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

hiking
7 days ago

Fairly easy little hike. Mid May very sunny, little shade and a nice breeze. Probably very hot in summer.
We did a loop with Race Track to Dead Bird to Lost. The All Trails map does not show Dead Bird connecting with Lost, but the map at the trailhead shows the connection and trail signage connects the 2.

walking
7 days ago

Flat paved there and back trail. Zero cover so bring water.

19 days ago

Great family trail. My 4 year old did the whole thing. Great views of the Sawatch Mountains and Salida. Steep in parts. I recommend going up Dead bird and Lost down. Lost is much steeper.

Great views of collegiate peaks and the town of Salida. As a hiker, the mountain bike traffic was enough to be pretty distracting. Trail was in great shape and very rewarding overall.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with easy access from Salida. We went up as far as the third bridge today and it was a mix of light snow cover and semi wet. Beyond that snow got a bit heavier and looked like snow shoes would be the way to go. The drive to the trail head is fine. Everyone agreed the hike was beautiful and we'll be back when it opens up further this spring.

What a great trail system, and so accessible from downtown! We connected the Sand Dunes, Backbone, Lil Rattler, and Frontside trails and ended up hiking somewhere around 4 1/2 miles. Lots of mountain bikers out, but they were unfailingly courteous, and our counterclockwise loop must not be the most common route as most of them were heading in the opposite direction. Wish the trails were a bit wider, as they were busy, but the chance to gawk at the views made up for the inconvenience of constantly stepping off trail to let others pass. If you like this one, you'll probably also love the Whipple trail system in Buena Vista.

walking
1 month ago

Walked the CR loop to the top. Easy and relatively flat. Would make for a good run. The little shack at the top feels post-apocalyptic, but it’s a fun little trip up.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

This hike was great! Our snowshoes broke halfway up (crappy rentals), but we were able to hike on the packed down snow until about a quarter mile to the lake. Unfortunately the snow got too deep before we could finish the hike to the lake, but it was still very beautiful!

hiking
5 months ago

nice trail near 14 day camping
party on wayne

hiking
5 months ago

awesome views, lots of animals, had a blast

Very hard to find! And don't count on GPS. I followed another reviews directions and I passed it a few times before finding it. Great uphill hike!! great views, and a beautiful lake at the top. That and the creeks were all frozen over. (12/6)

Is there enough snow on the trail for snowshoeing?

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike today with the kids (7 and 9). We didn't all have necessary gear so we stopped a little over half way to the lake. Just a couple of inches of snow toward the bottom and closer to 6" where we turned around.

hiking
6 months ago

Started hiking where we parked next to the snowmobile place up this dirt road that you definitely need high4x4 clearance to get up some of the first curves and rocky parts and we walked the road in the forest until you get to boss lake trailhead and then it’s not too far to boss lake from there. Crazy windy by boss lake and got pretty snowy going up higher to continue on towards hunt lake. Didn’t end up making it to hunt lake because of deep snow. Great views looking back to the valley and around boss lake.

Beautiful fall hike. Most of the leaves had dropped recently which left a carpet of gold on the trail in some places. Parked at the trailhead..my 4x4 truck made it fine. Hiked to the 3rd bridge. Wanted to keep going but I was limited by time. There wasn’t another sole around except for a few mountain bikers on the road.

Beautiful with creek running alongside the trail at first. Quiet and heavily wooded pathway. It was quite steep and very rocky. The view of the lake was worth the effort.

Beautiful trail with Aspens changing color. If you follow the directions in AllTrails and park off Hwy 50, it is a 3 mile hike to the trailhead. The walk is nice through the forest, but it cut our hike short due to a change in weather shortly after we reached the trailhead. Higher clearance vehicles can be helpful in a few spots along the road off past the dam - plenty of parking at the trailhead.

hiking
7 months ago

Wonderful hike with the fall Aspens in bloom. The trail head is a bit further up the forest service road than the marker indicates. The lake was crystal clear and we were the only ones there.

Nice out and back. Be prepared for changing weather.

hiking
8 months ago

This is a nice, short hike. Only about 2 miles 1 way, straight up. Very lush with a nice creek towards the bottom and the beautiful lake up top.

fishing
9 months ago

it was awesome. We climbed with our kids, 9 and 7, out of shape Xbox boys.
The forest road leading to the trailhead is rough. We drove a Grand Cherokee 4x4 with suspension I can lift 11 inches and I had to put it in low 4x4 in many places. the road is not too steep but there are many big rocks you need to clear and two sharp switchback. overall 4x4 required but not too difficult if you have one.

thr trail itself is great. well marked and cleared. steep climb at the beginning, then eases up before boss lake. boss lake is beautiful and it was well worth it. it is actually a dam... how did they build it I cannot imagine. very cool. bring a fishing rod, I saw many fish jumping in August.

we continued the climb to Hunt lake l. easy at first and a bit harder later but not bad. We made it half way to the lake but turned around at 3pm out of concerns of having to drive down the road in the dark.

it took us 3 hours to climb and 1.5 hours to desend with the kids. deduct 60 min if you are in good shape.

we started the hike at noon. start earlier and you will make it.

hiking
9 months ago

Had trouble finding the trail head so I thought I would share knowledge. In short, there is no sign for trailhead, but I was able to find it with the below directions:
From the east take U.S. Highway 50 out of Poncha Springs and pass through the small areas of Maysville and Garfield. After passing through Garfield you will pass quite an extensive abandoned mining area on the left. After passing the mining area the Waterdog Lakes signed trailhead will be on the right within a short distance with roadside gravel parking on the left between mile markers 202 and 203. If you reach the Monarch Park campground road you have gone to far.

Thought this might help the next person. BTW, beginning of trail is super steep.

hiking
9 months ago

Great short hike. Only made it to boss lake before turning back. Parked near snowmobile shop and hiked up trail to boss lake trailhead then to boss lake. Round trip was a little over 2 hours for an out of shape person like myself. Great views along the way! You can definitely drive up to boss lake trailhead and skip first chunk of hike if you have a 4x4 vehicle and are careful of medium sized rocks driving up there.

Didn't do but a couple miles and then back. Just checking out on my last day in the area. Will be back for more.

hiking
9 months ago

This is a steep, rocky out-and-back route through a fragrant fir forest. The lower lake is nice, but the upper lake is even better, so head on up after you catch your breath. The trail from the lower lake to the upper one crosses a boulder field. We had to riff that section but the trail was easy to pick up after we got to the top. The trail head sign is not visible from the highway.

hiking
9 months ago

Trail starts off with a beautiful stream, you hit a nice elevation gain about 1/2 way in and are rewarded with a very pretty lake. Fairly strenuous for a short hike due to 1,100' gain in elevation.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful little trail. Trailhead is a bit tricky to locate but not all that hard. My 58 year old wife, our Brittany dog, and I made this hike with some difficulty. We are Texans on a hiking vacation and are not well acclimated to the altitude. If you are visiting and thinking about this one I would recommend it. The lake is postcard perfect.

hiking
10 months ago

easy little trail to do. hard to find trail head for first timer. beautiful views. short and sweet trail close to Salida.

Wonderful trail to hike. Lots of water and shade along the trail for your pooch too!

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful trail on the easier side of moderate. We parked near the dam because we weren't sure there was room at the trailhead for our long truck. Turns out there was plenty of room - stock SUVs and trucks should have no problem going all the way to the trailhead. Very pretty trail through aspens and pine forest, much of it following the creek.

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