Explore the most popular river 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!

24 days ago

Great first 14er! Rolling hills and beautiful views!

26 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.

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.

1 month ago


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!

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.

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.

11 months ago

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

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!

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.

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.

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!

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!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

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.

Monday, April 17, 2017

first 14er in the san juans, it's far away from civilization, and the American basin during labor day weekend is so full of color.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

My son and I tried for Handies in Oct. of 2013. We got to American Basin and started in on the hike. There was snow right off the bat but it wasn't enough to keep us from going. We got just below Sloan Lake and decided to take a short break. While sitting there, my son became ill due to the elevation so we turned around right away and went back down. I believe we would have made the top if it weren't for that. I would try this again some time as it is an easy 14'r for the most part. I will say, the road over Cinnamon Pass and down to American basin is as ugly as it's always been. There are some really nasty sections along that. Once again, my Expedition handled it all, but I had doubts a few times about clearance. 4 x 4 for sure here

Friday, March 17, 2017

We did this hike in July of 2015. It was our first 14er. We had no problem getting to the American Basin in our jeep. The wildflowers were beautiful and Sloan lake was spectacular. It was a little difficult near the summit for us since we weren't use to higher elevations but was well worth the extra effort when we reached the summit.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Absolutely stunning scenery once you get above tree line. We hiked up Grizzly Gulch and it was definitely harder than I had planned, but having a dog who was sick all night didn't help. The views were spectacular and the ptarmigans were in abundance. Hiked in September, it was quite chilly in morning and there was a bit of snow on the trail. We will definitely do this earlier in the year and leave the dog at home.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Gorgeous summer hike! It's one of the easiest fourteeners as the trail begins slightly above tree line and is very smooth passing through less than 1/4 mile of scree field along the beautiful route. Anything higher than a typical car should make it. We did it in a Crosstrek and didn't scrape once. To continue past the trailhead turnoff and over the pass to Silverton you'll definitely need a HC vehicle with low gearing.

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