Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Awesome little hike. Not many people and beautiful views.

1 day 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

15 days 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.

off road driving
21 days 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.

1 month 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.

off road driving
1 month 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.

01APR18 Gate is closed and locked.

3 months ago

how much is camping?

This trail is not available for hiking anymore and has been blocked off.

4 months ago

Snowshoed this today and also used spikes in spots. Not easy by a long shot but fabulous workout and beautifully serene. Ran into less than a dozen people en route. Spectacular panoramic view at the top. Look forward to returning to also do Flora and Eva. Windy at top. Dress appropriately.

5 months ago

Not accessible unless you want to drive past a danger closed road sign, or walk from there (still a few miles from trailhead from what I saw). Looks like plenty of people got up there but my car was not equipped.

Gate was locked. No way in!!!

Couple of technical spots, but nothing a stock 04 Taco can't handle . Awesome camp spots too.

Great trail for a moderately built 4x4. Excellent place for family and friends.

off road driving
9 months ago

10 months ago

Good lake for a quick acclimating backpacking trip for the season. We camped overnight at Hassel lake just to get ready for the season. I caught a 4in brookie on worms. Bring bug spray.

Monday, July 17, 2017

WHY DIDN'T ANYONE MENTION THE MOSQUITO?! Oh my gosh you guys, I've never been in such big swarms of mosquitoes in my life....take a flame thrower...wait no there is a fire ban. You must bathe in mosquito spray before going. Just full submersion in the OFF.

Otherwise this lake is quite glorious.

42 mosquito bites later.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

We hiked past the Broom Hut to both peaks . The trail near peaks wasn't marked but it was no problem finding top. There was cool pond below south peak . We continued on to winterpark side and ended up at resort base . It's was total of 11 miles

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Nice, uncrowded trail. Went mid-July weather was awesome. There is a mountain hut part way up the trail. We went all the way up to the top to one of the cones. When you get all the way up there is a nice flat tundra area, might be hard to find the trail as it disappears up there but there are markers. We ended at the cone behind the panoramic express lift at winter park. Not windy up at the top, great views. Surprisingly a lot of flies and mosquitoes at the top bug spray would have been nice.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

I would rate this hike moderate to difficult based on the quick elevation gain after you pass Urad lake. You climb quickly through forest cover and aspen groves with great views of Urad lake. This is the steepest section which with a 35 lb backpack was a little tough. After you get past the 3/4 to a 1 mile pretty steep climb, the trail starts to level out and runs next to a stream all the way up to Hassell Lake. Still a little snow to navigate through but not bad at all. Once to the lake you can go left or right to navigate around the lake. He far side still has deep snow right now which made looping the whole lake difficult. We fished here for quite a while and had zero luck. Never even saw a fish. I would say say this is a great day hike, but not the best place to backpack to just bc there are not a ton of places to camp at the lake. You'll see some fire pits close to the lake, but remember you shouldn't camp right next to the lake. Good spot overall!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

This is not an easy trail. Maybe in July when all the snow is melted it will be considered moderate. It was cold and windy at the top. We had to go around a ton of snow that was was hard and slippery which meant going off the trail. Decided to branch off to Mt. Flora nearby but did not go to the top. I did not like this one for some reason.

Monday, June 05, 2017

I'm sure this lake is gorgeous but the snow is still probably 4-5' deep once you get within a 1/4 mile of the lake. The trail was impossible to find and I kept falling through the snow to my waist.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Would've been a gorgeous day for a hike, but due to the late spring storms, snowshoes or backcountry gear is very much needed for this trek.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Snowshoeing to Mt Flora was no problem with snow on the final approach being sparse, so we took off our snowshoes for the final up. Taking your time over crusting snow and slope is important in the winter months. Stay high and safe.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

I took this trail as far as Mt. Flora this past Sept. It had just snowed the night before so there was a couple inches on the ground. The first .8 of a mile does follow the service road to Colorado Mines Peak. Then the trail to Mt. Flora and beyond breaks off at the 4th switchback of the road. Pretty easy walking and the bulk of this hike is above tree line. Good views back towards Winter Park, and a 360 degree view when you reach the top that is well worth it. It appears the rest of the hike beyond Mt. Flora would be a series of peak to saddle to peak to saddle sections, following ridge lines. May have to return to go further next time.

Friday, September 09, 2016

This was a lovely hike yesterday. Pretty aspen and spruce trees along much of the trail. The gravel road up is eventually blocked by a red gate, which is where you will turn right into the parking lot. By foot you will continue up the road beyond the red gate and after about 500 steps you find yourself above the left side of Urad Lake. The road/trail continues to the far side of the lake and around to the other side and starts heading back. That is where you will see the small trail sign (sitting above a larger blank sign). Just a little further you will see a very rocky stream crossing ahead and a small trail to the left that heads up the hill. Take that trail up the hill. You will soon cross the stream on a 2 plank bridge. After crossing you will find the trail registration box (that only had scraps of paper in it.) In a bit the trail starts getting steeper. Once you get to the very steep part you will continue to encounter other very steep parts for about 400 footsteps going up...or 500 steps going down. (Just to give you a clue as to how long the somewhat dangerous part lasts.) The big rock that signals Hassell lake is near is about 6 feet tall. Just a few feet past that take the small trail to the left through the lakeside grass to get to the lake. You will encounter a small bridge made up of about 3 logs a bit before the lake. I had the lake to myself.
I was able to walk all the way around the lake but in places I lost the trail, then found it again. The trail goes into the trees past the grassy area at the far side of the lake and crosses 2 or 3 feeder streams. The grassy area is quite marshy.
On the return trail when I got back to Urad lake, I thought I'd turn left and see if I could cross the very rocky stream and walk along Urad lake to the dam. The trail was very narrow in places (about the width of a shoe) but it was do-able. I walked across the dam to get back to the road/trail and back to the car (since It didn't look like there was a trail down the hill on the left side of the dam that could take you back to the parking lot.) Back at the car I explored the area behind the yellow gate and that road peters out at the first of a pair of streams. The one from the spillway maybe had one feasible crossing place but there was a lot of thick brush on much of the far side so I didn't explore further. Just nice to sit there and look at the pretty aspen groves on the hillside beyond the stream.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Great views throughout but especially once you break 10,500. More used by ATV and Jeeps so the trail itself is not catered exclusively to hiking. Unless you have a 4x4 vehicle or comfortable getting through some tricky spots, the hike to the Lake is more like 14 round trip. Searching google for trip reports, most are about offroading.

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