Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

4 days ago

Went up on a Mother's Day hike to the Crystal Mill taking the low road in. I let the ladies return the same way, but I completed the Lead King Loop which goes up this road. Above 10,500ft things were still pretty snow-covered. Not impossible without, but wished I had brought my snowshoes. Feet got really wet, glad I brought extra pairs of socks.

The road was completely obscured by snow near the top, so I got a little lost and followed the Silver Creek watershed too far up, had to backtrack. Wasn't too hard.

Many creek crossings, maybe 6-7. I did see fresh bear tracks in the snow and mud about 1.5 miles up into Lead King Basin from the town of Crystal.

All in all, a beautiful hike despite the challenges and discomforts of the early springtime.

4 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

9 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! ❤

love this hike. This was third time for me, and second fort my daughter. Real challenge with nothing but beautiful sites.

10 months ago

Really beautiful hike. We hiked in four miles to enjoy both lakes, then back down. Highly recommend. Very dog friendly hike as well.

10 months ago

Nice backpacking trip, with beautiful meadows and nice little lake at the end. While 'moderate' for most of the hike, the switchbacks at top were fairly taxing. Fished along the creek and at the lake as well. The trail is labeled as 'heavy use', but we didn't see a soul between miles 4 and 11. Be advised that in this area you are required to have a 'hard sided' bear container, and non-compliance is 'no more than $5000 fine'.

10 months ago

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

Great hike! The last mile at the top was rocky and tough. Started at 6:00 am and got to the summit in 4 hours. Lots of bikers, dogs and fellow hikers.

The snow has melted enough to make it to the top. Wear sunscreen

Avalanche Lake trail is a great getaway nature hike that features the Crystal River and a local campsite. It is a great change of pace for someone used to hiking the dry hills areas near the valley. It is highly forested and is very moderate. I would suggest it as a relaxation hike and suggest camping and fishing here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

dogs are currently not allowed and the locals are pretty serious about enforcing

Monday, August 08, 2016

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

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.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

beautiful area. the wild flowers were amazing

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Nice hike in late August. Beatiful alpine meadow full of flowers at 10000 feet. Expansive views.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

East creek awesome, gift creek bad, use avalanche creek trailhead to access upper avalanche creek

Sunday, August 30, 2015

My first time in Colorado and last day of my 5 day vacation this was focus of trip to make it to the top. I scouted out the area and parking lot the day before to make my trip easier.

I have to say I did not realize how long it takes to get to the top. I would recommend to purchase hiking poles if you are older. It is very steep and rocky at the top there are not very good trails marking once start getting to the top. So it better to go when hikers are ascending to the top early in the morning to see the path they are taking to the top. I started at 8 and arrived back at my car 6.

The hike thru the forest and the two lakes are amazing, they really keep the park clean and natural. Once you reach the top the views are amazing. Please bring food that will give you energy like fruits or power bar. Also drink plenty of water if you do it during the summer. One thing that thru me off at the start of the hike was going thru a gate that was closed and had chain but it part of the trail it kept closed to keep the cows in. I had great time and meet alot of friendly hikers. Thanks for making me feel invited Colorado for my first visit to the state. I will be back.

mountain biking
Sunday, August 16, 2015

This is one of the best mountain bike trails that I have ever ridden, not to mention a local favorite. It's got almost everything you can think of; rock gardens, berms, small jumps, rollers, fast straightaways. The way I always ride it is a slow climb up the road for a few miles and then I usually drop in to the right next to a large cow corral and ride it out all the way to the first cattle guard. It's a fantastic trail and I recommend it for any experience of rider. My ten year old cousin did it. I started on this trail and now I race competitively so it's got some pretty good learning features for beginners and kids and even seasoned veterans.

This is a great trail system, but winter hikers should note that the area is closed to snowshoes. You must be in skis

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Steep climb most of the way with a meadow clearing about ⅓ of the way. The first part of the trail follows the creek and you get to see a few small waterfalls. Very beautiful hike! At the top you arrive at Lily Lake and can see Maroon Bells from there.

on Placita Trail

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Great Cardio work out. Not much for a view because the trees are to thick. Bear country!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Difficult trail but it's worth it when you get to the top and see the most amazing views!! Make sure to start really early if your doing a day hike!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Good trail in to Thomas Lakes, but fairly rocky in places. Great scenery the closer you get to the lakes with outstanding views of Sopris. I did the hike in midweek and there were very few other people in the area. I spent the night at Thomas Lake in one of the designated camp sites and didnt see another person all night. The camp sites do not have tables, fire rings, or water. You cross several springs on the trail in to Thomas Lakes and water is available from these, but I would recommend some type of purification. I took a shot at Sopris early the next morning. The first part of the trail is well defined and easy to follow, less so above timberline with several large areas of loose rock and scree. There was also more exposure than I had anticipated. This is a steep and strenuous climb. I did not summit, due to incoming clouds, and I abandon my climb at noon and started back down. I performed an excellent fall while descending through the previously mentioned scree. Unfortunately, there wasnt anyone else on the mountain to bear witness to this feat. Got cut a bit, and had some outstanding bruises, but otherwise the decent was uneventful. This is a great trail and I enjoyed the entire trip. Next time Im bringing some company.

16 days ago

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