Explore the most popular birding trails near Jefferson 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
2 days ago

I started this trail from the Hwy 285 side at the beginning of March. I did not do this whole trail because unfortunately I got stuck and had to have help out. I have not been on this trail in the summer but with snow on the ground I would highly advise you consider what your vehicle is capable of and that you do not attempt it alone. With all that said I did about a 3 mile portion of the trail and loved it right up until I got stuck haha.

For reference I was in a stock Jeep JKU Rubicon Recon. Happy Wheeling!

off road driving
9 days ago

Had a great time going through it in a ram 1500 3 inch level kit and all terrain tires a bit challenging going down steep drops being wide also during sunset got dark quick but made it no problem took about 1:45 to complete trail.

15 days ago

Took my 11yo niece up here for her first backpacking trip last weekend. Our Subaru Outback didn’t quite have enough clearance to make it to the TH so we found a campsite about 1 mile down from the TH and hiked up the road to the trail. Most of the cars at the TH are trucks and SUVs with big clearance. The hike to the lake is exactly 3 miles from the designated TH.

The trail was in good condition and there was a bit of mud up near the lake in the willows. Our night at the lake was fantastic, although super windy! It’s such a beautiful lake. The campsites are few (3-4 total) there’s not a lot of level ground. We used a bear canister for food and a jetboil stove.

I was bummed to see what looked like recently burned wood in the fire rings at the lake. Also, saw some abandoned fire rings on the hike out that were still smoking. Put it out people. Drown it in water!

The trail length is off. From 4 wheel drive lot, it is closer to 10 miles round trip

22 days ago

So to add more info about the trail length; my garmin watch had me at 2.7 miles from the trailhead to the lake. I'm guessing the distance of 7.5 includes the walk from the campground if you don't have 4WD. And you turn right just before the campground, not left. That is where the bumpy road begins. So many species of flowers, though it's definitely dry, so I don't know how long they will last; delphiniums, columbine, waterleaf, paint brush, jacob's ladder, chiming bells, globe flower, penstemons, violets, primroses, moss campion, valerian, kings crown, golden rod, aster, milk vetch, marsh marigold, Elephant's head.....

Great trail, the hike was a bit longer than the app says GPS said 6 miles round trip. The road up is a 4x4 only because you need higher clearance. Very worth the final push to the lake. The flowers are in bloom this week.

beautiful views , vault toilets still closed, people had thier dogs off leash, annoying, still beautiful.

This is not a super easy trail. there aren't many wild flowers yet so it was disappointing to me. there is some snow closer to the top and pretty muddy but the view and lake are worth the draw backs.

We had a beautiful day. met wonderful people (hikers & bikers) & dog. want to try again only longer.

off road driving
1 month ago

3 stars only because we didn't get to the top, or down the other side. We headed towards the pass from the Breck side and got within a half mile or so, and the road was still snow bound in places. It appeared like some went further than us, but I wasn't about to. Towards the top this road is only one lane for the most part too, and that is always sketchy when meeting someone coming the other way. It was bad enough backing up where I was to get turned around. The north side, which we were on, is really rocky the further you went. It does get steep too, the closer you get to the pass. I was in 4 high up until I turned around. I may try the south approach and see if I can get up. Was glad to be down and off that rocky road though, just didn't think it would be back the way we came!! Too early yet for my truck.

trail running
1 month ago

Did trail run from Kenosha pass to the high ridge line about 1 mi before Georgia Pass. Great views of the peaks above Breckenridge. This is an excellent stretch for trail running - low traffic on this Sunday and nice steady elevation gain up to Georgia Pass. A little snow on trail above 11k but nothing to slow you down much.

Big bad news: vault toilets at trailhead are CLOSED due to idiot yahoos throwing in their trash. So pack a few squares of TP, ladies, and a little bag to pack it out. Limited privacy first mile of trail.

1 month ago

The road to the trailhead is 4x4. Completed 5/27/18 and there was still snow knee deep towards the top. The last half mile is completely snow covered, and had to pretty much guess where the trail might be. Lots of other people where turning around, so it was nice to have the lake to ourselves. A few different trees fell across the trail towards the bottom, but climb over them, or walk around. Beautiful views the entire trail. You walk along side the creek pretty much the whole time. This time of year, would recommend for more experienced hikers.

I’m sure it’s beautiful but heads up- the road is closed for the season about 3 miles ahead of the trail head. Will definitely be back to check out again! Definitely a seasonal trail! Rookie (like me) be forewarned! That’s the only reason I went with 3 stars

8 months ago

Beautiful Hike! Just enough snow to add to the beauty! Winds at Gibson Lake were definitely 50+ miles an hour so we took a few pics and heading back.

Absolutely breathtaking. Very easy hike and great view of the fall color's. Went last weekend but started right before sunrise before the crowd, good thing to because by the time we got back there was more than 100 people when there was only two cars when we started. Highly recommend to keep walking the trail till you get a gorgeous view of the Valley.

off road driving
9 months ago

on French Pass Trail

mountain biking
9 months ago

Great trail...some really steep sections

10 months ago

Quiet, peaceful stroll up to the pass. Camping and animals

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A lot of elevation gain, but well worth it for the views. Bring your water or a filter and a lunch for the lake. High clearance vehicle required to get all the way to the parking lot. If you only have a low vehicle, expect 1-2 miles extra just to get to the trailhead (didn't get a read on the exact distance). Great camping along the drive up too. Fishing looked good at the lake. Stream was a bit small.

Easy hike but we did not go all the way to the end either, maybe about a mile or two. It is quite beautiful, full of aspen trees and wild flowers, great for the little ones. A little bit off of the trail there is a surprise waiting for you but I won't ruin the surprise for yo to explore. The trail is also partially shaded for at least the first mile or two. Lots of bikers in the afternoon hours so be prepared to move over a little to let them pass you.

Monday, March 13, 2017

(3.4.17) Only hiked about 6 miles (3 out and back). The trail was snowy and slushy, but not too icy. I was able to hike it in boots alone, but you may want ice cleats. Those first three miles offer some good open views of the valley below.

Great hike 1 hour or so from denver. No one else on the trail and no bikers in the wilderness.

A little snowy in early October, but beautiful none the less! Pretty busy after 10:00, parking was a little tricky, didn't see any bikes though. Overall a great hike, I will do it again!

Stunning fall hike -- exactly what I was hoping for! Went in late September and had phenomenal weather (clear skies, warm enough to wear a short sleeve tshirt at times, a fleece when it got chilly in the shade). We got there around 9am and it was decently crowded with cars and people, but the lower lot (coming from Denver) was completely open. By the time we left the hike, it was packed with traffic! My suggestion is to keep hiking until it completely opens up into panoramic views of everything. Breathtaking.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Do not follow the GPS directions on this app to get you to the trail head. Mine had me east of Jefferson on Rd 77 which is wrong. Drive to Jefferson and go west up road 34 to road 56 towards Georgia Pass. There is great Aspen viewing along this road. (An excellent alternative to crowded Kenosha Pass) Drive past the Michigan Creek campground and look for a large turnout on the left. You'll see trail marker 651 but the trail sign for French Pass is back in the trees so it's not visible from the road. There is a campground across the road. The trail takes you through pine forest and then ascends above timberline to the pass. The surrounding views of Bald Mountain and Black Powder pass are nice. The trail is moderate with a slightly tricky creek crossing but it's a nice hike. We were the only ones on the trail on a beautiful late September day maybe because it's not an optimal trail for fall foliage viewing, however you get a lot of that on the drive up.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This trail is not for the faint of heart. It is a 12% grade climb all the way up. The mileage is off a bit, I GPS'ed this at about 3.25 miles 1 way from the trail head. It is a challenge and I do not recommend this if you are out of shape. The road to the trail head requires a high clearance 4WD vehicle. It is very steep, rocky and rough on the last 1.6 miles up to the Trail head via the road with a small parking lot at the trail head. 4-5 cars max. I had a 30 lb pack and it took 2.5 hours up and 1.5 down. Well worth the time and effort to get there. All in all a great trail but definitely not an easy one. Gorgeous backpacking camp sights at high altitude.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thoroughly enjoyed hiking French Pass today. Great scenery, mostly moderate in terms of intensity with a few challenging sections. Didn't see any wildlife but loved the trail. Lots of variety in terms of trees, colors and lots of great photo Ops. Really windy at the top.

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