Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

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.

8 days ago

Did this yesterday. Excellent hike. A relatively easy 14er, but a moderate hike. Past peak wildflowers.

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
9 days ago

Nice hike. Easy 14er, but a moderate hike. Past peak flowers, but nice views.

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

hiking
15 days ago

Easy hike, beautiful views. Tons of wildflowers. The lake was really pretty and a welcome sight for the pups. If you have 4wd, follow the road up to the highest parking lot.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike! Made it to the upper parking lot in my Ford Escape but it was definitely a little sketchy at times. I would recommend driving a car that has a little more clearance than mine. I would rate this hike as an easy to moderate hike. One of the most scenic hikes I've ever done and the dogs handled it really well!

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!

Well marked and the scenery is beautiful!

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

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
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.

hiking
1 month ago

Great first 14er! Rolling hills and beautiful views!

hiking
1 month 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
2 months 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
2 months ago

beautiful

hiking
2 months 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!

5 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
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.

snowshoeing
10 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
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.

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