Explore the most popular birding 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.

1 month ago

The road is the worst part

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

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.

hiking
2 months 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!

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

hiking
2 months 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.

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!

hiking
10 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
Saturday, September 30, 2017

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

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.

Friday, July 21, 2017

very nice and not to hard

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Loved it

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Loved it

off road driving
Monday, July 17, 2017

Easily traverse the pass with high clearance vehicle. Great views. Wild flowers are blooming.

hiking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

We have spent many summers hiking in Colorado and seen many beautiful lakes (Ice, Columbine, Blue Lakes) and gone on many beautiful hikes. Unfortunately, this was not one of my favorites or one that I would recommend. The lake was pretty, but there are prettier lakes & waterfalls to see in town. You do go through a large aspen forest, but other than that, the trail views are average. As an experienced hiker, I would say this hike leans more toward hard rather than moderate. You gain 3,000 ft in elevation quickly. We took a group of inexperienced hikers with us and it was a mistake. They really struggled. It's always fun to spend a day in the mountains, but I would say look into other hikes if possible!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Beautiful stunning views of the valley. Some of my favorite views around!!The first couple miles are fairly easy...lots of trees down right now though.
After you make it across the valley you begin a pretty steep but short climb to a gorgeous lookout with 360 views. We were stopped right before the switchbacks to the pass due to sketchy snow field crossings.
Totally worth the hike! Great backpack and good day hike too if you leave early!

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

This is a tough and worthwhile hike. Did it September of 2015 and it did not disappoint. There will parking about 1 mile or so north of the trailhead because the last bit takes quite high off-road capabilities. Jacked up jeeps and trucks should be fine but it's rough and relatively steep. Trails start is very easy as it just strolls through meadow. Don't be fooled, it gets tough a couple miles in. No shade once above treeline which is a majority of it. Bring a good hat and lots of water. Couple nice river crossings and lots of wildflowers in the right season. Again, no shade so be prepared for that. 10,000-12,000 ft with no shade can be exhausting. Toward the end of the hike is large scree field that's moderately sketchy but it's a beautiful hike. We were the only people on the trail that day. 360 views of awesome.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Trail was great but if you're staying at the big blue campground near the trailhead its even better. 2 roads in, take alpine road if you're feeling really crazy, 1 lane with tight switchbacks, a much shorter drive in, but not for those afraid of heights.

backpacking
Monday, September 26, 2016

Absolutely stunning trail in the Autumn...The hills were on fire with color ...& then snow. Beautiful!!!
Steady climb to be sure but worth it!!

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Incredible view if you continue 1/2 mile above the lake!

hiking
Friday, July 01, 2016

Scenic, lots of fun back in June 2015.

hiking
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I returned to this trail recently after a botched attempt at a thru-hike from Williams Creek in 2014. Last year we came up Williams Creek and found snow on the Alpine Gulch side that completely obscured the trail down from the ridge line. My wife and our dogs went down a false trail and ended-up bushwacking off the mountain.

On this successful attempt we started our Alpine Gulch hike early in the morning. The sun was not yet shining into the gulch and there was ice on the trail. There were numerous water crossings, but we managed to cross all of them with little difficulty. Some were crossed via logs, while others were made via stepping stones or just carefully stepping across via shallow-water pools.

The trail was initially well-worn and easily identified. Only one sign at the trail head and another after a few miles and water crossings. As we entered a large gulch we had to search carefully for the trail due to thick brush. It appeared that we should head off to the right up one gulch, but we found more tracks and signs leading to left up a different (and correct) gulch.

Entering the forest again we began climbing through a forest filled with flowers and fallen trees. This eventually put us onto a ridge and ultimately onward toward a descent via Williams Creek. The trail was easy to identify through this area. Look for large (5 foot tall!) cairns along a treeless trail once you are above the treeline.

We then reached a point where the trail ran-off into the grass and simply stopped. Looking behind us, and to the right, we could then see another well-worn trail leading up a steep ridgeline. Retracing our steps we found stones in the trail in an attempt to "point" us into this direction through the tall grass.

It was a strenuous climb to the ridge marked cairns. Sometimes the trail wasn't evident, but the cairns marked the way.

The views were spectacular. Strenuous, but well worth the effort.

hiking
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This was one of the first trails that we hiked when we first moved to Lake City. The trail head is easy to find along County Road 20, and very close to the Hard Tack Mine. On our first trip the water level was rather high, so this made the numerous water crossings difficult. Our dogs were with us on this trip, and the current made it difficult and dangerous for them -- we had to help them across several crossings.

This is a beautiful tree-lined trail that connects to the Williams Creek trail. We have not completed a through-hike from this direction -- only out-and-back hikes and runs.

Would not recommend this hike for children or folks who have unsure footing. The water crossings an be difficult of the water flow is high and fast.

hiking
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We hiked this trail last year with our dogs. Strenuous at times on the way up, but easy enough to jog down some sections if you are a running. Varying terrain and scenery, and the view of the lake and surrounding mountain peaks is absolutely worth the hike. This would be a great place to camp overnight on an out-and-back trip, or connect to some of the other trails and continue through the wilderness on your next day.

hiking
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We hiked an out-and-back portion of the Big Blue Trail yesterday with our 2 Australian Cattle Dogs. The drive to the trail head was not too bad. We were in a Jeep, used the 4x4 on the way up and back, but nearly any vehicle could have made the drive without problem. The only exception to this were several large puddles of water .25 miles from the parking spot. These were significant and deep due to a recent rain.

This trail is predominantly surrounded with trees for the first 4-5 miles. We did not get into the open until around mile #6. Big Blue creek is almost always nearby, and can bee seen or heard almost always. We saw very few signs of deer, elk, or other animals on this hike, but many species of birds were observed and heard.

There were a few trees across the trail, but all were easy to go around or over. The trail is well-work from years of use, but the trail appeared to be used very little in recent years. We did not see any signs of bicycles, camping, trash, or anything else that would indicate heavy usage.

According to other online reports and map study, this trail will connect to the Uncompahgre Trail, and then out of the wilderness via Nellie Creek. This could be done in one day, but would certainly be a long-haul. We hiked to "Slide Lake" as some folks call it, then for another 30 minutes to get clear of the trees. One day we will return to complete a point-to-point hike and go out the other side.

Great hike for kids or folks who are looking for a less strenuous hike. Just go in as far as you want, then turn around and come out.

hiking
Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hard but great! Worth it!

Load More