Explore the most popular wild flowers 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.

hiking
20 hours ago

Tough hike in general, but easy for 14ers. No hike is easy when with so little oxygen though, so don't underestimate it. The climb is relentless, and due to loose gravel and steep grade you'll want good hiking boots for the way down. Saw several people slip and fall, and 2 out of 3 of us in my group with good hiking boots took spills going downhill as well. Very rewarding for such a short distance. Go on an early weekday to avoid the crowds. And summit before noon to avoid electrical storms!!!

Wonderful hike! We started in the dark at 5:03am, and summited right at 9 am. We were down and in our car just before noon. So, approximately 7 hrs round trip at a slow and steady pace.

Oh, also...
Those false summits are soul crushing by the second one. I knew going into the hike that there were 3-4. I was still disheartened, but ultimately pushed through that mental barrier.

Completed this hike on Sunday the 12th. It was one of the most strenuous hikes I have done but it paid off at the top. Got to the trail head at about 5:15am and the outer ring of the lot was already full. Found a spot off the "road" and was on the trail around 5:30am. The first 1.5-2 miles is a steady incline which isnt too bad. At the 2-2.5 mile mark, the incline sets in. The worst of all is at about 3.5-4.5 miles in which is the steepest part. About 1k feet per mile in gain. I reached the summit around 8:30am after 3 or 4 false summits(great resting points). Incredible views of Twin Lakes, Mt Massive, and the entire Collegiate Peaks range. There were times it was a bit windy but once the sun came up, the win was very refreshing and welcomed.

Start as early as you are comfortable. The lot will get full quick on the weekends so be mindful of parking. Speaking of, I saw a few cars boxed in that could not leave. Not sure if they were part of a group but I had just enough room to get my vehicle out of the area it was in due to double and triple parking. Please do not do this as the last thing you want to do when youre done with this is wait for someone else to complete it and get back to their car.

Camped for free along the road leading up to the trailhead. Got my car to the parking lot at 5:30am and set off at 6. I wore leggings, a long sleeve, trail runners, and a dollar jacket I got from a goodwill. Took a 2L camelback and that was plenty. There are some parts above the tree line that are steep with lots of loose rocks, I took quite a few short breaks. So worth the effort once at the top!! Made it down by 11:00am. I do wish I would have brought gloves with me. Also, don’t carry a bunch of stuff you don’t need. The hike was easier because I carried light.

Amazing and rewarding hike completed 08/12 with the wife. Steep most of the way especially after treeline, about 3 false summits but easy stretch to summit. Great weather.

It’s a nice trail, but it is not easy. Non-athletes will struggle . This is a moderate trail, not easy.

Awesome hike today. I am kind of a rookie in hiking 14er (my 4th). My friend and I started 7:00 and we had a parking spot in the parking area. Hiking through the tree line was fairly moderate. Took a 20 mins at tree line. From tree line to nearly 14000 ft is steep and gravelly. There are couple false summits, however the summit stretch is very easy and rewarding. We summited a little before 11:00am. Enjoyed our top view for 45min. Going down was not easy, but took us shy 2 hour to get back to the trailhead (back in the car a little before 2:00 pm). Total hike 6 hours.
My recommendation:
1. One step at time (from a rookie prospective) and avoid sitting down, but try to slow pace yourself.
2. I recommend ibuprofen before/during hike. I am NOT a doctor nor a nurse but it helps me with altitude sickness. Please consult your doctor.
3. Good hiking shoes will be beneficial going down. It can get windy, so a windbreaker jacket will be great to carry.

Nice work out with obviously great views from the top. Very popular trail, even on weekdays. Tons of great dispersed camping options on the way to the trailhead!

The 2K feet of gain was pretty gradual and easy on this hike. I agree that the better view is before you start descending to the lake than at the lake itself. Fun easy jaunt, took about 3 hours with a 15 min break at the lake!

Fun with great views and solitude on a weekday afternoon. Cool mining cave on the way up, too!

Strenuous hike- especially for those who aren’t used to the altitude, but highly worth it. Amazing views as soon as you leave the tree line. beautiful wildlife and vegetation throughout entire hike. Get an early start and remember that it is just as much mental as it is physical!

I hiked this trail with two friends and our dogs a couple weeks ago. We camped in the surrounding area so we could start early and I'm glad we did. We took many breaks on the way up as the elevation gain and climb in general was pretty tough. This hike was by far the hardest I've ever done but so worth it. I highly recommend poles for the journey down.

Yesterday was a perfect day with no wind at summit. Started in dark at 5:30 and summited at 9:30. Almost entirely uphill and very steep at times. First false summit is hard, but after second you see the summit. Poles highly recommended, and road is quite rugged in spots.

Nice lake but nothing spectacular--consider it an average Colorado hike. We actually did this hike on July 21 from a different TH, which you can get to by taking the FR107 (high-clearance 4WD road) north of Lake County Rd 9. My review is for that TH. By going from that TH, it cut the total distance of the hike in half to about 3 miles RT with about 400 feet elevation gain--this was the perfect distance for our 3-year old. But going this way, you do have to hike uphill on the way back, which is not ideal for young children. The trail goes by the Continental Divide Trail and you hike mostly on the Colorado Trail. We had to climb through a few rock fields and over some boulders to get around to part of the lake, but nothing unmanageable or scary. We saw chipmunks, squirrels, wildflowers, and only a handful of people, most of which came up from the Timberline Lake TH. Mosquitoes were around a little bit throughout the trail and were the worst at the TH. With our leisurely pace and lunch break at the lake, it took us about 3 1/2 hours total. The TH isn't too far from the Leadville Fish Hatchery, so that was a big after-hike hit with our boys.

This was my 2nd 14’er (Bierstadt was the other) and the first for my son and sister who was visiting from sea level. We hit the trailhead at 9:00am on the first Sunday in August. There were quite a few others hiking, but most on their way down.

It took us a bit under 2.5 hours to summit with a number of pauses. The ridge was super windy, but it was quiet at the top with great views of Leadville, Turquoise lake in the distance as well as the surrounding mountains despite the fire haze. Hiking poles helped as there is plenty of loose rock and ankle twisters to hike across on the way up.

There are a lot of cool abandoned mines and mining equipment to look at right near the trailhead. That can make the bumpy drive worth taking even if you don’t complete the full summit.

It sprinkled a little on our hike and was cold near the top so we were happy to be prepared with rain and warmth layers. I saw a number of hikers who weren’t as prepared.

I agree it’s a great first 14er due to the short distance of the hike, but don’t let that fool you, it’s still a climb at altitude and my legs were complaining afterwards!

Started later than I planned (7:30am) and the parking lot was full as already stated. One thing I’d disagree with would be the post-treeline portion was definitely not easier than the forested parts. Started off at 44° with long johns and a Patagonia, after the tree line switched to a dry fit and just pants, coming down at 11:30am switched to shorts and a t shirt. No wind weirdly or rain but lots of pre-noon smoke haze from California. A grueling hike but definitely worth it. Poles all the way if you have them!

Beautiful hike!! Not too hard and goes through several types of terrain.

Has at least half a dozen falls peak till you reach the summit and the view on the other side of the peak is just worth it.

Tips
1. Start early (Started at 3.30am from Denver, reached at 5.50am at parking lot and it was almost full.)
2. Carry lots of fluids (2-3L)
3. Get above the tree line quickly - Action is above treeline
4. Section before the first false summit is the toughest (ascent & descent) - It gets relatively better after that.
5. Be prepared for altitude sickness about ~12,000 ft - carry medication for that if necessary
6. An Advil/Brufen can help (no recommendation here, but it helped me)
7. Keep your backpack weight down (Every ounce counts)
8. Keep an eye out for bad weather (Weather is so unpredictable above the treeline - although, you could get lucky even in the later afternoon and it can be much nicer at times). Layer up. No matter what, its gonna be very windy up there.
9. Maintaining slow and steady progress will be crucial.
10. This is a psychological challenge as much as a physical one.
11. Suggested items: Sunscreen, sunglasses, hiking boots, hiking poles, energy bars

Endurance is the key

hiking
9 days ago

My first 14er

Arrived at 8am on Saturday. Parking lot was full and tons of cars were lined on the street. We had a 4x4 pickup and found a spot driving up on the shoulder. This was only a 5 minute walk to the trailhead.

Started at 8:15 am and the weather was ideal mostly clear and sunny. Most hikers had ascended much earlier so there were few people going up at this time. You start climbing almost immediately so be prepared for very early inclines. Below the tree line offers many areas to relieve yourself in private.

Above the tree line you continue to encounter steep climbs but over 95% of the time you can simply just walk up. Given our late start many hikers were coming down at this time.

Nearing the top you have 3 steep climbs. The first provides a nice staging area to recover before your ascent to the false summit. After the false summit your adrenaline will carry you up to the summit where you can take your obligatory pictures.

Going down is rough on your quads and toes and choosing a correct path without slipping on the gravel can be a challenge. Many hikers were spotted with bloody knees and shins and this was a relatively clear and dry day.

Overall it took us a little less than 7 hours to go up and down. My group has climbed several of the "easy" 14ers and this was the hardest one secondary to the steep climbs. The payoff however is worth it as the views are incredible and you can say you climbed the tallest mountain in Colorado.

10 days ago

Great hike and accessible for most anyone. A perfect intro to 14'ers.

Extremely crowded with people playing music on speakers, hiking with off-leash dogs who weren't very well controlled, etc. I guess that's how it is now... Like a frat party in the mountains.

Started at 5:30 and summited at 7:00am. Slick in spots from fresh ice and snow. Escaped the thick of the crowds by heading over to Sheridan to make this one a little more difficult. Took the long way down from Sheridan to meet up with the Sherman trail, bypassing the crowds. Would be very easy to add Horseshoe and Peerless as well.

hiking
11 days ago

Road up is a little rough but made it fine in my sedan. The trail is simple but a lot of lose rock and gravel. Made it to the top around 1130 ish and had a storm roll in so be careful of the weather. Beautiful views

Lake is gorgeous and refreshing! Easy hike and worth circling the lake.

Started at 5:45 just as it was getting light. Still plenty of parking at that time. It was a little cloudy to begin but as we hit the treeline you could look down on the clouds, it was an awesome view. The trail was steep from the beginning. Your gaining a lot of altitude in a short distance. I thought it was going to be a walk in the park but it turned out to be one of the most strenuous climbs I've done. It doesn't look that steep from below or on the map and is rated class 1. Just below the false summit I made a wrong turn and got into some class 2 or 3 climbing and had to descend. Be careful to stay on the correct trail there. From there up is the hardest part and you keep thinking you're almost there, but you're not. The wind started howling and it got cloudy as we reached the top of the false summit. Finally made it to the top around 11am. Started to snow a little as we left. It was cold and windy all the way back to the treeline. The walk down was hard on the knees, but this was an awesome adventure.

At the trailhead 5:15am. Summited 8:35am. It gets steep and somewhat rocky on the way to the 1st false summit, much less steep after that. Windy and cold even on a gorgeous summer day, be prepared! Impressive views. Well worth the effort. Not to be taken lightly, but highly achievable.

Great hike with beautiful wildflowers, a good balance of open space and trees, and a decent sized lake at the end of the trail. Only saw about 5 different parties of people on the whole excursion. Started the hike around 9AM and took our time getting to the lake, arrived around 11:30AM. We ate lunch by the lake where there are TONS of mosquitos, but we did have bug spray with us and left almost unscathed. When we hiked up out of the valley where the lake is located we got back to the massive open space where the 14ers surround you from almost all sides. The second we stepped foot in that high meadow we heard rumbles of thunder. Needless to say we knew we had to leave quickly and get to the other side of the trail asap. It was a little scary as the thunder got louder and louder. It rained a bit, but not a heavy amount, on our decent to the parking lot.

Note of caution: Definitely start your hike earlier than you think, especially in summer. We were at the open space before 1PM and we could hear rumbles of thunder. Definitely a hike we'll never forget.

Beautiful lake but mediocre hike in

Wonderful half day hike, with moderate elevation gain. Trail is rocky and loose up to the lake. Would recommend going around the lake for great view!

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