Explore the most popular camping 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.

Gorgeous views of the San Juans! You can see Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre from both summits. Traverse from Redcloud to Sunshine was relatively easy with a well defined trail. Had to summit Redcloud again to return and there were a few false summits on the way back but the traverse was one of the easier ones I’ve done. Only took about half an hour each way to traverse. The entire trail was pretty gradual which made it one of the easier fourteeners I’ve done. Nice thing about this one is you can get two done in a day easily. Tracker logged 11.5 miles with both peaks.

Great trail minus the 180lb mountain lion I spotted about 40 yards from me on my way up. Was about 5 min from reaching top and once I saw I could be cat food I stood tall and slowly started stepping backwards. I think I came down in record time.lol

hiking
7 days 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!

hiking
20 days 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.

A challenging trail with amazing views! Our family loved it!

Absolutely Stunning! The peak of RedCloud is a dramatic rusty orange landscape with nothing visible but mountains as far the eye can see (no towns etc). Feels like you’re on another planet! The hike is mostly mellow and meandering (for a 14er) but there are some steep scree sections near the top which are challenging, especially on the way down (especially in Chacos)! A long drive from the front range but highly recommended!

Last mile is the hardest

It was a perfect hike for my 1 year old pup and I! The weather was amazing and only had some shadowing clouds in the late afternoon! After the Sunshine summit, the trail down the skree was intense and was hard to get down with my dog. The trail down it is advised to look for cairns but follow the stream down and it should lead back to the trail. With this app's GPS I was able to find the loop's trail easy. A great first 14-er for the pup and I!

hiking
1 month ago

Just did (7/6-7/8) Williams Creek Trail (587) to Williams Lake Trail (664) ending at Williams Lake (returned same way total 24 mi). Lots of deadfall trees (125 trees and i did count them) on trail, but crew clearing trail should be done by now. Crew said they cut and move 50 trees/d. Hats off and thanks. Heading up you pass a nice campsite on left with large meadow and creek access at about 3.5mi. Trail crosses Williams creek twice on way up. Can rock hop across this year with relatively low flow (years past you get wet feet). I camped at last large meadow on right before the steeps at about 6.2mi. This site has good terrain for camping and the creek is close, but lots and lots of black flies. Trail surface is good to excellent all the way to the lake. Intersect Williams lake trail at 8.2 mi. Lots of fair camping locations in this area. Lake at 10.6 mi and is above tree line. This year lake is green with high temps and low flows. Monsoon season has begun with high probability of afternoon and evening rain, hail, and lightning. If you can get beyond the abundant dead blue spruce trees, this is a very nice hike with excellent exposures of varied volcanic geology. Trail offers possibility of connection to Continental divide trail (beyond Williams lake about .8 mi) and a return hike via Squaw Pass and Cimarrona Creek Trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

In the end, it was an amazing weekend (6/29 - 7/1/18) There were 194 downed logs on the trail which added hours having to climb over/under, go around them. We ran into a horse crew on the way down that said a crew was going to be there 1st or 2nd week in July. Wouldn’t do it again unless clear.

There was an upside; didn’t see another soul at the lake the entire weekend. Beautiful spot in the world. GREAT fishing so take your fly rod. Day hiking was accessible and the divide trail only 30-1hr from lake. Wildflowers were going off. Smoke was varying all weekend due to fires.

Great hike! Hiked it on 6/23 - snow free.

Typically if you do both you come back over Redcloud. We did not, and instead went down the Northwest Ridge of Sunshine. It’s a relatively easy route, but make sure you don’t descend from the saddle between Redcloud and Sunshine. It looks like a route and there are some faint trails, but it is not easy; it’s super steep, super loose and will dead end in a lot of places. We saw a group get stuck and have to climb back up.

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.

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
8 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
8 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.

Pretty. We only took it for 2 miles and turned around due to dark clouds overtop.

Beautiful day to hike William's Creek Trail! We forgot to download the map and of course there is no service in the valley. Even if we'd had the map, I don't think it would have helped us. The All Trails app says that at 6.1 miles, the trail stops but backpackers said that you could take it to the Continental Divide Trail. And our Gazetteer map shows that we could have gone as far as a lake just below the CDT if we had gone about 2 miles further. As it was, I think we went in about 6 miles - crossed two pretty good-sized rivers and passed through three large, gorgeous meadows. Great day!

backpacking
11 months ago

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.

hiking
11 months ago

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
11 months ago

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.

Monday, August 14, 2017

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

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Hiked on July 28. Steep uphill climb at first 1.5 miles. Gets easier after that thru nice meadows. At split between two trails we stayed left. At 3 miles nice Creek that my group played in. We turned around and went back at that point.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The hardest part might be getting to the trailhead. Once you start the hike it is easy to get thrown off the trail towards a 13,000ft peak, don't do that.

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!

hiking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

I did this trail with my parents when I was about 11. It is extremely hard. Needless to say, we made it all the way to the summit, thanks to some hikers we met on their way down. You will need proper equipment if you want to summit the peak.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Awesome trail! 99% of the snow is melted, prime time to hit the summit. The 4 mile road up to the trailhead is intense, two pretty serious steam crossings. Ended up hiking up from the road, 16.3 miles round trip. I reckon this is a good first 14'er to get your feet wet. Epic!

hiking
Monday, June 19, 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.

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