

We hiked here with our dogs and it was awesome! The trail has a good combination of uphills, downhills, and flat sections and some great views. There was a really nice meadow area near the creek where we left the trail and played in the creek for a bit and the trail was easy to find again, even after following the creek for a while. There was a fork in the trail at one point and we took the right trail which took us to a GORGEOUS view of the creek below, and it was here that we turned around to make it home before dark. Next time we will take the left fork to see where it goes!

Great option for flatlanders. All the aspen leaves have fallen, leaving great views around the lake. Lots of ducks and geese sheltering in west end near falls.

I don't recommend doing this hike all in 1 day. It's a bit much even for relatively experienced hikers. Even so, this was a great hike with a couple cool (but mild) challenges. Docking 1 star because the hot spring area wasn't that well kept and because I've been on better hikes.

We really enjoyed the hike!

This is a great trail to do if you are just starting off with hiking and want to see some of Colorado's gorgeous views! I have only hiked once before and this was comfortable for me. We went in October and it was very muddy, so keep that in mind when deciding on shoes. The scenery we saw while hiking this area was out of this world!

This was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done. It is a great place to escape the world.

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome trail! Beautiful views! Lake was a beautiful turquoise color. Shortly after reaching the lake the sun went behind the clouds and a weather system came in so we had some snow! Continuous assent made it challenging and going down wasn't any easier. Would definitely go again though.

Went October 5th from 11-4pm. Took me and my girlfriend visiting from FL about 5 hours and was very difficult for us. The switchbacks towards the end were very muddy and had a lot of slush making that last bit very dangerous and nerve wrecking! Saw others with poles going up with ease. The view was absolutely breathtaking and so worth all the struggle ✌

What a delightful surprise! Went on a Friday afternoon in late Sept. Stunning leaves! Hardly any people. I didn't run into anyone on the trail! This is an easy trail, but there are some very steep and narrow areas. There is a massive waterfall coming off one of the mountains that feeds the lake. It is worth the short drive from Silverthorne.

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked up today with surprise blue skies. We took the steeper road off to the right toward cabin. It's a good climb at that elevation, esp for us folks from sea level Seattle but well worth it !! Beautiful peaks right in front of you!! Pretty lake. Fantastic. Snow at the top and probably near the end of the season for this hike! Thanks beautiful Colorado ❤️

hiking
7 months ago

Somewhat scenic. Mainly pines with some aspens. Good views back to Vail ski area. Long, easy hike to lake. Agree to probably choose other lake hikes due to length and disappointing scenery with many cleared areas along the trail.

It's already winter up there so bring your layers! Snowed 4 inches the night we camped up by the springs. Also there are free wag bags at the trailhead. Use them! You'll save the Forest Service a lot of unpleasant work.

hiking
7 months ago

It was a long hike. Not marked at all. Not difficult. Views are decent getting there but honestly I would maybe look into other lakes. It was quite a long hike for what we
Felt we got at the end

The best hike of my life. The scenery was amazing. Wading the open stream and crossing the railless bridges were unforgettable challenges.

8 months ago

It's a really easy hike with a clear path and hardly any elevation gain. Some of the views are nice and the hike itself isn't that interesting. I think it would be more fun to Mtn. Bike or run it! Still a great way to get outside!

backpacking
8 months ago

This trail was very beautiful, the scenery was literally breathtaking! Both Marvine Trails (East and west) were very well travelled and easy to follow but once you get to the "trail" that connects the two you better have a good sense of direction, a map to follow, and altimeter, and something that keeps track of mileage. The trail literally disappears at the top of the plateau and you have to figure out which way to go and for how long. My group got so lost going from West Marvine to East Marvine that we ended up in the middle of the plateau, cliffs all around us, and 6 miles out of the way of the trail. We were forced to go through some tretortous terrain just to finally find the trail so far from where we realized we were lost at and we had a map of the area and a Garmin watch that kept track of all our mileage and stuff. Our 21.8 mile hike quite rapidly became a 29 mile hike and I was to the point of calling search and rescue to come help us. My advice: get a fishing license before you go so if you have to call search and rescue it's at no charge to you, buy a handheld and topographic map of the region, and hope that you can make your way from one Marvine trail to the other without getting as lost as we did. Oh and bring a water purifier because I know we ran out of water on top of the plateau and had to stop at a stream to fill up.

hiking
8 months ago

This was a great little trail that we hiked to stretch out from our drive thru Independence Pass.

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