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North Fork Trail - Cottonwood Lake Group Campground

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Trail is rated moderate due to its length. The road to the North Fork trailhead can be rough (potholes). Plan on taking the drive slow. The trailhead is located at the back of Cottonwood Lake Campground’s westernmost spur. There is parking at the trail head for vehicles and trailers. Once you reach the trail there are two separate forks (one for hikers and the other for off-road vehicles). This trail is great for viewing wildlife and forested mountains. Activities to take advantage of nearby include horseback riding, kayaking, fly fishing, ORV, and canoeing.

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Valley View Trail Loop

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A trail for all ages. The hike includes a combination of trails that make a loop. Navigation signs are on the trail and there are several viewpoints with benches. Views include beautiful mountain scenery, wildflowers, and views of the valley. Great place for running, hiking, and birdwatching.

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Mount Wagner Trail

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A trail for experienced hikers and not recommended for children. Trail is rocky and steep, with areas of loose rock. Trail reaches the summit of Mount Wagner. Views include a refreshing lake and beautiful mountains. Best to hike from May until end of October. Great place for swimming, horseback riding, and backpacking. Bears and Moose have been spotted by this trail.

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South Fork Indian Creek Trail

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This hike is rated moderately difficult due to its length. The trail itself is easy to walk on. The trail goes through forested mountains. Views include Indian Creek and a beautiful lake basin area. It is recommended to hike this trail in April through October. Trail is great for ATV’s and biking. Activities to take advantage of nearby include swimming, camping, and backpacking.

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North Fork Strawberry Creek Trail

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Trial is moderately difficult and can be rocky in areas. The trail is known for its trickling streams, forested mountain ranges, and salted peaks. The path leads to Strawberry Lake and ends at Visser Peak. Best to hike in the summer. Great place for swimming, hiking, and backpacking.

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Slide Lake Trail

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A trail for all ages. The path is unpaved but relatively level. Although maps indicate the trail is 3.5 miles, you can drive on the dirt road closer to Slide Lake. Views include a beautiful meadow, wildlife, and the lake. Note that Slide Lake dries up in late summer. Best time to hike is from May until October. Activities to take advantage of nearby include swimming, nature seeing, and camping.

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Cedar Basin Trail

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Trail is for experienced hikers. Trail surface is unpaved, steep and end is unclear. The path goes through beautiful mountain ranges and has lots of shade. Views include a creek, beautiful mountain basin and forests. Perfect for nature seeing. Hiking the trail between June and October is recommended due to snow. Note, bears and mountain lions have been spotted on this trail.

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Bailey Lake Trail

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A Hike for all ages. The trail surface is unpaved but not steep. The path gradually descends to Bailey lake. Views include beautiful forests and mountain ranges as well as a trickling creek. Be prepared for muddy patches on the trail. Recommended to hike from June until October. Things to do nearby include horseback riding, fishing, swimming and nature seeing.

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Star Landmark Trail

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Hike is not recommended for young children. The trail is short and very steep, with areas of loose rock. The path splits in several areas and my be confusing to follow. At the end hikers will find Afton's Star Landmark. Views include a beautiful viewpoint of Afton as well as wildflowers along the trail. Best time to hike is between May and October. Activities to take advantage nearby include sightseeing, and camping.

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Alpine North Loop

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Trail is for experienced hikers and not recommended for children. The trail surface is unpaved, steep at times and has areas with loose rocks. It is recommended (even though this trail is considered a loop) to turn around when the trails becomes undefined and difficult to navigate. There are various viewpoints where you can look out onto the lake. Views include beautiful forests and mountain ranges. Best time to hike this trail is from May until October. Nearby attractions include camping at Alpine North Loop Campground, as well as boating/swimming at Palisades Reservoir.

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Swift Creek Trail

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Trail is rated moderate. Take careful when bringing children. There are steep slopes near the sides of the canyon and areas with loose rocks. Trail takes you alongside Swift Creek through forest mountain ranges. The main trail splits into two breakoff trails. One leads to Rock Lake Peak and the other to waterfalls from Swift Creek Lake. This is a great trail for birdwatching, fishing, backpacking, and camping.

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Periodic Spring

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A hike for all ages. The trail is moderately level until you reach the springs. There are two bridge crossings along the trail. In early Spring, water sometimes overflows onto the trail. Late Summer through winter the springs release water intermittently every 12 to 18 minutes. Views include beautiful cliffs, pines, and trickling waterfalls. December 1st to April 30th the trail is closed. There are picnic tables along the trail and various pools to get wet in.

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Crystal Lake

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A hike for all ages. The trail head is slightly hidden by a patch of trees and descends steeply off the side of the main road. The trail is short (less than a mile) and involves one narrow bridge crossing. The start of the hike goes through some beautiful trees and across a stream. The rest of the path has little shade. Crystal Lake itself is a clear spring that is fed by multiple small waterfalls that gush out of the side of the mountain. Recommended to hike from June until October. If the weather is good you could swim, but the water is pretty cold.

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Cottonwood Lake

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A hike for all ages. The trail starts on the north side of Cottonwood Lake and then moves southeast along the east side of the lake. The trail is unpaved but very flat, easy for kids. Visitors can enjoy beautiful views of Cottonwood Lake's clear, cold waters. While the lake is quite remote, car traffic to and from the lake can be fairly heavy in peak summer months. The road to drive can be quite bumpy.

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