Pinos River Trail to Emerald Lake is a 20.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Bayfield, Colorado that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
20.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,028 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

We hiked a little more than 4 miles in and found a nice lunch spot on the river. You will hike for a good 2 mile before the trail is beside the creek. We saw a couple deer and only passed three other hikers. Great day to be among the changing Aspen leaves.

2 months ago

What a beautiful easy hike the first 6 miles... then we turned around... and just as beautiful going back.

fishing
3 months ago

Strenuous, but beautiful (and prime fishing).

3 months ago

Very beautiful trail. seems to be some discrepancies in the mileage but worth it. Making it to the lake in one day is doable, but hard if you are not used to the elevation. Will definitely be back in the future

4 months ago

This was the perfect trail for my first solo backpacking outing. The lake is so peaceful, a perfect location to spend some quiet time in the wilderness. The lake was surprisingly warm!

4 months ago

~20miles

5 months ago

Just completed the hike (May 2018). As another person posted, the trail is relatively easy for the first 6 Miles. After that point, there’s about 15 downed trees on your way to the lake along with a steep incline. My pedometer marked the hike at 11 Miles one way, not 9, so making it to the lake in one day is rather strenuous. The lakes are gorgeous and well worth the hike!

hiking
7 months ago

I completed the hike in July 2017. The first 6 miles a more or less flat with amazing valley views. Once you cross the bridge and head north to the lake, it gets quite steep but you still have access to plenty of water and shade. The real work begins about a mile/mile and a half before the campsite below Little Emerald where you are treated to fallen tree after fallen tree across the trail. On our way up some awesome ladies were working to mitigate that problem but it I imagine it will be a nonstop job with all of the beetle-killed pine along the way.

The campsite south of Little Emerald can accommodate a relatively large group of people without getting too cozy but it will be crowded on a holiday weekend. The walk around Emerald is excellent and the view down the valley is breathtaking.

backpacking
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

hiking
Friday, June 02, 2017

Thursday, July 28, 2016