dogs on leash
off road driving
The Roosevelt National Forest is a national forest located in north central Colorado. It is contiguous with the Colorado State Forest as well as the Arapaho National Forest. The forest is administered jointly with the Arapaho National Forest and the Pawnee National Grassland from offices in Fort Collins.
Just finished this today. There are a few mild elevation gains (showshoe) at the beginning, and there is a roughly 1/2 mile incline leading up to Pawnee campsite after crossing over the road. This, as always, is a beautiful place to hike. Please don't park on the side of the road with no parking signs, we saw a half dozen cars with tickets on their windshields. The snowshoe trail definitely needed snowshoes, but the road could have probably been fine with a good pair of boots or microspikes/yaktraks.
The four stars for this review are for the trail and the location. Would have been five stars except for the directions given by the app from Loveland were TERRIBLE!!!!! If you're going to this trail from anywhere north of Boulder, DO NOT follow the directions that include Left Hand Canyon. Definitely go up HWY 119 from Boulder to the Peak to Peak highway. Much safer and easier drive.
Has anyone CAMPED off of this trail? It looks like once you walk past the continental divide pass, you get into an area where you can camp. Prior to that, the trail is in a "4 Lakes No Camp Zone". We're thinking of hiking to Pawnee Lake (across the continental divide pass and camping there and then hiking back the next day (we're from WI and I'm sure it will take us longer to hike). We'll be in Colorado (Fraser/Estes Park) for 3 or so days prior to the hike, so we should be pretty acclimated to the altitude.
Hiked this trail over the weekend in our first snowshoeing experience. Parking lot was almost full when we pulled in. Saw a mixture of snowshoers and skiers during our couple of hours. FYI, the trail was not near as packed around the actual lake. All told, it took us a couple of hours to do the full trail.
We did Audobon in the Fall 2 years ago and were successful.
Today (1/1/17) we started at the Gateway TH, and it was 3.1 miles just to get to the Audobon TH due to snow closures. So, we only did about an additional mile and had to turn back.
It's a great trail, we enjoyed it in the Fall and this time of year, the snowshoe trails are great too! Windy windy day!!!
We don't have snow shoes but didn't need them for this trail, the path is so compacted that walking with our extra grip things was fine. If you step off the trail then you'll be a foot deep in snow.
Very very windy in the clearings but a beautiful day and a great hike. We went to the first lake and then onto Brainard Lake, about 6-7miles or so.
The main parking is closed but the winter parking is open and it's not far to the trailhead.
Saw some moose on the way home too!!
This was an awesome hike! We are not hikers at all - but try to do a hike on our yearly visits to Colorado. The hike to the first lake was pretty easy and we ended up leaving my father in law there to fish while we went ahead to Blue Lake - it was much harder as we got to the top, but ended up finishing just fine and did some fishing up there too. Even saw three large moose cross the trail about 30 feet in front of us!
We went with our 9 year old daughters. Pretty windy in the clearings but perfect once in the trees. Took the snowshoe trail to Red Rock Lake and then back (less than 2 miles which is perfect for younger kids). Beautiful day and scenery - our girls loved seeing the frozen lake.
Was the first person on the trail after the last storm. Snowshoes required most of the way. It's easy to lose the trail but if you've been there before, there are a few markers along the way to look for. Awesome views of RMNP once at the summit!