We did this as a day trip. It took us five hours to hike the loop counter clockwise. Counter clockwise allows for a more gradual elevation gain. There were great fall colors particularly between miles 7 and 10 (if done counter clockwise), where you can look up the valley at the Mosquito range and there are a lot of aspens. When done as a day trip, 11.6 miles can be a bit long, although the trail is quite flat for long sections, particularly on the backside of the loop. Overall this is a great hike with minimal crowds and great views particularly in the fall. Would make a great trail run!
This trail was semi difficult but the views are awesome. You may be able to drag a stock 4x4 off but it's going to take some effort and your probably going to come back with so beauty marks. However that's the fun part sometimes is pudding things to the limits and seeing what you can do. It's a pretty long trail so take water and food plus the other lake is a decent hike so if you plan on visiting it be prepared. Lastly don't travel this one alone, it's always better to have a backup rig for support. Safe travels and wheel on!
Did this yesterday and hit Lincoln, Cameron, and Bross!!! Hiked in from Crest Drive in Quartsville and made a loop. Was about 13 miles but amazing!!! Up to Mt. Lincoln from this way we saw nobody and there were only three cars in the lot! Not well know trail head but we found it! We didn't see anyone on the way down either!!! Amazing back road way to hit this popular 14er trail!
Road to trail is rocky but made it fine in a car, took it slow. People were camping along different spots of the trail. I went counterclockwise and it took me less than 4:30 hours to hike the entire loop with my breaks included. Perfect half day hike after a 2 hour drive with minimal crowds. The trail is next to creeks most of the way with lots of great views. The sun or storms will get you when in the top meadow, in between the two creeks.
Amazing hike! With views you'll remember forever.
Just understand that you're starting the hike at 12k feet so, depending on where you normally live, the air could be drastically thinner.
Make sure to drink plenty of water as you'll underestimate the need to drink. Also bring gloves and a beanie/hood for the wind chill.
Lastly, keep an eye on the weather as you won't want to be stuck at 14k+ with a storm rolling in. I'd recommend starting between 6&7am and you'll be able to hit all four summits in 6 hours.
My boyfriend and I took our two akitas on this trail today. itbwas very quiet, we only saw one other group. The creek right when you park is beautiful and so are the ancient trees. We will definitely do again! I would say it's about 50/50 shade and sun. It wasn't too bad for us and we don't hike crazy trails. The one thing to make note of is that the rock slide area is hard for dogs to navigate. I don't know if I would bring mine back, they didn't seem to like walking on all the broken rocks.