Explore the most popular forest trails near Leadville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

If you live at sea level I would definitely ride the trail clockwise. Great history of the mines, Aspen Alley just after the summit is simply stunning. Saw Elk and deer

walking
19 hours ago

peaceful no people...fall

first 14er!

Beautiful lake and trail. The trail is a lot of up and down and lots of different terrain. There is no huge climb just up and down. The end of trail is another parking lot (with bathroom which is good. ) But the return hike doesn’t offer any new views so we were a little disappointed. Beautiful place to camp and appears people like to fish in the lake. We never saw anyone in the trail so if you like quiet trails .. this is great. If I did it again I would go about 5 miles in and then back.

I came from 5 feet above sea level - I live in New Orleans- to do my first 14er. I did 4 hikes in the 3 days before to acclimate. Seemed to work well. We maintained a planned pace with built in rest breaks. If you are looking at your altitude, the false summits aren’t really false. It is hard if you don’t hike at altitude regularly, but doable.

It was simply awesome. The comradery at the summit was really cool with about 20 people all just kind of hanging out. So glad we picked this hike.

This was by far the hardest hike I have done. Such a mental and physical challenge. I would bet more than half the people hiking up did not summit the day I was there. Do not take this lightly. I started at 7am and finished at roughly 5pm. Spent about 45mins-1hr at the summit taking in the hard earned views. The views and the accomplishment are enough to make it well worth the struggle. I did not taking hiking poles and was just fine. My Apple Watch did clock it in at longer than all trails states - ~11-12 miles for what that’s worth. I did not think the false summits were as bad as everyone said. Aspens were golden and gorgeous and the weather conditions were great. Don’t forget sunscreen, I have a burnt nose to prove it! Don’t under estimate this hike, seriously! Though it is ranked one of the easier 14ers as far as the class of the climb, climbing this much elevation this quickly is TOUGH!! But so so worth it if you can grit through it!

hiking
4 days ago

Good hike with decent views. Loved the history of the ghost town and tunnels. Easy side of moderate.

Did his yesterday. And phew! We got about 9.5 miles up and back. Prefect fall leaf peeping weather but lots of sun exposure so put sunscreen on a few times. We did it in about 5:45 but it was exhausting ! Pèrfect fall weather , emptied our camelbacks and wish we’d had a little more water so bring a bunch . Saw several people not equipped and with kids as small as 3 at treelike late in the day and they looked miserable. I would advise NOT bring smaller children too far up as they all were crying and miserable. Some having to try and carry kids (or asking strangers to carry their kids down?!) down on rough terrain. Make sure you have an older, tough kid for this if you go past tree line!

Really cool hike. Great views. Easy. Interesting ruins of Douglas City and the old train tracks.

Great hike and worth the amazing view at the top! I started at 5am and it took me 6 hours to summit and 3 hours to come down - slower than the average person and I stopped a lot, especially on the way up. I had no storm threat today so wasn’t stressed to go fast. Coming down also took some time because it was very slick due to loose gravel on steep downhills, and the additional feel of legs turning to jello. Don’t let the “class 1, easy to follow, only 10 miles” fool you. Shorter trails = steeper. If you prefer less steep but longer routes are good for you, check the other “class 1” route to the top. I haven’t done that route but heard several good comments about the other route. this trail is well marked and no concern starting before dawn, assuming you have a flashlight. My two devices clocked in at 11 miles and 12 miles respectively. When actually on this route, I wouldn’t judge your time left based on miles left, but rather remaining elevation climb. As everyone already said, false summits are no joke and mess with your head.

Hiked this trail on a Thursday. I saw only two people and that was on my return. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the gold leaf aspens on the side of the mountain were beautiful. The lake was great and trail around it is a single track trail that gives you great views of the lake. I thought this was a nice and easy trail. Bring a lunch and eat it on a rock by the lake.

hiking
8 days ago

it's a nice gradual trail, a bit rocky on top. wonderful views when you get there. beautiful fall colors. if I can do it, everyone can. I'll be 73 soon.

A lovely day, weather was great when I hiked this on Sept 10, 2018. Trailhead was easy to find. It was a Monday in September so there were no crowds. Enough other hikers to make you feel safe, but no congestion at all.
There are spots near the top that are quite steep but totally doable and still Class 1. It was really windy at times, so wearing my rain jacket even though it was sunny worked out well.

I would highly recommend this trail! The scenery is amazing and the obstacles aren’t difficult unless you go the 110J which there was a spot I would not attempt with my lifted Tacoma unless I had rock sliders. There are tons of camping spots from large areas for big groups to small single camp sites near the stream.

The first false summit is ok, because you know it’s coming. The third false summit is fine, because you can see the top from there. That second false summit though...
Still, 5 stars, especially now, because all the leaves are changing colors.

hiking
10 days ago

Some steep sections, but by the time it starts to wear on you, you're already at the lake.
Made it up to the lake in about 40 minutes with a handful of quick breaks to catch my breath.
Beautiful views, especially with the fall colors in full swing!
Saw about 8 other groups of people, including some folks camping on the lake.

Overall, wasn't that bad. No big rock scrambles, some steep portions. My group read that this was 15 miles up and down...we recorded somewhere around 11-12. started at the trailhead at 5am, above tree line by 6:30 for the sunrise, summit before 10am. It did have the false summits people talk about, but they're not really false if you're watching your altitude via an app, right? it was windy at times, but nothing more than what you'd expect at 12k+ feet with exposed terrain. Probably wouldn't try this if you can't walk up a few flights of stairs, or get winded walking your dog. Honestly, this was not that bad as long as you know what you're getting in to. highly recommended.

Beautiful Fall Day!

I’m not sure how much I can add that hasn’t already been reviewed...start early, lots of water and snacks, two false peaks, 2nd highest peak in the continental U.S., yada yada. This was an ambitious undertaking for me as it was my first 14er. I’m a southern boy accustomed to living life at less than 2000 ft above sea level. I came out a day early for a warm-up hike to acclimate to the altitude. The impact from altitude is real; I never experienced altitude sickness but being short of breath and elevated heart rate definitely impacted my hike. Pack appropriately...I did this hike in August and wish I had packed gloves and a winter beanie as it was upper 40’s above the tree line with 40 MPH winds. The first false summit is the toughest, so don’t be discouraged. Once you make the first false summit, you’ve knocked out the hardest part. This hike is brutal at times, but pace yourself nice and slow, take breaks as needed, and soak in this amazing gift from God. Be prepared for an emotional tsunami when you do summit. Take a few moments at the summit to enjoy your accomplishment.

My first 14’er! Albeit an easier 14’er, this hike was hard.... bring lots of water, and do not let the false summits fool you! Honestly, even coming back down was a challenge - what is steep walking up is also steep going down. Got to the trailhead at 5:30-5:45AM and summited about 10:30AM; there were about 30 people at the top. The views are absolutely stunning and ~2/3rds of the hike is completely exposed.

Amazing 14er!! Beautiful forest trail on the way up (it had me sweating that’s for sure), and gorgeous views once you’re past the timber line! I started pretty late, but I made it up in 2:46min and finished it in a little more than 5 hours! Highly recommended!

Great first fourteener. The trail up the first false summit was quite steep, but amazing views even halfway up the trail and the odd Pika here and there. Be sure to start as early as you can though, for the sake of both the weather and the crowd. We went on Saturday of Labor day weekend and it was *packed* - parking was hard to find.

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Starts off flat, with very steep last 0.5 miles or so to get to the lake. The end was a bit too difficult for my parents, who are not experienced hikers/do not live at altitude. Rocky footing on the trail throughout that can be slick when wet. Your shoes will definitely get wet if you plan on walking around the lake.

Amazing hike. We did this hike the 3rd week in July and the wildflowers were gorgeous. I’m a little over weight but active. This hike was difficult but doable. The altitude during the last 1/3 of the hike made it slow going. The view from the summit is worth all the huffing and puffing though. It’s a huge challenge mentally and physically but there were so many people cheering you on and just a camaraderie overall. I carried 3L of water and drank almost all of it. We got to the trail head around 530 am and back around 2pm. My first 14er and it won’t be the last.

Great hike with magnificent views
NO problems with altitude but it is a strenuous hike especially in the hot sun on a clear day.
Up and down in 7hrs 35 mins.

Fun hike. Smooth, great country.

flat for 1.5 miles then really steep for .5
we backpacked mon- tue and saw about 10 groups going up the trail and 10 going back but only 3 sleep overnight. the lake is so big that I did not see that many people up at the lake

bring big repellant but they are not that bad.

it is beautiful

Fun hike through the beautiful fragrant forest of pines. Trail is a somewhat rocky ( not scree) and has a nice but steady incline to the lake. Few stream crossings but we were able to cross without getting our feet wet. The trail around the lake gives several different viewpoints.

Some steep sections but well worth it.

It’s a pretty lake and the walk offers nice views.

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