Explore the most popular dog friendly 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.

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.

Tons of wildflowers and great views.

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.

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.

1 month 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.

backpacking
2 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.

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.

hiking
3 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.

hiking
7 months ago

All Trails needs to change the elevation gain on this hike as we ascended almost 1500 feet in a little over one and a half miles starting from the road ( about half of the trail one way). As of January 8, 2017, the trail has about a foot of snow on it with about half of it being packed down. Snowshoes would be helpful but are not really needed.

hiking
9 months ago

While moving towards the trailhead you enter a aspen tree tunnel, and as it clears you are greeted by grand views of forest, creeks, and Capitol peak in the distance. The trail as some points I found a bit confusing to follow, due to cattle grazing trails in the area, but it is not hard to stay oriented in the direction you need to go. Beautiful open fields filled with flowers, delicious snow melt creeks, and towering rocks made this an unforgettable hike for me. I just went for the day, but it seems like a great place to stay overnight. Also the road to the trail was under-repair, so it may be nicely paved by now. Cheers

Would not recommend the effort is insane and nothing special at the end.

hiking
11 months ago

Tough hike, stated 5.5-6 miles to the lake seems MUCH longer but I guess not. If you don't enjoy steep ups and downs use Ditch TRAIL which cuts into Capitol a few miles in, not as much water for the dogs though.

hiking
11 months ago

This is my Favorite 14er so far amazing hike in to base camp. Nice gradual gain for carrying in all your gear to drop at camp. We summited the following morning leaving camp around 4:45 and Summiting around 9 am. The hike to the summit is not for the faint of heart very difficult and technical and has lots of loose rock. Crossing Knife Edge is the most talked about part, but I found it to be not as bad as the traverse across the back of the summit and climb up the ridge to the summit. All in all great hike and climb. I would recommend a 2 day trip as we did to make the summit round trip a success.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Loved this trail! Gorgeous wildflowers. We hiked from the Crested Butte side off Gothic Road. We did not make the loop because of lightning. The wildflowers were still spectacular on August 10.

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

Nice hike along the creek

hiking
Friday, August 04, 2017

We were in Redstone for a wedding and this trail was conveniently located right near the Redstone Inn where we were staying. I did some research on this trail beforehand and to get to the trail head it is very recommended that you have an SUV type vehicle. Getting from the main road to the trail head requires a drive up a two-track dirt/gravel trail that is used to access the trail head/water treatment plant. Once at the trail head it is very noticeable where the trail starts. We only hiked about a mile in the trail because we had to be back for the wedding later that day. But it's a very gorgeous trail, it opens up initially with some great views of the valley. After that you're mostly in wooded areas that have stream crossings along with waterfalls. Only going that mile in, we had a 500 ft. elevation increase so you're constantly going up. I would definitely want to come back and go further along the trail, including a hike in and camp.

backpacking
Thursday, August 03, 2017

I would definitely do this again, but be warned: on the west side this is a very lightly used trail with few markers and many obstacles. Fallen trees, overgrown brush, and many times the trail abruptly stops and you may spend time searching for the path further along. Make sure you have a map and compass, though the most updated map has incorrect ISO lines.

The east side seems to be more traversed and easier to navigate, coming from Capital Creek.

We went west to east from Avalanche, up over the pass, then down to Williams Lake. A beautiful hike, through meadows, past waterfalls, and breathtaking views at the top. We tried to leave markers as we went, many had toppled over.

It took us about 6 hours, spending 1 hour at the top to admire the views. It can be done in about 4.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Nice trail with lots of shade. Views about 1.75m up. Steep sections. Spring about .6m up.
Not super exciting, but nice.

hiking
Sunday, June 11, 2017

This trail has a nice meadow at the top of a steep hike. Its nice to bike up to the trailhead from carbondale.

hiking
Friday, June 09, 2017

Hiked 6.6.17 watch the weather storms move in late a.m early pm but last 30 minutes or so stay protected in forest it'll pass river is awesome , meadows beautiful look @ the back side of maroon bells great warm up hike for more difficult terrain

Sunday, June 04, 2017

We hiked 8.5 miles in and out. Beautiful hike. Not very crowded. Incredibly hot!

hiking
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Steep! It's actually 4.2 miles to the end but the meadow is the best part (about 3 miles in). Pack lots of water and a lunch to enjoy in the meadow. Love the unique view of Mt. Sopris and the aspen groves.

hiking
Thursday, May 11, 2017

We've hiked this a few times in the Autumn. We go for about an hour and then head back. Gorgeous and not strenuous.

hiking
Saturday, October 08, 2016

really nice in the woods

Monday, August 08, 2016

Trail was very beautiful. But it is not a moderate hike. Forest service rates this as very difficult.

hiking
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Access to trail head is poor. Have to hike up a utility road for about a mile. Trail itself was hard but incredible views of the canyon walls. Improve access road so more visitors can park at trailhead.

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