Hike the Upper Piney River Trail

Colorado Upper Piney River Trail

Added by Emily Kent

This is a beautiful hike in the Eagle's Nest Wilderness and offers gorgeous, open-meadow surroundings above Piney Lake and Piney River before the trail enters the aspen groves. It's an easy, scenic trip that is fantastic for all ages, little ones included.

Beginning at an elevation of 9,397 feet, this hike provides an easy 2.8 mile (one way) trip through the gorgeous meadows against the distant aspens and alpines. Wildflowers and wildlife are abundant, which make this trip a fantastic education and play experience for kids.

Coordinates for the trailhead and parking lot are: 39.648401, -106.396320 From the parking lot (just before the entrance to Piney River Ranch), you'll cross the road to the trailhead and follow it east. Stay right at the fork in the trail. At 2.8 miles you'll reach the cascading waterfalls. Beyond here there is no maintained trail, so if you plan to go further, be sure to have a map and compass.

The lower part of the trail is a popular hiking and horseback trail, and can also provide access to Mt. Powell (13,534 ft.) and to the Piney River for fishing. Beyond the falls, fewer people and horses use the trail and the area becomes increasingly remote.

It's a beautiful area for camping which must be set up at least 100 feet from trails, lakes and streams if you plan to overnight. Groups are permitted, but no larger than 15 people. Dogs need to be leashed

As always, remember to leave no trace and ENJOY the fresh mountain air!

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Day pack
  • Dry-wick and rain gear
  • Snacks/Water bottle or pack
  • Compass
  • Waterproof trail map
  • Fishing gear
  • Camera gear
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Fishing, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



5.6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

350 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

9 months ago

Great Views

Hike has a great view through out with a relatively easy climb. Only downside is amount of people.

9 months ago

Added by Emily Kent

A girl with a photo habit who loves nature a whole lot. A Minnesota native in northern California. Other loves of mine are my two little girls, my hubby, camping, hiking, surfing, singing, cycling, swimming and a good hoppy IPA. Instagram @emilyelizabeth.115

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