Explore 14er Training - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Has someone lost their dogs? Three golden retrievers? They seem lost and there aren’t many people on the trail now...

hiking
14 hours ago

My wife, son and I did this today. Outside of being hot, the trail was great. A lot of folks on the trail and a bunch at the arch itself taking photos.

Beautiful 1st Fourteener! From the saddle, stow your poles and scramble to the summit.

18 hours ago

It’s more like 7-7.5 miles round trip. I would plan at least a good 6-7hours for the hike. Also plan on stopping a bit, incline is quite steep and rocky

I don’t love sharing the trail with a steady cavalcade of other hikers but we had been warned and this was a very nice hike. It was good advice to get an early start. We started at 6:18 AM and got off trail at 11:55 AM (spent 30 minutes at the top). We were grateful for overcast skies because this has the potential to be a scorcher on a sunny day. Just the right amount of hard for someone in moderately good shape.

Was disappointed not to see any mountain goats but loved the views from the summit. Was not surprised given the fact that some imbecile shot two goats a week or two ago on this same trail. The saddle between the first “false peak” and summit was nice - affording hikers time to catch their breath and rehydrate before making final assent.

Trail demands good ankle high boots given rocky terrain. We saw lots of people wearing tennis shoes but I’m guessing they regretted it, especially on the way down.

Great trails leading to Horsetooth mountain peak and great views! The waterfall this time of year isn’t full but a great hike round trip was 6.5 miles

hiking
1 day ago

Very fun trail. Worth the tough parts for the view at the end! We had two dogs with us that were able to complete the trail as well.

Great trails and amazing views. Doesn't take too long if you keep a good pace.

Very nice trail. Great views of the area. Started early when cool so it went great! Got a little steep for at the top for a flatlander.
Would recommend for everyone except young kids. Great time!

hiking
1 day ago

FWIW, I am 66 and made it to the top with the help of an oxygen botte. A beautiful area, well worth the effort. Hiking up to wear the bouldering starts is not all that difficult. Up to that point would be a nice day hike in and off itself. In fact, depending on what kind of shape you are in, you might want to do that one day, recover, and then go to the very top a couple or so days later. What makes the hike difficult is that last 1000 feet or so up through the rocks to the top. I think that part took me two hours up and down. I have been up other 14ers, but it has been a while. In my memory, Bierstadt was the easiest up to where the bouldering started, but the "final assent" was easier at some other 14ers. Heavily trafficked. I started a little late, around noon, and probably crossed paths with 50 people on their way down. It took me 7 hours total, but I was pretty slow on the way down. I was probably the oldest person hiking. I saw one person who looked to be in his mid-50's. Everyone else seemed to be early 40s or younger. The median age was probably early 30's. In my younger days, I probably could have done it in 5-6 hours. Consider carrying a can of oxygen if you are from sea level or in my age range.

a real nice hike, lots of good viewpoints overlooking the lake. and at both ends if your feet get tired you can cool them off in the lake.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful but really difficult! Lots and lots of stairs! We started at the NCAR parking lot. From the parking lot to the Arch and back was 8 miles.The trek from the official trail head of Royal Arch to the arch was pretty tough. Great views though. and LOTS of people. We started at 9 am and there were a ton of people out and about on the trail even on a week day.

Great hike at moderate to hard difficulty. Go as early as possible. I started at 7am and there were only 5-10 people on the scenic top. Apparently it can get up to 50 people in the afternoon.

Really enjoyed this hike because of the challenge, views and trail maintenance. The trail is heavily traveled and you better leave early if you want the trail to yourself. I started at 7:30 and the parking area was full, but plenty of parking along the road. I am a beginner hiker and the trail was very challenging and took me about 6 hours to complete. Views above tree line and at the summit were spectacular. Finally, the trail was mantained very well. Dress warm as it was cool and windy at the summit. Have fun.

Outstanding hike! Probably one of my top 5.

We took the steeper side up, and it took a little more than an hour to get to the top. It was worth every step. Lots of beautiful views throughout the trail.

We got a late start around ten; it wasn’t crowded, but it was hot. There are some shady places.

Wouldn’t recommend any kids on this trail. The terrain gets pretty rocky.

Perfect for our first 14’er!!

hiking
2 days ago

The trail was challenging but very scenic and clean.
The mesmerizing views will give the push to ascent 3526 ft elevation in 3.1 miles.
Hiking sticks are recommended especially for the down trek
1 complain - there should have been at least 1 trash zone on the trail (6.2 miles round trip)

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful hike! Some notes for out-of-towner’s (like us) trying to gauge this hike against ability. I am 53 year old male, reasonably fit., but could lose a few. Hiked with my 24 year old daughter, who is in good shape. We started at 5:30. Up and down in 4:25. Took us 2:17 up. We didn’t stay long because of wind and cold at the top. My wife who is also here with us, opted out because of posts here on loose footing up above. But now that we’ve done it, we realize it is not as bad as many other hikes we’ve been on.

We were faster than most, but did get passed by others, including one guy who was running- yes running - UP. He must’ve been up and down in 3::00-3:15 - impressive.

Gauging by the groups we passed, which varied in age from 10-75, I’d say that’ the average round trip is 6 hours, and 90% finish in the 4:30-7:30 hour range.

Have fun!

Beautiful tough hike, elevation gain is pretty significant over 1.5 miles. Beautiful views along the way of the Rocky Mountains and over the towns bordering the front range. Took about 3 hours RT

Did this with Evans! Amazing this one was an easy 14er!

Love this hike! I've done Royal Arch 20+ times, and it never gets old!

hiking
3 days ago

What a great hike! I love goals at the end to strive for and that view does not disappoint, so push through folks! I read many reviews before I headed up and many had said the loose rock is kinda tough, I may have underestimated those comments and felt the rock proved difficult, especially on the way down, watch those ankles!

Overall: This 14er was amazing! I was absolutely in love with the views all the way up. Wild flowers still pepper the trail and you have amazing views of multiple lakes.

Timing: We left our home on Monday at around 5:15 am and made it to the trailhead at 7:15 am. We summited right at 2 hours, although many around us said it took them closer to 3 or 4, and then sped down the mountain in 1 hour, for a total hiking time of 3 hours!

Parking: Do not let other reviews scare you. If you are hiking on a weekday, parking is easy, especially if you arrive earlier in the morning. The lot was full but there was plenty of parking on the road right next to the lot.

Difficulty: The first mile of the hike was nice and flat, followed by 2 miles of steady uphill, and approximately 0.7 miles of scaling large rocks at the top. Total distance, tracked on my Garmin Vivoactive, was 7.5 miles roundtrip.

Popularity: It was not nearly as busy as I had expected and the other hikers we met were nothing but friendly! You are certainly not going to hike alone, unless you leave early enough to make the summit for sunrise. But, based off of my other hiking experiences in Colorado, this was by far not at crowded.

Other: Bring a snack for the top of the mountain and at least 40 oz of water! I wore Hoka running shoes and they provided plenty of traction to make it up and down safely. I also had on yoga pants, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a light jacket. We had not weather problems on our hike though, so warmer dress could be necessary if colder conditions occur.

First 14er I ever did. Trail was easy to follow, lots of other hikers going up that day. Had to stop often to catch my breath.

Good short morning hike, with some rocky areas

Great hike; great views! It is somewhat busy, though. Pack lots of water and expect some rock scrambling.

I did this as my first 14er over the weekend. I did quite a bit of research before tackling this. I am not in the best shape of my life, but this was do-able for me. I got to the trail at about 4:15am and cars were slowly but surely coming in. I realized I forgot my headlamp and thought my eyes would adjust to the dark. I ended up giving that dream as the beginning of the trail was icy and had a bunch of random puddles. I took A LOT of short breaks. On the way up everyone was nice and encouraging. Once you're done with the first part of the trail, there's no coverage for taking bathroom breaks. I was worried about altitude sickness so I ended up taking in a lot of water and having to pee like 7 times. Luckily, I went early and only saw a handful of people on the way up. The summit was crowded but everyone up there was super friendly. The walk down was ridiculous. I've never seen so many people on a trail in my life (although I'm coming from Michigan). There must have been hundreds of people starting at like 9-10am. I'm glad I went early and honestly would go even earlier next time. People were super loud, playing music, and some people were pretty rude considering you had to share the trail. It was an eye-opening experience in more than one way. The whole trip took me about 6 hours, I spent about 30 minutes up at the summit.

Was great for beginners. Not too rocky depending on which path you take. Didn't see much wildlife though, aside from a ton of butterflies and grasshopper. I would say light trafficking but I got there at 9am and stayed to 11am. (on my way out there were a handful of people coming in)

Awesome views! Harder than we anticipated but worth every step we took.

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