Explore Backpacking - 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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snowshoeing
2 days ago

Well kept easy trail to hike or snowshoe

Really pleasant lake. Only thing is you can park right next to hit so there's no hiking needed to arrive at the destinations. None the less, super beautiful!

A few weeks ago I and three buddies I go to college with hiked the Conundrum Creek Trail to the Conundrum Hot Springs and camped overnight. A permit is required for overnight stays. The second day we hiked back in the late afternoon. It is a 17-mile hike round trip. There was clear sunny weather both days. The trail is in pretty good shape. It was a bit muddy in a few areas. A good pair of hiking shoes is essential. There were few others at the campsite overnight. We had the hot springs to ourselves that night. The second day we hiked a bit further south and then returned to hit the hot springs again before descending. The only people we ran into that day were an older couple on the trail passing by while we were in the hot springs and a guy and his two teenage sons who joined us in the hot springs.

I read a review that talks about people being "inconsiderate" because they were naked in the hot springs. Please note: These hot springs have traditionally been a place where people are naked. There is nothing inherently inconsiderate about this. My friends and I enjoyed being naked in the hot springs on our trip. Nothing more. Nothing less. The older couple passing by seemed shocked and shook their heads at us. The wife muttered under her breath that we could cover up when people pass by. By contrast, the father and his sons decided to join us naked in the springs and everyone had a pleasant time hanging out. Clearly the main difference between the two groups of people we met while we were in the hot springs had to do with their differing attitudes towards nudity. Please, either respect the right of others to enjoy being naked in nature or avoid the hot springs, however, do not expect others to stop enjoying this traditionally nude area because you have a problem with simple nudity!

3 couples hiked it together in November 1st , there were several inches of snow on the ground and it was snowing the most big lovely flakes . The sun was peaking through and shinning off the water . How could I not give it a 5 star review ? Easy access , nice beautiful easy hike . We loved it !

My favorite trail. Running water, moose, aspens and pines. this trail has it all.

Beautiful roundtrip of Bear Lake. It was a snowy day so not many people on the trail, but it looks like it could be very crowded.

hiking
19 days ago

Pretty easy loop around a beautiful lake. We found parking pretty easily. Part of the trail was packed snow/ice and very slippery. Enjoyed this loop on a beautiful day.

Easy trail around a beautiful lake. Steep in some sections but only for short distances. In late October the trail on the north side of the lake was clear to wet. The trail on the south side (no sun) was snow packed and icy. Slippery. Even in late October the parking lot was half full.

The popularity of this trail has completely destroyed the area, there's poop everywhere along the trail & around the campsites. This place has transformed into a rocky mountain national park or emerald bay of tahoe lake situation. Aholes that don't respect anything go & pollute so the forest service now requires reservations to camp in the middle of the wilderness. Thanks people!! Crappy fake casual outdoors people ruined it for absolutely everyone, great job!!!!

hiking
24 days ago

great little hike. the snow was so packed it was pretty treacherous! I slid down the ice more than a few times. still completely worth it! too bad there's no fishing in the lake :P. the trail was pretty packed with other hikers but that made it easier to take our time.

What an adventure! This trail was 9.6 miles to and from the hot springs so 19.2 miles round trip according to my iPhone health app. It was very muddy and there was lots of snow especially the higher up you go so make sure to bring reliable warming and waterproof gear. The trail was really easy to follow and the bridges were fun to cross (3 bridges total) but the altitude is something to watch out for going up. It’s true what everyone say the hike down is a cake walk. It took us 6-7 hours to get up and 4 hours to get down.

hiking
26 days ago

Easy trail to a really pretty waterfall. Hiked it on a Thursday (10/18) and only saw a handful of other people. Took about 3 1/2 hours but we stopped and took pictures several times and hiked down and ate lunch on the rocks right beside the waterfall. If you want to take a fairly easy walk, this is a good one. Not much elevation gain and trail was very easy to follow.

Nice short stroll worth doing after you wear yourself out on the more challenging hikes in the area. Beautiful lake. The kids enjoyed running from marker to marker along the trail.

hiking
27 days ago

Nice warmup for the other trails at this trailhead. Easy walk around the lake, quite busy.

Simple, Easy, trail for anyone to do!
Peaceful views on the lake.

Loved the winter wonderland walk today, everything was snow covered. I'd recommend Microspikes for the boots, but you can easily do it without.

walking
1 month ago

A most wonderful hike, and a loop so no retracing. Magnificent view of the lake at the trailhead. Parking can be an issue on summer weekends. There are moose around, and they can be dangerous, but generally no problem other than the pleasure seeing them. The trail on the sunny side is wider and easier, but the darker and narrower other side is enchanting. Not difficult, but a few logs to cross over streams. Take water particularly in summer and keep dogs leashed because of moose.

[See my photos marked "October 12, 2018"]
Idled on road for 20 minutes waiting to get into parking lot. VERY crowded today. Five stars is for restroom facilities, trailhead area, and railing on trail. Unfortunately the trail itself was so slick with ice that we didn't make it to the lake. One member of our party slipped and fell almost immediately on the trail, so we turned around and went back to our car. Trekking poles and/or Yaktrax (microspikes, not chain) would help immeasurably on this trail under the current conditions. It might not be so bad at noontime when the top layer is softened up a bit. Our attempt was at 5 p.m. and the trail was iced over.

Trail is not closed, I did a solo over night hike here 10/6/18 -10/7/18. Hiked 8.5 mimes in from brookside/ Payne Creek trailhead. A couple miles in there is a junction, go left (Payne Gulch). Pretty trail. Not too difficult. Found a spot to hike alongside the Creek. Only saw two other guys on the trail. I just moved here from St. Louis MO, with no real hiking/back packing experience and did fine.

Amazing views, worth every step.

hiking
1 month ago

Hike offered deep woods trail and nice views of the Monarch Lake. Went very early in the morning but barely saw any birds or other wild animals. Great trail for exercise.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife & I arrived from MD yesterday and had not fully acclimated to the +8000’ altitude change, but did not want to waste the good weather. This 4.2 mi loop was perfect. Great views and enough elevation change to make it fun without over taxing our sea level lungs.

This trail is a must do. We camped at the unnamed lake below parika lake and then near the junction to Bowen lake. Would rate as strenuous, and there is a lot of exposure on the ridge lines past parika lake. We had wind gusts of probably 60 mph or so. We took our rain flies off our packs, because they were acting like parachutes and sometimes the wind was so strong you had to stop before you could move again. Definitely worth it though. Vertical drop offs on the ridge are more gradual than straight down, so not bad IMHO, and I’m not a heights fan! The views at the peak of 12300 feet or so are absolutely breathtaking.

Great views. Easy hike. Worth the effort to find parking.

Beautiful hike! The hike was actually 18.5 miles round trip from the parking lot to the springs. One of the most breathtaking hikes I’ve been on. People aren’t very considerate of others presence; we had a large group of 5 men and 1 woman all get completely naked and get in the springs while there were others in it. Do everyone a favor and pack a swimsuit and towel, because no one wants to see you naked in the springs while trying to relax. Only thing that put a damper on this otherwise beautiful hike!

Harder than we thought for kids, but we did it!

Fantastic hike, exhausting but totally worth it. We got lucky and saw 4 moose at the lake. Also Aspens along the trail were gorgeous and the views of Grand lake were really pretty. It took us 4 hours to get to the lake and about 2 and change to come down. Highly recommend during fall season (we hiked this at the end of September)

Absolutely stunning and worth every step! Took us 4 hours to get up with our packs and 3 hours to get down. The springs were beautiful and the sunrise was amazing! Definitely possible to do it as a day hike but do yourself a favor and reserve a campsite!

hiking
1 month ago

Like hiking around the lake has some great views.

Short off road ride to the mouth of the trail. Was a nice sneaky road to the trail. We took our stock Jeep Wrangler to the mouth of the trail with no problem.

Went up to Cascade Falls and around Monarch Lake. Beautiful trail, especially if you love horse poop! I clean up after my dogs!! Dodged more horse poop than rocks but otherwise well worth it.

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