Explore the most popular trail running 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.

pass is closed for roadwork/paving

Gorgeous views and well maintained trail. Super popular too and pretty easy for a fourteener. You need a high clearance 4wd vehicle to get to the trailhead unless you want to add about 6 miles to the hike.

One of the prettiest 14er climbs I’ve done. Really amazing views. One of the best maintained 14er trails I’ve seen too, bottom to top. As always, get started early. See too many folks starting too late in the day when afternoon lightning is a danger. Definitely need good clearance 4x4 to get to upper trailhead. Recommend camping in the plentiful dispersed campsites along the road to trail. Magnificent outdoors experiences.

My first 14er and it was tough but rewarding. Hiked it with my dad and we both loved it. Switch backs seemed never ending on the way down. Beautiful views all the way up and the summit is so rewarding!

Because of the previous review saying that the road was closed, I called the ranger district and a young lady told me the private road was closed but the public road was open. The public road was Cottonwood Pass, which is closed. We talked to many local people and they said there’s no way to get to Lost Lake Trail this summer until Cottonwood Pass opens back up.

Just finished today and the views are incredible!

Stunningly beautiful hike. The 4WD road can be scary for beginner 4x4 drivers (like me), but it's very doable if you go slowly and pick your line carefully. 4WD and at least 8" clearance are a must for that road.

The hike starts with a series of switchbacks in the woods, then crosses a beautiful basin, then ascends across many switchbacks up the side of the mountain, and finally ascends a steep, rocky boulder field. It's very doable, though challenging for beginner 14erers, yet oh so worth it at the summit. Probably the most beautiful 14er summit I've seen.

This was my first 14er, and I think it’s a great one to start with for beginners. Elevation gain is steep in parts, but not unbearable. Really amazing views, even if you don’t summit. There’s a beautiful meadow at about 12,500 ft.
ABSOLUTELY NEED 4-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLE! You can get to Winfield ok without, but not much farther unless you want to hike a few miles to the trailhead. The last couple miles to the trailhead are full of large rocks, uneven surface, some deep holes and an occasional stream. Plenty of spots along the road to pull off and park/camp.

So beautiful and my favorite 14er so far! The wildflowers were so pretty and there was a water fall to the right as your hiking up to summit. Nice clean non rocky trail the most of the way. Then just 5 to 10 minutes before the summit was boulder field.
Amazing and recommend for a first 14er!

Well maintained and easy to follow trail straight to the summit. Beautiful Amazing Views. Great Hike. Worth a repeat anytime. Note the trail head road you will need good AWD/4WD with good ground clearance!

Amazing amazing amazing. Views are surreal. Climb is a good burn. Excellent trail. Will gladly do this one again.

1 month ago

road is closed 8 miles from the trailhead 7/3/18

I couldn't recommend this one enough! The road is rough for sure. 4x4 is needed and I still bottomed out once or twice (Not hard at all). The trail is manicured incredibly and has better maintenance than any of the 14'er trails I've done. EPIC views from up top! This one is a GREAT trail for the dogs. It only gets really rocky for the last 1/2 mile of the push. You gain quite a bit of vertical feet on this one. Somewhere around 3500 ft. The heat and the dust on the return trip were less than ideal, but you can't do much about the weather conditions. I went through 3L of water myself and my dog went through 1.5L due to the severe heat and lack of wind. Awesome day on the trail.

Please not your map is not accurate for the end of the trail. It is almost unbelievable but for 4 or more miles at the end you have to walk on a busy paved roads. Hikers should be warned of this as it is dangerous. It is embarrassing this is a part of the Colorado Trial

2 months ago

Completed this hike on 6/14/18. This is an easy hike but has a lot of mud to navigate through. The payoff in the end is well worth it and it does not take a very long time to get to the lake. Once we got to the lake we saw a herd of elk to the south a little ways. Great Hike!

Hiked this June 7th and it took us about 2.5 hours to get to the top. It was difficult but so worth it! Needed a Jeep to get to the top trailhead. Only saw two other groups hiking the whole time! Absolutely beautiful! Needed hiking boots and most of the snow was melted.

2 months ago

It's June 10. It was a great hike with ups and downs. Mud patches here and there but ways around and through it. Beautiful lake!

2 months ago

I couldn’t find the trail head that these directions lead you to.. it took me up a private road with no forest access. I found another trailhead off my atlas, it starts on ranch property and they ask you pay a few $$ to get in ($1 per human, $2 per dog). It was a nice shaded trail with access to the creek in places, my dog loved that. Good incline, not many people out there.

2 months ago

Nice hike exactly 18.1 miles outside of town. TH isn't marked and there is a paved pullout on the opposite side of the street with enough space for two cars. Early spring conditions included mud (that required wading throug) and some snow patches that you could go around. Lake is beautiful. See pics and more detail here: https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/06/06/roadtrip-to-the-rockies-hiking-in-buena-vista/

2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. Would highly recommend starting from the trailhead as opposed to the entrance of the 4x4 road. This is a long hike and I clocked 7 miles roundtrip starting from the upper trailhead.

Nice hike and good one for flatland ders still adjusting to altitude. early spring requires you to trudge through a pretty swampy and muddy section, but it is short...maybe 30 feet or so.

Very scenic and it does not take you long to experience solitude.

2 months ago

June 1, 2018 - nice hike, lot of patches of snow 1-2+ feet deep to slow us down, That added more work to what should have been an easy hike. All in all it was worth the scenery.

Great views

Trail is open to summit. Hit some small snow patches about a mile in the woods. There was one decent snow field about 3/4th a mile from summit if hiked after mid day you will definitely hit a few spots where you post hole. Not enough to bring snow shoes or even need micro spikes. Have fun!

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.

8 months ago

Decent hike, good views going up to the trailhead. A little difficult to find. Google Maps didn’t take us to the trailhead so we had to find it.

311 is a little bumpy and muddy, so you should really only do this if you have a good 4x4.

311 D (the road you take to the trailhead from 311) is very rough, so we parked halfway and walked to the trailhead.

off road driving
9 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.

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.

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

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