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




nature trips


dog friendly

wild flowers




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Carbondale, Colorado Map

Awesome little hike. Amazing terrain and views.

on Mount Sopris Trail

8 days ago

Pretty challenging. Super windy and the sun was strong. Bring a wide-brim hat, sunscreen, and stuff for your lips so they don't get cracked. Beautiful!

12 days ago

From TH near Dinkle Lake (8635’) , first 4 miles to very scenic Thomas Lakes are slightly rocky gently uphill (+1400’), then mile 5 is more rocky and steep (+700’). Next 1.5 miles are extremely steep (+1400’) and mostly on generally stable broken rock with moderate exposure and includes a false summit (12402’). Last 3/4 is steep (+800’), but the trail is generally visible all the way to the east summit (12954’). Very windy this date which stopped any attempt to include the west summit, which is an additional 3/4 mile down a saddle (-300’) and then back up to an almost identical summit elevation. Views from the summit in all directions are spectacular, and even more spectacular from the west summit. Three 65 year olds made the total round trip in about 8.5 hours with about 1.5 hours of stops along the way.


16 days ago

It took 20 hours of climbing over two days to reach the summit. Climbed 8/1/18-8/2/18 with great weather. It was my 5th 14er and the most technical. I would not have made it without a guide. I used Nate from Aspen Expeditions. I’m going to pick something easier next year.

amazing view. I'd love it :)

Hiked just 2 miles of it with the kids. Great hike, trailhead can be a challenge if you have a lower profile vehicle.

Didn’t get past the first part...lots of up! I’d rate it as difficult, but totally worth the views! I also turned around because i came across some unfamiliar, large droppings and was hiking solo so decided to come back when i have bear spray and more people (or bells or something). It’s only 15 minutes outside of Carbondale, but you are very out there.

1 month ago

Best money ever spent if you value your vehicle! Hire Smitty‘ Jeep tours to take you to the trail head and walk the three miles down to Crystal Mill. Also do it on a week day if all possible. All the atv and Jeep drivers I met were nice and slowed down. Beautiful waterfall on the hike to the lake and coming down to the town of Crystal.

this was my first hike here in colorado and it was an amazing hike the view was great only downfall is i didnt get to climb it all the way up

Drove to this hike and it is now marked as on private property and there were gates blocking what looked like the intended parking lot. There are lots of no trespassing signs all over, so I don't even think parking up the road off the private property and hiking in would be a great idea.

Tons of wildflowers and great views.

2 months ago

Absolutely loved this hike. Fantastic views of surrounding 14er peaks (Capital, Maroon Bells, Pyramid). Our GPS showed this as a 13.4 mile hike with 4,600 feet of gain. We are both experienced hikers and in good shape, took us 3.5 hours up, and almost 3 back. The first 3.5 to 4 miles to the lakes is easy as you only gain around 1,600 feet during this portion. The next 3 miles will test you some. You take several switchbacks up above the lake to the side of Sopris peak. From there the next section is a steep 300 feet up and very rocky. Once up to the ridge the climb is stunning and the path is pretty easy to follow to the summit. You will go over a false summit and go along a second ridge to get to the true summit. While you can peer over ledges down thousands of feet, the trails are more than wide enough to not feel exposed. I am not a huge fan of exposure and had zero issues. Enjoy!!!!

This is a nasty steep overgrown trail from the west. A great waterfall at 10,000ft. My dog, Chopper, and I pooped out about 1000ft below the pass, but the views and flowers were good above 10,500.

2 months ago

Difficult but beautiful! They’ve moved the trailhead so now drive 2.7 miles from the Fire Station to three parking areas by the trailhead.

Great little hike up to the lakes. The trailhead is across the creek on the other side meadow, look for an old fence and sign. When you get near the lakes the trail cuts to the right and you may have to bushwhack a little to get to the lakes. On an exciting note we saw a bear across the far lake from us, which motivated us to cut our break short. Overall fun little hike.

2 months ago

Great hike, camped at site 11 near the lake. There was not water at either of the two stream crossings on the way up, so first opportunity to filter water was the lake.

3 months ago

This trail might be moderate to the avid hiker but is nothing less that difficult to most everybody else. Done from Anthracite to Dark Canyon it is mostly downhill but is very primitive in form for much of the trail. Bring shoes with good ankle support. There is also a lot of over hanging brush so plan on getting wet if it just rained or the dew point is high.

All that said though, this is one of the most beautiful untouched drainages in Colorado with a large waterfall, gorgeous meadows, and scattered aspen stands all with a classic Rocky Mountain backdrop.

Beautiful scenery but the trail is pretty primitive. Lots of overbrush, very rocky, and downright hard to find at times. That is hardly something to complain about though as it keeps the entire drainage devoid of people.

Favorite neighborhood trail.

I began this trail right at mid-day, so it was very warm and there wasn't a lot of shade. I hiked clockwise putting the steepest climb at the start. The trail is well marked at the beginning, but there are so many routes and footprints, it was a bit difficult to follow. The AllTrails map was very helpful and I relied on it way more than usual. I encountered several hikers, a man with his dog, and three mountain bikers - many of the trail routes are open to mountain biking.. It was a good, very warm hike, but I enjoyed it! Note: the various trail named at the sight are differently titled from this hike: blue ribbon and Three Gulch on the trail labels make this loop.

3 months ago

Hiked in from the ditch trail to the lake at base camp. We went June 9, 2018 and encountered some snow fields across many of the switch backs at higher elevations. That night got well below freezing as we expected it might. Beautiful hike, although I would recommend going a bit later in the summer. If you hike the upper trail (ditch trail) bring mosquito spray, ditch water is stagnant an full of mosquitoes

Lush vegetation - beautiful raging creek next to trail.

you need an experienced 4x4 driver. That got us to the town of crystal which is about 2miles away from the trailhead. We were in a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We were able to go get past crystal about .5miles up until the sharp steep switchback with a big boulder in the middle. The drive to crystal took about 2hr. We began to walk from that point it was very rocky and steep. It is made for vehicles and off road toys ie side by sides and four wheelers. You need a narrow frame and wheel base to make it up to the all the way to the trailhead. It gets tricky due to no signage. We made a wrong turn and realized we would run out of sunlight if we did the actual trail. There is a bridge that goes to the left and I believe the trailhead is about .6miles up from that point but we unfortunately did not make it. If you can get your vehicle up there it is absolutely beautiful we saw 4waterfalls,rapids, and stunning mountain views. If you decide to walk from the bottom you will have to be careful due to the amount of vehicles that take the trail and leave little room to step to the side in many places. If you walk from the bottom of the mountain by beaver lake it is about 13miles total. It will be steep and crowded with cars. I heard it was a beautiful view and will try and make it back one day now that I know what to expect.

steep uphill and downhill sections. I'd rate it closer to a difficult rather than moderate hike. Make it shorter and easier by hiking it out and back to panoramic view of area at alpine meadow.

So far my favorite hike of 2018! Easy hike with beautiful views the further you get. I was expecting to find a rock shaped like a mushroom but instead found myself in a forest with crazy rock formations and trippy trees

3 months ago

Beautiful! We didn’t get to the lake because the it was still too snowy, there are many trees on path, but made it close to the lake.

Great short hike amazing view!! There are always quite a bit of people which is a little bit of a down fall

Love this hike. Short, rewarding and awesome at sunset.

4 months ago

I like this trail as it’s close to home and still a bit of a challenge. The first mile or so is the most difficult on the rocky hillside. I’ve never seen too many people here but it is trafficked in the summer months. Takes you through different terrain. You basically go from desert to forest to meadow. I have taken the trail to the old cabin but the trail is not well marked and it’s hard to tell if you’re on public or private property. I take my dog and she loves it. Pack a snack and have rest in the shade. Just did this hike and the snow has cleared.

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