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hiking
muddy
scramble
snow
1 day ago

This is a great hike - easy to get to (which account for the amount of traffic it gets), nicely paced circuit and great views throughout. I went clockwise (up west, down east) which probably was a mistake given the conditions at this point. The west side has a small bit of mud and ice and patches of snow but overall was quite dry. The east side was pretty snowy and icy at the top, and then mud at mid-elevation, and then conditions improved towards the bottom. So it might have been better to ascend on the east side and go down the west side. I had hiking boots on it which were fine, no need for microspikes. Lots of people had dogs but they were all well-behaved and friendly.

Did this hike on 1/11/19 after 6 inches of fresh snow (and still snowing) that morning. It was beautiful in the trees with all the snow. Can’t comment on the views because it was cloudy and snowing hard. Incline was tough with all the fresh snow, would recommend spikes!!

Did this hike on 1/15/2019 in the late afternoon. Still completely snow covered from 1/11 snowfall. We did not have spikes/yaktrax and still completed this hike with our dog with relative ease. Rather slick on the packed snow in places but overall made it up okay. Difficulty is moderate I would say especially with the packed snow. At the top there is rock scrambles to get to the views but it was worth it. Beautiful short hike with the snow cover. Good views at the top after the rock scramble.

Made it to the lower crater lakes. Started at 9am and was back at the parking lot by 12:30pm. The last mile is a good upwards climb. Snowshoes only needed up top when you're exploring the lakes. I had crampons on otherwise.

Great hike and definitely doable and safe for children. I did see the same pit bull the lady below complained about today. It was super friendly and gentle. Unlike her I didn’t see a single pile of poop so not sure if she was looking in the trash or what lol.

Extremely unsafe trail to bring younger children due to lack of enforcement of off leash dog rules. There are literally hundreds of piles of dog excrement within a few short miles.
I can no longer bring my nephew here after we were rushed by an off leash pit bull. Of course the owner thought it was funny. Dog owners in Boulder County are the most entitled and ignorant bunch of people you will ever encounter.

Snowshoed 1/12/19. Tracks were easy to follow. Fairly gradual for the first couple of miles. The last mile is pretty steep so be prepared for a climb

Made it to the upper lake on snowshoes! Lots of people on skis up to the lower lakes, but I'm not sure it would be possible for most to make it to upper lake on skis - very steep! You'll need one or the other to make it to the first lakes, started postholing about half a mile from them.

Started around 8:30, got back to the car around 4, with lots of breaks and trail breaking and route finding slowing us down. Absolutely worth the effort! So beautiful.

Wow for sure the best snowshoe I've done so far in Colorado. This trail was magical in the snow! Even the drive there was delightful. It can be hard to tell which tracks to follow, but if you keep following the signs for the trail you'll get to the lake eventually! If you go up a little beyond the lake it is heckin steep but the views are stunning and majestic this trail was the best.

hiking
10 days ago

Snow packed, great trail to upper lake. Traction was ideal, snowshoes not necessary at all. Clocked 9.9m, 2100’.

Only two types of vehicles can make it up the road, 4WD or rentals. We had a rental and if you took it slow, it wasn't much of a problem. This may be the prettiest start to a trail that I have ever hiked. A beautiful lake framed by the mountains, it was awesome. The only disappointment was that you could hear the falls from miles away but when you arrive, you can't get a good view of them.

Want to test your new microspikes out? This is a great hike. Hard because it ends with an incline. Strava mapping wasn't as great at calculating the distance/elevation gain- was more than 2 miles off (said we hike 11.2 versus the listed 8.7). Enjoy!

snowshoed this trail 1/6/2019

beginning of trail needed just our micro spikes, transitioned to snowshoes a couple miles in. For a Sunday not busy at all..we arrived around 10am...plenty of parking. HIGHLY recommend some sort of GPS device...as you can follow 1 wrong set of snowshoe prints and add an extra mile (which made it waaaaay harder). we only went to the lower lakes as we were cold by that point. we plan on returning in the summer!

snowshoeing
13 days ago

Lovely conditions on 1/5/19 - snow covering 95% of trail to upper Chicago lake. Most of trail has packed snow, due to heavy use, but adequate to snowshoe, which we did for part, but using micro spikes was ideal due to rocky trail (particularly, the type that have crampons - I use Hillsound, rather than little yaktracks). I snowshoed on the lower reservoir lake surface, which looked to be solid ice. However, use caution...

Trail is super challenging, but interesting and engaging to run the whole way through.

Went last week. Could not get all the way to the trailhead by car, parked .7 miles down the road. the Snow was good but the trail is hard to find after about 1.5 miles from the car, so we didn’t get very far past the trailhead. My trail finding skills might be novice, and I didn’t feel like getting lost in the winter. But, I look forward to trying again either this winter or in the summer!

Great hike overall. Brought snowshoes in anticipation of a lot of snow but micro spikes worked well since the trail was packed snow. Definitely coming back this summer.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful "gotta do" hike.

Snowshoed up to Heart Lake on Sunday December30th. The trail was broken all the way to the lake and easy to follow. A little wind when we got out of the trees but wasn’t to bad. Love this trail in the winter and the summer!!!

Hiked this trail on 12/30, west side up and east side down. The west side is steep but beautiful, with no ice, and the east side was also scenic with only a couple patches of ice. A great afternoon hike!

For being so close to Boulder, I was amazed that there were as few people on the trail as there were. Completed the hike on 12/30 and the snow was pretty good - it’s certainly possible to do this in spikes, but I switched out my spikes for snowshoes after about a quarter mile and had a much better experience that way. The views at the top are gorgeous and do not disappoint! Highly recommend.

Went up from the east to west side - wouldn’t do that again! Decided to do this to get the “ice” out of the way.. yes there was some black ice, but just be aware of the ground when on the top part of the east side. The west side has stairs and I prefer going up stairs than down. This hike was about two hours to go up, enjoy the view, and return to the car with my dog. This hike has a steady incline! Be ready!

Great workout, nice views, and not far from Denver. Would happily do this hike again anytime I’m looking for something short.

hiking
25 days ago

12/25/18
this hike was great but VERY icy. highly recommend hiking poles and/or micro spikes or doing it in the summer!

the views are beautiful, and besides the clear ice it's a very pleasant hike.

In one trail we saw a moose a bald eagle and 3 deer. The road to the trail is horrible but the trail, waterfalls and scenery are fabulous

Hiked this today on 12/20. I wouldn’t say this should be rated a “hard” hike; more like “moderate”. We started off on the West ridge route up to Sanitas and then came down the East ridge route. You start the ground running on a great incline most of the way, and then it lets up a bit. No snow or ice whatsoever on the West ridge, nor at the summit, but there was black ice on the East ridge route when we descended that way. So if you are wary of ice, then take the West ridge back down after summitting. But we managed fine in hiking boots. The hike in general is a good one. Great workout for sure.

Easy trail and the views are incredible! We went in October and there was hardly anyone there.

Back to Windy Peak, one of our favorites close to Denver. We do Mountain Lion counterclockwise to Windy Peak from Nott Creek Trailhead and come back via Burro. That makes for a 6.7 mile hike. Going counterclockwise, Mountain Lion trails has quite a few icy patches. We had poles but did not break out the yak trax. Had the Peak all to ourselves, great spot for lunch. This one is a workout, especially that last push to the Peak.

Good trail for an afternoon hike nice and close to town. We did it when in town for Thanksgiving and it was a nice day. The view from the top is ok. You can see some snowy peaks if you look west from the top. The hike up is pretty steep; it's a good workout trail. In November, it was pretty icy on the way down to the valley where some parts were on a north-facing slant.

Easy trail, but the snow and ice made some parts a little slippery. The trail had minimal signage making it kind of hard to follow, however it was still pretty easy to find the (frozen) waterfall.

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