Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

backpacking
1 day ago

This is an absolutely beautiful trail. While the trail can be completed easily within single day, I would recommend backpacking and staying at the top for a night. The view is gorgeous and the trail is very lightly traversed. You will pretty much have both lakes to yourself. There was some snow on the route but the trail is perfectly passable. At the lakes it gets really cold and windy at night so make sure you are dressed accordingly and carry winter backpacking gear.

hiking
1 day ago

This trail makes you work for the privilege of viewing the beautiful Alpine Lost Lake!

I would agree with another viewer that this trail is more than moderate.
My app showed 11.8 miles out and back and 51 floors.

Snow on the 2ft wide ledge of the sheer cliff trail made this part of the trail treacherous. Be careful and take your time, its a journey not a race

Trail is beautiful, followed with the app. Rated it 4 stars because we bumped into three trucks on the trail. The people in the first truck made me feel uncomfortable, the second and the third truck the people seemed fine, just don’t understand how they got there and why.

Easily one of the most beautiful hikes in NM! Hiked yesterday with my partner, dogs, and two children (10 and 11). The trail was heavily used, even for a Saturday. It is a steep, steady climb, but should be manageable for most. We aren't accustomed to the elevation and thus took a few more breaks than usual. This just gave us extra time to appreciate the stunning old growth forest. Reminds me of hikes in the PNW (without the rain!)

The lake itself is beautiful and surrounded by interesting alpine life. Take the time to cross over to the waterfall on the far side, it is lovely (and full of the best quality water earth provides).

We plan to return with camping gear soon :).

Hike is beautiful all the way, and what a destination!! Starts at the Taos Ski area. If we had more time, we'd probably have gone up to Wheeler Peak, but we did it the morning we were heading out of town

So beautiful and totally worth it. If climbing in the spring time, plan for lots of snow at the top!

hiking
6 days ago

CAUTION: For Dog Owners This WOULD have been a great trail do to IF I would have known about the three flights of steep spiked metal stairs my dog could not go down
Since so many people hike with their dogs I am surprised no one mentioned this?

Now they have.

Instead dog owners go to either Little or Big Arsenic trail(s) and hike back to La Junta like me and my puppy are doing right now!

Rugged beauty!

Beautiful hike. Awesome views, still some snow in May. Lake still icy.

This is such a great trail close to town. 5 miles is perfect for an early morning get up or and afternoon get busy trail. My friends and I do this trail often throughout the year.

hiking
13 days ago

We were recommended this over La Junta, mainly because the drive from Taos was 1/2 an hour shorter. The drive to the trailhead/campground area is a not great, road is dirt and has quite a bit of potholes, so take it slow.

The trail itself is a bit challenging. The beginning going down is quite steep. At about half way it is not as steep and pretty easy. The access to the river is a nice area, you can be brave and jump in, but be aware of the strong current. Hiking back up is obviously harder and the steep beginning(end going up) is hard. All in all, well worth it, took an hour down and 1.25 hrs up.

hiking
14 days ago

This was an absolutely beautiful hike.

The trail was very well used, some snow still on the ground, but easily hikable.

From the parking lot it is a continuous climb, but it is not steep and most people should be able to handle the 2 miles to the lake. Once there take some time to wander around the lake, there is a waterfall about .25 miles south west from the trail that you can get to if you're a bit adventurous.

This is a must do trail if you are in the Taos area for some time.

We did the trail on May 2nd with our kids (4,6 & 7 years old). They are used to trek so it was ok for them. We took a lot of breaks with them so we got to the lake in 2 hours. It's a stunning trail! Snow remains on the trail but with hiking boots it is ok.

backpacking
17 days ago

Wasn't able to get to trailhead (April 19, 2018). The road to the trailhead was impassable via a 2wd vehicle. During spring, you would likely need an high clearance off-road vehicle to get to trailhead, or be willing to park hike up to the trailhead. My experience.

As of May 1st still lots of snow on the last mile or so before the lake.

Nice weather beautiful views; had the trail all to myself. Lots of signs of wildlife. Saw some turkeys at the meadow, about 2.5 miles up. Didn't go further today. I'll definitely be back to do more!

Great moderate hike. Beautiful views.

Nice quick hike

hiking
1 month ago

great trail, fairly uphill the whole way but absolutely worth the view. you start hiking from the parking lot by some skiiers and then split left. would definitely do again but yak tracks made all the difference, bring em!!

Fantastic trail! Easy for the elevation. 3/22/18 the snow is pretty packed down, but the freeze-thaw cycle means you probably want some kind of traction like yaktracks. It's a beautiful hike in the snow - cozy forest climb that opens up to a breathtaking bowl with the frozen lake.

I had a blast here! Very pretty easy going Trail.. spent the night by the lake.. well worth the climb!

**Dogs ARE allowed here** Great hike, though hard to follow the trail sometimes. Definitely needed the AllTrails map to follow. I was also glad I'd thrown my snowshoes on my back as when I needed them, I really needed them. Beautiful quiet trail, especially with the fresh snow!

So beautiful- was looking for a trail run and this was more of a steep walk/jog for the first half uphill , then a nice, rapid downhill. Not very technical, just steep and high altitude for someone who’s been living in Texas for 5 years :)

Great spring hike, but do wish there was better signage along the way...thank goodness for snow and footprints to let us know we were still on the right path. If I was to do it again this time of year, I'd take my snowshoes.

off road driving
2 months ago

Great trail and beautiful views at the Lake. Did it in a lifted 4Runner. No problems at all. Very fun and rewarding trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked in early-march. Trail was very well marked. Snow was well packed on the trail, which was about 3-4 ft. wide. If you stumbled off of the trail, the snow would rise past your shins. Views were remarkable, even with the lake frozen. Trekking up the mountain was moderately challenging due to the elevation, the way down was a blast. Dogs loved the trail.

Did this as the loop and 164 had sections of ice and snow. There was nothing technical about the hike at all. Beautiful scenery along the way but harder to see at the peak because of denser trees. Biggest cairn ever and stone chairs let you know you made it.

Trial itself is nothing to write home about but the site is very interesting with pottery artifacts all over. You need a lot of imagination because there are no ruins.

We started the hike going down La Junta (wow, just wow on views and trail). Went to the end of La Junta at the confluence of the rivers for lunch, then hiked along the River Trail to Big Arsenic Trail back up to the top and then hiked the flat Riconda Trail back to the car at the La Junta parking lot. Would not change a thing about the route. La Junta down was amazing and the trail between Little Arsenic and Big Arsenic was the prettiest part of our hike. We chose not to hike the additional mike os switch-back down to seek out the pictographs that may or not be easy to find since we have seen in other areas of the Southwest. Glad we didn't ton save energy for the flat walk back to the car. No regrets and glad we did it.

2 months ago

Love the camp sites
Looks like the bridge to get to the picnic tables was washed out?

The water is gorgeous at the bottom and the hike back to the top makes drinking a cold one at the end totally guilt free

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