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

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Empire, Colorado Map
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Taco, 2.5" Lift, 33s, Sliders

Road to trailhead certainly looks like private property, but just do the "grip the wheel and don't make eye contact" thing. Only did the hill and part of the loop. Many snowy areas, lots of mud, and you can tell there are multiple holes that have been increasingly dug out by spinning tires, making the features more challenging. The 1 mile section of the loop I did (headed counterclockwise) was very tight with tricky spots that were entirely covered in snow.

In comparison to other AllTrails ratings, I would rate this firmly within Hard and certainly not Moderate. You need considerable clearance, some skill, and a spotter. Rock sliders, skid plate, rear locker, maxtrax, and hand winch all saw some action on it today, primarily due to snow, mud, and big wet roots. Drive up the hill, but do not drive down; take the Bill Moore Lake trail back to Empire. Bill Moore is rated as Hard, but the section I drove back from Red Elephant was a very easy Moderate.

off road driving
27 days ago

I love Bill Moore Lake. The hardest part is the bottom but there are easier ways up than I took. Saw an older, unlifted Frontier with pretty bald tires coming down from the top so use that for reference. The Chutes is a cool more difficult shortcut you can take but I didn't last time. There are a few rutted sections where most rigs can get to max flex if they wish, most have options. Near the top there is the high clearance route or easy way but I think if you've made it this far you can take the hard way. It's pretty loose with a couple holes and moguls but you can pick a side and straddle a hole if you are spinning tires. As always, have fun out there! If you'd like to see my run of the trail I have it up at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFAoen0GiWg

2nd gen Xterra, 33" tires, 2" lift, no sway bars.

off road driving
28 days ago

I would say most stock high clearance 4x4 jeeps or trucks would make it just fine if you know what you’re doing. Only a few challenges but the views at the lake are great. Sadly no trout that I saw.

3” lifted 2010 Tacoma on 33s with no problems.

It was a good trail up until I got to a technical point that I wasn’t going to attempt for fear of damaging my 2017 Tacoma. I have a 2” lift and the trail seemed to be washed out more than usual. If I wasn’t alone or if had a winch I would’ve attempted it. I will be coming back later when I am more equipped to tackle the obstacles.

I loved this hike! It's a fairly steep somewhat rocky climb in the beginning , then it becomes less steep and more scenic. There is a huge payoff at the end if you choose to summit the rock pile, the views from up there are amazing.

Not for the faint of heart, or stock of vehicle. Very rutted and lots of loose rocks, but a good line, good spotter and the right tunes get you all over this mountain with a smile on your face. Lift and locker advised.

1 month ago

I just hike straight up the cone. I don't take the trail that leads to MJs panoramic lift. It's fairly easy and takes a total of 3 hours out and back from the parking lot of second creek trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, quiet lake and some camp sites. Steep last leg of hike but worth it.

Unfortunately I didn’t find the access point to this trail. I was in the exact spot the map shows here above in the bio and I followed it. It looked like private property and it turned out to be private property. I’m giving it 1 star because the GPS/directions need to be updated. Looked like a run trail to hit too, darn it.

Great trail!

This hike was not lightly trafficked and could be considered moderately trafficked which I wasn’t too happy about. Saw many people on the hike, the trail can be hard to find but thankfully it has a lot of exposure so it’s easy to see where it picks up again. Open trail not many trees so bring sunscreen and sun protection. Nice streams all along the trail.

completed 08.11.18, all gates open and water crossings down to a few inches.

If you are looking for a challenge you will find it! narrow, long, steep and full of obstacles. I ended up with some new scars on my skid plates but with my ego intact. signed the guest book at the empire Hilton. -remember as you go up that you have to hit all the same stuff coming back down!

'13 Wrangler sport, 3.5-inch AEV kit, 35's aired down to 11, novice driver.

2 months ago

Hiked yesterday from Second Creek Trail over to the cone above the Panoramic Lift at Mary Jane ski area then back over to the Twin Cones. Amazing views throughout the entire hike. One of my favorite in the area. Also try hiking southwest of the Second Creek Trail summit along the Mt. Nystrom Trail for even more amazing views!

on Hassell Lake

backpacking
2 months ago

Great Lake! Good fishing but fish were small. Bring rain gear. Some steep but short sections on the hike up. Parameter trail around Hasse Lake was pretty much nonexistent. A few day hikers but had the lake to ourselves on a Saturday night. Flies and mosquitoes were present but not bad.

Excellent 4WD trail. The lake is a great place to eat lunch and enjoy the scenery.

off road driving
2 months ago

Fun trail pretty quick to the lake, maybe an hour or so. Might want to have a lift of some sort because there can be some big rocks. Fun and simple lots of other trails around as well.

off road driving
2 months ago

great trail for new and old rock crawlers 3 jeeps and one lifted f150 made it with few problems 2 rockcrawling newbies . minor roadrash on f150. great for cookout or camping

2 months ago

Awesome little hike. Not many people and beautiful views.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike- lots of wild flowers, snow in upper elevation continues to melt so babbling brooks and small waterfalls along trail. Hiking to hut is moderately steep but slow elevation gain after passing hut to amazing panoramic views

camping
3 months ago

The road up the mountain to the parking lot is a serious ride, tons of potholes and rocks. After you reach the parking lot the short hike up to the first camp site and beginning of the lake is a breeze. The lake itself is beautiful and the trail to walk around is easy to manage. So many mosquitoes! Definitely will be back.

Ran this trail, the 20-30% grade in places, along with frequent giant holes created by 4x4 spinning tires made this route very challenging but fun.

off road driving
3 months ago

This trail is a fun one. Rode the trail in a RZR 900 Trail model with a small lift. No issues getting around the area. Some challenging spots going around the loop and elephant hill. We seen a very large number of Jeeps and was very crowded after 12pm. Watch elephant hill and make sure you are prepared for some technical 4x4ing.

Pretty views, short and steep with lots of pay offs.

This is one of my favorite trails that’s close to Denver.

hiking
4 months ago

A great quick hike to a lovely mountain lake that could serve as an opening for further exploration. The final few miles to the trailhead take you along a gravel road with some fairly serious bumps along the way, although I think most any vehicle can make it. Drive slowly, of course, no guardrail. The way to the lake begins along the same road and follows a popular spot for fishing: Urad lake. Keep an eye out for a turnoff on the right which is marked: Trail to Lake. The trail descends to the head of Urad lake, fed by a stream. This time of year with snow melting led to some marshy conditions a and a stream crossing. I would recommend crossing as close to the lake itself where the stream mouth widens and the depth decreases. The trail is a bit hazy to follow but keep making your way to the other side of the lake. I found myself having to cross another feeder stream coming from the north before finding the trail again on the northwest side of the lake. From here, the trail is obvious as it climbs steadily and rather steeply at times. There is a healthy amount of snow as you make your way and a very good amount at the top by the lake. All passable with boots but there were a few spots that I slipped into up to my knee at the top!

Unforgettable experience to hike on of the county’s most iconic peaks. First few miles have a trail but the rest of the way you have to typewriter Across the mountains untill you reach the accent to Perry’s. So many cool views of lakes toward the east. There isnt any need to cross over any snow. If there is any it is easy to walk around it. I should also mention that i did not go all the way to mt. Bancroft, only to Perry’s. But that was my goal. Highly recommend this trail to anyone but make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks. At the halfway point there is a very steep decent and then accent on the way back that really kick my ass. Took 2 men and the old doggo 9 hours.

This wasn’t even a hiking trail. It was an off-roading trail with an intense ascent and even worse decent. Loose rocks, litter, people drinking and shooting guns. Not worth it, don’t waste your time.

off road driving
4 months ago

Drove this Sunday 6/3/2018. Awesome drive. Lots of fun. Snow drifts at the highest point prevented us going any further. Decided to hike from the last way point down to the lake basin crossing the boulder field. Beautiful. The gate is not LOCKED. The directions are not perfectly clear. When you get to the staging area, there is a shed on the left and a locked gate. That is not the direction. The gate is open and on the right. There is a fence in front of you.

Fun trail, but as of this date (5/12/18) it becomes unpassible at about 3 - 3 1/2 miles in because of deep heavy snow. Had to turn around.

01APR18 Gate is closed and locked.

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