Cascade Creek Trail to Mirror Lake and Crater Lake

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(384)
Arapaho National Forest

Cascade Creek Trail to Mirror Lake and Crater Lake is a 14.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Tabernash, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 14.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,244 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Permits required for overnight camping June-Mid September, designated sites only. No campfires allowed. Dogs on leash only.

hiking
8 days ago

Made it to Cascade Falls (I assume the top portion of the falls since we passed 2 large falls). At that point the snow is packed and you can walk around/over it for a bit but wasn't worth going much further so we stopped there. Lots of signs of moose scat and a guy we passed on the way up said he saw a bear.

hiking
muddy
snow
12 days ago

Backpacked yesterday May 17, 2020. Beautiful area, awesome hike, but couldn’t make it to Crater Lake. If you want to attempt Crater Lake you should bring snowshoes and gaiters. Saw a few other backpackers who had turned around at the falls on the way up, and one couple told us they made it to the falls because they knew where to go. We decided to try but didn’t get far after the falls. We were post-holing past the falls and then lost the trail due to snow drifts and lack of tracks. We decided to hike back down and ended up camping next to the river on the monarch loop trail. Saw 2 moose on the way up to the falls too!!

5/14/2020 First 3 miles are clear. Snow drifts covering trail as you get closer to Cascade falls. Drifts were too deep to proceed past the falls. Lots of backpackers stopped at the falls or before due to snow.

hiking
20 days ago

Did this as a day hike 2 years ago in the fall. Pretty easy terrain and would be a perfect introduction to backpacking! Beautiful veiws the entire way

hiking
snow
28 days ago

pretty solid hiking through the first couple campsites. Got dicey around Cascade Falls without the right gear. Couldn’t go passed Cascade Falls. Camped at a great site up a short rock scramble right by; can easily do with a pack. consistent 3+ feet of snow passed mile 4 .

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Gréât

Was tripping everything was amazing until I realized I left my tent poles 3 hours back nearly at the beginning! Safe and warm and happy now tho woohooo

hiking
7 months ago

The views at mirror lake and moose sightings were the best part of this hike. We hiked this in one day instead of backpacking like most of the other people we saw on the trail. While we enjoyed some of the views, they weren’t worth 16 miles in one day. Colorado has much more to offer with less mileage. That being said, the trail itself is not strenuous at all, it is just very long. Also, don’t take your dogs off leash! We were warned by the ranger on the trail.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

The views were spectacular, moose sightings were abundant. The trail was in really good shape and generally easy to follow along. I would definitely do this hike again. The parking was better than usual. The only downside is the rocky terrain and the lack of adequate campsites along the way up to Crater lake. It seems like a long hike for a day hike but if you hike regularly it wouldn’t be a problem. My wife and I hiked in 2.2 miles late Friday evening, made camp, leisurely day hiked to the top, had a lunch then headed back to our site for the night. We hiked out the 2.2 miles Sunday morning.

hiking
7 months ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I've done! 17 miles up and back made for a long day though. More details and photos here: https://bit.ly/2pJNICv

hiking
7 months ago

completed 2 days ago. aspens are prime. saw 1 young moose in the first mile. Rocky trail.

backpacking
8 months ago

Unreal beautiful views. This was my first backpacking experience and let me tell ya it was super challenging, but the reward was amazing! Such an incredibly beautiful hike up to crater lake with gorgeous water falls and peaceful sounds of flowing water. Would be a pretty easy hike without 30 extra pounds on your back and could be done easily in a day, but with the packs it was a trek for sure. Took us about 7 hours to get to crater with multiple breaks and lots of nature picture taking along the way. 10/10 recommend!

Slept at trailhead the night before. Nonstop gorgeous views the entire way to the lakes. Set up camp at lake mirror, but there were plenty beautiful ones available around crater lake. Didn’t see any wildlife other than woodland creatures. Spent one windy night. Not too cold. Had Luna with me. Beautiful falls colors now. Self pay permits required. 10$ for 3 days

hiking
bugs
8 months ago

Great trail! Made for a full day hike with the puppy. Keep hiking to the second lake. Saw a mother and baby moose then a big bull moose and a mature female ten minutes later. Last few miles is a bit anticlimactic after the hike up to the lakes. Look forward to coming back and camping. Seems like the best camp sites are seven and up.

Back half of crater-monarch.

Favorite trail. Definitely recommend hiking all the way to Crater Lake; don’t stop at Mirror. Stunning views. The difficulty in this trail lies in the length, not so much the gain. 100% worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

The mileage is pretty accurate if you park close to the main entrance. Great views along the way and the trail is very well marked the whole way up. All-in-all it took about 6 1/2 hours to go out and back with a few breaks. Be careful along the beginning as my fiancé and I almost walked into a Bull Moose in the first mile and a half.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Took my 6lb Yorkie and we trekked in and out in 7 hrs 18 min. 36 degrees when we started and hit about no more then 68 degrees. Trail is well marked and all the falls are flowing strong and gorgeous. The one challenge that comes to mind minus the mileage is all the loose rocks on the trail. Most of this trail is rocky and honestly not my favorite part. Crater lake was serene and tranquil. I would not do this again however, happy we completed it. Aspens are starting to turn over as well!

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike! Lone Eagle Peak is incredible. Mirror Lake is one of the most pristine lakes I've ever seen. Trail isn't too difficult in terms of elevation, but it's long. The last couple of miles on the return take forever.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike! Completed 9/14 in about 7 hours, breaks included. Definitely moderate and highly recommend!

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike! Fairly long for a pup to do, however, I met some amazing people and saw the infamous mirror lake. The hike is moderatly easy just lengthy, it was very enjoyable to be out in the wilderness. 5/5 recommend. I clocked 17 miles to mirror lake!

hiking
8 months ago

Disappointing and the only thing that makes this hike “difficult” is the mileage. “16” miles round trip can get you to some insanely beautiful views in Colorado and the views on this hike were subpar at best. There’s a cool waterfall at the halfway point that was probably my favorite part but if you’re looking to get out in the middle of nowhere with some incredible views and a good workout, I wouldn’t recommend this hike. We also clocked only 15.1 miles round trip from mirror lake. Others hiked up to Crater Lake and immediately came back down because they said the views weren’t great so we decided to forego it.

Showing results 1 - 25 of 384