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Directions were accurate to TH. Starts in the burn area but quickly drop int the woods along Goose Creek. Good trail conditions all the way to the historic buildings. Just as much up and down coming and going, good training trail. Links up with other trails in the wilderness.

Just hiked the Staunton Ranch trail toward Elk Falls past Sunday afternoon. Clear, well marked trail. Great views.

This was a fantastic hike. Excellent trail, beautiful scenery and not too difficult. It could be hot in the summer but it would be perfect any other time. We followed the SR to BE up to the lake and took Marmot Passage (MP) out and it was almost exactly 10 miles. The MP part had the best views and connected back to SR. One of our favorite new hikes.

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.

Good hike to miss some of the crowds at Staunton. After fighting the traffic on Staunton Ranch for a couple of miles you turn on to Scout Line Trail. Scout Line and Marmot stay fairly quiet and no bikes allowed on much of the trail. Some very nice views along the way to the lake. The lake/pond is a great place to stop for lunch. It is frozen solid at this time. Only a few snowy spots at this time. No need for extra traction. Very quiet on Christmas Eve.

hiking
1 month ago

Love this trail! Beautiful winter hike! Spikes are good to have for sure.

Hiked this trail on 11/17/18 to Elk Falls. The trail is broad and extremely easy to follow, and I would rate this is more of an easy rather than moderate hike. Saw several elk about a mile in, both hiking out and back. It’s mostly open/not heavily forested, and part of the trail follows along the service road for the park. The SR trail was largely bereft of snow; however, the BE and CR trails were covered, although not heavily. Had microspikes, but didn’t use them. The only somewhat challenging part was descending down to see the falls, and trekking poles would be nice for that, as well as for parts of the service road that are covered in snow.

hiking
2 months ago

Snow on parts of upper half of trail. Fortunately for us, someone who knew the trail had preceded us so it wasn’t hard to find the way. Sunny, windy and about 32 degrees at the lake. A beautiful day!

Amazing beautiful Trail! Fantastic rock formations if you go all the way up. We will be back. Camped at
Goose Creek campground, but could have camped on the trail. Got fantastic photos!

Went in on September 28. Really windy. Great spot at the lower lake. Didn’t see the bear, but at 6 pm Saturday night a forest fire to west threatened to blow in. Got the heck out through smoke and darkness. Check the fire conditions before you go!

trail running
3 months ago

Heavy incline with the altitude but through piney single track. Rocky but not overly technical, small lake at the end and an easy pacer down.

What an amazing hike! We had a late start and set up camp the fist night at about 5pm. We found a great area at about 300ft from the trail. on day two we reached Lower Red Lake. it was beautil. we set up camp the second night just by the lake at about 400ft from the trail. After we had fallen asleep, we woke up to a bear circling our tent, ended up leaving maybe after half hour. Talking about being scared!! we had our food on a bear proof container and inside a smell prood bag away from the tent. the scenary on this trail is breathtaking. the switchbacks are long so it makes the elevation gain easy. the hike was overall challenging for us (we come from.florida). def will do it again.

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.

This hike is rated as moderate, but it was very easy. There is hardly any elevation gain and the switchbacks are long making what little you have to gain a breeze. Plenty of water along the trail to filter, or for your dog to drink. As noted by the previous review, lower red castle lake is picturesque but definitely not pristine. We camped in the site with the heart shaped rock. It was nice until we noticed all the human waste that was not properly buried. We had set up our tent not realizing till the next morning how close it was to utter grossness. Leave no trace is important. If your not sure what this requires look it up and please respect our wilderness.

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.

Scenery and setting are truly spectacular. Really a photogenic place. But you’ve gotta embrace the poop smeared toilet paper fluttering in the wind, fire rings...everywhere, footpaths through delicate alpine meadows...and dogs barking at sunrise. Pristine? Not so much. Leave no trace? What’s that?

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

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!

Love this area. We did the goose creek loop counter-clockwise, 3 nights and 4 days. Days 2 and 3 are by far the toughest, lots of uphill and steep switchbacks. Stayed on McGurdy park trail instead of taking the Lake Park “shortcut”. Pretty much all downhill from Hankins pass back to the trailhead. It was my 10 year old son’s first pack it in pack it out trip. He did great, so any dedicated novice can do this.

Awesome hike. Beautiful scenery. But the fire in Spanish fork canyon smoked me and several other groups out. We left before our original departure date because it was raining ash. Fire is over 100 miles away.

Spent three days. Hiked toward the end of lower lake ~10 miles in about 5.5 hours. Lots of horses and horse dung. Don’t fret if you don’t find camping before the end of lower lake. There are a few spots in the woods past it as well as on the opposite side of the lake. Labor day weekend had tons of other people. By the time we hiked out sunday, the parking lot was overflowing with cars. Lows were about 30-35. One person claimed their thermometer said 28. Very rocky at some points in the trail. I’m not currently in running shape but I wouldnt deem it a difficult hike. There are only a few times that really feel like you’re hiking up. Upper red is worth the extra couple miles. Saw over half of a dozen moose.

Pretty steady hike up. Great camping at both lakes

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!!

hiking
4 months ago

Had to make this hike a quick one because the sun was going down. Finished in 2.5 hours with short stops at Catamount Overlook, Pikes Peak Overlook, and Eagle Cliffs. I’d say this is probably a 3-4 your hike if you’re moving at an average walking pace. Solid views and nice trails throughout. A little rocky or slippery in some spots so watch your footing. There were a few rock climbing spots that seemed to be just off the trail toward the beginning.

Went over labor day so it was super busy. Still got a decent spot tho. Temps get low enough for frost and the lake to start icing so pack warm clothes. Overall a challenging backpack but with a killer payoff!!!

Kid friendly camping spots early on, trail was very busy and lots of people with poorly trained off leash dogs. Wilderness area was beautiful, saw some cows in the burn scar area before the trailhead. Spotted some grouse and the biggest beaver dam I’ve seen in person on goose creek.

Moderate, my ass. Hiked this today. And I hike the backcountry a lot. Went clockwise from Missouri lakes trailhead. Fine up to the lakes but then a butt buster on fancy pass over the ridge. Rocks and steep as hell. Snowed on me and you have to cross it twice. Coming down, signage is bad. Follow fancy pass lake trail. I goofed and went left and ended up on holy cross city 4x4 trail. Lots of fresh bear droppings. Still, stunning scenery.

Great hike! Would highly recommended

Beautiful scenery, sort of a desert feel to it at first.

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