Explore the most popular forest 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.

hiking
14 days 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.

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.

hiking
22 days 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.

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.

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.

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

backpacking
1 month 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.

hiking
2 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.

Loved this hike! The view gets better and better as you gain elevation. The trail is pretty short, but very steep. Go during off peak season to really take it all in!

Start out parking in a sizable lot along 82 at intersection with 133. Walk along wide dirt road for 0.3 miles until you see trailhead on the left. Trail forks and we went left along the ridge with views of the valley and Mt. Sopris impressively looming in the backdrop the whole way. Follow red dirt and rocky trails up to some cool outcroppings where you can stop and take in the beautiful panoramas. Sunny day views were amazing! Ricky ticky taviiiiiiiii

One of my favorites, it's also a good reminder of how wonderful Garfield County people are. All the smiles and hellos on the trail remind you that things are different in the mountains. Brass Tacks; it's a great grouping of trails and I enjoy hiking and trail running with my dog fairly often, it's really not too tough even for kiddos .It is a bit crowded compared to other nearby areas. Still,the views are worth every step!

awesome network of trails.

Came from Denver to explore the city.We absolutely enjoy the view! It was a fairly easy and short trail and great with the kids!

Beautiful views of valley fairly easy hike

I’ve been running this trail 3 times a week for the last 2 years now. Will always be one of my favorites, great for all skill levels.

hiking
6 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.

Cool trail right out my backyard. Kinda crowded. Very pretty, very easy. It takes like an hour or less at a good pace.

Did this -many times in 70s- 80s -90s don't get any better. Check out the little lake on top the gem-it has ice all year. I believe is Siberia lake. Nice to see young ones have the same taste- once stayed till ran out of supplies-(15 days)

Beautiful views, interesting vegetation and terrain (red rocks and soil). Recommend the hike if you are in the area.

Great trail! Once you pass the tree line be very careful! Especially coming down! Can be just tough footing. Defiantly recommend! Be conscious of the signs your body is telling you such as altitude sickness and shaky legs! Amazing view and wonderful challenge.

Nice hike along the creek

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
11 months ago

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.

hiking
11 months ago

Breathtaking!!! Kicked my butt BUT worth every struggling breath I took and 4 toenails I lost...time to hike the beauty again soon...can never get enough! ❤

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