Explore Backburner trails - 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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hiking
2 days ago

Lovely hike! Great couple hour rip. No spikes needed. Arrived at 8:45 was 6th car, down at 10:55 and 30-40 cars in lot. Glad I came early!

on Granite Mountain Trail

hiking
snow
3 days ago

Great workout. Hiking through the forest was steep but do-able (be advised if bringing children). My dog had no problems with the varied terrain. At roughly the 2 mile mark, until the top, there is icy snow. Poles and snowshoes recommended, however, hiking boots are sufficient. Had to turn around near the 3 mile mark due to too deep of snow and the trail was unclear. Views were great even with clouds and had some snowfall. Minimal foot traffic on this trail which was nice. Will definitely be going back in a month or two in hopes of making it to the top!

hiking
4 days ago

Hiked ice caves twice, well worth it. Easy hike, may need micro spikes in some areas of ice and snow.

Such a nice hike! I packed extra layers & I’m so glad I did. They were needed at the top, once you stop moving it gets really cold, but the view is worth it!

hiking
9 days ago

We went on 1/11/19. Definitely need waterproof shoes on this one. You have to cross through quite a bit of water, not deep water. We didn’t have Microspikes and we were fine. I used trekking poles once we got to the icey part of the trail. When you get to the lake it is vey beautiful. The lake was almost completely frozen over. We had lunch at the top and it was very cold just sitting there. Hiking warmed you up, but when you stood still for too long it got cold fast. We did the loop around the lake and the snow was deeper there. Worth it to see all the angles of the lake. At the end my Fitbit said 5.50 miles. And yes, just like everyone else said the pot holes are bad on the way to the trail head. Just take your time driving and you’ll be fine. We saw all kinds of little cars that made it too.

Beautiful hike! Hiked 1/12. There was a “road closed ahead” and then barriers that have been moved out of the way just before the 3 mile gravel road. We park at the bottom at first, the. A mile up after seeing several cars go by we decided-to go back and drive up. Road was okay and several cars at the parking lot not sure why it was closed.. anywho about 2 miles in you’ll need spikes. A few open steep valleys to cross, had a few scary moments sinking in the snow. All in all a great hike, never stops going up, so be prepared to get your sweat on ☺️. Many beautiful lookouts along the way!

We went yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful!! The road was still closed to drive to the trailhead so it ends up being about 7-8 miles total (About 2.5 miles to trail head) but SO worth it!! The entire hike is full of views on every side. Everyone was fine in hiking boots. Highly recommend!!

Difficult!!! Thick snow, it was raining, view is worth it!

Great views, interesting varied terrain and marmots. Usually a bit of snow even in summer. As others have written, don’t short yourself on water.

They were literally closing the road when we arrived yesterday, this makes it around 7 miles total. We arrived about 1:00, it was a Monday and were only the second tracks up. We wore WP Keen hiking shoes, I wore little running gators and stayed dry. Snow got to about 12” where the group before us turned around. Gorgeous day.

Beautiful trail to hike in the winter! We went today on 1-6-19, it took about 3 hours for us to hike the trail (which included some breaks for pictures). There was some snow on the trail leading up to the lake, we brought microspikes in case but didn’t need them, it was mostly just wet (bring waterproof shoes!!). Once you reach the lake you feel like you are in a winter wonderland, it truly was stunning! Potholes galore on the road just before the trail head, please drive slowly and bring a high clearance vehicle if you can!

I’ve done it twice. Great trail.

Trail is in good condition for winter, there are muddy and wet places but overall solid. The snow only starts about an 1/8th of mile from the lake but there are some slick, icy spots. Poles and micro spikes can't hurt but most people were fine without.

hiking
17 days ago

The cave was stunning with lots of snow today. Went there around 11AM today. The small parking lot was half full. Road condition was good, just some icy patches in the parking lot. 50% of the trail was icy, luckily we brought ice cleats. However, we saw many people are fine with just hiking boots.

I’ve hiked to the ice caves twice so far and I love it every time. The hike is super easy — just be careful of snow during winter season, wear boots. And once you get to the ice caves they’re absolutely breathtaking.

As mentioned in the previous reviews, the road leading to the trailhead parking has some big potholes. The trailhead was fairly packed by the time we reached there around 11 AM. The trail is rocky, muddy and icy. Microspikes definitely help in the last 1 mile of this hike as some areas had ice on rocks which was tricky to pass through. Took us 2 hours for whole hike including staying there up there for a couple of minutes and doing the loop around the lake. Overall, a really good hike. The lake looks beautiful!

We went 2 days ago and the snow was falling the entire time we were there. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL views and once we hit the top we built a snowman and had a snowball fight. Saw a small size avalanche which made the hikers who went to the actual opening (which is caved in halfway due to a larger avalanche) of the caves put a little jump in their step. Even their dog took off. Heading down the path there was several people heading up with sleds. We have been spring, summer and winter and Winter is by far our favorite. Just a FYI the bathrooms at the trail head are closed for the season but they had a sign posted to use the bathroom at the picnic area. The trail up to the caves are easy to see but slick in a few spots. The Road on mountain loop was snow covered once you hit snow elevation but they were manageable. The parking lot is not plowed. Happy hiking and stay safe

I thought this was a great hike. the elevation wasnt brutal and the views were beautiful. we walked all the way around the lake and finally realized we were walking over an avalanche. I fell through the snow and got a good bruise on my shin from a boulder. Was snowing at the top and very wet.

The road isn’t plowed starting about three miles before the trailhead.

trail running
1 month ago

Made it to the tail head by 0650 and found the parking lot empty. Good steady drizzle throughout and snow was present all along the trail. Intended to summit Bandera and then head over to Mount Defiance, but once up to the trail fork, snow was about 2 feet deep, lots of post holing, and the trail simply disappeared towards the summit. Looks like the previous hikers bypassed Bandera peak. Since I only had running leggings on and trail running shoes, turned it around and will come back in the spring.

Visit it in winter should be much more beautiful than other seasons as there are snow everywhere, not just around the cave.

The road is used leading up to it in the winter. Only good for snow mobiling

Such stunning views this time of the year, I was "wowing" the entire time. The recent snow makes everything look even more beautiful. Went at 7:30 am today. Didn't find any other hikers even after I was about to leave.

backpacking
1 month ago

Snow packed trail on upper section towards the lookout. Hiking boots were sufficient

trail in great condition. no snow or mud. weather was sunny.

stunning and well maintained trail. more of a walk than a hike, but the ice caves and waterfall are gorgeous!

Great view at the top. Snow halfway up. Was deep and windy near the top

as of 5 dec the road is still open. this a very pretty and easy hike. the frost is making it a bit slick but nothing to worry about. national forest pass is required or a national park pass as well.

hiking
1 month ago

Great today! The trail is packed snow from 1/2 way up to the top. Micospikes were needed and used most of the day. Get out there! Four more day of sun!!

I didn't get to record my hike, make sure you download the map before you leave home. Really easy hike, bring layers.
went 11/30 - rainy and at times muddy.
we only went up to the ice cave, did not go into the cave. beautiful views all around.
bathrooms at ice caves TH are closed.

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