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

backpacking
6 days ago

This is a fantastic trail. The description on the website is incomplete though - the trail goes past Rainbow Lake, past lower and upper slide lakes (6 and 7 miles), and on to Roxy Ann Lake (10 miles). There are several moderately steep segments, especially at the end as you drop down to Roxy Ann lake. Elk Hunters favor Roxy Ann in the fall and will go in on horseback and stay a couple of weeks. Early September is perfect with no bugs, not many people, and hungry fish. Next time I'd like to detour and go to the top of Mt. Ethel - looks like a nice gradual incline to the top.

hiking
8 days ago

Easy climb up to a pretty lake with an island in the middle. Lots of fisherman. Saw multiple moose around the surrounding areas and roads. Can pick up American lakes from this trail too.

My daughters and I packed into the lakes, and saw only a few people. We had no bug issues and had only one other group at the lake. We caught a good number of natives in American Lake, on flies. We saw moose, elk, fox, and bald eagles, all around the lake.
Keep your dogs under control, not everyone loves your dog! Please don't camp right next to the trail, and clean up your trash.
I don't know why we have to even say these things.

hiking
10 days ago

Great little hike with rewarding views!

hiking
11 days ago

The first portion of the trail is a access road, so not very scenic, but once you hit the Clear Lake/Kelly Lake junction it is very stunning. The trail does not get too difficult until the last few miles so you can cruise the first portion pretty fast. The wildflowers and the mountains are really beautiful. *WARNING* they do run cattle through this area so don’t be surprised if you run into a cattle drive in progress. We ran into several groups of cows (including an active drive) on the access road so it did slow us down quite a bit. They easily move out of the way, just slow going as to not spook them. This trail is also heavily used by equestrian groups (as it is near the equestrian camp) so be prepared for groups on horseback. Over all a great trail.

backpacking
12 days ago

My two sons and I had a great 3 day trip. We got back to our truck around 10:30 yesterday morning and saw the two moose in the parking lot that was previously mentioned. Beautiful lakes, good fishing, and quite a few people. Oh, a note to people with their dogs unleashed, I’m fine with it. I love dogs. But, keep them under control, please. When we were casting into the water, a Lab and a Labradoodle came bounding down the hill, into the water where we were fishing. The owners were 100 feet up the hill and trail yelling at the dogs, and didn’t apologize. The dogs were chasing our lures and are lucky they didn’t get snagged. As the dogs continued to frolic in the water, we just decided to move down the shoreline. Confrontation wasn’t worth it.

I am glad I got to the trailhead early, there were 2 Moose in the field right by the parking lot. The flowers were still in full bloom.

Beautiful lake, the trail is in great condition! It was wonderful to see all the families on the trail.

Beware if hiking with a dog!

Ah, this was so disappointing. My husband and I, along with our dog, Breeze, were really excited to do this trail. When we got to the parking lot the directions took us and realized we were still in RMNP, we got nervous. The ranger near the parking lot told us dogs aren’t allowed and recommended we got to the visitor center for alternate route. We only had to go about 1mile from the parking lot to get into the National Forest. The ranger at the visitor center wasn’t sure and said we’ll just have to try to navigate thru the roads. Unfortunately we spent 2hrs in the car trying to find a way to the trailhead that isn’t thru Rocky Mountain. We had to give up after the 2hr mark. It was such a bummer because it was such a waste of time. Maybe add to the description that it’s a dog friendly trail but only if you’re able to access the TH thru the NF only.

backpacking
17 days ago

Gorgeous views, tons of wildflowers, and a very moderate hike in. We also saw several moose during the trip. Not a ton of camping spots, so if you're backpacking you'll want to get up there really on the weekends, or hike in Friday night. The hike up to American Lakes (really only one lake) was borderline easy at only 3ish miles one way, I'm not sure why it is rated as difficult. Nice place to camp, as you can do little jaunts up to Snow Lake, Thunder Pass, and the couple peaks right on the basin (we did Lulu Mtn.), which are also quite moderate. This is a VERY popular spot given the short distance, so expect to see a lot of people, though most are day hikers.

One of my favorite hikes during flower season in early to mid July. It’s never too crowded. Be sure to hike up to Snow Lake too!

hiking
20 days ago

This hike was amazing. We ended up doing it a little different though. A 100k was going on when we arrived so we had to park on the grass and ended up hiking up the gravel road to the Lakes Agnes Trailhead. We hiked to Lake Agnes and then followed Michigan Ditch Trail to connect to the American Lakes Trail. We followed the American Lakes Trail the rest of the way. The lake was SO worth it, and I am still in shock with how beautiful the views and wildflowers were. We got a little rained on, but it wasn't too bad. On the way back down, we were lucky enough to see four moose gazing in the field. I highly recommend this hike!

hiking
24 days ago

dreamy hike! i didnt find it challenging at all, definitely more moderate. it took me 10 miles because i took the wrong trail back and ended up further than i needed to be. i went mid-day, it was cloudy to protect me from the sun but not stormy. pretty windy at the lake which is good for me, no mosquitos! definitely recommend.

also its $7 cash to park at the trailhead entrance, and its on an honor system (cash box). signs say they give citations for no permit, but im not sure how enforced that is.

Awesome Hike. Rainbow lake is beautiful and suggest you bring a lunch to hang out up there for a while. One of my favorite mountain lakes. Starts off tough, but overall not too grueling of a hike. Highly recommend.

Gorgeous views and such a peaceful hike. We left the house at 3:45am and arrived around 630ish and we only saw 1 or two people on the trail. The first few miles are nice and shaded but after a while there was no shade and it got a bit warm. Wear sunscreen and bug spray I had mosquitos biting through my pants. So many pretty wild flowers and for my first time after livingin Colorado I finally got to see moose. We saw 1 on the side of the road up and 4 more in the meadow on the actual trail. Bull moose did not look happy so we moved slowly and kept going away from them but what an adrenaline rush. We made it back down around 10:30 after stopping a few times and it got very crowded by then.

backpacking
27 days ago

Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Wildflowers are everywhere right now, columbines in hues I’ve never seen. We spent the night at the top and there was only one other tent on a Thursday. Snow lake is amazing as well. It’s an outdoor wonderland at the top. I would rate the hike moderate, but is longer than listed roundtrip.

Streams, chest high wildflowers & moose.

Stayed there several times pretty and lots of animals. Strong hike in

backpacking
1 month ago

Moderate trail for the first 2 miles, fairly easy for the last 2 miles (to the far side of the lake). Some good views and picture opportunities. Good fishing. The down side to this lake is there are a ton of mosquitos. Double up on your clothing and/or bring lots of repellent.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful hike! While there are parts of the trail that are harder I'd say it was more moderate than hard. My fitbit recorded the hike at 7.98 miles (from trailhead to lake and back to trailhead) and it generally is less than my GPS records when I hike, so I'm not sure about the all trails site saying it's only 6.8 miles. We were hoping to see moose but only saw one deer the whole time. Lots of beautiful wildflowers, we will definitely do this one again!
Oh, and wear sunscreen, that higher elevation sun is no joke!

backpacking
1 month ago

Just spent 2 nights up here. Gorgeous in every direction. Tons of wildflowers!! Lots of fun exploring around the basin, Snow Lake and Thunder Pass. Lots of traffic coming in when we left Friday. For more solitude do mid week. Didn’t see area mama moose and baby, but did see a herd of elk moving through at dawn.

hiking
1 month ago

AllTrails would not allow me to sign in, said I was too far away from the trailhead? Beautiful and inspiring. Good trail , well maintained and marked. Bring bug spray and sun screen. There is a restroom at the trail head and it is clean. Would absolutely do this one again.

Awesome little trail. Short but steep.

backpacking
1 month ago

Most incredible hike! So beautiful in every direction. I can’t wait to do it again.

hiking
1 month ago

Perfect short trail for beautiful views and wildflowers. Trail features switchbacks, increases steadily to the lake, and is well marked.

beautiful hike

This hike is amazing! Definitely was expecting it to be way harder than it was. Biggest incline is probably from Michigan to Snow Lake, but it’s a super quick scramble and worth it. Snow Lake was still probably 1/4 covered in snow and ice, but trail was clear! Saw no moose, but a lot of people I passed had seen a huge one and a momma and her baby. Sooo beautiful. Great one for backpacking

The park is very lush and wildflowers are blooming everywhere along the trail. ::heart eyes::

This review only pertains to the part of the hike from Thunder Pass to the Lulu Mountain summit. The trail mostly exists, though it disappears and forks in a few spots, but if you can keep on it, the rock is less loose. However, it's pretty clear you need to go up, and there is no sneaky way to get over the steep grade. The ground for most of the hike is a combo of pea-sized rock and embedded larger rock, which is pretty stable. The final ascent scramble is on looser rock between chest and boot-sized. It does get pretty windy, the path area is pretty wide so I didn't feel like I was going to get blown off. Better to summit early in the day. Chilly up there so bring at least a jacket (I had a wool base layer and a rain shell and was comfortable/cool on top).

I ended up touring the entire park area - the Americans, Snow Lake, and all marked trails. Was a really lovely day.

The log on the summit indicated that it is summited by 5-20 people per weekend. The lower trails were much busier.

As a note, I think that the only trials that deserve a "hard" label are Crystal Lake (just past the Americans but a very steep rocky trail and this one. I'd be comfortable doing the other trails in good shoes or tivas, but the summit with the bit of scree and that final scramble, it's safer to have a full boot.

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous wildflowers right now. Snow lake is amazing as it has some ice still remaining.

Cute little trail with moderate incline. There is no snow on the trail. Few switch backs and most of it in the trees. The lake itself was really beautiful. I walked around it which was no easy task but well worth it. Waterfalls, flowers, little streams, it was awesome.

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