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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hiking
4 days ago

Great day out. Very few people, but trail was well packed. Boots and microspikes all the way to the lake, but snowshoes to cross the lake as the margins are pretty wet and soft.

Completed on 1/1/19. Used snowshoes but the trail was packed down enough that you could get away with just microspikes. Parking lot is full of deep snow so parking is pretty limited at the moment.

This trail is our favorite of all time - so dynamic. From lakes to a smooth ascent over the Divide to the High Lonesome trail and the incredible reward of King Lake, it truly is awe inspiring. We wandered around a bit and ended up closer to 20.0 miles but still completed before sundown. Be sure to bring lots of water and fuel as high lonesome trail is exposed and a long stretch of the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked up to the lake today...only needed hiking boots with microspikes and gators..upper 3/4 of trail snow covered...mostly packed trail and hiking thru 2-6" of fresh snow on top...a little postholing when reached the lake.. big time wind..be sure to bring layers and maybe a stove and something to warm up with... Part of beach blown free of snow. No other people encountered. Glorious. Approx 5 hours RT.

Well worth the trip. It was a big snow day which made it almost the perfect day to do this. We backcountry skied. Snowshoes would also be doable. It would be impossible to use only hiking boots and crampons on this trail today as the snow was too deep and powdery. We were on the trail 4 hours and made it 5 miles total (2.5 miles out then back). Did not make it all the way to finch lake. Even though we were unable to complete the out and back, there was still plenty of beautiful forest to see. Not many views, but plenty of evergreens. There was not any other people on this trail today. The parking lot was filled with snow. A full sized SUV would be needed to park there. I have a small SUV and was able to get it into the driveway of the lot and pulled it off to the side. I recommend that you drive to this trailhead in a 4-wheel drive vehicle with snow tires.
Overall, this is a good workout for a backcountry skier. The trail is easy to follow and it would be difficult to get lost. The elevation gain makes it somewhat challenging but not overly burdensome. There are a significant number of rocks/small boulders on the trail. This did not become a problem, but does requires that skiers beware.

on Sandbeach Lake Trail

hiking
2 months ago

We broke the trail and encountered 4 other parties coming up as we were going down so the trail should be decently worn in now. Traction devices might be helpful -- as would snowshoes in the last mile or so, however we did the whole trail with boots and gaiters, which kept our pants nice and dry.

The snow made the hike more challenging, but nice nonetheless.

My two sisters and I headed out on this trail because it was recommended to us as a good horse trail. No way would I call this a good horse trail . It is so rocky and the beginning is steep, narrow and rocky. on the second half , you run in to these bench rock steps that are as high as two feet. It was tolerable going up, but going down is a bear! We aren't wimps but this trail was just not fun. Anyone who called this trail easy is nuts!

hiking
3 months ago

You will need snowshoes for the last 2 or 3 miles after the Sunday storm. Close to lion lake, snow was at least 3 feet deep. We had to break the trail after junction between Lion and Thunder lakes.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike is one of my favorites. The beginning of the trail is lined with many dead trees. But, the ground cover and aspens are gorgeous in the fall! There is about a mile of steep incline. Otherwise the trail is fairly moderate. The last lake is about a mile from the first lake, but it is definitely worth the time and steps!

backpacking
3 months ago

No overnight parking at the trailhead. There are signs posted at the parking area, and Silverthorne police does patrol and enforce.

Wonderful hike.
We stayed the night at the very furthest lake.
We are missing our tent poles though.. if anyone has found them on the trail please contact me my email is shea.marie1432@yahoo.com

Went yesterday & today. I camped at Lost Lake last night. About 2 miles in from where you park. Woke up this morning to about 22 degrees. And it had rained just a bit last night. Ran into a bunch of people on the trail as I was heading to set up camp who saw moose.

So I went clockwise. This was the right choice for me as the climb is more gradual (and I just got off a plane from Florida yesterday :)

Was gonna camp one more night (tonight) at Jasper Lake but....it was gonna be 20. And was only 5.3 miles to the car at that point. So I humped all 15 today w my 25lb pack.

And - I’m sitting at the noodle restaurant now haha. Yes, delicious.

If you are planning to complete the loop in a day , I would recommend start early. If you are not acclimated to the high altitude then it is a lot harder then it seems. Take plenty of breaks and drink a lot of water.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike the Aspens were great on the way up Rich Creek and on the way down Tumble Creek. As always the meadow is a stunning view.

Such a nice, smooth trail up, over and along the Divide. Always love this one!

Absolutely gorgeous lake! I agree with others stating this trail is more moderate than “hard”. I’d say the first 3.5 miles is moderate and the last push to the lake is moderate+. You spend the majority of the hike on a tree lined trail but there are a few moments where you get a great view of Wild Basin. The trail is OK (for RMNP), the lake is worth the trek though! Also, aspens are almost done so get up here quick!

hiking
4 months ago

Loved this hike. It was my first hike in Colorado, so I definitely thought it was 'hard'. The ending at Sandbeach lake is beautiful and the hike along the way takes you through beautiful terrain. Highly recommend - especially coming from Denver.

We only hiked about 4.5 miles of this trail since we got on the road a little later than expected. Still a beautiful hike, is mostly a steep incline for the first couple miles so I would recommend being prepared for that. There’s a really pretty waterfall around mile 2(ish) off to the side. Would definitely like to go back and go backpacking!

We went on this hike Saturday. We started from the Allenspark trialhead, you can by pass the parking fees at RMNP. The first 1.8 miles is a steady climb with a couple of steep inclines, the forest is lush and dense and not a lot of scenery. At the junction you can go to the Wild Basin Station, Calypso Falls or continue onto to Finch and Pear lake. We continued into Finch Lake, the trail does level out in some places and in others you will have more steep inclines. The final push to Finch Lake will have you dropping several hundred feet before you reach the lake and then nestled in the trees is the lake, so peaceful and serene. There were only a handle of people at the lake and we had most of trail to ourselves.
It was a beautiful day with no clouds in the sky we just sat back and listened to the sounds of nature. We didn't allow time to attempt Pear Lake, that will be next time.

Did this trail today 9/8/18. It is dry with only a slight breeze at the lake. Trail is a steady uphill trek. Some rocky areas and some flat gravel areas. The aspen trees are quickly changing all along the route. The far south side of the lake gives great views of Mount Meeker, Longs Peak and Chiefs Head. Very few people on the trail or at the lake which is why I like this trail.

A nice hike. Not too strenuous. Finch Lake very tranquil and quiet. This is a walk in the woods though. There are no open views or panoramas at all if that's your bag. You can see the Longs Peak by looking through the trees and they do form a very pleasant background. A pleasant open and bright hike on a nice day. Not so sure what it would be like on a gloomy day. Saw not one soul on my return from Finch Lake on a Sunday afternoon. Very quiet the whole hike despite the family with a dog despite all the notices to the contrary at the start.

Great trail with scenic views! We hiked counterclockwise and camped one night at Devils Thumb Lake. You have to have a permit durning the summer months up until Sept 15th. We camped on 9/7 and the temperature at night got down to around 30 - 31 degrees so make sure you have the correct gear even in early September. The first part of the trail going counter clockwise with a 35lb - 40lb pack can be difficult on some of the climbs in elevation, take breaks and drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine. There are plenty of water opportunities on the trail, so accessing water isn’t an issue for the most part. The ascend up from Devils Thumb Lake to the High Lonesome Trail has some great views you climb about 1,000 feet over approx a 1/2 - 3/4 mile. The rest of the trail after you come down off the High Lonesome Trail by King Lake you’ll be going down in elevation the remainder of the time. The overall trail is marked “ok” but recommend having a map or gps as back up, I would not rely on the trail markers only when hiking this trail. Great 15 + mile trail with beautiful views......go get some!!

2018-0910 started this hike at around 9:15 AM thinking 8.6 miles or so of hiking round trip won't be bad. it is a beautiful hike and the leaves are just changing color. I would rate this as a moderate to strenuous hike mostly because of the gradual elevation change which isn't that bad. One just has to take it slow going up, which I did and took a lot of breaks. My GPS measured the distance as ~ 12+ miles round trip. The sign that says 3.1 miles to Sandbeach is incorrect. it is more like 4.5 miles from that sign. I did not see anyone on the trail going up but on the way down I met 2 people. Going up you pass 5 camp sites the last one being next to Sandbeach. On the return, I did it non-stop except for stopping to comment to the 2 hikers going up that it was a challenging hike.
The Sandbeach is beautiful and I stayed to eat lunch. 3 other hikers showed up to have lunch near the beach too. They appeared to come from one of the distant campsites.
I am glad I did this hike today as the weather was perfect, clear skies and light breeze along with the changing colors of the leaves

Lots of squatch sign, keep your head up.

I love love love this trail! 15+ miles of breathtaking views, minimal traffic (at least early on a weekday and compared to 14ers) and many runnable trails (except rocky bottom and steep top). I will definitely be back!

trail running
4 months ago

one of my favorite trail runs near FairPlay Colorado.

Great hike. We did this on 8/25.Beautiful views along the ridge and beautiful lake. Get there before 7 to get a parking place

Great hike overall! The views were killer and the hike was moderate during most parts, but some parts were strenuous specifically when coming up over the top of the pass. We hiked counter clockwise so the last 7 or so miles was downhill. If you do camp anywhere along this trail a permit is required and a bear canister is definitely recommended.

The hike was challenging at points but nothing a person acclimated to elevation couldn't handle with breaks. Easy one night loop the way we went. The Thai restaurant in Nederlands is a stop everyone should take for the lunch deal

Such an amazing hike! My friend and I arrived late on a Sunday, at 10am, and the parking was already full. We parked next to the road closer to town and walked up to the trailhead. That walk-in/out plus the hike took us the entire day - until 8pm - and we enjoyed every minute of it. The first section had us walking through a stream of water which had taken over the road, but once we got through that the trail was dry and easy to follow. Brilliant views the whole way, beautiful terrains which changed every few hours, lots of lakes and picturesque mountains.

Excellent weather today actual garmin gps was 7.9 miles round trip from Allenspark trail head. Arrived there at 9am with plenty of parking.
Would recomend starting at Allenspark vs Wild Basin due to amount of elevation gain from Wild Basin
Would do hike again and catch Pear Lake which is only 2 miles up from Finch Lake
Finch Lake compares to Odessa Lake or Yspsillon in beauty its worth the time and effort. Pack a lunch

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