Explore the most popular wild flowers 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.

Went backpacking in this area; we made it up to Harvey Lake but got rained out Saturday night and came back down to the TH on Sunday.

On paper this trail seems pretty moderate but after ascending to Harvey Lake, it was considerably more difficult than expected past Surprise Lake approximately. There is an astounding amount of deadfall on the trail as you go up and with the water still being high there are a few creek crossings that require care. After Reed's Meadow there is also a completely flooded section you will have to navigate without stepping in. The bugs are plentiful right now so finding a good windy campsite took time. If you are trying to go backpacking in this area right now I suggest go as high as you can manage to avoid mosquitoes. We did not encounter many at Harvey Lake at 11k and above.

Spectacular views!

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!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful trail. Challenging first half mile to mile. Everything from open spaces and trails surrounded by trees. Waterfall was flowing strongly and was a great reward. All in our group was thrilled we did this one rather than some others.

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

2 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.

This is a great hike with beautiful views and a CLEAN hot spring at the end. Sorry, but this is easily doable in one day. My daughter is 27 and I'm 54 years old and we not only did it one day, but drove all the way back to Colorado Springs too. Do get there earlier in the day bc the parking lot fills up fast. Happy trails!

3 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.

Love this hike

My wife and I went last weekend. It was beautiful at the top. It's a steep climb at a high elevation, but it's short, and the lake at the top is pretty. It was a bit muddy and marshy at the top from runoff, but the trail was almost completely snow-free.

hiking
3 days ago

I do this at least once per year. It's a great workout with beautiful views.

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.

You ok

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.

Awesome trail, no snow at all. Took us 3 hours with a short lunch break at the lake.

It’s suck a beautiful trail, definitely a great place to hike.

hiking
3 days ago

Lovely trail, shaded for most but narrow and a lot of brush. The waterfalls are beautiful and most of the walk is along the water with a cool mist. I’m not sure I’d rush back to do again but I did enjoy.

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.

Not too long. Amazing payoff with the high mountain lake. Went with my wife and two boys 9 and 11. Had to take a couple breaks on the steeper sections but they made it no problem. Went in mid June and had some good snow melt runoff and only a couple sections a little muddy. Still a couple snow banks to play with and snow around the lake. Awesome..

I feel it’s a bit of a hike for people such as me that have only lived here a year. Easy enough as it’s a well built trail. The last turn was tough for me as I’m scared of heights but thankfully the Forest Ranger was there and helped me the last high bit! Rewarding to say the least!!!

we did this trail last year in April. it was a very good trail, and the reward of Hanging Lake and the bonus waterfall at the very top made it totally worth it. partially snow covered in April but not enough ti slow us down. Had us breathing heavy and hearts pumping throughout, but it was a beautiful sight with frequent pit stop areas to catch your breath and take pictures!

The narrow trail has some rocky parts and small incline. Good for all ages. So worth the drive - longer than the walk.
The lake has folks fishing out in a kayak and from the shore. The surrounding beauty and serenity are Colorado.

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.

on Crystal Lake Trail

hiking
4 days ago

I hiked this with two others five days ago; we started around 11:00 and brought no poles or spikes. We parked at the main trailhead so the majority of our hike to Lower Crystal Lake was on a high-clearance 4x4 route through some trees. Luckily, we never had to share the road with a vehicle. Once out of the forest, the scenery opened up to beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the lush basin between them.

Some of the stream/runoff crossings seemed inundated and we had to search for alternate routes, which were present and seemingly established. The lower lake turned out to be a great place to recharge a bit and assess the route ahead.

The weather seemed ever in our favor and we even saw a few groups of hikers descending the Crystal Lake trail, so we pushed on. The trail up the mountainside was mostly straightforward. There were some spots containing scree and a few snow drifts to cross. Only two or three smaller segments of the trail had steeper drop-offs down the mountain, but nothing alarming.

The snow was soft but not terribly slushy on the ascent. Except for the last one, the snow crossings did not alarm me due to the gradual incline of the mountainside, the short length of snow heading down it, and the many footprints etching out a route. The final snow drift, closest to the talus field before Crystal Lake, was dangerous, however. It was not well traveled and the snow ran steeply down the entire mountain. It did not seem to be a good place to slip and sinking feet immediately raised hairs on the back of necks. We noted this and decided not to linger long at the upper lakes to not have to cross slushy snow at this spot on the descent.

After this crossing, it was evident that few had recently pushed passed it. Closer to the lake the westerly trail was covered in deeper snow so we took to traversing the exposed talus down and across a shallow valley towards the south-westerly trail to the lake.

Crystal Lake was serene but the show belonged to the views over the cliffs to the east. We took in the entire valley, including much of the trail, and mountain vistas far beyond. Absolutely breathtaking and calm, it was almost as if we were part of a landscape painting up there.

Besides the sketchy snow drift, which had had become slushier around 15:00 during our return, the descent was easy and safe. I was happy to have that crossing behind me early on and upon reflection, I wished that we had a safety rope with us for it.

Overall there was little mud on the entire trail and even higher water to cross after Lower Crystal Lake. Gorgeous hike and a lot of fun, but be weary of the highest snow drift and prepare accordingly if you decide to go sometime soon.

backpacking
5 days ago

Hiked in from the ditch trail to the lake at base camp. We went June 9, 2018 and encountered some snow fields across many of the switch backs at higher elevations. That night got well below freezing as we expected it might. Beautiful hike, although I would recommend going a bit later in the summer. If you hike the upper trail (ditch trail) bring mosquito spray, ditch water is stagnant an full of mosquitoes

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 :(

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked this with my dog last week (Early June) and started at 1030 am. I like to go for time instead of destination since I’m busy busy. We made it to an awesome bridge in 90 min!

The trail is pretty easy to find the whole way and there are no crazy inclines. We had trouble in one spot on the way back where we went right instead of left on a crossroads and ended up at Tiguan Road. Don’t try to take it back to Minturn, you won’t be happy! Thankfully other hikers helped us back.

Overall, it was a beautiful hike through various terrain with lots of surprises along the way including carcasses and some people riding llamas. We didn’t see any wilderness animals along the way but maybe because it was the middle if the

On our way up, we only encountered a few people but by the time we were headed down the trail was busier. Lots of dogs and most of the good owners leashed when coming into sight of my canine companion. This is important to us as hikers because sometimes he’s a jerk when on leash and sees a non-leashed dog. We need space on the trail to give the dogs/owners to pass by without confrontation. There was plenty on this hike.

I hear if you go far enough you’ll get to a lake. Can’t wait to try!

hiking
5 days ago

The road to the trail head is not open yet so we had to hike on the road to the trail. Even the road afforded some great views. The walk through the woods is peaceful and the wild flowers are abundant. Snow is still on the mountain but adds to the beauty.

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