Crag Crest Trail

MODERATE 54 reviews

Crag Crest Trail is a 9.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Cedaredge, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.6 miles
1627 feet

dogs on leash



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers




Directions from Cedaredge: Travel eighteen miles north on Highway 65 to Crag Crest National Recreation Trail parking area.

2 months ago

Hiked up on snowshoes 2/17/18. Went as far as the Narrows and came back down. Had to break a trail through about 12 to 14 inches of new snow. Winter views from the Narrows are spectacular!

3 months ago

Great views. Be aware of your altitude before you start your adventure.

6 months ago

This hike was amazing. It will be in my list again for next year.

6 months ago

Great hike in the snow, which fell on September 24, 2017. The trail has multiple lookout points and the views of the all the mountain ranges and valleys in the area. Once to the ridge the views are spectacular.

7 months ago

With the changing colors the hike was simply beautiful! Really enjoyed crest!

7 months ago

Amazing trail. From the West trailhead, it's not a difficult climb, but has spots good enough to get the heart rate going. Well maintained trail and enough other hikers that I didn't feel unsafe hiking alone. Views up to and from the crest are breathtaking.

The lower loop is a different story. Good hike if you're looking to put miles on your boots, but if you're looking for dramatic scenery, this is not your hike. It has its own qualities, but certainly not the beauty of the upper crest.

Great hike overall. Will definitely do again.

7 months ago

Beautiful flowers, woods and views but long and uphill often

8 months ago

Beautiful! Bring extra snacks or an extra sandwich. You will want to stop and admire the mountains.

8 months ago

Trail is nice and pretty well marked. Beautiful views from the top and several nice picture spots along the trail. Tough trail in some areas make sure you are prepared but overall a good hike.

8 months ago

Most amazing views!!! The top of the trail was so pretty I couldn't believe it. I hiked it with my dog and then pitched a tent in the meadow on the west end before continuing the Lower Loop the next day. The Lower Loop was pretty and very easy to walk, although my GPS said it was nearly a mile longer than the 3.5 miles it claims to be.

8 months ago


Bring bug spray! But amazing trail! The upper crest part of the loop is a must!

9 months ago

Made this trip into an overnight. The scenery was spectacular but there was still lots of snowpack up high that was slippery to cross, especially near the exposed parts of the trail. Also, there was a tremendous amount of deadfall that required going over, under or around. Most of it looked to be very fresh. As is normal for this time of the year, the mosquitos were out in force. I would easily rate this trail 5 stars if it weren't for all the trees on the trail.

10 months ago

Love this trail!

Friday, October 14, 2016

this is one of my top five hikes in the state

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

it was beautiful. good hike. got a blister. not for the faint hearted or new hiker.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Two trailheads, east & west, both are easy to find. Trail is well marked the entire way. The crest was pretty awesome of the first half of the trail. Next half ain't anything special, all the trees are marked or dying and heard a bunch of human noises from below. It's nice walking up above on the crest, than down around the lakes/meadows. Lots of birds and saw some deer, only one other person was on the trail this morning so it was very peaceful. It is definitely over 10.5 miles starting at the west trailhead to finish the full loop, check out my recording.

trail running
Friday, August 12, 2016

Beautiful trail, did the upper portion first, so had great morning views. Bugs were not bad and the temperature and breeze were perfect. I would rate the trail as moderate with a few steep-ish uphill portions. One stream crossing on the lower portion but not difficult.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Beautiful views on the crest accompanied by cooling breezes! Moderate ascent to the crest if you choose to begin with the southerly portion of the loop. My wife and I completed the loop in 4.5 hours. It was out pup's first hike too!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

This was an amazing uphill hike. The views are stunning especially when you reach the peak. ♡

trail running
Saturday, July 23, 2016

it was great

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Awesome trail! I took my dog on her first hike here and we loved it. We hiked the entire loop. There are small streams to cross, heavy forest areas, and then some nice narrow rocky paths. The wildlife we encountered included deer, groundhogs, chipmunks, squirrels etc. Good to have dog on leash if they tend to give chase. It is bear area and moose have been brought into the area as well. I did this hike June 24th and there were still patches of snow. Some that required climbing as well. We ran into several fallen trees but in most cases you could easily step over, under or around. Only in one location we needed to crawl under/through two newly fallen trees and then relocate the trail but it was easy enough and added a bit of fun. I plan on revisiting this trail next year!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sweet trail, I've done it a couple of times now. More difficult in the winter but still doable with a little gear!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Awesome trail... I stumbled on it as an option to do some hiking while I was on a motorcycle trip. Great views, moderate elevation gain, and overall peace and quiet. It is a very special trail. I never saw a mountain biker on the trail in the 2 times I've been on this in the last 2 months. Just nice hikers out for a day trip.

There isn't much access to water up on the ridge, especially once you are on the crest, so plan accordingly. If you are going to camp and want access to water you will need to look at one of the lower areas off the top with water near by.

Monday, September 07, 2015

A very unique trail. Loved walking the crest. Our long rang views were hampered by haze from the fires in the north west but still a worth wile hike. Be aware that the trail is not accurately marked on any map. All maps stem from USGS data and the trail is only marked as an approximation on their maps and all subsequent maps including National Geographic and the Crag Crest brochure from the visitor's center. The west trail head spur meets the mail trail less than 1/4 mile from the parking lot and not a mile in and half way up the crest as maps indicate. Also where the trail passes south of Upper Hotel Lake is completely different than the map. Check out other people's Tracks for better information. Lucky the actual trail is easy to follow as long as you aren't trying to track yourself on a map.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Beautiful, beautiful area! Did it with three kids ages 13, 12, and 7. Was a bit tough on the seven year old between the rain, hail, lightning, and 40 degree weather in mid-July. Not an easy hike, but not terribly hard. We parked cars at opposite ends instead of completing the loop, so it ended up being about 6.5 miles. The only people we saw were a team of trail volunteers getting ready to clear a fallen tree. Definitely a great hike in the Grand Mesa area.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

I may have bit off more than my kids can chew. We did the full 10 miles, but my five year old son was crying, whining and complaining consistently for the last four miles or so. I don't think this trail is for small kids. I loved it though! My dog lost a fight with a porcupine as well on the lower half of the trail. Watch out for that if you bring your dogs.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pretty nice hike. Not much foot traffic. Was refreshing coming from hot and humid Iowa to the mesa where it was around 42 degrees at the end of July. Some of the views from the highway up was awesome too.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

We did the loop. Though didn't see any mountain bikers came across a few hikers. The trail is rated as difficult on a pamphlet we received in the visitor's center. We enjoyed this quite a bit though the second half we were pretty beat by the end. Tons of wildflowers, the lakes were amazing, and when you are up at the can see forever. I do have to admit while up at the top of the crest I became a little scared lol (it would be a looong fall down)

Friday, October 12, 2012

We hiked the West side trail directly from Grand Mesa Lodge/Cabins, where we were staying (highly recommend). Hiked the entire loop, which ends up being about 12 miles. Being from Colorado, altitude wasn't a big issue. Great weather for October, fantastic views and awesome hike.

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