Explore the most popular forest 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.

was a great hike! beautiful!

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
11 days 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
17 days 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.

hiking
27 days ago

Great first 14er! Rolling hills and beautiful views!

hiking
29 days ago

Excellent hike. Well marked trail. Beautiful wildflowers. Long hike. Last mile short, steep, slippery switchbacks. Amazing view at the top!

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked June 15. A few small patches of snow that will not ruin your day, a million fat, hilarious marmots that will absolutely make your day, and a sketchy drive up Cinnamon Pass that'll give you a right good jostling. We parked about 1/2 mile away from the trailhead in our CR-V.

If you're concerned about smoke from the 416 fire, I have asthma and while we could smell the smoke in the morning (6am), it didn't bother me enough to notice.

I wouldn't call this easy (I'd put Bierstadt and Quandary above this in terms of difficulty though), but it's got a little bit of everything. American Basin is truly stunning. If you do this one, you won't regret it.

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked Handies late March and left around 9:30. Still quite a bit of snow on the trails, so we lost the trail a few times, but it was easy get back on track. I hiked in trail running shoes and they got wet from mud and melted snow, but worked perfectly otherwise. Beautiful views. Good for beginners who have done some preparation for the altitude/incline.

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!

4 months ago

This was my first 14er and was perfect for that, as there is less elevation gain than most and the trail is gentle. It was far more impressive scenery-wise than I expected. I've hiked 6 other 14ers since and while some others offered more interesting scrambling, wilder exposure, and so on, none quite matched the visual beauty of this hike. I did it in the late afternoon after a big morning thunderstorm, which is unusual, so I got the beautiful late light, which contributed to my experience greatly.

Lots of friendly marmots!

Don't hesitate to give this a go!

hiking
7 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
7 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.

snowshoeing
9 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.

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
10 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
10 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
10 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.

11 months ago

Love this hike!!! Do it, you will not regret it!!!

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

hiking
11 months ago

Awesome hike my first 14er! Wildflowers blooming all over so gorgeous!

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.

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!

very nice and not to hard

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Wow! The most beautiful 14er we've done. Wild flowers in full bloom. Mountain steams, waterfalls, and amazing views from the saddle to the summit. A must.

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!

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