Explore the most popular snowshoeing 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.

1 day ago

The parking lot and the initial climb up from the valley do not give a great impression at the start. However it soon opens up with great views. As per previous comments there is not much cover so probably best to start out early morning on a hot day. It was delightful at the top and we enjoyed the panoramic view.

Not your average 14'er. Settled in a very fragile environment in the valley where camping is permitted but No Fires year round. You will ascend a very good chunk of altitude and cross the flatter section before the initial climb to get to this brilliantly distinguished peak; you will have to regain this altitude on the return trip after a scramble - so bring a lot of water and decent amount of fuel for the stomach. The more you travel upwards the more indiscernible this trail gets. There's a reason that this mountain won't be 14,005 feet tall for very long - it's falling apart at a hastening rate so be respectful or do not come here! Church of the Holy Cross is visible from the peak on the opposite end of the bowl, as well as many well known mountains visually three hundred sixty degrees such at Mount Crested Butte,Ski Cooper, Copper, Aspen, and many more.

We only made it to the waterfall today, but can’t wait to do it again! Excellent trail. Highly trafficked.

4 days ago

We did this trail on 6/19/18, and was our first 14er. My husband and I are athletic and felt this was a good trail. We left the trailhead at 7:30, and it took us exactly 3 hours to get to the summit (this includes the many breaks I had to take to catch my breath during the last mile up). We brought a light lunch to eat at the summit. I would definitely have a jacket and highly suggest gloves, as it gets very windy as you go. Our trip down was about 2 1/2 hours, but that was because we stopped a lot to take pictures on the way down. We saw lots of goats and other little critters. Overall, it was a great experience.

Nice moderate trail. Pretty views, good to do with the family.

4 days ago

I hiked Quandary Peak on Saturday, June 16th with my father. We arrived at the trail head around 5 am. Cars were already filling up the upper parking lot. In fact, we secured one of the last spots. The lower parking lot is not too much further away, I would guess around 300 yards lower or so from the upper parking lot.

We saw a couple groups utilizing headlamps at this time, however with sunrise around 5:20ish this time of the year, I really don't see a need.

The trail starts off with a pretty steady climb through wooded hills. This is a beautiful area. As you continue to climb elevation, the trees start to thin and you get into the meat of the hike. The terrain gradually transitions into rocky footing instead of dirt path. About 1/3 of the way through the climb you are completely above the tree line.

The next 1/3 of the hike is comprised of gradual ascent on rocky trail that is pretty well maintained by local 14er groups. There are many "rock steps" built into the trail that help with footing and the elevation gain. At the final section of this part, the trail evens out for several hundred yards ahead of what we dubbed as the "final assault."

Up until the last 1000 or so feet of elevation gain, Quandary is a relatively docile hike. That changes quickly.

The last 1000 ft of elevation gain are tough, and not to be taken lightly. There is plenty of scree (loose rock underfoot, sometimes as small as a pebble) that you must navigate, and somewhat steep elevation. That being said, there is plenty of room to stop and take breaks as needed, and the people on the trail are generally very courteous about making room for you when you take a break.

That being said, the views are well worth the hike! You can see many 14ers from the top of Quandary, including but not limited to: Greys and Torreys, most of the Collegiate Peaks, Mt Massive, and others.

Overall, the hike took my father and I around 7 hours from start to finish. This was heavily influenced by the fact that we had 45 lb packs on our back and had to take several breaks on our way to the summit. In addition, I would guess that we spent around 30 minutes on the peak. Plan to build time into your schedule for this very thing!

Overall, I highly recommend this hike! All skill levels and ages are able to complete it, just make sure to accurately forecast enough time to be off the peak and well into your descent by noon!

on Quandary Peak Trail

4 days ago

Our first 14er! Start early in the day to avoid afternoon storms. Trekking poles were a huge help. Gorgeous views all along the trail. Definitely planning to do this one again.

I’m currently plannng 7 day trip doing a loop up Cross Creek down Fall Creek, and back over to the Cross Creek Trailhead. My plan is this:

Day 1. Hike up Cross Creek to Harvey Lake and camp
Day 2. Hike past Treasure Vault Lake, over Fancy Pass and into Holy Cross City, and either camp there or a little further down the trail at Hunky Dory Lake.
Day 3. Hike to Lake Constantine and camp.
Day 4. Visit the nearby Tuhare Lakes, then camp again at Lake Constantine.
Day 5. Hike to Half Moon Campground but continue on over Half Moon Pass and down to the East Cross Creek crossing, and camp.
Day 6. Tackle the summit of Mount Holy Cross, then back down and camp again at East Cross Creek crossing.
Day 7. Follow East Cross Creek about a mile or so over to Cross Creek and Cross Creek Trail, then back down Cross Creek Trail the remaining 5 or six miles to the trailhead, and pray that my car will still be there.

The normal conclusion of this loop would involve hiking 8 miles down the dirt road from Half Moon Campground to the Cross Creek Trailhead, resulting in total hiking distance on the last day of 11 to 12 miles, which would start with a 1000 foot ascent over Half Moon Pass. My proposed alternate route would cut that distance by about half and eliminate the big ascent back over Halfmoon Pass, plus I’d still be doing my hiking n the wilderness instead of down a boring dirt road. The only drawback is that there is no established trail down East Cross Creek back to Cross Creek, but the rangers tell me there shouldn’t be any big problems negotiating that short traverse.

If anyone has tried this before, I’d love to hear from you! My email address is jmichaelclaylaw@aol.com.

5 days ago

Funny the last review was 5 hours ago, and the previous was 2016. I checked this yesterday and decided to try, but just like Anna, I found the road closed. It's closed about 1 mile before the cross creek trailhead.

Beautiful lake at the top! Make sure to make it all the way up! It's well worth it!

5 days ago

This trail just stops! I wanted 2 get to the lake!

Be aware road doesn’t open until 6/21

Relatively easy hike up a old mining road. We did with our two boys without difficulty. Once you leave the trees, the gulch opens up and is gorgeous. The kids loved it.

Beautiful scenery!! The hike was much more difficult than I anticipated, but I enjoyed the challenge. When you get close to the top by the lake the trail kind of disappears and you have to wing it.. that made me nervous! Definitely a great hike for the adventurous.

My wife and I loved this trail. It is a very moderate climb until you pass the mill. We only made it to the top of the tree line because there were 50-70 mph wind gusts. We were satisfied with our progress for being Michiganders coming from a low elevation and attempting it the third day in Colorado. Plans are to come back in the summer!

Easy hike, not very scenic. It's a dirt road going up to the mine. The mine is interesting and there are some additional hikes off this one.

on Peaks Trail

8 days ago

Hiked Frisco to Breckinridge. 8.3 miles one way, took the gondola down to town for food. Beautiful trail, very well marked and maintained. All creeks we’re running so the sound and sights were just perfect. No snow but a few muddy spots.

Not sure why it’s rated as Hard — perhaps the round trip. One way I’d “downgrade” it to a Moderate.

8 days ago

Boring trail. Might be good for mountain biking, but it's not very good as a hiking trail. It's very open and you can hear the noise from the highway.

There are way better trails in the area. It follows the road so not the best hiking trail.

I hiked this trail with my Aussie pup 2 week’s ago. Beautiful trail but NOT 9 miles RT to the lake - closer to 12 miles. Lake was underwhelming but beautiful trail along a river. Had to cross the river a couple times and patches of snow towards top but could follow trail pretty easily. Trailhead is easy to find and good size parking lot. Enjoy hikers!

Good hike for families with small children. Not the most scenic but a great hike for families.

Took this short hike today, 6/15/18. The road to the trail head is in good shape for any kind of car or truck. Didn't know this was such a popular hike but it is. Lots of people up here today. You park right on the road by the trail head sign, elevation is about 11,050', then take the left fork in that road right there. Walk the road to the gate and then further on till you get to another sign. Stay left up the hill here. You'll cross a foot bridge a ways further and then the road turns into a trail around this point. It's nice and shady thru the wooded stretch and then opens up again closer to the falls and the lake. The waterfall is worth the walk. It splits towards the bottom and is a nice cascade. From there, the lake is not much further and there are lots of trails that break off all over. Most to campsites, so stick to the most well worn one and you'll find your way to the lake. The lake is long and narrow and a nice spot to hang out for a while. We didn't have a chance to go further to the upper lakes as it was getting dark with rain clouds. My Garmin read exactly 2 miles to the lake. The elevation at the lake was 11,950'. Once we started back down it did in fact start sprinkling a little, and then it turned to snow, and then down lower yet it was back to rain. This is a great little hike and easy for anyone. No real difficult parts at all. Beautiful scenery with Quandary Peak on your left the whole way up.

Gorgeous trail. Mountain goats, pika, prairie dogs, and more wildlife make for an even more interesting 14er experience. Ridgeline is beautiful and overlooks upper and lower Blue Lakes. This was an enjoyable hike. Start early, as storms will brew in the afternoons.

10 days ago

I hiked Quandary on Wednesday (6/13). Left around 5am from Denver and started at the trailhead by 6:45am. I summited almost exactly 2 hrs later and was back at my car by 10:45am for a smooth 4 hour round trip (hung out for 20 mins at the summit). This was my first time hiking Quandary, but it was my 10th 14er I've hiked. Trekking poles made this hike much easier, especially for the last half mile or so climb, but not required. Saw lots of mountain goats and once you're out of tree line the views are beautiful.

Mostly uphill. Beautiful views. The mining ruins were really cool. Lots of great water and streams too.

We hiked this today and is was spectacular! Light snow and rocky terrain from falls to the lake, but so worth it. People told us they saw mountain goats but we missed them :(

We had our two kids (3 and 1) in packs and made it to the old mining cabins. Fantastic hike w/ stunning views. From the parking lot to the cabins and back is more like 2.5 miles round trip. We didn't do the full 6 miles. Trail is more of a dirt road w/ a decent amount of snow runoff crossing the road making it a little muddy in places but I did the hike and running shoes and it was fine. I really enjoyed the hike and our kids loved it as well.

scenic driving
11 days ago

This is a really nice road for a scenic drive. Very interesting story of the area at the pass. A lot of history there. It took about an hour and a half from the Breck side, but we stopped at the pass and looked around for about 20 minutes too. Definitely not a 4 x 4 road. It is in really good shape, and you can do this in a car no problem. There is only one slightly rocky part at the very bottom of the Como side, that's it. Lots of Aspens along this drive so it must be nice in the fall. I could see this being a good road to look for wildlife either early morning or late in the day too. We will go back sometime to see. Lots of people camped along this road the day we went. Check it out.

12 days ago

Great views! Took us a little longer to get to main trail but worth every step. Good physical challenge combined with friendly goats, spring flowers and 360 views.

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