Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Carson 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
icy
5 days ago

Icy in mid November but overall good trail.

rocky
11 days ago

Beautiful views, nice distance and activity level. Very steep at parts, I would rate this a difficult trail. And it was a good trail in November, I wouldn't want to hike it in the summer mid day, it would be too hot and sunny.

hiking
muddy
snow
13 days ago

Completed the loop in early November, which admittedly may not be the best time for this one. The views of Angel Fire, Eagle Nest Lake and Wheeler are the same as those along 64. The trail may be stunning when the aspens are changing, but otherwise it’s absent of significant water features or summit views and is mostly a forest road used for trail rides. Hiking clockwise, the climb is relatively gentle if long. The trail gets a little confusing toward the end as it cross-crosses forest roads, but not hard to find if you follow the app.

hiking
16 days ago

Only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was all the construction noise one could hear for the first mile.

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful area with sweeping views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The road to the trailhead from the main road is posted with a warning sign that it’s not suitable for passenger cars. But I was able to drive easily (although a slow 15 mph) in a Mazda 3 on a totally dry day. Attempt at your own risk. The trailhead is a little hidden, down the hill just west of the bathrooms at the main parking area for the campground. For those seeking an easier hike than the descent down and subsequent climb back up the Rio Grande canyon, there are networks of lightly traveled dirt roads around the campground above the rim that offer truly beautiful views, especially in the late afternoon. If there’s snow in the mountains, you may experience the most gorgeous alpenglow you’ve ever seen. I did. Definitely going back.

mountain biking
rocky
1 month ago

Steep and rocky 2 mi uphill, but worth the fast downhill back to the trailhead!

muddy
off trail
rocky
1 month ago

Took a UTV up and did fine. Pretty busy on a Sunday afternoon. A Jeep could definitely make it up but I’m parts it’s too narrow to pass. Watch for bees. Gorgeous aspen trees turning gold and orange. Some parts are pretty steep and rocky with drop offs but I would stay this trail is easy - moderate.

Hiked this trail and summited the peak. We took the wrong approach to summit but it ended up okay. It was super beautiful! We used the address provided on AllTrails, and the road was rough for about half and hour. I drove my CRV and bottomed out a few times.

hiking
1 month ago

Great Hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Climbed August 30, 2019 We went on up to Wheeler Peak from horse shoe lake! We left Middle Fork trail head at 6:00 am and got back at 6:00pm. It was a totally awesome experience! Between 16 and 17 miles round trip! Have to admit the trail from horse shoes lake to Wheeler Peak is steep most of the way! Over 1100 feet gain in elevation in a little over a mile!! Wanted to get down off the mountain before dark so didn’t get to stop and enjoy the beauty as much as we would have liked to! Next year we are planning on making it an overnight trip!! Lost Lake and Horse Shoe Lakes are just beautiful!!

hiking
1 month ago

Good trail mostly in the trees. Small lake.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a beautiful moderate trail. Went with two small pups for our first hike in altitude since we arrived and it was a good balance of challenge and ease.

At the beginning of my hike, a couple of fellow hikers handed me a “lucky rock.” Always a good sign. Yes it is rocky, but the Aspens were magnificent! I was only able to hike 5.1 miles of this trail, but I enjoyed it. I am 63 & getting back into hiking.

Relatively easy hike out and back. Disappointed that the first half mile was through an area of downed trees with lots of cut wood piles so it appears as though there is an effort to rid some of the fallen trees. With all due respect the “lake” is really more of a pond. All in all it was a decent hike but we surely did enjoy the beer at the Bavarian which is right there as you finish this hike

hiking
1 month ago

Exceptional scenery! But you need to be adjusted to the altitude and have some fitness. This was my first hike as a 300 lb + person, and I conquered it, but not without some work. I've learned that if I want to pursue this passion I need to drop weight and work on my cardio. This is actually a gorgeous hike; the scenery and forest.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Nice views throughout hike! No shade so wear a hat and bring sunscreen / water. We stopped at the top of the ~1/2 point, which has some nice sitting rocks to take in the views. Would be a nice place to turn around if you are looking for 3.5 mile hike.

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful hike. crazy wind gusts at the top made time at peak frenzied and brief. Hiked with 3 sons and wife, ages 4,7,11, and 30 something.

Holy crap that was hard!!! I only died twice!

Trail is a road going slightly uphill to the mine. One mine shaft easily visible, one about 50 feet higher up a steep slope. Trail continues up slope, very steep. Road appears to continue as well, but we turned back after the steep loop.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! We're from Florida and decided to tackle this trail our second day in our hiking vacation. If you're a sea level person remember to take attitude acclimation into account. (More challenging than we thought ha)

The trail was open all the way somebody cut all the deadfall from the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is moderate, my Garmin etrex 30x said it was 5.8 miles each way. Fun hike, nice trail and a beautiful lake at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite hikes. Just spectacular. Be sure to take the time to see the waterfalls to the right of the lake. Breathtaking views!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail! We hiked in January through snow. People were playing hockey on the frozen lake. Would like to hike in summer and head up to Wheeler Peak someday.

hiking
2 months ago

I parked right off the road as I don’t have a good car for dirt roads - definitely recommend a high clearance vehicle for the road leading to the trailhead as there were a lot of large rocks, large pools of water, etc in the road that could be troublesome. The hike is really fantastic and like others say it isn’t too steep at any point, nice steady incline. I got to the lake around 1:30pm and it was pretty windy and cold up there so I didn’t end up staying long. No snow on the trail that I saw.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Views are beautiful! The trees are marked with blue dots along the way so it’s pretty easy to find your way. We went on a week day and still encountered a good number of people and other dogs. I can imagine the weekends are a bit hectic.

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