- Distance: 3.7 miles roundtrip
- Elevation gain: 900 ft
- Maximum elevation: 7980 ft
- Difficulty: Moderate (steep climb at top)
- Start: Multiple start points on east side of Serene Lakes
- Activities: Hike, mountain bike (part way)
Crows Nest (39°17’49.51″N, 120°20’59.31″W) is the knobby peak just east of Mt Disney. The hike can be started at several locations along Soda Springs road on the east side Serene Lakes. The most direct start is the trail head between Sierra Rd and Dulzura Rd on Soda Springs Rd. The trail you want is one of the marked trails used by Royal Gorge as a ski trail named Claim Jumper. Although the trail is pretty direct, there are many intersecting trails in the area and it is easy to get off trail. It is best to proceed straight along the trail. If you do get off trail just keep heading southeast and you will get back on trail. About a mile up the trail there is an intersection of trails. Bear right on the trail up to Razor Back ridge. This is the turn around point for mountain bikers who can enjoy a fast down hill ride back down or they can turn right and ride along the ridge. The hike continues left along the ridge towards the Crows Nest knob. The trail winds up the steep ridge to the volcanic outcrop that is the Crows Nest. After enjoying the panoramic views of Van Norden Lake and meadow and Lincoln and Judah peaks, retrace your steps back down the ridge. It is possible to lengthen the hike by continuing along the spectacular Razorback ridge to Rowton peak instead of turning right on the return trail (see the Rowton Peak trail). To finish the normal hike return down the ascent trail retracing your steps. If you get off trail just continue to head west until you reach Soda Springs road.