Explore the most popular nature trips trails near Buena Vista with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Clear trail all the way in. Be ready for a moderate climb on the back half lasting about 45min. Views and camping we’re worth it though! Cheers :)

hiking
8 days ago

Still a lot of snow as of 5/14 right after the turn for the pass. Post holed for over a mile before turning back. First part of the trail has no snow. Still offered some amazing views!

On 5/12/18 backpacked up to the lake. The snow made it pretty miserable for the last 1.5 miles. We were falling in waist deep. There was hardly any areas without snow to camp out at, but found a spot surrounded by trees to help block out some wind. We were the only souls out there that I know of. No one or animal in sight. The next morning walked to the lake to enjoy the gorgeous view. The hike back was not as bad because we already made the footprints to step in and the snow hardened so at times it was ok to walk on top of.

Didn’t make it all the way to the lake because of snow making the trail hard to follow. Beautiful

beautiful hike, about 3 miles up ran into deep snow drifts and turned around. Need to go back in a couple months.

hiking
18 days ago

Summited this early September as my first fourteener and it is one of my favorite hikes to date. I camped at one of the sites along the road to the trailhead and met our group at the trailhead the next morning. Definitely needed a 4wd vehicle with some ground clearance to drive up to the "official" trailhead. First half of the hike was tree covered which kept temps cool. Second half was mostly above treeline. There was a great flat section midway through with a lake perfect for cooling off. The dogs in our group took advantage of this. Switchbacks lead up to the final ascent which is a pretty challenging but well marked scramble over loose rocks. Views from the top are prime! Overall a moderately difficult hike as far as fourteeners go.

Summited this pretty late in the season. The trail was easy to follow below treeline. Traces of snow but mostly dry and clearly marked. Most everything above treeline was snow-covered to the point that I lost the trail and ended up scrambling to the summit. I had no sense of where the trail was for the last quarter mile. Views from the top were incredible, though! Definitely a difficult hike but well worth it.

Not an easy trail in spring weather, snow was soft and not stable. Still doable for determined people. Had to change between spike to snowshoes to often. Made it to the top an it was all worth it. Views are stunning!

camping
27 days ago

awesome overnighter hike to take it easy. theres sites close to the lake. beautiful crystal clear streams feeding the lake and draining. I made it a 2 nighter and went up to bear lake the next day. camped in the horn fork basin area..breathtaking views of the collegiate peaks when you get up to bear lake. from bear you can summit mt. Harvard. one of my fave hikes in the collegiate peaks. plenty of water sources.

nice quick hike. last half mile is still snow covered and icey as of 4/14. you'll need a vehicle with high ground clearance to drive to trail head.

great hike but all on atv trail heavily used by them on week ends

I reached the summit at 12:00 pm on 3/21/2018 with only micro spikes, snowshoes were not needed. The trail was lost and I followed snowshoe tracks that went directly straight up through the tree line. I was a bit tough to get up but once above tree line it was easy to find the trail. Just be weary, there are a ton of tracks that go to dead ends. Once above the tree line head towards the saddle and you are bound to find the trail. This was my 3rd 14er of 2018 and I found it to be pretty safe, as for avey danger.

rock climbing
2 months ago

Usually hike, rock climb and or drive on the trails weekly. Lots of space for different activities. During the summer it can get very busy. During the winter it doesn’t get much snow so it’s good for rock climbing there almost year around.

As others have stated, the most challenging part of the trail is above the tree line. Challenging but well worth the views at the top!

great views the whole way up
well worth the effort

hiking
4 months ago

Great views of the Collegiate Peaks and Browns Canyon. During spring to fall high season there are a lot of ATV's that use this trail. Suggest hiking in winter or not during weekends to stay away from the traffic.

off road driving
4 months ago

What a fun, super easy trail to do during the off season. The last 3rd of the trail was closed do to reclamation projects. Great views and lots of great hiking trails along the way as well.

hiking
5 months ago

off road driving
6 months ago

this trail was a blast! came up for the Set them Free fundraiser 2017 and had a blast! I just put gears and lockers in my TJ and definitely put them to use! my jeep is on 4" with 35s though we did have a guy on 3" with 33s and open diffs and still did good!
one of the best I've done and definitely coming back!
but this time with rock sliders so I can add some of the harder obstacles to my list like the rock pile.

off road driving
6 months ago

First time I did just this route as I was alone, I intend to take some of the detour trails on my next time on this trail. My photos say 2016 instead of 17, but i w3ent the day of the Eclipse.

Serius XM works the entire route, Nice cell coverage over the route.

Some cruising points, a little paved roads, plenty of rough dirt roads, and plenty of boulders to crawl over, and lots of additions trails along the way.

I stopped and checked out a waterfall along the way. on a slight detour.

Overall a very fun and enticing trail, that i plan to tackle a couple more times as I explore the additional trails the splice off.

Plan this as a day trip and possibly overnight if you plan on taking the side trail as well.

You will also Stop at the Continental Divide on Tincup Pass which is the highest point before you cruise on down to Mirror Lake.

I initially took this route as I was planning a fishing trip at Taylor Res, Wich has great deals on boats, and had tons of fun catching lots of fish, that lake is full...... no joke.

hiking
6 months ago

Completed this hike in the middle of September. Arrived at the trailhead around 5:00am and enjoyed stunning views of the open night sky and heavy silence all around. To be clear, I parked my car about a half mile away from the official trailhead. I think I may be too cautious with my vehicle as I noticed other cars with lower clearance at the trailhead upon my return, but parts of the road about are pretty gnarly so use your discretion. Hiking up the road in the dark was great- a family a deer revealed themselves as glowing eyes and then rather quietly and quickly bounced away. The trailhead begins in the woods and offers beautiful and lush pine growth. It climbs steadily for some time before emerging from the tree line. Once past the tree line, there is a brief reprieve from the climb as the trail flattens out and offers great view as you look back towards the direction you came. Good spot to take a break. The wind was really kicking up at this point without any shelter from the trees and even though the sun had risen, overcast skies and below freezing temperatures made this a bitterly cold ascent at times. The final hump is more steep travel as you can imagine, and from the shoulder is probably another hour or so to the summit. Patches of snow and ice dotted the trail on the way up. The summit is absolutely beautiful offering views of many ranges all around you. The wind was quite intense up there, so be prepared. The whole trip took me about 7 hours.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike to get the blood flowing. I got a late start Friday the 27th. I was hoping to make it to the lake but with the heavy pack and not being acclimated to this Colorado elevation, it took its toll. Luckily there are multiple camping spots along the way. The last mile and a half seemed to have fewer camping spots though so just a heads up. Plenty of places to get water and the elevation gain is steady. I made it to the lake the next morning. It is already starting to freeze over. Was hoping to fish but it was too windy to cast and it was at least 15 degrees colder than 1 trail mile down. Great looking spot though! My dog lived the hike too!

hiking
6 months ago

Very challenging hike. Our first 14,000 footer , it was so incredible and beautiful.

hiking
7 months ago

The trail was super rocky as one reviewer pointed out. As a Floridian living at sea level even the small altitude incline was difficult for me. Definitely put my fitness in perspective but the views and the creek were worth it. Took us about 3 hours up and one down. We also had to walk to the trailhead because we weren't sure the car could make it up the uneven road adding additional distance. Trail is marked 3 Elk Trail - go that way and to see the lakes turn left at the sign for the Colorado trail which was at the top of the trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this trail in late October. Had wanted to get to CO to hike a 14'er a month or two ago, but work got in the way. Picked this 14er due to the fact that it has a South approach, and most North approach 14ers have much more snow now. From San Antonio so the elevation was a challenge. Read somewhere about pressure breathing, and it did seem to help. Started at 7:30am, summitted at about 12:30. 5 hours up, 3.5 down. Trail is more like 4.9 miles one way though. Tough trail (for me), but the views are spectacular. Once I got to the saddle, the last ~100-150ft are just sheer boulders. I considered stopping at the saddle because the trail to the top is barely visible. Probably made up my own trail the rest of the way, but decided "I came all this way, why quit now". Totally worth it. Barely any wind. It was probably in the high 30's at the top, but was still stripping off layers due to the strenuous work. Definitely recommend.

hiking
7 months ago

Tough hike, especially below the tree line where there isn’t much reward. Started at around 5:15 and gained the summit at a bit after 8. Great view of the Apostles.

backpacking
7 months ago

10/15/17

Challenging hike to the summit, but manageable at this time of year. Shouldn’t be much trouble during the summer. We hiked with our overnight packs to the end of the timberline and set up camp. Then, we finished the hike with a light pack to the top and returned to our camp before sundown. Amazing views. Lots of wildlife. We will definitely be back.

hiking
7 months ago

Aside from the couple coming down as we got to the trail head, we didn’t see anyone all day. This hike is great for anyone, though make sure to take some breaks on the way up- it’s a relatively steep trail. Took us a little less than two hours to get to the lakes, but only about 45 minutes to get back to the car. We had to park the extra .8 mile- the roads up to the trail head absolutely requires a vehicle with maximum clearance. All in all an enjoyable afternoon hike.

camping
7 months ago

Horn Fork Basin is my favorite place in the state to be.
So much can be done in a 2-3 day stretch.
Harvard is a must as well as Bear Lake nearby.
love love love.

hiking
7 months ago

Decent work to get there and the pay off once there well worth it. Fur kids enjoyed it too!

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