Explore the most popular forest 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.

This trail actually came out to be closer to 4ish miles and the elevation gain was really not bad! The trail to the cabins/ruins is packed, you could probably even get by without added traction but it did help me (microspikes)! After the cabins I'd recommend snowshoes/skis as it's not packed, I tried to get up to the mining stuff and post-holed the whole time so I turned around. Beautiful views of the mountains both in front and behind, a really good sized parking lot (it does come up on you kind of fast so be prepared!) with no facilities but definitely a great hike! I'd love to see it in summer with no snow too!

snowshoeing
2 days ago

Easy to access off I70.

Snowshoed. Very different experience in summer.

The trail up Shrine Pass Road was easy to follow. There were very few hikers. Once you pass the Shrine Mountain Inn huts there is not a defined trail. There are lots of snowmobile tracks, but no defined snowshoe route. You will want your gps to follow a route. We bushwhacked as best we could through the trees and up the final slope. The final slope is very steep. I loved it, but some in our group weren't ready for anything that strenuous.

The snow is starting to crack on some slopes and may give soon. Pick your route carefully.

The snow was passable, but the hot sun made it very soupy by the end of the day. It was miserable on the way down. You will need snow shoes. One of my compatriots took his off because the snow was sticking to his snowshoes pretty badly. He couldn't make it 100 yards without severe post holing.

I think this was my last snowshoe excursion for the year. The snow is not a lot of fun to be in these days.

Great views at the top.

Absolutely beautiful trail!! It was hard packed - we did it with yak trax and had no issues. Stunning views the entire time!

A bit muddy, but otherwise clear. Make sure to do spouting rock above the lake.

Fabulous hike. Go early to avoid the tourists in flip flops.

Snow is pretty deep above 9500'. I posted a few times falling one of those times into more than 3' of snow, finding it difficult to get out!
Lower elevations have no snow, but the trail is slushy.
It was snowing during our entire 3-hour hike; started late, at 3 pm.
Snow shoes and hiking poles are advisable.
Pretty good hike. Deep snow makes it harder.
Got lost a couple of times.
Saw only 2 other hikers on the trail.
God willing, I plan to do it after the snow has melted, during summer/fall season.

One of the most beautiful hikes in the Aspen area.....it’s the perfect trail that starts with a climb through the forest, than turns into a single track that slowly rises through a picture perfect meadow. A small stream crossing and a very pretty water fall. All followed up with a very steep climb through the alpine tundra.... this hike for us was both physically and mentally challenging. Pack water water water-bring salty snacks and sweets.... to keep your self fueled. We started around 10:30 and there were only 4 other cars there. We ended up being the last ones to hike out.....even though we left Grizzly Lake before some fishermen but they passed us on the way down. Kinda left me feeling weary.... I can’t recall being so isolated on a trail before... I would have felt better had I seen a trail box to sign in before the start of our hike. (Hiked mid August 2017)

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.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful destination! Hanging Lake is stunning as is Spouting Rock just above it! Definitely worth the trip! I would probably rate this trail as on the hard end of moderate. You're gaining 1000ft of elevation over the course of a mile. If you're new to hiking it's going to be a tough trail but if you're more avid, it's not terribly difficult. Beginners should take it slow, bring lots of water, and be prepared for essentially climbing a miles worth of stairs (also some heights exposure right before the lake). I'd recommend at least some level of fitness before tackling this trail as there aren't many flat areas and it can be narrow in places. Parking lot can hold about 40ish cars and I've heard can be insane during busy times so go early or during an off-time/season! It's not just an easy on-ramp/off-ramp and there's no circling around the lot waiting so parking could be really annoying when busy. There is a nice biking/walking trail one might consider if they're more fit and not wanting to deal with the trail-head parking lot!

It was easier than I expected, these is a great place for beginners, trail is clear and accessable, bring layers of you get there early in the morning before 7-8.

Pretty steep if you're not used to the elevation, but otherwise not a terribly strenuous hike. Bottom to top in under an hour should be easy. Went up 4/15 and there was a small amount of mud and no snow left on the trail. Parking lot was half full at 9, completely packed at 10:30. Sounds like a shuttle system will be put in in May, so get your hiking in before the busy season.

Hiked the mostly packed trail today with just boots. Was able to make it to the cabins with relative ease. The snow is less packed the farther up you go, but still a nice and easy hike with amazing views. Loved it! It says 6.1 miles but with only boots we could really only make it about 4.

hiking
10 days ago

Absolutely breathtaking!! Did this hike May of 2017. You won’t be disappointed when you get to the top and the views along the way are awesome. Go early as parking is at a shortage.

What a gorgeous hike! Went up on 4/15 and the snow is well packed the whole way to the valley and did not need snowshoes. A little post-holing up by the mining cabins if you get off the path but not bad at all. Nice, easy hike with spectacular views.

Completed April 14th. Arrived at 6pm. I wanted to complete it before the sunset so I rushed myself. Huge mistake... But still glad I did it. Although I feel extremely sore!!

I quit smoking about 3 months ago and thats a huge disadvantage on a trail like this. Its fine if you take plenty of rest, but I really pushed myself (surprised I didn't have a heart attack).

There was not a lot of traffic and when I got up there, I was the only one there!! Pretty awesome. I hated coming down almost more. You really need to take your time. I rushed myself and had a few spots where my ankle didn't hit right. Think some waking poles would definitely be a good idea. There was no snow, but a little muddy in one spot. Temperature was perfect, hight 50s.

Grrat hike, just prepare yourself. It's all up hill.

Solid 4-6 inches of snow on the trail was fine to trudge through and made the forest and babbling cascading streaks so beautiful covered in snow.

Took the hunter creek trail up and looped around to smuggler on the way down. Views of the mountains with ski runs and downtown aspen below were so beatific on sunny day. Snow made it a little muddy but snow views were worth it! Uh-ohh somersault jump!

The elevation gain was more difficult than I anticipated. I had to take a lot of breaks, but there are more than enough benches, logs, and rocks to sit on. The trip was definitely worth the effort. Take the time to hike the short distance to Spouting Rock.

We arrived about 10am on a Wed and there were already several people hiking in and out. It probably took us around 3hrs to complete the whole thing, including the breaks and the stay at the top. There was very little snow in the mid section, and it was not slippery.

They're putting in regulations soon and I wanted to see it without the hassle of red tape. We drove from Denver and it was more than worth it.

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

Great facilities at the start of this hike. Wide open path along the river before turning up into the canyon hills for a steadily steep climb up rocky stairs and path over a number of bridges with benches along the way to hanging lake and spouting rock up top. Both are really awesome and unique spots to check out. Not busy at all on Friday afternoon on a cold and spring day with some flurries coming down. And that’s the waaaaay the news goes!

What can I say? One of Colorado's very best hikes. Get there early or you wont get in. Short but strenuous and incredibly beautiful. The water almost looks tropical. Expect tons of people.

Did this 4/11 with microspikes and poles with no issue-trail was pretty packed. Saw multiple people skiing. Beautiful views, plenty of parking, fun day!

This trail was a great trail and pretty easy! Only a small incline which was nice because you were not slipping on the snow. The snow was packed down and I did not sink at all. I highly recommend if you want an easier hike and do not want to snowshoe!

hiking
15 days ago

I really enjoyed this trail! Not difficult at all and neat to see the mine and view at the top. I could be a little biased because I got engaged here :)

This was so beautiful. The trailhead is located off the interstate. It was pretty much full when we arrived at 10am. The trail still had some ice and packed snow in the shady areas of the trail. It is very steep. I hiked this with a 10 year old, 16 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old. I do recommend some yak tracks due to the ice. They will be making some changes to the trail and limiting the amount of people visiting per day.

hiking
17 days ago

I'm a novice, so this is for those of you who are planning on trying Quandary because it's considered easy: This hike is still a grind, particularly in the snow.

We ascended on April 1, beginning a little late (around 8:30 am). The trail was mostly packed and easy to follow, particularly below the tree line. It was close to 50 degrees at the trailhead but dropped to around 14 degrees at the summit (not accounting for 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts).

Between 13,000 and 14,000 feet, as someone with very little high-altitude experience, there were times where it felt like I needed to stop and catch my breath every minute. Those already acclimated to high altitudes will have an easier go but if you're a first timer, prepare for the fatigue (and don't be afraid to turn around if you begin to feel strong symptoms of altitude sickness). Also, prepare for the wind gusts. There were times where I had to plant my feet and just withstand the weather for a moment until it passed.

If hiking in the snow, I'd recommend the use of spikes, poles, and snow shoes. On our way back down, back within the treeline, we spied what appeared to be a well-traveled cut-across leading downward. This was a mistake on our part, as it led to 20-30 minutes of postholing up to our waists when our bodies were already weak and exhausted. So... stay on the trail.

If you're an advanced and/or experienced hiker at altitude, I'm relatively certain you'll knock this one out of the park. I was passed by numerous skiers who were skinning up Quandary and skiing down (I was quite envious of their speedy descent).

It took me over six hours to complete this hike. As a small addendum, make sure your slather any exposed skin in sunscreen, even your lips. With the snow's reflection, the sun is not going to be kind to your face up there.

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful views the entire way up. Pretty snowy starting about 1.5 miles in - got by with YakTracks but could have used snowshoes in parts.

Absolutely stunning!

snowshoeing
24 days ago

We thoroughly enjoyed our snowshoe hike along the mining road, but we only went as far as tree line due to weather coming in. We were the only ones on snowshoes, all other tracks were from skis and boards, winding off the trail through the woods. Beautiful views. Protected from the wind while below tree line. Parking was a bit difficult as the trail head is off a residential street. Moderate difficulty is accurate. Slow steady uphill climb.

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