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
15 days ago

Nice hike even though I didn't make it to the top. I started too late in the day and didn't feel comfortable hiking back in the dark. The trailhead is tough to find from the highway. The 2.3 miles from Monarch Lodge is accurate though and there is a sign for Monarch Sled Dog Rides right at the upper end of the parking area. The trail starts at the downhill end of the parking area.
It is a steep trail for a mid-westerner like myself but a good challenge.

hiking
24 days ago

Pretty views but this trail is trashed there is camping sites along the trail and I saw beer cans, food wrappers, even a tampon! I wish people would respect our Colorado wilderness! Fun little hike not much shade very hot even in late September.

Great trail for walking, or taking the kids out, but there are a lot of stops for bikers. Scenery is very nice When you get through town.

hiking
1 month ago

There's a trailhead sign, but it's difficult to see from the HWY as it's behind some trees/branches. The easiest way to find the trailhead is just to look at where the lake's outlet stream crosses the HWY on a map (let google maps guide you, but best to download an offline map before hand). Plenty of parking across the street in dirt turn offs.

The way up isn't bad, the steeper parts are often followed by moderate sections and I didn't have to stop too many times to catch my breath. The trail is fairly rocky, so you'll have to keep your eyes on the road. Nice tree cover the whole way. Made it the upper lake in about 70 minutes and back down in about 45 minutes.

The trail to the upper lake isn't obvious; I just headed to the opposite side of the first lake and hiked straight up the hill behind the dispersed site on the other side. Once you get to the top of that hill you have to cross a boulder field. You can avoid jumping boulders by finding your way a bit the left of where you came up the hill and then follow the faint path across the field where you don't have to do any "jumping".

The shores of the upper lake are pretty rocky and tree covered, so don't expect a nice beach up there. However the views are stunning, especially with the fall colors in full swing right now.

I'm giving 4 stars because the way to the upper lake isn't obvious and also I saw so many people up there. I prefer something a bit more secluded.

I only gave four stars due to the difficulty finding the trailhead and the trail to the second lake. ***Another reviewer posted directions which were very helpful. The trailhead is directly across from the lower parking area. (I’m posting a pic with an arrow.) Highway 50 is very busy, so be sure to have a good hold on your pups/kids and look both ways before crossing!
Otherwise — wow! What a beautiful trail. It is very rocky and steep, but my three 12-year-old pups did fine. If you have knee issues I definitely suggest trekking poles. There are several stream crossings where they can get water, and of course the lake where they can swim. We encountered no mosquitos at the first lake, but didn’t get to the second due to a storm coming in. We went on Sunday and only saw three other groups/individuals.

great quick beautiful rewarding hike.

The hike was beautiful. There is parking on the opposite side of the road to the trailhead. Google maps said to turn right but there was no road. we went up with kids aged 6 and under. The hike said it was 3 miles but my Fit Bit said 5 miles. Good to know with kiddos. The lake was pretty and worth the hike.

mountain biking
1 month ago

I typically go down Racetrack and then climb the road back up. It is an easy xc style descent but you can hit a little over 30mph. This is my seven year olds favorite trail but a bit dumbed down for me.

mountain biking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite riding areas in the country. My favorite is Beasway to Rumba Ridge to Cottonwood to a small hike up uncle nasty with a shredding downhill on prospector. That is by far one of the best most technical rides that I have done.

Pretty easy hike with beautiful scenery. Great to get the day started. Very light foot traffic!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike and a beautiful view once you get to the top!

backpacking
2 months ago

Backpacked from Hancock Lake trailhead to Boss Lake trailhead. Hancock lake is a beautiful alpine lake! The pass up behind the lake is very steep, but not incredibly long. Amazing views from the top! It marks the halfway point for the Colorado Trail Collegiate West, and boy is it pretty!

off road driving
2 months ago

Fairly short drive from the old hancock townsite. Can get a little rough with bigger rocks and certain points. We did this in a stock 4runner trail with Dunlop grandtrek highway tires aired down to 25psi.

mountain biking
2 months ago

The rating system on this app is so insanely off it is ridiculous. This trail is rated the intermediate. When you get there it is a black diamond or double black diamond Trail depending on the direction you choose. We averaged about 6 miles an hour for the total loop. I typically can average around 14 on our normal single track at home. Very treacherous trail! Absolutely would recommend full
suspension! Do not go to this trail if you are not a very technical rider.

mountain biking
2 months ago

MTB review- this is hard. Definitely mod-hard with tough climbs and super sketchy descents! Fun but not for the average rider. Cool views overlooking the city.

Definitely a moderate trail. Long hike up, but worth it. No cell phone signal on verizon contrary to previous reports. The trail head is across the street , took a minute for us to find. Great hike!

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked 4 miles on this beautiful trail - good surface, not technical, and not too steep for the first 2 miles. Follows a creek, so there was water for the dogs. Lots of shade. I went early on a Saturday morning and by 10:00, there were several other people on the trail and groups of mountain bikers.

2 months ago

Attempted today. I'm forever recovering from breaking my leg. The 4wd road to the Boss Lake trailhead (there is no signage for Hunt Lake) was fine to just walk on. It was very lush. Lots of wild flowers and sounds of water. As others have said this road is uphill and very rocky.... so my foot was getting a workout. I made it to the trailhead GO LEFT. Right is road 230. I love those tree made bridges! I started on the true trail. Lush. Flowers. Water. Mosquitoes. So I turned around. I'll bring spray the next time, which will give my leg more healing time.

hiking
2 months ago

This was an easy hike and very well marked, taking me about 3 hours, 20 minutes. It's easy to access from the main road in Salida.

off road driving
2 months ago

Trail closed to motor vehicles so no star would be better

hiking
3 months ago

Reviews are serious about the mosquitos at the upper lake! If you don't have bug spray, you'll hate it up there. Walk around a little & explore, you get better views of the mountains around the lake.
Not too crowded on a Sunday afternoon.

Great hike. Difficult to locate trail to second lake.

horseback riding
3 months ago

This was a great trail to ride horses and dogs, lots of water to play in. A little busy with mountain bikes going super fast but everyone was very good about stopping for our horses. The dirt road is tough and narrow to get to trail head, but there is plenty of places to turn a horse trailer around once there.

I loved the views by the lake. It is very peaceful!

fishing
3 months ago

Pretty steep climb the whole way up but worth it once you make it to the lake. Caught 3 trout in just about 20 minutes of fishing. Surprising feature - had cell service the whole time.

Backpacker and stayed two nights. So secluded and quiet! Somewhat strenuous, but nothing too crazy. Can't wait to come back!

Bring lots of water

Consistently uphill to the lake so it’s a great workout with a beautiful lake 1.5 miles up.

hiking
4 months ago

GPS watch showed about 12 miles out and back from the trailhead. Loved the patches of snow towards the top of the trail! The shade and the beautiful views made it a great hike. It took us 6.5 hours to complete.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! Was challenging enough but not too much. Beautiful view at the top with two lakes. Pretty quiet trail, I went on a Monday though.

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