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We arrived at the parking lot around 8am and there were still a handful of spots. This means we also got to skip the Echo Lake pay station (opens at 8am) and only had to pay $5 at Summit Lake (there were park rangers checking the fees when we finished the hike, so yes, they do check).

We hiked this trail clockwise, which is the opposite of what is listed. I really enjoyed getting the uphill portion done quickly and having most of the hike be downhill after that. The turn off of the road onto the trail is not very obvious so the AllTrails App was helpful for that. It was very windy at the top of Evans, but the views were great and there were few people since the road already closed at Summit Lake for the season. The wind died down afterwards thankfully. We had a great time following the ridge over to Spalding and back to Summit Lake as it was just a gradual downhill hike while maneuvering through the rocks. This did require conscious foot placement to avoid tripping and following cairns as trail markers. We enjoyed this, but it is something to be aware before going of if you don't enjoy that in a trail.

Overall, a great experience and beautiful views with only a handful of people at the summits!

Climbed Peak 9/21/18, seems much longer than 6+miles out and back. Trail very rocky, you'll want poles for descent. Dogs definitely need padded boots. My first 14er and Quandary put the big D in difficult. Good views from top, mountain goats on trail descending 3pm. No snow, only needed light jacket, t-shirts at summit. Check off my bucket list, need much more training before attempting another 14er. Big push for 73 year old.

Hiked it on Wed, Sept 19. Arrived trailhead at 8:30am, two spots left in the parking lot. We saw only about 60-70 other hikers all day. Really glad we went on a weekday! No one on the summit when we got there, one other hiker showed up after 20 min. Amazing views! The boulder scramble at the top is the toughest part technically (but very doable), the rest of the way up is a well traveled standard trail. Took my dog, 5 month old boxer/Shepard mix (about 35-40 lbs) and she did great, led most of the way. Had to take her off leash for the boulder climb at the top, would not have been safe for either of us otherwise. Had to lift her up onto the next boulder 6-8 times, otherwise she handled it really well. Storm arrived on our way down, temperature drop, rain and sleet, but not bad. Glad we were not on the summit at that point, heard thunder on the other side of the mountain.

first 14er!

Great trail for our 2nd and 3rd 14er!! Definitely need an awd vehicle for the Rd to the trailhead!! Very big rocks, took us 15mins to go the 3 or so miles. We arrived at 430am on a Wednesday and were the 3rd car in the parking lot. Trails were very well marked and gorgeous views the entire time! We tagged Grays then Torrey's, some steep grades, but not technical. Highly recommend!!

The dirt road was kind of a bumpy ride. But the trees are all yellow! It was a sight for me being from Houston. This was my first 14er and I had to take a lot of breaks. I took my time drank lots of water. My bandana helped a lot by breathing into it. It was hard but not imposible. The trail is soooo rocky, there was times when I couldn’t help but slide down. Watch your step. Don’t reinstall an ankle. I think I finished in 5 something hours. I run a lot in Houston so I think that helped me a lot. I felt really sick on the drive down. Could have been car sickness mixed with dehydration. I drank a lot of water and got really good sleep and felt brand new the next morning.

Very pretty with all the yellow foliage. Most of the hikes I do are on the east coast so I definitely felt a bit dizzy and took my time up the trail. Took me 6 hours. It got a bit windy while walking up which was nice and then the summit was oddly still. This was my first 14er. I passed a few people on the trail and everyone was very friendly. I didn’t feel like it was super crowded as other posts say. Maybe it was my timing. I left at 12:30 returned at 6:30pm on a Tuesday. Highly recommend this hike.

I came from 5 feet above sea level - I live in New Orleans- to do my first 14er. I did 4 hikes in the 3 days before to acclimate. Seemed to work well. We maintained a planned pace with built in rest breaks. If you are looking at your altitude, the false summits aren’t really false. It is hard if you don’t hike at altitude regularly, but doable.

It was simply awesome. The comradery at the summit was really cool with about 20 people all just kind of hanging out. So glad we picked this hike.

The road to the trailhead was a brutal hike, but we got lucky and hitched a ride part of the way from I70. We aren’t “newbies” by any means but we don’t get to hike often, so this was a rough trail for us. We made it about 13,000 feet before turning around, but even at this point the views are amazing. It was a great hike, and moderately busy for a Monday morning.

Now one of my favorite 14ers!
If you have 4 wheel drive and high clearance try to go as far up this road as you can! It will help eliminate you hiking up the whole road to get to the trail head! If you can make it far up that road, you will thank yourself on the way back down

Climbed yesterday (9/16) and started at 05:49. Wasn’t sure of what to expect, since one of the reviews really bashed the mountain. There was a 20 deg F change in temperature and a wind that started in the last ~200 yards from the peak. The total hike took us 6 hours 1.5 minutes. One person in our party had to stop every 10 feet due to the altitude. Bring a hat, gloves and a warm jacket for the top, headlamp or flashlight for the start.
Pros: The views were great, Aspens were in full color, saw a fox right before we started and two mountain goats on the way down.
Cons: The scree field was long; coming down wreaked havoc on the knees.

hiking
5 days ago

Absolutely worth the trip. The drive in from Cinnamon Pass was sketchy like a lot of people have said previously. I’m an inexperienced off roader driving a Jeep Patriot and I made it down but it was shaky. If you are about the views getting to Handie’s then definitely go through Ouray and Cinnamon Pass, if not and you want an easier drive in, take Co 30 in. The hike itself was a pretty steady gain. I did this as my first solo 14er and absolutely don’t regret it. But never underestimate a 14er, even the ones considered easier. Make sure to start earlier, 7/8 at the latest, so you can get down before afternoon storms start up.

This was by far the hardest hike I have done. Such a mental and physical challenge. I would bet more than half the people hiking up did not summit the day I was there. Do not take this lightly. I started at 7am and finished at roughly 5pm. Spent about 45mins-1hr at the summit taking in the hard earned views. The views and the accomplishment are enough to make it well worth the struggle. I did not taking hiking poles and was just fine. My Apple Watch did clock it in at longer than all trails states - ~11-12 miles for what that’s worth. I did not think the false summits were as bad as everyone said. Aspens were golden and gorgeous and the weather conditions were great. Don’t forget sunscreen, I have a burnt nose to prove it! Don’t under estimate this hike, seriously! Though it is ranked one of the easier 14ers as far as the class of the climb, climbing this much elevation this quickly is TOUGH!! But so so worth it if you can grit through it!

Great day. Near empty lot at 5AM. Accompanied my wife on her first 14er to Grays. I continued on to T’s with a friend. Back in the condo with a drink by 1:00!! Beautiful hike.

Did this hike yesterday 9/16 and it was my fourth 14er. It was by far the hardest one I’ve done. We stared at 415 am and finished by noon. It took way longer than I thought it would, but it was the last part up to the summit that killed me with the steepness. I feel like the views were actually pretty awesome compared to what I’ve read on other reviews, especially since the aspens are changing and it’s beautiful. The rocks are pretty tough to walk and navigate on and I busted my butt probably 5 or 6 times on the way down, so take it slow. It was worth the challenge though! Also, it was very windy and cold at the summit so bring plenty of layers and gloves

Easiest Colorado 14er hike. Very crowded all the way to top. IF you want to avoid the crowd start early possibly 4 am. Donot underestimate though. it is still a 14er.

trail running
5 days ago

Great intro to Colorado 14ers. A fairly physical hike requiring some scrambling.

I read the reviews here and they seemed pretty much 50/50 as to start with Bross or Democrat. We started with Democrat (a nice summit, tough climb mostly because of elevation but some scrambling, too) then went to Cameron. Cameron’s summit was a snooze. Very anti-climactic, nobody else at the top with us, really bland, and unbearably windy. I was having sort of an off day so my friend and I parted ways there; she continued on to summit Lincoln and Bross while I cut Lincoln off entirely and took the shortcut that skips the “closed” summit of Bross but takes you down that side. Since I read the reviews, I knew it would be almost entirely scree but totally underestimated just how terrible it would be. Slid on my butt and/or basically skied with my boots for most of it, and then when that’s all done you still have about another mile of tricky trail until you reach the parking lot. Thanks so much to the friendly dad who chatted with me the rest of the way down—you were a huge help when I was about ready to say f this and barrel roll down and hope for the best. So if I were to try it again, I don’t think I’d descend Bross, but I’m not sure I’d want to ascend it, either. It would be super frustrating to try to go up and lose so much distance with every step. But perhaps it would be easier when you’re starting fresh... I’m really not sure. So, yeah, it was nice to be able to check off multiple 14ers in one go, but the views (at least from Democrat and Cameron) were just slightly better than nice (not stunning) and that Bross descent wasn’t exactly a cherry on top. Overall a 3-star day for me.

hiking
5 days ago

My wife and mine first 14er. Wow! What a hike and kicked our tail. Of course we are 60ish. Beautiful weather on 9-14. Around freezing when started out at 7am and sun was just started peeking out behind the mountain but warmed as day went on. Trail maintenance is excellent. Got a good spot in the parking lot but plenty of parking on the road.
Oxygen was our biggest obstacle.

Loved it. First time off road with a Jeep and wasn’t to bad.

This was my first fourteener and definitely a decent challenge. Arrived at the trailhead at 5:30am and the parking lot was already full and the roadside was filling up. Tons of people and so crowded which is to be expected of any lower class fourteener. The lack of basic hiking courtesy and manners by most people really shocked me. My dog was amazing at scrambling and loved seeing all the marmots. Glad I hiked it, but honestly not sure if I'm going to be jumping on the fourteener train as I enjoy hiking to get away from people.

Great and challenging, quick trail. Went last Friday (9/14) and I got to Echo Lake before 8a so I didn’t have to pay an entrance fee; but I did have to pay when I hit Summit Lake at the pay station ($5 so no biggie). The lot was open and not too many cars parked. I started the trail with my dog at around 7:30a and we finished around 11:00a even after we took the road down to the lot. The road up to the summit of Mt. Evans is closed so no one was on it. When I came back the lot of filled and overflowing with cars so definitely recommend getting there early. I also HIGHLY recommend abiding by the rules and KEEPING your dog on a leash and there are some spots you may have to hoist your dog up some rock or direct them on the rocky paths with the carins. Not to mention there are some steep drops close to the sides of the trail and many squirrels living in the rocks - so don’t risk letting your dog off the leash and having them take off on the side of the mountain!

Definitely need awd vehicle! For my first 14er, this hike was great! Did both grays and Torrey’s, started around 7:30 and was down by 2:30. Hiked closer to 11 miles including the hike from the car to the trailhead.

Started at 5:30 on a late summer Sunday and there were already 70-80 people on the trail. Parking lot was completely full - seems like it’s legal to car camp and possibly even camp on the trail, or nearby?

The road up there is insane: 3 miles of legitimate off roading; I almost destroyed my hatchback. At the road’s last mile is a particularly insane dip which only SUVs and trucks managed to clear. You will feel terrible about what this road will do to your car.

I did Gray and then Torrey and my Garmin said 9 miles, but you will have to hike more if you park far back. Took me 4.5 hours including 15 minutes resting at the top of Torrey.

By the time I headed down there were HUNDREDS of people on the trail. If you can do this one on a weekday I’d recommend it.

First fourteener! Did this a week ago on a Saturday. Got there at 7:30. Plenty of parking. Consistent people brought it the whole hike. Some brought dogs. Be smart, don’t take a dog here that can’t handle it. Same thing for kids. From the saddle up to the top we were stuck by a group with a young child who was crying that she didn’t want to go any further. The mother literally had to pick the kid up and carry her for a few sections. Be a better parent. Don’t subject your kid or others to this.

That said, the views were outstanding, and there are many places in nearby Breckenridge for the requisite beer after. I would definitely go back.

arrived at 6am, car park half full. Heavy going for someone from sea-level....! follow the cairns to stay on track, lots of helpful hikers along the way to help the tourist from London; needless to say, absolutely stunning scenery, memorable sunrise from Mt Spalding. Tips: take toilet roll for the restrooms, headscarf/earmuffs to prevent earache from the howling wind, poles if you have them, get there early if you want any chance of parking in the Summit Lake car park. Thank you Colorado!

Did his yesterday. And phew! We got about 9.5 miles up and back. Prefect fall leaf peeping weather but lots of sun exposure so put sunscreen on a few times. We did it in about 5:45 but it was exhausting ! Pèrfect fall weather , emptied our camelbacks and wish we’d had a little more water so bring a bunch . Saw several people not equipped and with kids as small as 3 at treelike late in the day and they looked miserable. I would advise NOT bring smaller children too far up as they all were crying and miserable. Some having to try and carry kids (or asking strangers to carry their kids down?!) down on rough terrain. Make sure you have an older, tough kid for this if you go past tree line!

Great hike and worth the amazing view at the top! I started at 5am and it took me 6 hours to summit and 3 hours to come down - slower than the average person and I stopped a lot, especially on the way up. I had no storm threat today so wasn’t stressed to go fast. Coming down also took some time because it was very slick due to loose gravel on steep downhills, and the additional feel of legs turning to jello. Don’t let the “class 1, easy to follow, only 10 miles” fool you. Shorter trails = steeper. If you prefer less steep but longer routes are good for you, check the other “class 1” route to the top. I haven’t done that route but heard several good comments about the other route. this trail is well marked and no concern starting before dawn, assuming you have a flashlight. My two devices clocked in at 11 miles and 12 miles respectively. When actually on this route, I wouldn’t judge your time left based on miles left, but rather remaining elevation climb. As everyone already said, false summits are no joke and mess with your head.

Amazing hike. Beautiful views from every summit and throughout the hike. Went clockwise starting with Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln then Bross. Clocked 8.5 miles in 8 hours. Took our time on summits as the weather was perfect! Trails in great shape. Coming down Bross a little technical and slow at times but very doable. 4 peaks in one day! A must do hike!

Perfect day for our 1st 14er. Not too, cold not windy, sunshine and not a cloud in the sky! Parked at 6am and summited in 3 hours! We saw Pikas and chipmunks but not mountain goat.

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