Explore the most popular birding trails in Lincoln 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 was SUCH an amazing hike! It is exceptionally difficult- we made it 2.5 in, through the second set of switchbacks! Absolutely GORGEOUS.

Bring LOADS of water, maybe some snacks.

We will be going back!

By the way, bring 5 dollars cash, and be prepared for an all-day experience!

Only went in 3.7 miles. The steepest portion of the trail is the first 1.5 miles. It’s rather rocky as compared to the PNW. There were patches of snow but easily done in trail runners. Some slick mud in spots. Saw a beautiful bull elk at about 2.5 to 3 miles in. The trail stays in the trees the whole time and I’m guessing this would be a great hike in the warmer months.

Lovely trail and well kept. I loved the view of the farmland and cows. Flowers were everywhere when we hiked this last fall.

16 days ago

Did this loop (T92->T93) with my wife and sister-in-law, all of us avid hikers, on a beautiful winter day, highs in the 60s. Must say, not our favorite. Heading up the "easy" T92 is fine, although you're hiking up the canyon, basically spending time in or crossing the wash, replete with rocks and stones. But that was trivial compared with the "difficult" crossover and descent down T93! Very rocky and a bit hard to follow in places (good news: all seem to get you back except the branch at the top you need to pay attention to). For sure, hiking poles help. Vistas are great albeit partially blocked by trees. Good for one time we all agreed.

trail running
17 days ago

Pretty awesome trail, did not expect to find something like this in the Carlsbad area. I did some trail running but as a mountain biker, I'd say this would be a pretty good mtb trail with several technical sections. Trail is actually much longer than what's listed. I ran 6.5 and actually probably cut off a couple more miles. There is a pretty long loop to the south of what the map shows. It's in lower, flatter country but still pretty enjoyable. Would be more appropriate for beginner mountain bikers, runners, etc. There don't seem to be many bailout options down there though. Would like to try to find some way to upload my loop...

Good hike through the pine forest. This route combines a couple different trails so be mindful of the intersections. Moderate is accurate, the trail itself can be narrow at times and the only annoying thing is the ice and small rocks to navigate on, but this is a problem only for winter months.

About 2/3rds through there is a split off to climb Cathey peak where there is a great view at 9700ft looking down that valley, it adds about .5 miles to the hike and worth it.

19 days ago

1 month ago

We started at T93 and hiked the loop to T92 back to our car. Spectacular views, and signs of wildlife everywhere. Well marked, aside from a few wooden trail signs knocked over, but just follow T92 and you'll stay on track. Time well spent, phenomenal hike.

BE PREPARED. The beginning of this trail (19) is moderate but at the start of the climb to get to the second half (33) is very difficult. The trail is virtually impossible to follow with all of the fallen trees from the fire. We were lucky to have one phone with All Trails to keep us on the approximate path. Views at the top of this trail were amazing but can get steep at times and took a long time to get up. Took a lot more effort to climb than anticipated. This trail is very dangerous for people who are not prepared with multiple days worth of food and water. If you roll your ankle or hurt yourself either in a minor or major way, good luck getting help. There is 10% of the trail a helicopter could get to you. It was beautiful, but be over prepared and ready to spend multiple days due to nasty trail conditions.

For a hike with kids, this was awesome. Beautiful views. Trail was easy enough for the kids but not so easy that it was boring.

LOVED this one! The lake was beautiful, and not too crowded when we were there in the summer!

Great trail, took my wife and kids.

Made it to 3.5mi marker in about 2.5hrs. Took about 1.75hrs to get back down to the parking lot. Costs $5 per vehicle to park for the day to hike. The views were great and the trail was well marked. Only ran into three other groups of hikers the whole time we were out there (Christmas Eve). There was water available in the creek by the cabin ruins (2.75mi up) if you need a spot to refill. We each brought two liters a piece and it was plenty. Definitely recommend.

2 months ago

I have only been able to hike a section of this trail. Too long and strenuous for me. Very scenic.

2 months ago

Dang. I love this trail. I didn't make it to the end because I knew I'd run out of sunlight but it's now on my bucket list to come back and complete it. The views, the plants and landscape, are incredible. And I love the challenge of it. It's not for the faint of heart but most anyone can do the first mile and see the awesome views!

Was great!! Just watch out for sliding rocks and logs if in larger group. Also when finally at top, there was a huge ring of burn out. All along the trail rangers stacked fallen trees kind of took away from that untouched feeling. All and all great views of forest and lake!

I did this loop trail at the end of November; the day was very pleasant, excellent for hiking. On the half part of the trail you gain elevation, not too steep in such a way that you can easily walk and enjoy. As you return, from the top, you can contemplate the amazing landscape. This is definitely a nice trail.

Not sure who rates these trails. This should be more of a moderate listing. I hiked one the other day that was listed as moderate but was definitely easy.

About this trail...love it. I’ve rode mountain bikes around it and fished the lake, but really enjoyed the quiet walk around on this loop. Saw mule deer while hiking. Only a few others out using the trail. Highly recommend this trail.

trail running
3 months ago

Awesome trail for running. Saw a moose, wild turkeys, and several deer. As long as you give them space, there's nothing to worry about. A bit muddy in spots, but that's part of the fun of trail running. Also saw bear tracks, but no bears. Definitely a favorite.

3 months ago

My husband and I really enjoyed the 5+ mile loop. It was definitely moderate with some steep uphills and loose footing in places. The views were awesome. Would do it again for sure

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