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

off road driving
1 day ago

With only a couple ground clearance/articulation areas this trail is not overly difficult. Zero issues in a ‘95 YJ with only a 2” lift. We even ran across a Toyota RAV4 which should give you an idea that it isn’t very difficult.

Most of the trail is very rocky and bumpy which does make for a slow ride. The views are very good, especially near the top.

As of today, June 21st, 2018, the gate is still closed about 1/2 a mile or so from the top. We finished the trail by foot. There is one patch of snow remaining that isn’t too big or deep. After the melts I would assume that the remainder of the trail will open.

In conclusion, it’s a fairly uneventful trail with nice views and a beautiful lake finish. Perfect if you pack your fishing gear.

hiking
1 day ago

Beware of the road leading up!!!!!!!!!!!!! Super, SUPER bumpy, which is funny for a while, but we ended up parking and walking quite a bit to even get to trailhead. Definitely need a car that can handle the road, or hope to hitchhike and catch a ride up.

Trail itself is moderate, we did both Gray's and Torrey's in about 6 hours. Start as early as you can, as it is heavily trafficked. We did Torrey's first, and I would recommend it, but have not done the other way so can't tell you if it is any better. Crossed a snow field with a pretty steep drop to the right, then got to the saddle. From there it is steep but pretty quick up to the summit. Then back down and up Gray's took us only about 45 minutes, we were moving pretty quickly as it was getting late in the day. The trip down from Gray's was very easy, lots of switchbacks.

One hiker with us was fairly unprepared, it was his first 14er, and he was able to complete Torrey's and decided against Gray's to avoid elevation sickness. I believe if you are well prepared, both are very easily doable for any level hiker.

Again, get there early and have a plan for the bummmppyyy road to trailhead!

Walked here with my girlfriend the day before New Years. Was snowy peaked, and beautiful. A good quick trip for those who live in the front range!

hiking
2 days ago

Super short trail, pretty much an incline up to the lake the whole way. Definitely worth it for visitors as it’s close to the city. I took out of town guests in Nov. it was just the perfect amount of chill, there was snow and ice in some parts of the trail but the photos were amazing and worth it. From the lake you can keep. Hiking up and the views only get better!

I loved this trail! It was beautiful the entire way. We parked in the lower parking lots, but there was parking in the upper parking lot when we got to the trailhead, on a Tuesday at about 11:00am. Lots of wildflowers this time of year. A little bit of slushy snow in parts but nothing to worry about. Just a really beautiful trail. The hike to the upper lake from the lower lake is very short, totally do it. The lake you see most of the hike must be the private lake. I’ll do this one again.

Awesome place! Incredible views with just a short hike away

It was really beautiful! Several lakes and great mountain views. There are a few short slippery snowy passes that aren't fully melted but we didn't need to use any sort of spikes or poles or anything. Going in the afternoon in the rain may have been a little risky, but we dodged the crowds!

off road driving
4 days ago

I absolutely love the view up there. I would definitely go again, possibly camp there as well.
There is still still blocking the trail though so you won't be able to go all the way.

Super easy hike, decent workout. Good views, a lot of water! If you're looking for something that will last more than 2-3 hours, pack a lunch and head up to Chicago Lakes.

hiking
4 days ago

this was great. we woke up at 3 and got hiking at 530. we had plenty of parking spots as people park on the road. It was real crowded. we did grays peak in 2 hours and then it took 45 to get to Torreys. did the whole thing in under 5 hours. It was great. Would recommend picking up your dogs poop bag if you bring a doggo.

Beautiful trail, lake surrounded by 13er peaks, wild flowers were in full bloom. But the people train started at about 8:30 am. At least 50 dogs none of them on a leash. Bags of dog poo all over the trail and stacked up by the porta potties. If you can't carry, take out and put in a garbage can your dogs poo then leave them at home. If you want to feel like you are hiking in an off leash dog park for 6 miles this trail is for you. Otherwise avoid weekends or start very early.

on Herman Gulch Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Had a fantastic hike - this is a great time of year (mid-June) to see wild flowers. The plant ecology changes as you get higher in elevation: conifers, columbines, wild roses, shooting star flowers, anemones, alpine primrose, whiproot clover, and some of the tiniest forget-me-nots. There was a very little bit of snow at the top but not enough to dissuade or deter hikers who have gotten that far.

hiking
6 days ago

Didn’t come up to climb a 14er but we couldn’t find the trailhead to Griffin Memorial Trail so we just grabbed the next closest one we could find. But now I want to come back so I can get to the top! The people we met along the trail said it took them between 7-9 hours... will definitely need more time and gear next time! But Its so gorgeous and I can’t wait to try again!

Great hike! Start early to beat the storm and the crowds with their dogs. People, please please pick up after your pets!!!!

hiking
6 days ago

Wide rocky trail with a lot of people. This hike is all about the beautiful reward with minimal effort. The journey up is only so-so.

We loved it. Definitely a tougher hike (the altitude made us stop for breaks along the way) but the views were incredible and the lake at the top was so clear. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a good time and a good workout!

Parking is weird, it’s all marked no parking but I parked along the road and was fine. Pretty easy hike, most of it is up a service type road, but the views are good and the lake is beautiful. Nice, relaxing walk.

One of our favorite trails. The views are stunning and the terrain is quite varied. The first third is somewhat steep. The middle section is flatter and the forest opens up to reveal great views of the surrounding mountains. The last part of the trail is steep and strenuous. Make sure that at the sign close to the top, you are keeping on the left. There is still snow in mid-June and the lake is partially frozen. The views at the top are stunning. Something to keep in mind is that the trail is longer than indicated here - it's over 7 miles.

Made it to Silver Dollar Lake. It gets windy up there. Some areas are still covered in snow. I made it without Yacktrak, but you should bring it if you do not have a good hiking shoes.

I noticed there’s a lot of information about the trailer itself but not much about the road. I’m writing this post specifically to shed some light on the conditions. Also note there are two main routes for this same hike. The review I’m writing for is Bakersville route which takes I-70 to exit 221 (Bakerville).

The road conditions are definitely rough and 4X4 is recommended with fair clearance. There were really only two spots that were hairy and my Nissan Rogue 4X4 handled it well with some guidance. The majority of the road has rocks sticking up along the way making it a bumpy ride but more unpleasant than an issue. A low clearance car would most likely scrap on them past the half way point (About 1.4 miles in). At this point there was a sign that noted the distance and a small turn off for one or two cars to park. My friend and I picked up two hitch hikers at this point and drove them with us to get he summer trail head.

Also note My friend and I went on a Thursday and arrived at 7:15 AM in the parking lot was nearly full. So if you were going with a group I would suggest carpooling.

Best of luck!

hiking
8 days ago

Loved this hike. We parked right near the mileage sign but be aware there are “no parking” signs all around so you could get towed. Honestly, the first mile or so is pretty boring and just uphill with no views. We also got there late (11am) and there was NO shade the entire hike so be mindful of that. After the first mile you get some great views and start passing some water and a river. Closer to the lake there were small amounts of snow but it’s all almost gone. Totally doable in hiking shoes- we even saw someone in chacos. This hike was easy-moderate overall and mainly moderate just because of the intense sun beating down on us. The lake is *gorgeous* right now with mix of green and snow on the mountains around. We will definitely be back!

This hike is not moderate, it's in the difficult side. Fun and pretty scenery the whole way. The sound of running water and little waterfalls to see. So many different kinds of flowers. Not too many people.

Amazing hike into a beautiful area of Colorado. This was not extremely strenuous and could be done by almost anyone. We hiked this in December and dealt with high winds and snow banks, but still found it easy. Loved the frozen lake at the end of the trail. Road to trailhead was manageable in 2WD SUV.

hiking
8 days ago

The trail begins at the Berthoud pass trail head on the east side of the road. There is a road that leads the way, although there is although a social trail leading directly form the parking lot that leads meets up with the same road just a few hundred hundreds up. After following the road for a bit, you arrive at a juncture. The sign is a bit confusing as it shows the Mt Flora trail going in both directions. Continue straight along the footpath, do not continue to follow the road as it bends to the right and up the immediate hill. From here, the trail is clear and well marked. There is one patch of snow about a mile up from the parking lot, but its easy to walk through or go around. Other than, its dry and clear! Wind wasn't too bad at the top today but I would guess around 20 degrees cooler than it was in the parking lot. Enjoy!

Fantastic views and beautiful lakes. Went on June 10th and encountered about 6 snowfields which were pretty solid to walk across. Warm days will definitely soften them up and make the trail muddy. Parking can be difficult because it is a popular trail. Last pitch to the upper lake can be a bit difficult because of the altitude but it is not a long pitch. Fished the upper lake but didn’t see anything.

hiking
9 days ago

Mostly rock at the start but a quick and easy hike with awesome payoff.

For a Kansas girl afraid of heights and falling this was a challenge but the view was so worth it! The lot I parked on required cash just an FYI and if you haven’t been there I suggest a day bag to take the opportunity to relax and enjoy the location.

hiking
11 days ago

6/9/18: Went to escape a 95 degree day. Wasn’t sure where the true trailhead is, mileage sign or first mini lot? Trail is a gentle steady incline, good portion of it wide enough for off roading, made of packed dirt and rocks. A good portion has shade. Lots of water and occasional mud, and a few snowfields left near the lake with a little postholing, but doable in hiking boots. Not too many wildflowers. Huge area near the lake for hanging out and snacking; sadly there is some graffiti. All trails leading up to higher lakes still unpassable without snow shoes. Still a great hike, but I feel like it will be more beautiful in a few weeks.

Went out at about 8am yesterday. Great hike. Very dog friendly. Views are amazing and there are plenty of places to stop off and enjoy them. It was packed when I was leaving so I would suggest an early start. Parking lot at the top gets very tight and the road up is 4x4 recommended, and tight. Plenty of parking on the way up that just provides a little extra exercise.

There were a couple snowpacks still but a path was clearly made already and regular hiking shoes were plenty. Highly recommended hike with a great town just minutes away!

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