Explore the most popular trail running 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.

amazing trail. The terrain is easy, but with the elevation this is not quite an "easy" hike like some others I've seen on this app. There was still some snow at the top, and with the rising temps it was a bit slippery coming down, but well worth the climb to get the 360 degree views.

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

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.

camping
2 days ago

This Fire Lookout is now a private campsite rentable through the US Forest Service. The people in the lookout tower are not FS employees. They are paying guests. It's the paid campers whose cars are parked at the gate. We should all try to respect the privacy of these campsites so that the guests can get the most out of the experience and if the guests enjoy it, it will be a profitable venture for the Forest Service that has just taken a hefty budget cut. Let's try to be respectful by not expecting to tour a camper's private space. If we want to tour the tower, we should rent it, and in doing so, we will help to preserve this really cool history. Thanks!

did this hike last weekend and was surprised how really beautiful it was!! wildflowers for days and gorgeous views at every turn. The top (3rd) lake is the prettiest and not as many people. Took my Rav 4 up the 4WD road to the trail head....not too bad. :)

I loved the hike. Only went as far as the reservoir because we started late. Go early to avoid the heat because you’ll need it for the incline areas. It was a “good” hard hike. The difficulty was due to the incline at altitudes of 10,800. But we’ll worth the challenge...you will say that at the end. Careful bringing dogs..,lots of rock I would believe to be hurtful on there pads.

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.

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

hiking
2 days 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.

hiking
3 days ago

Very pretty and quite!

hiking
3 days 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!

Great views. Steep in parts

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
4 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.

backpacking
4 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

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

4 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.

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
4 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
4 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

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.

hiking
5 days ago

I loved this trail! Went 7/13 in the morning. We took our time, taking in the beautiful scenery and got some great photographs. The views and wildflowers are incredible right now. My dog thoroughly appreciated the little bit of snow left over on the ridges that he could roll in. Obviously there is significant elevation gain, but I wouldn't call much it it steep or too difficult. Just pick a slower pace and keep on going! It's definitely worth it at the top. If you're not totally beat at the top, I'd encourage you to go just a bit further down on the other side of the peak. You won't be disappointed!

Good workout. Amazing views. I went on a Friday morning and it wasn’t too crowded. I’ll be doing it again.

Wildflowers are amazing right now! Great hike in spite of hour or so of rain, sun broke out just in time. At first wasnt sure which path to take to get to upper lake because there are a few forks all at once... go with the "middle-ish" one that passes an abandoned camp stool, easy to follow after that.

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!

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