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

While the views are great, this is a difficult hike with tons of downed trees and an elevation gain of approx 2,000 ft. Not the hike described. There are 4 peaks and total distance is 4.4.

Excellent hike, but probably should not have done this on day 1 after coming from flat, low altitude Indiana! highly recommended as it has everything I was looking for: beauty and variety with the end point above the tree line and a view of multiple alpine lakes.

DURATION: Beautiful hike all around, took about 3.5 hours solo. Would recommend allowing 5-6 hrs for groups.

INCLINE: Steady gradual uphill with periods of flat hiking grounds. Take it easy on the last 1/2 mile (steep incline and elevation change), where it then flattens out again to a beautiful lake. Also, remember where the trail is to get back from the lake - this can be a little challenging once you've started walking around the lake shores.

RECOMMENDATIONS: water, snack, trek poles (especially for any beginner hikers), light raincoat/jacket, and bugspray. If you slow down or take a break, the mosquitoes swarm you but it is important to pace yourself and take small breaks on this hike!

OVERALL: Eating lunch / snacks by the lake is picture perfect. VERY WELL MAINTAINED PATH. =)

DIFFICULTY: Moderate to Difficult (last 1/2 mile)

Beautiful hike along a creek with a picturesque lake at the end! Well-maintained and moderately trafficked.

The wildflowers were in full bloom which made it even more enjoyable.

Beautiful lake at the end of the trail. great hike for any skill level.

Difficult trail at the last stretch before Devil’s Thumb. Took me about 4-4.5 hours. I stopped a lot for my dog to get water, but there were lots of streams, too. Easy to cross. Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valley. I went 2 days ago so the wildfires had it pretty Smokey (I could smell smoke!) but it was safe. I wouldn’t say this was lightly trafficked - quite a few people on the trail.

Beautiful hike! We did this as the first day of a wedding weekend. I have moderate asthma and while I did need a few breaks the hike was a small challenge but doable for me. Very cold wind when you get up to the top but lots of beautiful views.

Did this last week and its great!

Great views. The last half mile is pretty steep combined with high altitude makes it pretty slow going. My son and i (from ohio) took about 2 hours up and 1:45 down. Watch for rocks on the trail, they are not ankle friendly. Overall a great afternoon with a great prize at the end.
Dont stop at the rock pile at the end, another 75 feet up the trail will get you a great view...
Enjoy

Wonderful hike. I try to do it once a year. Summer conditions aside from a few snow patches that are totally passable. Still wet and muddy, but nothing hiking boots can't handle. Do beware that the road up is rough - saw several sedans turn back on my way down, so 4x4 is the best way to go!

Hiked this last weekend, which is 12.6 miles round trip from the closed gates. Still a good amount of snow in the trees which means post holeing here and there. I took my fishing pole, but the lake was 80% still frozen.

hiking
1 month ago

Only complaint i have was finding the trail head. If you want to summit snow mountain read this. You will first sadly need a YMCA pass or pay the 20 dollar day pass since a staff member made me turn around .3 miles up the trail since i didnt have a wristband. Turn onto. CR 53 to enter snow mountain ranch. Follow the signs to the bike shop and programs building. Im pretty sure its the first stop sign to the right if i remember. They will give you a map with instructions to the trailhead there but ill tell you anyway. Head south on cr 53 from the building and turn right on meadow ln. then make a left onto blue ridge road. The road curves south soon after that and then follow the signs south east to the reservoir. Park south of the reservoir by all the canoes and there is the trailhead. They tell you there are 3 peaks but i kept hiking up the ridge anyway and found out there are actually 5 peaks. I found the 5th peak sign and everything. Overall it was a great and easy hike before work and i recommend it. I didnt realize that there was a fee to be there so thats why its a lower review.

Final 2.5 miles of road to Junko trailhead is closed until June 15 so we hiked from Redneck Village. You don’t need a permit to camp at the lake until June 15th either. The trail is excellent but there is still significant snow for the last mile. Some trail finding due to snow and your feet will be soaked without gaiters.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike on a beautiful Saturday! Took about two hours to get to the top of the pass with an active pace and minimal stoppage time. There were numerous snow field crossings along the way, nothing longer than a few hundred feet usually. Most of the crossings have a tamped down path you can follow to avoid post holing, although this still happened to me at a few points on the way down. I brought microspikes but only used them once as it was more effort put them on and take them off than it was to walk across the snow without them. I would recommend boots though as the trail became really muddy in parts as the day warmed up. Also there are several stream/water crossing. Nothing serious at all and all passable, but much easier to cross when you aren't concerned with getting your foot wear wet. I had shorts and gaitors with a quarterzip midlayer and was a great temp. Very glad I had the gaitors too for when i did post hole/kick up water. It was quite windy at the top of the pass (I was reading a steady 15-20MPH), and I was glad to have another layer then. There are also a few rock windblocks built along the ridge which can shield you from the wind. Also remember sunscreen, much of this hike is exposed, with the last mile or so being at or past the treeline. Anything I forgot to apply sunscreen to got burned pretty badly. Way down took me about two hours as I took my time and stopped places I passed by on the way up because I wanted to get up. Could probably make it down in 1.5 hrs or less if you wanted. Road was fine and both the Arapahoe Lake and Caribou lake trail seemed passable albeit exposed. Gorgeous hike!

Great hike. Decent amount of snow on upper section. 6-1-18 amazing views the whole hike and especially at the top.

Was so excited to do this trail, but the road to the trailhead is NOT open until June. However you can hike up to it - but it's 5 miles!
Also if you plan on going around this area take a 4 wheel drive vehicle with a higher suspension!
I am so so excited to do this trail later on in the year since I've heard so many good things about it!
Cheers!

End of May - after 1.8 miles was too snowy to pass without snowshoes. Nice easy hike to a good view at that point though. Several downed trees still.

Trail closed until June 15th

It was amazing to ski

Definitely moderate to hard, getting out to the meadow and up to the top in the last 2 miles was one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen.

hiking
9 months ago

I've done this in summer (July) and mud season (Oct). Much prettier in summer, although in fall/Sept all the aspens would make it beautiful. Fairly easy for a big payout in spectacular high mountain lake. Right now is VERY icy

really great hike! it’s perfect for a hike to almost prepare you for a CO 14er.

seriously beautiful trail. went up the 1st October with 6in to 1ft snow so dress warm and get out the take tracks.

Great hike amazing views! For a bunch of flatlanders we did pretty good. Made it to the lake just before the cold front came in. Took us about 4hrs there and back with lots of little breaks. Would definitely do it again on a day with less chance of rain or snow.

Beautiful views and easy trail to navigate. Definitely recommend bringing layers as well!

not crowded, amazing views.

Off Junco trailhead. On 11 miles of gravel road, not too rough. First few miles are a constant gentle uphill climb, not too strenuous but gets the blood pumping. Through the woods and past many meadows. There were still some flowers as well as some of the leaves starting to turn for fall.
Once you gently switchback up from
A meadow to the woods the trail splits, well marked path and easy to follow to the right. Continues in woods for awhile then starts to steeply switchback up. There is a 1/2 mile section that is hard and steep, but doable and worth it. Then it eases up and you come out onto he rocks and work your way to the lake.
The lake of course is gorgeous. Clear, surrounded by peaks. A dream. We saw a group of some kids and guides and then roughly 8-10 people otherwise all on the way down but one other couple out early. Started early, took 3.5 hours roughly of hiking plus plenty of stops to enjoy. Altitude only issue during the steep part it was harder to breathe, otherwise it was fine (flatlander).

hiking
10 months ago

Loved it, made it to 11,525(switched over to the glacier trail at the end), bring some layers.

hiking
10 months ago

This trail was great. I would recommend a vehicle with a high ground clearance as the camp road to the trailhead parking lot is a bit rough. I made it without incident in a Mazda 3 but moving very slowly. I trekked up to Lake Dorothy starting at this trailhead. Once you get to the fork in the trail where left is Caribou Pass and right is Columbine Lake, that's where the real climb begins. I would definitely consider this to be a very lightly trafficked trail. I was joined by only two other people on the way up. And one of those was a National Forest Ranger. I started out at around 8:00am. There were an unbelievable amount of birds around once the Sun was fully in the sky. When you reach the top and are overlooking Caribou Lake I would recommend continuing on and to the right around to Lake Dorothy. The trail is a little sketchy from there on but not impassable on a good clear day. Which it was when I had done this and the views were outstanding! Also when I went this time of year, in early September, there were a lot of hunters in the woods. Not a big deal, as long as gunfire doesn't bother you. Lots of amazing camping available, just need to purchase a backcountry pass at the Ranger station for $5 and I'm pretty sure that covers your parking as well. Not too bad IMO.

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