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

nice little hike and beautiful falls

I'm giving this a 4 because there is no way this trail is 8 miles long. at the very least, it's 6 miles one way. there are two points where you are losing all of the elevation you've gained, just to have to go and regain it again. bring more water than you think you need.

also, the map posted on all trails is not real. it's not a straight path

I didn't hike the full trail, but it is somewhat shielded from elements, has a beautiful view of the dunes, and was overall very enjoyable

The falls are amazing, heed all advice regarding footwear.
The road up is 3 miles of extremely rough terrain.
I saw all sorts of cars, slow going.

A small hike to see the plants near the Great Sands.

hiking
11 days ago

Did this trail on Aug 5. Took us about 1 hr and 45 min total with young children. There's a bathroom at the TH, and about 18-20 parking spots in the main lot plus a lot more along the road and in another parking lot plus a picnic area with its own parking lot. There are a lot of benches along the way up the trail. It is a "hot" trail with not much real shade, mostly consisting of short trees, shrubs, and cactuses. Nice views of the sand dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mtns including the Crestone Needles. Bring water shoes and a small towel--it was definitely nice to have warm, dry socks and shoes to slip back into after walking in the ICY, numbing water! The water level was about ankle deep in most places. Fun, but our young boys didn't enjoy getting their feet so cold. The falls with the cave were definitely neat!

great little jont to the falls!! walking the falls was great wish i had my rain boots!

A+++

So beautiful!! Could be considered hard for casual hikers, and for avid hikers moderate.

Road is super bad! If u don’t have a GREAT 4WD vehicle, ur gonna have to hike a lot of the road and it is hard. Southwest ridge was awesome!! Def combo w Blanca.

hiking
27 days ago

Definitely worth the BUMPY ride up to the trailhead.

hiking
28 days ago

backpacking
1 month ago

It is very steep and rocky. The hike is hard and the only water source was 1.5 miles from the lake. A great lake and very quiet and beautiful, but HHHHHAAARD if you ware backpacking. At least I know I can backpack now but it was brutal in the sun before the monsoon season.

Hiked Memorial Day Weekend. Absolutely beautiful hike! But please note that the lake is 6 miles ONE WAY, thus making this hike 13 miles if you include the Falls. We started around 9 am, and it took roughly 6 hours to do both and take a lunch break at the lake. Very steep trail, but once you hit the boulder fields it flattens out. Make sure to bring enough water, it gets hot in the afternoons. Lots of people were trying to start the hike (with no layers, visible water or snack supply) when we were finishing without realizing how far it really is.

hiking
1 month ago

This is an awesome short hike with great payoff. A few tips:
-the road up to the trailhead gets a bad rap, but I didn't find it to be too bad. I managed fine in my 2WD Ford Fusion. Just go slowly (5-10 mph max) and choose your line carefully. The road is plenty wide, so you have a lot of options to avoid the larger rocks. There are a few ruts in the road, but we didn't bottom out. Low and slow!
-The hike up to the river isn't difficult, but note that you do have to wade in the river to reach the falls; you can't see them from the trail. Tevas, Chacos, or similar might be better than shoes/boots. My water proof boots were great until I had to wade in water up to my mid-calf!
-If you feel like extending the hike, you could take the turn off to South Zapata Lake. The hike to the lake is long, but there are some old mining cabin ruins about 1 mile above the falls. The sign for this portion of the trail turnoff is misplaced (it must have fallen over), but the well-defined trail is on the right just before you reach the river crossing.

Enjoy!

Suggest a SUV, AWD vehicle for ride up to trailhead. Once there, nice little rocky hike to falls. Wear the appropriate shoes (sandals) to make it into the inner walls of the cave/falls. Sweet little adventure. Highly recommend

hiking
1 month ago

Uphill, rocky hike. Pretty quick trip, took a while to drive up the rocky mountain in our scion tc but we made it. Waded through the ice cold creek to the falls. Definitely wear hiking boots or Teva’s if planning to go all the way to the falls (you can’t see it from dry land)

hiking
1 month ago

Agree with the last poster that the first 2/3rds are very hot with little shade if you park at the base of the mountain. Next time I will rent a jeep and go up further up to the larger tree area. Hiked up and saw multiple shallow lakes all the way to Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point. Beautiful. Little Bear peak is also in the same vicinity, but more technical. Camped out with perfect weather with low pressure system keeping the smoke out. Did not run into bears but saw big horn sheep and the usual suspects (marmots, deer, etc.). Definitely do this trip, but if you can start a bit higher than I did from the base.

hiking
1 month ago

Very easy hike, but the road getting there is extremely rough.

Amazing hike. I bit more challenging than anticipated, especially coming from sea level. Started 7:00am at the campground trailhead. Made it to the lake by 11:20am. Back to campground by 3:00pm. Bring lots of water and sunscreen. The Sun is very strong. Also, thunderstorms started moving in around 1:00pm.

backpacking
1 month ago

A moderately challenging hike with some steep sections. Beautiful views at the lake though!

Amazing views on the way! We started very late about 5 pm and went to the falls first started to trail from the falls around 6 pm and went uphill for about another 2 hrs and turn around at 8 pm. We didn’t finish the trail but my gps told me we went about 3.4 miles so we were about 1.2 mile short of finishing the trial. It’s totally doable and worth it. Amazing views of sunset and the valley

This hike is moderately difficult but STEEP once you're about a third of the way up. These mountains are powerful and the San Luis Valley can create some wild weather, so don't forget to keep your eye to the west once in awhile (the view is worth it!). When we attempted this hike during early June of 2016, there was still plenty of snow remaining on the last third of the trail, causing us to miss part of the trail that went south at a creek crossing; we instead entertained ourselves with a fairly large boulder field and eventually met back up with the trail. You're getting right up underneath some amazing, high peaks once at South Zapata Lake. Love this section of mountain ranges for the magic it still has in it!

Beautiful scenery. We went a bit beyond Lake Como and turned back at Blue lake. Be advised that the "road" leading to the lake can be a bit treacherous due to the loose rocks and gravel. If you are doing this hike in the summer, go early because the first two thirds have very little cover and it is very hot.

Beautiful view of the falls if you’re willing to get cold feet and have a good mosquito repellent.

Went there on june 24th. We came around 830 AM and saw very few people. Can get windy and cold at the lake, but the views are amazing!

Beautiful! Be prepared for a very bumpy/rocky drive up(my Fitbit counted it as steps and stairs.) To actually see the falls you have to walk in the creek- fairly hard to accomplish without stepping in the water. Quick easy hike with a beautiful destination.

Awesome view! Definitely worth the huh ike and drive.

This is a great waterfall but to actually see the falls you have to walk in and out of the creek for about .2 if a mile. Worth it, but you definitely need water shoes or at least water resistant hiking boots. Great views of the Sand Dunes and San Isabel range on the way down. I measured 1.8 miles round trip. The road to the trailhead is fairly rough.

This lake is stunning! It sits just below Blanca Peak which was really neat. Most of the hike is through a forest but towards the end, the trail levels out in a beautiful valley just above treeline. It was cloudy and misty when we went, but the views were still incredible. I kept stopping for photos and to just marvel at how great it was. We started early in the day (on a Sunday in June) and saw very few others on the trail. This trail is somewhat challenging with a consistent uphill grade and a few steep sections, but nothing overly demanding if you are used to hiking//are in good physical shape. And it is easy to follow.

The flowers right now are amazing--so many Columbines, more than I have ever seen on a trail before, and everything else is very green. Highly recommend if you are in the area!

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