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.

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
15 days 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
18 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

Great trail- the directions below re trailhead location are very accurate. The map feature on all trails will take you right to the parking area.

There are two dispersed camping sites that I saw at the upper lake, which would have a nice view from a tent! As well as several at the lower lake. If you start walking around the upper lake to the left they are there. We camped overnight and with bug spray were a ok.

I hiked this a few days ago after snowshoeing it this winter. Great hike with boys ages 6-10. Be sure to go to the second lake!! It is right above the first lake, follow the trail to the left once you get to the lower lake. It isn’t far and it well worth it.

As people have mentioned, the trailhead can be a challenge to find. Coming from Salida/Poncha, watch for the campground sign. Not long after that you’ll see two large parking areas to your left, and a trailhead sign on the right.

The trail is clear with a few small patches of snow.

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful area and not very busy on a Friday afternoon, saw more foot traffic Saturday afternoon.

Waterdog lakes has a few nice camping spots, didn't see any spots around the other lakes. The area has a lot of beetle killed trees.

Most of the trail had tree cover, sunscreen optional.

Two water crossing both were easy to cross. Took pictures and are on my recorded track.

Did the trail in early June, there was still snow around the lake and the trail was clear.

AllTrails does not have a way to communicate with other outdoor enthusiast, I can be reached on Facebook Messenger if you have any questions about this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I, daughter and son-in-law and two grand kids 9 and 14 arrived at the gravel road off hwy 50 at about 2:30 pm. There is private property on the right as you enter so be sure to pull into the road past that and park along the side. There were two other cars there when we arrived. Another gravel road off to the right goes up to the trail head for Boss Lake Res. This is kind of a rough unmaintained road which most people go by foot - 1 mile up to trail head, we did too. We only hiked to Boss Lake. Our elevation gain from where we parked our car was close to 1,100 ft. The trail has some segments of steep climb. Weather was cloudy and in the 50"s quite windy at times. Nice hike, out and back was about 4hrs. June 3, 2018

hiking
1 month ago

I've always enjoyed hikes with a goal at the end, this one fit the bill! Although relatively short, the grade and the rough, rocky terrain underfoot can prove challenging, or at least forces you to pay attention to the trail if you enjoy keeping your ankles intact. We had a wonderful hike, creeks were flowing from runoff, snow angels in May, and a picturesque lakefront picnic, perfect. Will probably hike again and try to make it up to the upper lake, we ran short on time. Oh, and someone had mentioned a lot of mosquitoes, a lot is an understatement. They sounded like a hovering drone there were so many in the trees at the lake. Oddly enough we did not get harassed by them much.

I hike these trails quite often, and they’re great. Some days there can be quite a few people on the trails, so you have to pay attention. My favorite is the North Backbone trail; the views are gorgeous.

Pretty steep climb to the top, but the lake is beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

I love this hike - and I return to it often - whether I have time to do the whole trail or not. It is moderate - but has consistently great views across the valley to the mountains.

I love this hike. it can also be done as a shuttle hike, leaving one car in town.

Great running and hiking trail. Maintained extremely well. Drive to the trailhead (4x4 just to be safe but not needed) and save the 2 mile road walk from the reservoir for more hiking on the single track.
Deep snow one mile from the top (late May 2018).
It’s gorgeous in the afternoon

hiking
2 months 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
2 months ago

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

2 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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.

hiking
6 months ago

nice trail near 14 day camping
party on wayne

hiking
6 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)

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