Explore the most popular walking 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

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.

hiking
1 month 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!!!!

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.

hiking
1 month 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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
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.

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

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

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.

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