Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

Our first 14ers! Wow, what an experience. I'm hooked! Couple things: The road is absolutely terrible. We picked up some hitchhikers going back to the bottom, and I would recommend thumbing a ride.
There is absolutely no scrambling. Just lots of steps!
Views were astounding on both peaks even in the smoke which made up for relatively mediocre scenery on the way up.
5.5 hours total trail time.

hiking
18 hours ago

I did this as my first 14er over the weekend. I did quite a bit of research before tackling this. I am not in the best shape of my life, but this was do-able for me. I got to the trail at about 4:15am and cars were slowly but surely coming in. I realized I forgot my headlamp and thought my eyes would adjust to the dark. I ended up giving that dream as the beginning of the trail was icy and had a bunch of random puddles. I took A LOT of short breaks. On the way up everyone was nice and encouraging. Once you're done with the first part of the trail, there's no coverage for taking bathroom breaks. I was worried about altitude sickness so I ended up taking in a lot of water and having to pee like 7 times. Luckily, I went early and only saw a handful of people on the way up. The summit was crowded but everyone up there was super friendly. The walk down was ridiculous. I've never seen so many people on a trail in my life (although I'm coming from Michigan). There must have been hundreds of people starting at like 9-10am. I'm glad I went early and honestly would go even earlier next time. People were super loud, playing music, and some people were pretty rude considering you had to share the trail. It was an eye-opening experience in more than one way. The whole trip took me about 6 hours, I spent about 30 minutes up at the summit.

hiking
19 hours ago

Gray was my first 14er and it was a beautiful trail!!! Many of the reviews said it was a packed trail, I went on a Monday starting around 10am and found it to be pretty lightly populated.

I didn’t train or acclimate myself to the altitude. It was doable, I made it to the top but there were a lot of breather breaks in between (and some altitude sickness when I got home).

Amazing wildlife along the way!! Encountered mountain goats, Marmots, and nice!

It won't knock your socks off but pretty nonetheless!

Great hike and easier 14er. Lake and summit were full of people so most enjoyable parts were between with few others on the trail. The weather allowed for late afternoon hike and was mostly cloudy which helped keep my energy level up from lack of sun.

hiking
1 day ago

Lovely hike through the woods. We got to the trailhead at 8:30am (on a Monday), and there was only one other car in the parking lot. We only saw 8 other people on the trail the whole hike. The incline out is not overly steep, but is steady (there are only a few short plateaus the whole hike out). The elevation makes it a challenge. (The hike starts at 9,307' with a 1,987 gain to 11,564 at the peak.) There's a gorgeous and huge aspen grove the first mile or so. No mountain views -- the walk is in the forest the whole time -- but it was very shady and that lush woods is its own beauty. (No flowers -- might be too shady.) It wasn't buggy when we left, but there were a good amount of mosquitoes at the lower elevation by the time we left. We hiked for about 4 hours.

Great loop; Very steep up to Spalding with awesome views! 4.65 miles took about 2.5 hours with photo breaks. There's quite a bit of scrambling with some exposure as you head up Evans. Getting up to Spalding took only about 40 minutes, and that was my favorite part because there were only two other people on that trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful trail, good views, wildflowers and enjoyable.

ATTENTION DOG OWNERS: for the safety of your animals... if your dog is off leash and you run into a dog on a leash, please grab your dogs or call them over. If another dog is on a leash; they tend to feel restrained and threatened when another animal is approaching them and can become anxious or aggressive. There are plenty of beautiful spots there to take your pups off leash so they can run around, please be cognizant of surroundings.

hiking
1 day ago

Very pretty and quite!

hiking
1 day ago

Wow what gorgeous views!!! But the Hard rating on this was definitely deserved, mostly due to the last 2 miles or so are steep and technical. Gorgeous wildflowers and views the entire time, some tree coverage for the first mile- mile and a half. Definitely start early for parking and avoiding the afternoon storms!

off road driving
2 days ago

Super fun wheeling. Some tough spots overall great trail for our 1993 Landcruiser . Kids played at Lake and on streams. Half way up we photographed a great stream with wildflowers. will be back on a clear day for sure had some cloud cover.

Great views. Steep in parts

My first 14er , it was everything I expected and then some. A goat snuck up on us on the way up mount spalding !! 20 feet away . Wasn’t shy at all. The first section up to spalding was quite a climb & heart thumper for this flat lander . At the top the scenery was beautiful ! This isn’t a hike for beginners. The reroute at the top to get down was STRAIGHT down from Evans to summit lake !

Great trail, easy to follow. Wonderful views. Would hike this many times. Note the summit will be crowed but don't let that take away from enjoying a beautiful hike. If your adventurous and want to add to the hike, try the ridge from Spalding to Evans, its a class 2 or 3.

Lots of wildflowers and beautiful vistas- took off a star because of the bags o poop situation. Forever dragging my own dog away from them- pack it out or don't bring your dog!! It makes it gross for everybody! Would rate this hike easy-moderate- we didn't find it as challenging as some hikes in this area

backpacking
2 days ago

Some people say this hike isn't strenuous. Maybe with just a day pack it's not. If you plan on backpacking in, it's very strenuous. The views from the upper lake are incredible. Apparently, CO has a statewide fire ban. If you plan on staying the night, bring a gas burner (jet boil or similar). There was very little mud along the trail and the temps were 70ish during the day and low 40's over night. The first 1 mile is mostly downhill. The last 4 miles are uphill.

hiking
2 days ago

This was an awesome 14er! Definitely one I would do again. We started around 5:30am and hit the peak around 8am. It was my friend's first 14er, my dogs first 14er, and my 8th. So we took it slower for their benefit. I only had to lift my dog (Aussie/BC mix ~45lbs) on and off of a few boulders but other than that he did the trail on his own. It if very easy to lose the trail so keep an eye out for cairins. We took the route to hike up to Mt. Spalding first and didn't take the scramble trail down, we walked the road down which was probably twice as long but I stand by the decision, just watch for the cars (they go faster than they should).
There was a lot of wildlife in the area; we saw deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, pikas, and marmots. If you bring your dog, PLEASE keep it on the leash! We saw a husky chase away a large herd of bighorn sheep down a steep hill.
The road up to the trail head is paved, the parking lot is dirt. Fair warning: pay the parking fee, this is heavily regulated. And lastly, if you pack it in make sure you pack it out! Let's keep Colorado beautiful people =-)

This was our first 14er of the season. We got to the main parking lot at 6am and found the last spot so get their early or you can park along the street. The first mile was the toughest for elevation gain up to Mt. Spalding. On the back side of the mountain is some intense scrambling so take your time. Wouldn't recommend it for beginners. We didn't take the trail down that's on this map, the guide up top said it was too dangerous and to do the one by the welcome sign right by the parking lot. It's the Evans summit trail to Evans road which takes you back to the lake. It was much easier.

backpacking
2 days ago

Great hike but tricky. Mega incline technical footing. Trail starts at the parking area near the lake. Walk around the lake by the picnic tables and ascend from there. It does not start at the visitors center mentioned below. Start early as it rains in the afternoon

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail to tackle for first time 14er.

The trail offers a lot from meadows to creeks, we even spotted a family of mountain goats. There are segments that have a lot of loose rock, so be prepared for that on the way back down. Given this is a really high-traffic trail, expect some congestion along the way.

And yes, the road to get to the trailhead is rough and not well kept! Though an AWD vehicle with decent clearance will make it fine - just take it slow. We arrived around 4:30am on a Saturday and parked just down the road from the lot as it was already full.

7.14.18

Amazing! Hiked it on 7-14! Got there a little after 6 and boardwalks were very icy and slippery in the morning! Parking was easy and the views amazing!

beautiful trail, with some very satisfying high alpine and lake views after a short ascent. Only 4 stars because this trail was crowded with both people and dogs. There are no indications that dogs need to be on leash for this trail, but I got a lot of dirty looks from folks that were leashing their pups. I would do this hike again if I had out of town guests that weren't that acclimated, but wanted to see some nice vistas.

on Mount Bierstadt Trail

2 days ago

I hiked this with three others about a week ago after having done a handful of other fourteeners. At 7:00 there were already parked cars lined on both sides of the pass for a quarter mile; get there early! There was plenty of parking in the westerly lot, however.

All things considered, this was the easiest fourteener I have completed to date. The trail was well travelled with essentially no exposure nearby, so finding our way to the summit was easy. Bierstadt is essentially a walk-up, with a very minor amount of scrambling or boulder-stepping near the peak. In fact, the only thing that exhausted me was the overwhelming number of people, but it was a weekend day after all.

As with all fourteeners take plenty of water, sunscreen, and maybe some layers at this time of year. The ride up the pass is beautiful so take note of it. You will still be above tree line on the mountain so if the weather turns, head back the way you came. We were lucky to have summited in two hours and escaped some rain rolling in from the east on the descent. As this hike is very popular be sure to pack out what you pack in.

This place is amazing! 3 lakes, beautiful mountain views & a ton of wildflowers. Parked at the lower trailhead, so it does add a little less than a mile to your hike, which was no big deal. Got an early start, so hardly anyone on the trail when I started, the crowds started to come as I was heading back down. Not too long of a hike, I tracked it at 6.3 miles.

off road driving
2 days ago

This was a wild goose chase. This is not an official trail and as such there is no trailhead. This is actually forest service road 262 also known as Cinnamon gulch road. You can drive most of the way to the top. If you try hiking you will probably get mowed down by a jeep or a dirt bike. There were plenty to go around. It is actually a beautiful drive and was very easy in my larger 4x4 pick-up. Once we made it to the end of the road we did search for an actual marked trail. On the way down I spoke with some forest service personnel and they confirmed there isn't one. Don't forget to drive the surrounding roads as there are many old mines with beautiful views nearby. We ended up hiking part of the Argentine pass trail which is just up FR 260 from this spot.

Definitely a bucket list hike! Beautiful wildflowers. Make sure you bring your hiking poles. Very steep in some areas. Worst part of hike was roadbed from parking lot to trailhead.

Great trail and gorgeous scenery. Three awesome alpine lakes and some good photo ops. Trail very well maintained. Great for families too.

This was my first 14er. It was easier than I thought but I have been lifting, running, power walking in hot temps and stairclimbing for months (getting back in shape). That being said I ran into a few people that were REALLY struggling. We started at 7 am after waiting in line at the bathroom for about 15-20 min. The first part is easy. it was chilly. Watch your step on the wooden bridge it was really slippery/icy. The next part will have you out of breath with your heart racing so drink water, eat good snacks and take breaks. I recommend bringing layers as you’ll be warm but then cold later and back to warm. Also bring plenty of water and snacks. Watch your step at the top you will be scrambling over rocks. This hike is not for anyone who is out of shape. Be prepared for the descent to be almost as hard (especially on the knees) I had a great time!!

hiking
2 days ago

It was a great hike steep at first still wild flowers along the trail saw bunnies humming birds and chip minis only 8.5 miles tracked just over 1800 feet of elevation!

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful, easy to follow trail! Amazing views almost the entire time and the trail is surrounded by colorful wildflowers right now. Highly recommend

Load More