Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

hiking
18 hours ago

Great first 13er hike. Went early and it wasn’t busy.

SO, while I am glad we did this I will absolutely never again. We referenced our map often and even while remaining on trail there are definitely some class 4 climbs with very extreme exposure. The class 3 rating of this trail definitely had me thinking I could handle this, which I know know to be incorrect. We summited to Torrey’s which took us 5 hours. It’s super easy to get off trail, and fast. There are no Cairns to mark the path. Also had to bear crawl up most of the class 3 scrambles as it was all loose soil and rocks. I was very nervous to lose my footing. The knife edge was so much more of a steep exposure ON BOTH SIDES, which I did not feel most photos reflected. I went into this thinking one edge was extreme exposure while the other was not so bad. I had much panic and took about 15 minutes to cross that short path, but there was no turning back at that point. Please do not ever attempt this path alone, or without capability to call emergency alpine services. It started to sprinkle as well and the rocks were immediately slippery as ice.

As for driving to the trail head; the path is rough but you can do it. Imagine a seasonal ORV path. Dirt, bumps, and many rocks. Any SUV should handle it fine. I’ve even seen a Chrysler 300 make it down the path to the trail head. Would not recommend doing that however with any less than 9” of vehicle clearance.

hiking
20 hours ago

This trail climbs gently up through forest for a short time before breaking treeline and traversing the tundra on a smooth dirt singletrack trail. Beautiful views, and not a lot of effort! The parking lot is huge so getting there at 7:00 on a Saturday was not a problem at all.

The direction of the wind today however meant I could easily smell the smoke of nearby fires (and the smoke was very visible). If you're worried about that then maybe hold off on this trail until another season/year.

Nice quick trail off of Guanella Pass that isn't too hard. I arrived at 11:30 am and found a spot in the upper lot after driving up the 4wd road without trouble. I have been spoiled by being able to hike mid-week all summer; this trail was SUPER crowded. Dogs everywhere (many off leash, but there were no leash signs and the majority were well-behaved) and I was constantly having to step to the side to let people go by. Wildflowers were gorgeous!

Great hike! We followed this trail up, then continued on to Torrey’s. The summit to Gray’s definitely isn’t as steep as Torrey’s, but both offer great views and a fun hike. Defiantly bring lots of water. Conditions are all clear. It’s definitely not an easy hike but we did see families with younger children making their way.

Hiked today (Saturday). Got to upper parking lot around 9am and was able to find a spot. Gravel road was tricky to maneuver in a few places. We were in a all wheel drive Honda Pilot. Hike is beautiful and the wild flowers were stunning!! Got more crowded as the day went on. Everyone was friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Have also hiked this in the fall when the aspens were at their peak and it is breathtaking! A great hike summer or fall!

Pick. Up. After. Your. Dog. And don’t leave the bag on the trail. It really ruins those wildflower views. Rude.

Also, every dog here is off leash. Pretty sure they are supposed to be leashed here. People were letting their dogs run like crazy and the trail is pretty narrow.

Great hike, gorgeous views, but it seems like the people that use this one don’t really care about ruining someone else’s experience.

Great hike. Beautiful. Lots of incline but doable. Many many people spend the night before at or near the trailhead, so if you are not there and parked by 5am plan to park on the road. But a lot of people do that. The road up ... I went 2.3 miles in with my Kia Sedona minivan before stopping to camp the night before with my group. The Kia Sedona has the highest clearance of any minivan at 6.7 inches and although the road was rough I did not bottom out or have any issues for those first 2.3 miles. The next morning, while walking to the trailhead from the campsite, I noticed that after the 2.3 mile point on that road that the pot holes were a LOT deeper in some places. I probably could have made it with enough momentum in the minivan but I like my car and would not have wanted to do that. So, if you don’t have a higher clearance vehicle or AWD and actually like your car maybe that 2.3 miles in on the road is a good place to park or camp.

What an AMAZING place!!!!!!!! I ended up going the “extra mile” into the gulch which made it closer to an 8 mile hike. Parts of it are steep so take it slow going up and be careful on the way down. A must-do for locals and visitors alike!

Really enjoyed this 13ner. A bit windy toward the top. Will definitely do it again. Nice enough to trail run most of it.

Loved it! I was the only one there until I started back down. Beautiful views and flowers. Saw lots of marmots and some pika. The last push to the top isn’t clearly demarcated as a trail, more like bushwhacking but pretty easy to follow the ridge. The lakes would be an awesome place to stop on the way back down for lunch. This is only a couple hundred feet lower than Bierstadt which is across the road and NO CROWDS!!

hiking
1 day ago

Not difficult but good workout. I clocked closer to 8 miles. 360 degrees of stunning views. Friend and I had trail and top of mountain to ourselves. Some rocky areas so watch your footing there. Weather today not an issue. No wind at top even, but still, go prepared. Really spectacular.

Beautiful 1st Fourteener! From the saddle, stow your poles and scramble to the summit.

2 days ago

It’s more like 7-7.5 miles round trip. I would plan at least a good 6-7hours for the hike. Also plan on stopping a bit, incline is quite steep and rocky

Amazing views at the top of a pretty easy trail. Climbed on a big rock at the top to be almost blown away by the wind, climbed off the rock and sat at the base of it and couldn’t feel the wind at all but still heard it howling. Gorgeous area

Great trails. Well marked. Challenging :)
Access to trail head rough.

great hike..got last spot in parking lot at 540am on Thursday...glad we had a jeep for the drive in. beautiful flowers, mountain goats, and scenery!

Great trail! Beautiful lakes, wildflowers, wildlife and mountains. Mileage is 9.5 mi r/t to second lake with increased elevation. It’s a push to the final lake, and save food, water and energy for the final mile back to the trailhead because the hike down to the creek is tough to hike back up at the end of 10 miles! We started early to avoid the heat, but there were people headed out as we finished with one 12oz bottle of water! Please be prepared with at least a liter of water, electrolytes and snacks...we live in the mountains and we needed all these...flatlanders will really need them!

First hike ever in CO. I am from NE. stunning views of the continental divide ranges flowing creek throughout the trail, wonderful wildflowers and a small lake at 12k feet. There a multiple different approaches off the trail too. We went off trail at the lake to go up another 1000' vertical and you can see all the Rockies as far as the eye can see. This hike had everything. Bring plenty of water and I mean plenty you will need it. Fantastic hike.

Great trail. You can do it even if you’re from out of town if you’ve given yourself some time to adjust because it is at high elevation. There is some gain but it’s manageable because of the switchbacks. You get the beautiful views you’d get from climbing a 14er without the extreme effort. It’s cold at the top, refreshingly so, in July.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful, easy hike.

Definitely make sure you understand the trail before attempting or else you may run into some class 4 climbing (happened to us). There are a lot of social trails so just be aware and if it feels too hard you might be off the standard route. Other than that this is a great hike! Super fun, great views, and a lot of exposure to get your heart racing!

We love this trail! Right now the wildflowers are blooming and it’s really pretty. Definitely park in the lower parking lot unless you have a 4 wheel drive. It can be a little chilly on top.

Completed over the weekend mid-June. The lake was still frozen at the top, and we weren't expecting it. Beautiful hike, steady climb all the way to the lake. More like 8 miles than the listed 6.3 miles. Would love to do it again in late July or August for even more flowers and a summer alpine lake view.

hiking
3 days ago

FWIW, I am 66 and made it to the top with the help of an oxygen botte. A beautiful area, well worth the effort. Hiking up to wear the bouldering starts is not all that difficult. Up to that point would be a nice day hike in and off itself. In fact, depending on what kind of shape you are in, you might want to do that one day, recover, and then go to the very top a couple or so days later. What makes the hike difficult is that last 1000 feet or so up through the rocks to the top. I think that part took me two hours up and down. I have been up other 14ers, but it has been a while. In my memory, Bierstadt was the easiest up to where the bouldering started, but the "final assent" was easier at some other 14ers. Heavily trafficked. I started a little late, around noon, and probably crossed paths with 50 people on their way down. It took me 7 hours total, but I was pretty slow on the way down. I was probably the oldest person hiking. I saw one person who looked to be in his mid-50's. Everyone else seemed to be early 40s or younger. The median age was probably early 30's. In my younger days, I probably could have done it in 5-6 hours. Consider carrying a can of oxygen if you are from sea level or in my age range.

Wonderful hike. Used the alternate route starting at the Jones Pass (Butler Gulch) parking area. Same distance as the Berthoud Pass trail head - just a steeper ascent and more forest until you hit tree line. Insanely beautiful wild flowers. No snow or mud. Fantastic views.

Beautiful trial - I do a lot of hikes and prefer to do the hard ones , and I would actually rate this trail as more “hard” than “moderate.” I go quickly and summited in 1 hour and ran down in 30 min.

The incline is significant in parts which is fantastic, but the wind really makes it challenging. The wind is also why I only gave it 4 Stars, as at times it was unpleasant and almost made me fall over!

Otherwise, this is a GREAT workout if you push yourself and the views are amazing for being an hour from southern Denver.

When you park in the lot you can go straight up the dirt path as a short cut (but a steep shortcut) or take the service road up to the trail head (it’s on the left and the sign faces away from the road).

Awesome trail. Pretty difficult unless you hike trails on the regular. Lots of wildlife everywhere as well. We hiked down from summit lake to the Chicago lakes.

Super easy trail if you’re used to the elevation. Awesome views up top. Good hike for visitors to the area. Only about a 50 min drive from downtown Denver.

hiking
4 days ago

Overall, a great hike. Went on a Wednesday and got there a little after 8 and didn’t have any crowds. The views don’t change much as you climb but the views are spectacular! Hit a good amount of wind about halfway up that caused some worry if I should turn around but I ended up pushing through as I saw others on the trail and they didn’t mention any unsafe conditions. If you usually eat a snack at the turnaround point, maybe plan to eat a heavy breakfast in case you aren’t able to sit and relax at the top (bc of the wind). It gets rocky at some points so if you have knee or ankle issues, wear the appropriate gear.

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