Explore the most popular 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.

Did this with Evans! Amazing this one was an easy 14er!

One of my favorites. This hike has it all. It’s a good workout with steady incline in beginning and end. Lots of wildflowers, trees, meadows, water and views. My GPS said 7 miles. Ends up above tree line. Get there early if you want to avoid people, even on a Tuesday.

hiking
23 hours ago

This is a really nice moderate hike. I completed it in about 4 hours with lots of stops and a long break at the top. There is a steady incline at the beginning and very end that can be tough. Hiking poles are recommended. There are lots of people (parking hard to get), but everyone was friendly and I didn't find it a nuisance or like I wasn't in the wilderness. the views at the top are spectacular! This hike is good if your looking for a bit of a liner hike with great views. The wildflowers are in full bloom, and conditions great. Highly recommend and a new favorite!

Overall: This 14er was amazing! I was absolutely in love with the views all the way up. Wild flowers still pepper the trail and you have amazing views of multiple lakes.

Timing: We left our home on Monday at around 5:15 am and made it to the trailhead at 7:15 am. We summited right at 2 hours, although many around us said it took them closer to 3 or 4, and then sped down the mountain in 1 hour, for a total hiking time of 3 hours!

Parking: Do not let other reviews scare you. If you are hiking on a weekday, parking is easy, especially if you arrive earlier in the morning. The lot was full but there was plenty of parking on the road right next to the lot.

Difficulty: The first mile of the hike was nice and flat, followed by 2 miles of steady uphill, and approximately 0.7 miles of scaling large rocks at the top. Total distance, tracked on my Garmin Vivoactive, was 7.5 miles roundtrip.

Popularity: It was not nearly as busy as I had expected and the other hikers we met were nothing but friendly! You are certainly not going to hike alone, unless you leave early enough to make the summit for sunrise. But, based off of my other hiking experiences in Colorado, this was by far not at crowded.

Other: Bring a snack for the top of the mountain and at least 40 oz of water! I wore Hoka running shoes and they provided plenty of traction to make it up and down safely. I also had on yoga pants, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a light jacket. We had not weather problems on our hike though, so warmer dress could be necessary if colder conditions occur.

Gorgeous wild flowers, good steady incline. Mix of shaded areas and open, sweeping views. Very dog friendly. A must do!

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.

My gps read 7.0 miles round trip. I made it up to the lake at a slow, steady pace in 2 hours. My hubby likes to cruise and made it in an hour and a half. Good workout. We left the trailhead at 7am and I’m glad we did. Ran into a lot of folks coming up on our way down, and the rain started to move in around 10:30. Only downfall is the poorly tended porta potties and no trash can at the trailhead for “doggy bags.”

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!

on Mount Bierstadt Trail

3 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 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!!

It was harder than we expected! It was my wife’s first 14er and my third or fourth. The first couple miles really aren’t bad but the path up to the false summit and then the full summit are pretty difficult. We had to stop a lot and even ran out of water even though we each had a full camelbak. I’d bring plenty of water and if it’s your first, possibly even bringing canned oxygen. Very busy summit and some guy had a drone that was incredibly annoying. Last thing I wanted to listen to after summiting a mountain was his drone.

This was my first 14er and it’s supposedly one of the “easy” ones, but this is no walk in the park. I went with a group of mostly newbies and we started at 5:50am knowing we would be slower and wanted to be down early in case of storms. The bridge over the marsh was frosted at the time and SLIPPERY. We opted to jump down and walk through the marsh at areas so avoid a slip and injury. Watch for that. The first 1.5-2 miles is fairly easy. A moderate hike at best. The last 1.5-2 miles is hard and nearly everyone you see will agree....so don’t feel compelled to go fast. Take lots of breaks, even if they are short ones. The trail was crazy busy and lots of people boasting it was their first but everyone was polite and allowed you to pass or was patient until you let them pass. Shortly after the “shoulder” area (tip: definitely stop and have a quick snack here it’s about to get real) the trail gets steep and then you head into rocks. If you have read all the reviews and blogs you’ll be ready for a rock scramble but let me tell you that doesn’t really start until the last quarter mile. Don’t be fooled! By then you are so close you almost forget how tired you are and you power through. Others say you can do this in tennis shoes but unless you are experienced or the most stable person ever I recommend hiking shoes for the traction. Drink lots of water. I drank 3 liters and had an extra for the walk down. Summit is busy (pick your head up to avoid being stuck in an awkward position on a rock when someone unexpectedly stops) and chilly but very worth it. What no one really tells you about your first though is that the hike down is almost as hard. Your legs are tired and you’ve just experienced the high of the summit and now you have to reengage all the tired muscles and your knees and stay upright. You goal now: getting to the bottom and taking off your shoes! Overall I did it in 6 hours with about 30-40 minutes at the summit and I was slow...or felt it...but was consistent and realistic. Thoroughly enjoyed being able to check this off the bucket list! I recommend starting early if you are new just so have the comfort of taking your time and still beating the storms.

So. Many. Wildflowers! Busy trail- get there early

hiking
4 days ago

Simply beautiful. Good combination of streaky climb with three good inclines. Surprises along the way. Gorgeous wild flowers and when there are no other people the sounds of the running water and run-off waterfalls are incredible.

STAY SAFE ALL!
Beautiful, but busy. We saw many people coming up, planning on summiting after 1 p.m. as a storm was obviously forming. We also saw a guy with very bad altitude sickness at the summit who came from sea level and brought no food and little water. Please if you’re planning on hiking this or any high altitude hike, consider the weather always, bring plenty of food and water, and make sure you know your limits. This may be an easy 14er, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually easy at all. 14ers are serious business. Take it seriously and be safe!!
Also, please be courteous!! There were an amazing amount of people who played music off of speakers from their backpacks. If you’re someone who enjoys music while hiking, please put in headphones or don’t bring music at all. The majority of hikers want to enjoy the hike itself and the sounds of nature, especially at the summit, peace is preferred!!
Lastly, this goes for any hike or outdoor excursion, be respectful of the animals and surrounding environment, don’t feed or try to pet the animals and if you pack it in please pack it out!

5 days ago

Second time and always beautiful. Go on a weekday if you can. Great for dogs with water throughout trail.

hiking
5 days ago

A wonderful and challenging experience. Beautiful views and plenty of people on the trail. My first fourteener!

Loved it, but some dogs off leashes

This is my favorite hike!

Short and sweet! One of the easier ones and eases into the trail.

hiking
7 days ago

We started this hike at 6:00 am on 7/6. It was our first 14er and despite hearing that this was on of the easier 14ers it took us 7 hours to summit and get back to our car. We took our 4 yr old and 8 yr old on this trip, both were troopers on the trail but only the 8 yr old summited. Overall this is a really well marked and busy trail.

hiking
8 days ago

Nice steady incline, good leg workout. Plenty of water steam access for the dog.
Beautiful scenic views with plenty of wild flowers along the way.

hiking
9 days ago

Took our 6 kids up (ages 14 years to 14 mo). Amazing vistas, beautiful wildflowers.

6.6 miles, 1701 ft elevation gain. Incline first and last mile.

Did this yesterday (Sunday) and it wasn't as crowded as I expected based on the other comments! We started at 9:50 and didn't have any trouble parking. We saw a lot more people coming down than up, so I was glad we'd started a little later and weren't doing it at the same time as everyone else! Quite a few people at the summit, but not too crowded. Saw lots of marmots. It took us a little less than 3 hours to summit, we spent 30-40 minutes at the top and finished at 2:00. Gorgeous hike!

We camped out at Square Top lakes basin and hiked Square Top Mountain the next morning. I think the lower lake is more scenic than the upper. To get to peak: Take the trail toward the upper lake, and you’ll see a sharp left turn with a few cairns, heading toward the saddle. At that saddle, a marked sign points to Square Top mountain. You climb up NW, toward the ridge and follow that ridge. Be prepared for 3 or so false summits and lots of breathing breaks. Carry plenty of water, no access after the lakes. You gain about 1500’ in a mile. It’s steep! The top of Square Top stretches out West for a long time. We descended down the talus filled backside and dropped in to the basin of Naylor Lake and finally climbed that ridge (unmarked trail) which brought us back to Square Top lake. It was a tough day, about 3000’ gain total. I’ve done nearby Bierstadt several times, and this hike was much more strenuous. Loved it.

Great hike. We did this today, arriving at 8:15am and the parking lot was almost full. The trail map doesn’t lie - very steep for the first and third miles. Wonderfully varied terrain from steep wooded path to meadowland to quite muddy when crossing water. Tons of wildflowers. Once you reach the pond at the top, keep going to eventually arrive at a beautiful lake, about another half mile at most. The trail was busy, but people were generally fairly spread out. My only complaint is that the two portapotties were literally nearly full to the top. Also, the trash can near the trail sign was filled to overflowing with dog poop bags. These sanitation issues really should be addressed. Thanks.

hiking
10 days ago

My first 14er. Great hike on a well-maintained trail. Go during the week though. There were 100s of folks on the trail and on the summit.

hiking
10 days ago

The flowers were at their peak. Gorgeous!

Plenty of parking at the lot of Berthoud Pass. Cross the highway and the trailhead is there. Starting in the beautiful forest, then above tree line the elevation picks up with steep switch backs. Once on the divide, the views are amazing and the trail is pretty flat. A must hike!

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