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West Branch Trail is a 12.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and snowshoeing. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 12.9 mi Elevation gain 2,706 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Snowshoeing

Running

Lake

Views

Snow

Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

Directions from Fort Collins: Travel west on Highway 14, about 66 miles then travel north on County Road 103 approximately 6 miles to the trailhead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (44)
Photos (105)
Recordings (23)
Completed (71)
Daniel Dannahower User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020

Hiked West Branch to Twin Crater Lakes. Trail is mostly dry. A few difficult stream crossings. First several miles are in cover. FOUND FISHING GEAR. If you left gear on the Twin Crater Lakes trail, contact me to ID.

Brittney Dougherty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddy

Loved this trail from start to finish, it just kept delivering amazing views. Beautiful, rushing creeks, fields of wildflowers, waterfalls galore, and the lakes at the top were worth the brutality of the last mile up. We zoomed through the first 4 miles, enjoying the various crossings and the crystal clear pools of water. We could smell a large animal nearby while we were in a wide meadow with a campsite and meandering creek. We didn't see it though on the way up or down. There were a lot downed trees over the trail throughout mile 4-5 maybe. The lakes at the top are spectacular and we had the area fully to ourselves for the hour we spent at the top. AllTrails says this is heavily trafficked, but we only encountered 1 group after the turnoff to Blue Lake Trail. Most people only made it a couple miles in or turned onto a different trail.

Clint Austin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Made the mistake of staying overnight but forgetting bug spray. Got swarmed by mosquitoes until around 930pm. The trail is unmarked but easy to follow. Signs at trail splits. Lots of beautiful wildflowers and cascading streams.

View Clint's Recording
Sam Reckling
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 30, 2020
HikingMuddy

Gorgeous hike! Many parts of the trail were muddy and streams running directly through the trail but my feet stayed dry for the most part. I turned around at about 4 miles as I encountered a large male moose eating some shrubs along the trail and there was no easy way to get around him without getting uncomfortably close, still very much worth it and last night, the night of June 29-30 it definitely snowed as the upper peaks were covered in a dusting of snow along with their usual snowfields. I will definitely return another day when the conditions are dryer later in the season and hopefully my way isn't blocked by a moose this time!

Bill Cotton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
HikingSnow

I hiked to Twin Crater Lakes. The last 1.5 miles, above 10,400 on Trail 962 was mostly in snow. 961 was very wet. There are several water crossings with shin to knee deep rushing water. I wore Chacos the entire 14 miles. That’s not for everyone.

Lauren Gramberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 10, 2020
HikingFloodedMuddyWashed out

Only made it about 3.4 miles before the trail was washed out by the snow melt/rain storm. Many parts of the trail were extremely muddy or flooded. Still pretty! Would try again in a dryer part of the year

Kate P.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 23, 2019
Hiking

I would recommend this trail for viewing the colorful changing of aspens. Gorgeous views!

View Kate's Recording
B C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2019
Hiking

This is a well marked trail throughout even when there was another trail it was properly labeled to where you’d be okay with out a map. The trail is also well maintained, a few trees down but they’re easy to go around. Very steep the last mile to the lakes so take your time, the lakes are well worth the trek up. There is plenty of camping along side the trail too so a quick out and back is fun to make it a couple nights. Saw some family’s and some hunters and people trail running therefore it’s a trail fro everyone .

Dustin Keltner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 13, 2019
Hiking

Hiked with my dog on the 13th. Had to turn back before getting to the lakes. Majority of trail is in thick tree cover. Always nicely shaded so it might be a good choice on a hot day. Very well marked. Dry throughout. There was one tree down and one stream crossing that was may 30' across, but not more than 1' deep. Sighted one elk close to the trail head, and another about 4 miles up.

J S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2019
Hiking

backpacked for fishing and over night 45lbs bag. The fishing was good. At 3.5 miles there is a man made Bridge over the river. This is the half way mark. It's all up hill from here the last 1 mile stretch up takes some power. Only a few people up top. no one at island lake was a greate sun set and sun rise. seems like the wind was stronger up top vs lower lake. The trail down was simple.

Kyle Wurtz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2019
Hiking

I did this hike over Labor Day weekend and none of the issues described in some of the prior reviews were still a problem. It had dried up a lot, and while there were still a few muddy spots it wasn’t an issue at all. No bugs, either! The wildflowers were definitely starting to fade, but there were some really nice patches. The stream crossing at ~3.25 miles in was easy (just walked over the logs on the way out and then waxed through the shin-deep water on the way back...ahh, refreshing!). Views at the lakes were nice, but not spectacular. This seems like a hike that’s best done in late summer or fall (there are a ton of aspens in the first few miles, so it could be beautiful when the leaves change) when things have dried out.

Melinda OBrien
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 2, 2019
Hiking

completed this trail as a day hike. about 7 hours round trip (long day) Island Lake was beautiful. Stream crossings were completely doable without getting wet. moose were on the trail. lower section of trail will be beautiful in the fall traveling thru the Aspen groves

Leah Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 27, 2019
HikingBugsMuddy
View Leah's Recording
Mark O.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2019
Hiking

We hiked in around 6 miles today and initially it was very easy, but due to the melting snow the trail was often a tiny running stream with wet and slippery conditions. Quite a few downed trees to maneuver around or under. Main creek was running fast and beautiful but tough spots to try and cross. We never made it to any of the lakes, which one hiker said might still be frozen over. Elevation gained was 10,300. I’m sure if we had made the ‘lakes’ it would have been great with good views, but for us today it was a wet walk in the woods. Maybe another time when it drys out.

Mia T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2019
HikingMuddySnow

My boyfriend and I backpacked in last Friday night and set up camp at the beginning of the trail. The following day we hiked up approximately one and half miles before reaching Island and Carrey Lakes because of the snow. The snow drifts were melting significantly but it did slow our pace and created frustration. The river crossing was difficult because the man made bridge had broke forcing us to use a makeshift bridge of slender fallen logs. But overall it was a beautiful trail and a lovely weekend trip.

Alyssa Noel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2019

Beautiful views of Cameron Pass right from the start. We saw a few moose from the start of the trailhead till we hit trees. Did see a warning on the first trail sign pointing to West Branch by the bridge that a mountain lion was spotted on trail by some hikers 06/08/19. Just be aware of your surroundings. Definitely worth the stunning views and the hike through thousands of gorgeous aspens.

Kat J
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 27, 2019
Hiking

Did this trail today with my two big dogs. Trail was very muddy in spots and had LOTS of downed trees on/near the trail but pretty easy to navigate around. Spend the majority of the time in aspen groves (very pretty) and pines with views of the surrounding mountains every now and then. Still snow on the trail once you’re about 2.5-3 miles in but not too bad. Didn’t see any wildlife but there was a lot of deer scat on the trail.

clint Hurley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2018

Absolutely wonderful trail ran out of time to finish but definitely be back to yak to the end

Dick Kinney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 24, 2018
Hiking

Hiked about to mile 6 on 6/21/18. Lots of runofff. Wet trail the day I was on it. Snow after mile 6. Wildflowers are out and proud. Mostly pack packers (4) and a Poudre Trail Volunteer. Overall the trail is in good shape and more vibrant than mid summer. Enjoy if you can.

Andrew Preston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 11, 2018
Hiking

Snow near the top around mile 5-6. Snow patches in North facing trees that stays lte into summer makes getting to the lake wet work with plenty of post holeling. Excellent trail, don't let it discourage you!

Hope Verro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2016
Backpacking

Loved it! We branched off to the Rawah Trail and then then Twin Crater Lakes. We went at the end of June and there was still a lot of snow up by Crater lakes. On West Branch Trail you have to cross the river. I really wish I would have had my Tevas!!

Marjorie Fallon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2015

I think this trail and the loop was one of the best trails I've ever hiked. water proof shoes are a must! beautiful scenery, saw a few deer, and breath taking views at the top. do it!

Valerie Goren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2013
Hiking

I backpacked a ~20 mile loop that connects the West Branch Trail to the Rawah Trailhead. Highly recommended for the route's excellent scenery, 10+ lakes along the trail, and a good summit about halfway through. This hike can be looped in either direction, and completed in 1-2 nights, or as a long day hike. Begin at the Tunnel Campground at Roosevelt National Forrest just outside of Fort Collins down Poudre Canyon. I attached a link to the trail route.

James W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 20, 2012
Hiking
First to Review

Most of the trail is in a valley. Did see some wildlife and few campers. I tried fly fishing some of the alpine lakes at the top, but to no avail. Would like to get back to try some of the connecting trails.

Keely Oetken
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking
View Keely's Recording
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