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

This trail is a must do. We camped at the unnamed lake below parika lake and then near the junction to Bowen lake. Would rate as strenuous, and there is a lot of exposure on the ridge lines past parika lake. We had wind gusts of probably 60 mph or so. We took our rain flies off our packs, because they were acting like parachutes and sometimes the wind was so strong you had to stop before you could move again. Definitely worth it though. Vertical drop offs on the ridge are more gradual than straight down, so not bad IMHO, and I’m not a heights fan! The views at the peak of 12300 feet or so are absolutely breathtaking.

We just hiked this trail yesterday and loved it. Getting there would be my only concern in the future - we had an OHV and had no issue but I would not have taken a vehicle even with 4WD all the way to the trail head.

Other than that, beautiful hike, very secluded.

My wife and I did this as a counter- clockwise overnight backpacking loop on August 14th. Amazing trail. The hike up to Parika was pretty strenuous but we did it in about 5 hours. 3 groups camped at the smaller unnamed lake just below Parika so we had Parika lake to ourselves. We didn't see any moose that day but had one running and grunting right outside of our tent at about 9pm so we didn't get much sleep! The stretch over Parika pass and Bowen Pass was amazing! The exposure isn't too bad and we could have sat on the other side of Bowen Pass all day. Saw two bull moose on the way down and made it to the car in about 7 hours. Loved this loop and definitely recommend going counter-clockwise!!

2 months ago

We hiked this trail on Sunday with our 12 year old son and 3 month old puppy. It’s really beautiful! It’s short but has several steeper sections. We felt it was pretty easy, but we ran into a number of people who were very winded - might be more of an intermediate trail in spite of the short distance, at least for people not used to hiking in the mountains. Be sure to bring water - we were surprised how many people didn’t have it.

The trees that were across the trail have been cut away. The trail is clear and easy to walk. Beautiful lake!

I consider this trail to be strenuous, and I typically only seek out strenous trail. 2nd time to Parika Lake on a day hike, and since I had my head lamp with decided to do the whole trail instead of walk the same trail. Past Parika Lake is some pretty heavy exposure to me. Your essentially hiking a narrow ridge with dramatic vertical dropoffs and the wind along those ridges is steady and huge. Glad I made it down safely because I didn't expect the trail to keep climbing like that. Like another hiker said two continental divide crossing past Parika Lake. Cake walk down hill after that. My legs were just noodles. I wouldn't want to hike it clockwise, because I feel going downhill,on those exposed areas would be shady. I rate it strenuous.

2 months ago

Great backpacking trail. Amazing views on the divide, and some of the best wildflowers I’ve ever seen (columbines, Indian paintbrush in vivid reds and pinks, elephants head, shooting stars, daisies, sunflowers, etc). We actually camped by a small lake before reaching Parika Lake, which I think was more in the trees and less in the wind. Saw a moose leaving Bowen Lake, and lost of moose prints wherever we went. We were a little misled on the mileage for each day (based on other sites’ descriptions), for example the last day is closer to 7 miles than the 4 we thought it would be, although it is almost all downhill. Going up to Bowen Lake does have some decent uphill, so be ready for that. Also the signage could have been better leaving Bowen Lake to return to the trailhead, as after meeting back up with the trail there were two forks without signs that we needed to consult maps to figure out which way to go. Overall a great hike that I highly recommend!

Great loop with lots of vertical. One night at bowen lake was plenty for the entire loop.

A lot of moose. both lakes were very crowded, for a reason. it is beautiful.

This route is not dog friendly. It starts inside the national Park, there are signs everywhere Prohibiting you to take your dog past the gate. I’m sure it’s a nice hike, but I spent two hours getting here and now can’t take my dog and I don’t trust the app.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Really sorry to hear about the bad experience Preston! I noticed the sign on the road for the trail today and had a great time.

3 months ago

Insanely beautiful. Felt very wild. I would agree that this is very strenuous, but if you take your time it's fine. Heres a video of my trip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zezQ7E2FbA

3 months ago

Whoever said the southernmost point of Gilsonite starts from County Road 4 according to the map should be shot. I’m here now and there’s no wooden signs, can’t see any path into the forest, nor any tree markers. This is a wild goose chase. Someone delete this trail from the app, asap.

There were a lot of trees down covering the path, no big deal we found ways around it. The mudd is starting to dry up. Small patches of snow still. The incline right before the lake is pretty good, definitely doable an worth it. Around the lake there were a lot of boulders so it was hard for our dogs to climb but at one point our pup just got in and swan around to a flat spot. You are supposed to keep your dog on a leash and I would just remind people that this a good idea for multiple reasons. One being we did see Moose. It's a peaceful hike with very little traffic we only saw 2-3 people.

5 months ago

Attempted this loop 5/19. Saw 7 moose and signs of bears. Went counterclockwise with the intent of camping near Bowen lake. Made it to Bowen lake trail junction and decided not to continue due to waist deep snow. Will be back later in the summer.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Trail was snow covered most of the way, starting out at about 12 inches, but usually about 4 inches. Many downed trees covering trail. Lake view at the end was nice, but with snow cover there was no obvious route to get other vantage points. The road getting there is a bit rough (gullies, snow) for the last half mile or so. Small AWD SUV had no troubles, but would have parked a bit earlier in a lesser vehicle.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Amazing trail, really beautiful and scenic. Just wanted to note that All Trails rates this as moderate. This is definitely hard/strenuous. We did go the opposite direction as All Trails has listed and ran into a ranger who told us that we were hiking the "harder" direction...but I can't imagine the other way being much easier. No permits made it much nicer to plan than backpacking in RMNP.

Friday, August 04, 2017

This trail is spectacular once you emerge above the treeline. The problem is that, between the meadow at the base of the trail (full of elk when we went through it) and the treeline, you must walk about 6 miles through a not too terribly interesting stretch of trail. A long, largely straight uphill section of loose rock on the way to Blue Lake and Bowen Lake doesn't add to the appeal. But if you stick to it, the flower-filled meadow that will greet you as you emerge above the treeline is gorgeous, and the hike thereafter is truly lovely.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Don't be fooled. This is pretty darn strenuous, but very worth it. Hiked to Parika Lake to camp 1 night. Started to rain the last mile. There were 3 groups already there when we arrived, but there is plenty of spots to tent. A male moose showed up at dusk to survey our campsite and we saw a mama and her baby on the trail. Beautiful in the morning and well worth the trip. So many wildflowers on the trail, larkspur, columbine, etc. There is a pretty significant rock slide area and when ran into horseback riders who had to turn around there. Not sure why they thought they could ride through there!

Tons of clean water, so I wished I had carried less. We crossed 28 streams. Some mud as well.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beautiful lake! The trailheads were misleading though and there are a couple different ways to get there. We took a trail off Highway 4 and almost missed it, it was so hidden. Our trek was almost 4 miles round trip and had more of an incline, but definitely worth it. :)

A really beautiful hike, particularly around Parika Lake and the trail to Bowen Lake. It took us about four hours each day and we saw a bunch of moose along the way, including a couple swimming in Parika Lake. The wild flowers were out in full force too. There were a fair number of mosquitoes at both lakes and we got drizzled on a couple times but really not much to complain about. Highly recommend this loop!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

It such a beautiful trial and it's not that difficult. I didn't get to the lake because about 1.4 mails into the hike we actually did came in counter with a bear. Luckily enough we were a group of 7 and spot the Bear far enough where it didn't felt threaten and able to get away safely. Just be super careful and alert of your surroundings, i wouldn't go alone.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Good hike, although heavy traffic with people allowing dogs off leash more than expected. Fishing slow with lures

on Lost Lake (Grand County)

Saturday, July 08, 2017

This trail was easy for us to complete. The climb was doable even for us not being acclimated to altitude. The drive up was beautiful and we saw moose. Then when we got to the trail, we saw a bigger one grazing. The lake was worth the walk. The mosquitos were really bad walking around the lake. Bug spray was a must. Overall we would highly recommend this trail.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Didn't find any solitude on this trip. Of course it could have been because yesterday was the 4th of July! Left Colorado Springs about 2am Sunday morning. Got to the trailhead about 5 am. Started hiking around 5:40 am up to Bowen Lake. Didn't see anyone on the trail. Got to Bowen lake shortly before 10 and found about 4 tents set up. Found a spot in some trees towards the back of the lake. The trail was wet and muddy. My Suunto ambit 3 clocked it about 8.39 miles from the parking lot. There are A LOT of downed trees on the trail cutoff to Bowen Lake. We wound up doing some bush whacking to get to the lake. By the end of the day there were about 5 more tents set up around us. People were pretty cool, some had dogs that were well behaved. But no solitude here.
****But allow me to digress. The hike starts out in RMNP and goes into The Never Summer Wilderness. If you get there before the gates are manned you don't have to pay to get in. You don't need an overnight parking permit for the Bowen/Baker TH as you will leave RMNP about 3/4's to 1 mile in.
We were planning to spend 2 nights but saw signs about roads being closed due to Independence Day parades so we decided to hump it out on day 2.
Day 2 fun! Started hiking around 7am on Monday. To head to Bowen Pass. Saw a very friendly bunny on the way and a few people. Didn't see any moose or elk. (Saw elk by the parking lot!) there was still snow just below the pass you had to climb up. Dropped down the other side to head toward Fairview mountain and over to Parika Lake. Saw about 3 groups of 2-6 people on this part and maybe a solo hiker. Dropped down about 10 ft of snow at the Pass above Parika. Had lunch by the lake and filtered some water. Was pretty warm once we dropped below the lake but was all downhill back to the car. On this section we passed quite a few people. Mostly day hikers heading up to the lake. And some coming down.
Was beautiful but should have kept to 2 nights. Disappointed because didn't see any moose outside our tent! LOL. And there were A LOT of people. We clocked from Bowen lake back to the car passing Parika Lake at about 13 miles. So close to 22 miles for us. We did go off trail a bit. I did speak to a guy who was up there backpacking a couples weeks before whilst I was soaking in the stream by the TH who said when he was up there he ran into 2 people at the TH and that was it. So if you're looking for solitude don't do it in a holiday or a weekend.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Great trail! The hike is easy and the lake is beautiful!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Make sure you get an early start above tree line. Storms stack up early on this range.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Great trail for family hike. Bring bug spray.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Short hike, with a pretty lake at the end. Lots of good spots for lunch or a snack near the lake. We went early in the day during the week in June and there was only one other couple there. We did also see moose in the vicinity.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

so beautiful up there.

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