East Inlet Trail to Spirit Lake is a 14.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Lake, CO that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as difficult offers a number of activity options. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Beautiful hike with varied terrain. Like someone else mentioned, the trail from Lake Verna to Spirit Lake is unimproved. But it's a very short distance between the two lakes, so it's worth it. We hiked this today, October 3, and ended up seeing two seasons. Started the hike in the autumn, ended in the winter. With all high alpine environments, bring layers and be prepared. This took us about 9 hours, going more slowly on the way back due to an injury.
Outstanding 16 mile round trip hike to Spirit Lake. Varied terrain, beautiful alpine lakes and well-maintained trail.
Mid April 2016---
I honestly cannot give a complete and updated review because health issues forced me to leave only after a half-day in....
Here is what you need to know about this trail though:
I came at absolutely the worst time for snowshoeing.
1. The first 1-2 miles are compact ice from traffic and snow melt. Ice spikes/stabil-ICERs were advised to me and I would also pass on this advice to anyone else.
2. After that the actual snow was horrible! Even with appropriately sized snowshoes; you fill fall through the snow all the way to the ground. With snow coverage at sometimes 2-3 feet can mean that you will be sucking and dredging with every step. I attributed this due to the mid 50s daytime temperatures but because this trail is in a valley there will still be a lot of snow...But most of it warm snow that is mostly melted underneath.
3. Also during my trip the trail itself had 7 or more downed trees and I really only made it in about 2 or so miles before I left. Didn't even reach the first lake *sad face*. The downed trees cover the trail and with a heavy pack there is tons of bending under them to get through or precariously trying to climb over them.
This would have been a beautiful trail otherwise and despite Grand Lake itself being completely frozen over, the creek was flowing in most parts. Adams falls had plenty of snow but was not frozen over like I was hoping.
One of the best hikes
I didn't get to hike it because I brought my dogs. This app indicated docs were allowed so beware. Bummer as it looks like a good one.
After lake Verna the trail becomes unimproved and is hard to follow but the view is well worth the trip. There are 2 lakes beyond that, I still have not made it to. Long hike for one day. Took about 7 hours.