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

Definitely for experienced hikers who are not afraid of some risk and hard work. Took an hour twenty down moving quickly and two hours up with a lot of breaks in the heat of the afternoon. Definitely worth the trip. trail was discernible and traceable on the way up, just pay attention going down and once you get down, the ranger intends to be overly cautious. Be sure to get a wilderness permit I was checked as soon as I got on the trail (free). Be prepared and enjoy a gorgeous hike

Nice easy hike with the kids to the best view on the south rim!

Great views of the Gunnison river, and not totally exposed. The Oaks give some much needed shade. Awesome perspective of the canyon wall.

This trail was beautiful and very fun and easy for the kiddos. Lots of interesting facts alongside the trail

hiking
18 days ago

Nice hike from the visitor center partially down into the canyon under the cover of trees. Just be careful, a tree branch grabbed ahold of my sunglasses from the top of my head and I had to make my way down the steep canyon to get them. Some decent views of the canyon floor from a few points. Not many people on the trail.

Easy hike, following the trail guide out to the end. Nice views of the surrounding area. Last trail at the end of the road, small parking lot but parking wasn't too bad.

Quick walk out to the edge with some great views. Nobody on the trail.

Another great hike in the park!

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful views from this trail.

Much easier up than down!

hiking
30 days ago

I began this hike early and saw/met no other hikers on it. It is easy to follow, but does have some good steep spots. It has good overlooks of the canyon, too!

hiking
1 month ago

Very adventuresome! I enjoyed the challenge it presented!

My friend and I did this very short hike last Sunday (6/3) after having spent the previous two days hiking down near Telluride. We hiked around 22 miles on our two day adventure, so the 1.5 mile round trip trek was a bit more strenuous for us than for some of the others who were just beginning their journey.

It was a little overcast when we started our hike around 10 am, but the sun came out in full force once we reached the viewpoint, and it illuminated the canyon in spectacular fashion. Definitely one of the more panoramic views among the 12 stops along the "Scenic Drive", but the "Painted Wall" still may have been my favorite amongst the options.

I would love to return to this National Park when I have some more time to explore the canyon and hike around. Definitely worth while for hikers of all ages and fitness levels!

Like this place better then mt Garfield

hiking
1 month ago

What a hike! My husband and I did this hike in late May. It was perfect weather for hiking. The ranger who issued our wilderness permit made the route sound much more difficult than it really was. Most of the hike was through loose talus and scree and made for some unsure footing at times. The view at the bottom makes the hike worth it. We loved the 80 foot chain. Fun dayhike!

hiking
2 months ago

great dayhike; definitely sketchy footing in some areas with plenty of scree and talus fields. combined with the poor footing, the grade is steep enough to provide good entertainment even for fit people.

hiking
2 months ago

Best approach is to take the right fork if you are coming from the visitor center and come up from the western side of the trail.

Some nice views of the canyon from the trail but they are easy to replicate from Rock Rim Road if you are not up for the hike. But this hike is a good hike if you want to explore below the rim without committing to a full descent into the canyon.

My husband said it was one of his favorite hikes ever. The route down was difficult because it was pretty steep. Also, we had to stop a few times to turn around and video record directions for the correct route to take back up. There is no real trail and there appeared to be many different possible “paths” to take you back up. Having the videos to refer to helped a lot on the way back because even though we thought we had the route memorized, everything looks so similar that we did question some possible paths. But the view at the bottom is spectacular. We brought a nice lunch to enjoy at the bottom. The climb up was painful. We did this hike early spring and though we’re young (25 years old) we hadn’t worked out all winter but made it up just fine.

Beautiful views for a nice short hike. One of the best views on the south rim!

hiking
3 months ago

“Hiked” this in late March while there was still snow on the ground. The route was very icy until about 2/3rd of the way to the river. The rest was scree field. Very steep, dangerous hike but absolutely worth the challenge. With ice on the ground, it took much longer to complete (5+ hours round trip). Could not have completed the hike without crampons. An ice axe was also an invaluable tool for most of the hike. Easily the most treacherous hike I’ve ever done.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy. and quick hike. Great views!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice small hike. Nice views.

Beautiful views!! Went in March and it was very snowy. But if you stop at the visitor center you can rent yaktrax for free. They helped immensely! The trail does have a few steep inclines that posed a fun challenge with the snow - again have some sort of boot/shoe grip if in winter months. Couldn’t stop smiling during my hike. I will be coming back for sure.

Beautiful sunset lights up the West Elk Mountains pink. Then I saw a huge full moon rise up from behind the peaks. Stunning. Definitely recommended for sunset!

Intense and steep hike, would not recommend when snow is present due to slipping risks. Beautiful views of the Gunnison river at the bottom, followed by a challenging climb back up. Trail is unmarked for the most part (a few cairns here or there), so take note of your route back when descending. Took about 3.5 hours in snow round trip, but definitely worth it - do a trip on the Rim Drive after, and look down to really put the feat in perspective!

hiking
8 months ago

This was probably one of the hardest hike I've ever attempted (simply because of the elevation - about 8000ft at the top, and I'm not acclimatized yet), and while the views at the bottom were nice, I would say that the "reward" wasn't worth the intense effort. Maybe if it was during the summer, and you spent more time at the bottom in the water, etc...
I was able to get from the South Rim Visitor Center down to the bottom in 35 minutes, and it took me 50mins to get back up, but I was by myself and was going quickly. Shaded by trees most of the way down, so there weren't too many occasions to enjoy the view.

Trail in good condition. Starts at visitor center. This a loop trail. The right hand entrance at the star of trail is a steeper descent than the left side which uses switchbacks to go down. Trail slippery when wet.

Another short and easy overlook trail. This spot also has a very nice view of the Painted Wall. And of the several lookouts that I visited, this one had the best unobstructed view of the Gunnison River running through the canyon far below.

hiking
8 months ago

Loved it! The feat of reaching the river and looking up is worth any questioning or fear on the way down. Just remember which route you took down as there is no trail per se or markers.

Nice short hike.

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