Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Tons of wildflowers and great views.

hiking
13 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.

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.

hiking
21 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.

26 days 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.

backpacking
1 month 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.

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.

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

hiking
8 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.

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

hiking
10 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.

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.

hiking
10 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.

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.

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