Explore the most popular trails near Elkdale with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Elkdale, Colorado Map

One of the more challenging hikes I’ve done. But also one of the most beautiful. Started around 8am and finished at 5pm - basically sunup to sundown. The road to access Monarch Lake trailhead was closed (not sure why), but it adds an extra mile (2 round trip) to the hike. I spent about an hour at Crater/Mirror Lake, walking around and chatting with some fellow hikers. Once it was all said and done the trip totaled to about 20 miles, so I’m not sure the 13.7 listed here is completely accurate, as other reviewers pointed out.

Be advised that this is a long and difficult trail, especially during this time of the year. But it’s very rewarding! You won’t be able to see Eagle Peak until you’re about a mile away, but holy crap on a cracker is it gorgeous - like something from a fairytale. Plenty of ice and snow (1-2 ft around the lakes), so come prepared.

One of the best hikes I’ve done in Colorado. It ended up being around 15 miles. The first 4-5 in are pretty easy and flat as you walk beside a lake and along a creek. When you start climbing toward the waterfall it gets pretty steep. The last 2-3 to crater lake were pretty steep and challenging.

My friend and I are both in good shape and experienced hikers and we were pretty smoked. Also there is around 1-2 feet of snow up by the lake now and I don’t advise making the hike this late in the season without proper preparation.

This was one of the best hikes I did while in the area.

An absolutely wonderful hike with beautiful scenery the entire way- waterfalls, meadows, and snow capped peaks. Unfortunately, I did not see any moose. Mellow elevation gain with level stretches that let my tired knees recover. I am an avid hiker, and I’d say this is the best hike I’ve ever done. The hike to Crater Lake is 16 miles, so start early and make sure you make it back before sundown.

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Awesome hike, very exhausting by well worth it!! Got to see some Moose!

One of the most beautiful hikes I've done in CO! It's long but because of that the elevation gain is gradual, making it easy to enjoy the beautiful scenery! Waterfalls, wildflowers, aspens, multiple types of terrain. So good! Even saw some moose. Trailhead still had plenty of parking at 8am. I'd say this is a must do in CO!

Great hike with lots of wildlife. I've done this trail now 3 times and it never disappoints. Lots of moose to be seen on this trail as well as beautiful views.

Beautiful hike! Too bad I picked the haziest day of the year for this one, it kind of spoiled the view. We left the trailhead just before 7am and arrived back at the car just before 3. 8hrs, 15.5 miles including side adventures.

My friends and I took on this bad boy on Saturday morning and although it was the longest hike we've ever done in a single day, it was well worth it.

We camped the night at Willow Creek Campground and started our journey around 7:30 am. We saw very few people trying to complete the out-and-back trek in a single day, but quite a few backpackers who stayed at Pawnee Lake the night before. There were a plethora of water features along the way, including Cascade Falls, which was incredibly peaceful, as you can go directly up to the falls and get a little wet if you feel inclined.

We reached Mirror Lake around 11 am and had the whole place to ourselves for at least 30 minutes, which was nice. My buddy even went for a swim! It was hard to leave such a magnificent site and the reflection of Lone Eagle Peak in the motionless body of water made it seem almost unreal. It was truly a picture perfect day and the tiny bit of cloud cover allowed me to capture an amazing pic of the peak reflecting off the lake.

We made it back to our car around 3:30 pm, making the round trip total around 8 hours, which included some down time at the lake. This was an absolutely breathtaking hike and I would certainly do it again. However, next time I would camp the night at the lake just to make it a bit more manageable.

Awesome hike! Follows a creek with tons of waterfalls and goes through some amazing meadows. The view from Crater Lake is incredible. I did this as a day hike, not sure I would recommend that. It took us 7 hours of walking total, which can be quite a challenge at that kind of altitude. Staying the night is definitely the way to go.

Simply put one of the most picture perfect Colorado hikes, waterfall after waterfall, moose encounters finishing in an epic basin with Lone Eagle Peak.

Just got home from this hike and had to post a review! This hike was awesome! The wildflowers are blooming up by both lakes. The hike was long, but not hard. After the trail climbs uphill, it levels out before going uphill again, so it wasn't 8 miles of continuous uphill hiking. The waterfalls were roaring. There was one difficult creek crossing where I had to navigate part way on tree branches. My tracker said 16.15 miles total and it took 6.16 hours to complete. No bugs, didn't see much wildlife - only two deer. Most of the downed trees had been cleared from the path.

Great hike with more waterfalls than you can count. The scenery and waterfalls keep getting more impressive all the way up to the lakes. Very few mosquitos or bugs, great campsites, and spectacular views!

Great trail. My dog had a great time jumping in and out of the river. Elevation change is for the most part gradual. Lots of wildlife and changes of beautiful scenery.

Was absolutely gorgeous. I did run into a bear, however, and the last portion of the trail is in such bad shape that I had to turn back as my dog was having trouble getting through all the downed trees and rushing water. She's a very athletic dog and this was the first time she needed me to turn back on a trail. Still the waterfalls and surrounding peaks we're amazing! Many wild flowers too. completed on 6/21

Super gorgeous and easy/gradual elevation gain.

Suuuuuper pretty! But the trail isn't 100% hiking-ready.

There are about a half-dozen downed trees from the winter - one of which is blocking the bridge around mile 2.5. There's also a bridge that's been almost completely washed out at around the 5-mile mark.

Past the second washed out bridge, the trail is thick with snow. We lost it a few times before calling it quits.

You may read this review and wonder "why is he giving it four stars?"

Because it's so goddamn pretty. Even with the trail work that needs to be done, this is one of the best hikes I've ever been on in CO.

Summer 2015

Very dog friendly/family friendly trail. Not hard at all.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Easy hike. Beautiful scenery with meadows, a bull moose, and stunning waterfalls.

Easier than expected hike out to the falls and back. Small amount of mud and snow closer to the falls and some fallen trees over the trail but nothing that made us turn around. Not crowded at all after the monarch lake loop.

Easy hike, beautiful scenery - even saw a few moose!

My most favorite hike to date! Take your camping gear and camp around mirror lake. Mirror lake is a small lake just before crater. Don't be fooled when you see the first big lake with the view of Lone Eagle Point. Keep following the trail around to the right and the trees will open up to reveal Crater lake. The lake is so clean and very cold. Bring your swimming trunks and camp out in the sun. You will need a permit if you want to camp. Rained all the way to Lone Eagle on the hike. Cleared up just as we started to set up camp, and turned out to be perfectly sunny and 70 the next day. Hike on around the lake if you want a better view of the waterfall. I hiked up the waterfall and took some pictures down at the lake. Well worth the extra effort.

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