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

hiking
16 days ago

Soooo, just did this hike today, 6/6/18, with my favorite sidekick my wife. Tons of standing water of course at this time of year. We parked just below the mine before the ugly 4 x 4 road starts. We had the place to ourselves all day, no one else up here. I would not consider this a hard hike though, as you are simply walking along this gnarly 4 x 4 jeep road. My Garmin was at 3.4 by the time we reached the lake. We did have to do some back and forth though around snow drifts/water. Views are awesome as you would expect, with Mts. Lincoln, Democrat, and Wheeler in full view. We could see people going up and down both Lincoln and Democrat from the road. Ice was not out yet either at the lake. Was hoping to wet a line. This area is the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. I only gave this 4 stars due to having to go around so many areas of standing water. If the road were dry, I can't see this taking more than an hour and half to reach the lake. On the way down, we did see one lad from Kansas with his jeep going up, and my hat is off to him as he was plowing thru some of the snow drifts I deemed not passable. Crazy. All in all, this is a worthwhile short hike. If you plan to drive this, better have some experience!!!!

hiking
17 days ago

Start of trail was still blocked by a snow bank so had to hike up. Awesome views, didn't see a single person.

14er views without the crowd!!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this yesterday (5/5), had to bust out the snowshoes a mile in. Snow was too melted/soft in some places, sank through to the creek several times (wet feet! :( ) gorgeous views though and tough workout, not a soul around for miles.

off road driving
4 months ago

Awesome trail! Super fun. Must be experienced to do this one but very worth it. Great to hike up too!
The scenery is great at the top

hiking
9 months ago

Did this hike yesterday, with the addition of an ascent of Clinton Peak. Very pretty area, but hiking a road isn't my favorite, and on a weekend it could really suck to share it with ATVs & modified 4-wheelers. Climb of Clinton from the lake is a workout, especially the final slope.

off road driving
9 months ago

Easy trail and a good views

9 months ago

Rock crawl here..nice reward at the top..be sure to start early..or you'll be that guy.be aware of hikers and bikers

off road driving
11 months ago

An amazing day, with amazing views. Dropping down into Leadville for lunch was a huge bonus.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice trail. Lots of water access. Crossings were easy late July. Dogs got a bit muddy but well defined trail. A few steeps, but not tough. I only did 3.5 miles in and back.

hiking
11 months ago

Phil B I was up there a week ago and it was closed due to snow on the corner. Is it still closed?

11 months ago

Remote and desolate. Went on a weekday and had the entire mountain to myself. It's an 11mile dirt-road trip to get to the trailhead. Not strictly a 4x4 road, but you'll go a lot faster if you have one.

The trail is along a series of abandoned mine trails, so it's easy to follow. Some mining debris along the way keeps things interesting. Other than that, the trail doesn't hold much beauty, except the sheer size of the surrounding mountains and the feeling of being completely by yourself.

The views upon reaching the ridge and looking west are staggering. Not simply the vision of the Sawatch in the distance (both Elbert and Massive can be seen), but because of the enormity of the valley that opens up in front of you. It literally took my breath away.

On the way down, do yourself a favor. Sit by the lake and just look up at the "horseshoe", and reconcile just how small and temporal you are compared to immensity of the piece of earth in front of you. You'll thank me.

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

My fiancé and I decided to hike this trail 6/19/17. The trail itself looks like a creek bed, lots of rocks of all sizes and streaming water. Some spots you have to go around and I would recommend wearing pants bc the bushes you walk through will scratch you up. About half way up the road turns to deep snow. It's doable to continue hiking. We did it without snow shoes but I'm guessing snow shoes would make it a little easier. The last part of the hike before the lake was very steep and you have to cross some water/snow. I felt like I was climbing a 14er! The lake when we went was still frozen but I can imagine once thawed it will be so beautiful and clear! We didn't see too many hikers but did run into a group of ATVs trying to make it up. Overall it was a beautiful hike and probably one of the tougher hikes I've done just because of all the different terrain.

off road driving
Sunday, June 04, 2017

Went out yesterday Saturday 6-3-17. Got about half way up still snow packed. But you can still play on the rocks a little.

Great day overall!! Can't wait to go back.

hiking
Sunday, November 27, 2016

Great hike-- wouldn't quite rate it as hard though. I was the only one up there on Saturday. Probably the last day before you need snow shoes. Worth it!

off road driving
Friday, October 14, 2016

Amazing views.

off road driving
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Beautiful drive, especially in the fall. tons of aspens on the Fairplay side. Nothing requiring very high clearance.

hiking
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Came into the middle of the trail and really enjoyed the forest especially with the fall colors

hiking
Thursday, September 08, 2016

I came down this trail after hitting the four 14er peaks, it was scramble and rocky, definitely not easy. $12 to camp and $3 to park, go explore here for a weekend if you don't live close by.

off road driving
Wednesday, September 07, 2016

This trail was semi difficult but the views are awesome. You may be able to drag a stock 4x4 off but it's going to take some effort and your probably going to come back with so beauty marks. However that's the fun part sometimes is pudding things to the limits and seeing what you can do. It's a pretty long trail so take water and food plus the other lake is a decent hike so if you plan on visiting it be prepared. Lastly don't travel this one alone, it's always better to have a backup rig for support. Safe travels and wheel on!

hiking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gorgeous, but can have a lot of jeep traffic especially on weekends. Trail ends with a 400 ft vertical scramble so save some energy. It's worth the effort.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fun trip - easy enough for beginners as long as you are aware and don't mind backing up when you meet a vehicle. A bit rocky in places but overall in pretty good shape. Drove a Jeep Willys edition and never needed 4wd.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Must see!!!

hiking
Sunday, June 26, 2016

BEAUTIFUL HIKE! 4 stars because the road becomes an actual river with little to no way to pass except going through it. There were so many marmots! I hiked this trail June 20, 2016. There is still a decent amount of snow.

hiking
Friday, April 08, 2016

Kite Lake is a awesome place to hang out for the day, or do some great hiking. Lake Emma is a wonderful place to hike to also. The trail not very noticeable but if you can find it I recommend it. Yes the road is kinda ripped up. Some people reviewing it might be exaggerating on how bad it is. 2 ft is a little over board yes it is ripped. I have a stock Nissan Xterra and it has no problem even in 2 wheel. I see cars up at the top. Granted they have no care in the world for there car at that point but they make it. I have camped on the base of the trail head with minimal wind. Its all about the time of the year you go. The wind I did experience was not bad, but I parked my vehicle in front of my tent and it solved all my problems. There are other great camping spots around the area with no wind if you like the wooded areas.

camping
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I don't think I've ever camped in such horrible wind. Thought our tent was going to up stake and fly away with us in it. I literally didn't sleep at all. We went in mid October so I'm not sure if the wind situation is better earlier in the year but the bathrooms and signs do say it's a high wind area. I will never camp here again. It's also $3 to park a car and another $12 to stay overnight (although I didn't see anyone checking). If you don't have a few feet of clearance for you vehicle you will not be able to make it all the way to the campground. The last bit of road after the switchback is swiss-cheese with each hole being around 1.5-2 feet deep. A lot of cars parked on the side of the road before this part and walked the rest of the way.

It is beautiful in the early morning when the sun is rising. But I can't recommend camping to anyone. Just drive up the morning before your hike.

hiking
Monday, August 17, 2015

I really want to come back and do this hike when the Aspens turn in the fall. It was a very serene hike - beautiful, lush forest that reminded me of New England. Plan to walk most of the road to the trailhead unless you want to do some serious off-roading. The trail was obvious, but overgrown in spots (see attached photo).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Beautiful views and a relatively easy hike. Well worth the drive from denver for a short picnic by the lakes.

hiking
Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hiked this trail again. Lots of water on jeep trail. Had to hike around the water.

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