Explore the most popular trails near Lake City with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Lake City, Colorado Map
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Please do not take your Subaru up Nellie Creek Rd.

Great trail up to the big water fall, lots of waterfalls and views along the way.

off road driving
12 days ago

Fun trail.

off road driving
17 days ago

Entered trail from Lake City started out on dirt roads. Climbed above tree line on narrow trails and down to abandoned mine.

Hiked/climbed to the summit of Wetterhorn. Solid class 1 & 2 til last !20 ft to the peak which is exposed class 3. Great experience with typical amazing 14er views from the top.

Beautiful trail!! Perfect hike for getting fully immersed in the San Juans. Uncompahgre is a unique, funky, and photogenic mountain and is, for the most part, a Class 1 walk-up. Perfect for novice-to-intermediate 14er hikers. Near the top is a gnarly, steep Class 2 (borderline Class 3) crux. When you get to this part (you'll know it when you see it), I recommend taking the route to the left of the rock tower, not the one to the right. It's less steep. The good news is that it's short.

The Nellie Creek 4WD road to the trailhead is no joke. Large rocks, creek crossings, tight hairpin turns, and dips. High clearance is mandatory-- my Jeep Liberty has 8" of clearance and still scraped bottom more times than I would have liked. Good news is that the creek crossings are running low right now-- about 3" for the first crossing and about 4" for the second crossing.

Love this trail. Hiked it with my wife and millennial son last June...early. A lot of elevation early and all worth it. Plenty to do when you get to the divide. Would love to hike this again with an overnight stay.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a constant climb to the lake. Beautiful views of Lake City, aspen groves, and the Mountain View’s are beautiful. But the climb is up 99% of the time...so beware!!! If you’re not in the mood for a 4 mile ascent, this is probably not the trail for you.

Did an overnight hike with my friend and I to camp in the basin, and return to the trailhead the following morning. This trail was VERY difficult to backpack do to the strenuous ascent to West Fork Pass, but the beauty of the Basin is well worth the effort. We spent a good amount of time seeking cover in the tent due to scattered showers and thunderstorms. July is definitely the best time to see wildflowers, butterflies and lots of different types of bees. We spotted a coyote, lots of deer and marmots. The lightning can be very formidable when camping in the basin so make sure to watch the weather before doing this hike!

off road driving
1 month ago

Entered from Lake City. Best park of the trail was the high altitude and breathtaking vistas. Seemed like a lot of the train was above trees. The view of the mining camp was especially wonderful. Climbing in low range, otherwise high range drive. Took the trail to Silverton once we got down.

One of my favorite places! The wildflowers are so good. Pretty easy hiking but super busy.

hiking
1 month ago

We only hiked 2.5miles in, but it was a very nice hike. Great fishing as well and we were lucky enough to see 3 moose! Bring bug spray.

Loved this hike! Lots of flowers and a beautiful waterfalls!

Did an overnight trip here. Very beautiful and a few places to camp away from the trail just below treeline. The views from the overlook are just incredible!

Started at the beginning of Nellie Creek road which made for a 16ish mile roundtrip. Being as I got an early start (5:30am), the road hike wasn’t all that bad. If one was to start later though I could see where the extra 8 miles would be a slog. As others have said the actual trail is beautiful and there are lots of wildflowers this time of year. The last 1000 feet are tough as the switchbacks and the short scramble is rather steep. There isn’t much exposure though unless you really want it. Took about 6 1/2 hours to complete with some running mixed in on the downhills.

off road driving
3 months ago

I've hiked seven 14ers so far. This was my least favorite, but still worthwhile. I approached from Matterhorn Creek TH, as I also climbed Wetterhorn the same day.

The people I met on the trail were great!

Big exposure on top if you want it! Don't trip or slip!

hiking
9 months ago

The start of the trail follows an old road for a couple miles which isn't the most interesting thing to walk on but makes for a nice warm up I suppose. Shortly after crossing the wilderness boundary you're in the woods and there you'll stay until you get above the trees at the final mile or two. The setting where the lake is situated is one of the most stunning I've seen. It sits almost as tall as the next highest point around. Walking around the lake to the ridge behind offers an even more impressive view along with a view of the valleys and peaks on the other side. I imagine in the summer this would be rather moderate like Peter mentions but doing it in December created quite the challenge. Some deep snow made trail finding near the top impossible but it's impossible to get lost walking between these two giant plateaus so finding the lake wasn't an issue. Worth ever amount of effort.
by the way... the gate was still open when I went so you can drive all the way to the trailhead.

hiking
9 months ago

Really great hike. I'm sorry Kevin below didn't enjoy it as much but I thought it was really spectacular. The Aspen forest was huge, one of the largest I've seen, and the lake was gorgeous, although frozen and snowy in parts which might have added to the beauty. Perhaps early December is the time to go, if you don't mind snow. The dirt road leading to the trailhead has a few forks along the way, take the first left and stay straight the rest of the way. Also, this trail does not actually make into the wilderness boundary. Still feels like wilderness though.

off road driving
11 months ago

Did this in a stock Jeep Unlimited. No problems at all. Views were amazing! I would recommend this trail to anyone.

snowshoeing
11 months ago

snow-shoed this a couple years ago. was amazing and a groomed trail. you get ridiculously close to the 13ers there. huge, amazing mesa. definitely check it out.

backpacking
Thursday, September 07, 2017

fantastic place to get away from society. My dad and I spent a week here backpacking and the trails were great and there is plenty of spots to get water. Slide Lake isn't really a lake anymore but it's great hiking. And the fishing is good. caught some rainbows and brookies.

on American Basin Trail

off road driving
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

We rented a Jeep in Silverton and drove over Cinnamon Pass to American Basin arriving around 11:30 AM. We spent some time walking the trail to the south, taking lots of pictures of mountains and wildflowers. We were in a monsoon weather pattern so our time here was cut short by rain, but it was well worth the journey. The flowers were amazing, expecially the Columbine. There were quite a few people here on July 21, 2017. I'd love to come back and spend some time in this photographer's paradise.

hiking
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Went up September 2015. It was hard for sure. Some of the trail at the top is hard to find. Some terrain is steep with loose rocks. Caution is required. The views on a clear day are amazing and worth the hike.

One of my favorite 14ers (25)! 4x4 trail is rugged but if you can start from the upper parking lot....it's one of the best hikes imaginable. Best views of the San Juan Mt. Range!!!!

trail running
Sunday, August 20, 2017

Gorgeous!!! Beautiful rolling green slopes. Brutally up hill on the way there but manageable. There even some little kids with their parents coming down as we went up. If you have to walk the 5 miles up to the trailhead it adds a lot so be prepared.

off road driving
Saturday, August 19, 2017

We took this pass two years ago the day after it opened. It was a blast. We rented a keep for that trip. We are back this year and might do this one again on our Polaris. We are for sure doing engineer pass this time also.

Loved everything about this hike minus the 4 mile drive to the TH and out.

off road driving
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

This is a great "first trail" when starting a week in the area. On the west side, just after starting the trail, the steep rocky part begins. If you don't have low range or 4x4, this part will be difficult to very difficult. After this section, we took the Jeep out of 4x4 completely and didn't put it back in 4x4 until we were a long way back on Engineer. East of the pass is very easy.

Lovely hike and a beautiful valley once you get out of the climbing section. Plenty of water, so no need to carry a lot of it. Will definitely return!

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