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scenic driving
12 hours ago

I will never get tired of this drive. I do get tired of the growing crowds though. A small inconvenience to deal with while enjoying the Colorado Gold. Heads-up. Lets practice good road and trail etiquette here, especially during leaf peeping. Many thanks from a CO native.

This trail is about 16 miles, not sure how the description has 21. It contains a perfect amount of vertical ascent to make one suffer on the descent. There is enough scrambling and route finding to be challenging and keep you on your toes. Great destination run for experienced runners and mountaineering types. This route has class 3 and 4 scrambles. You should be skilled at rout-finding and mountain running. Finished in about 5:30 but I felt like I was moving pretty good with no stops. Others have finished in 4:15 (the big kids) or 15 hours if your VO2 is average. This is a pretty big day. Prepare accordingly. Oh yeah this route had 7,900 vertical ascent. Hope that helps. There could be slight variations depending on if you stay on the ridge or take the trail. The ridge is cooler. Take the free bus home or call a friend.

SO DIFFICULT. Took 3.5 hrs to get to Peak 1, starting at 5 am. Pretty much....wasn't prepared for the rest of this. Knew I wanted to do it, and was going to anyway. I have very little rock climbing experience. Peak 1-2 was about an hour traverse through a barley marked foot trail that proved to be fairly dangerous. Between 2-3 wasn't bad, but Peaks 3-4 took us 2 hours to get across. I was pretty tempted to call Life Rescue on this one because I was NOT prepared for all the climbing and scaling that took place. Lots of up and downs, rock slides, and sketchy AF areas where the trail was super questionable.
Once you get to Peak 4, it's smooth sailing till Peak 8. We made it down between peak 7 and 8 before my knees and hips were like "no". Kinda upset we didn't finish, but came down between 7 & 8 and ran into the Adventure park in Breck LMAO
After 11.5 hours of hiking, I'm disappointed I didn't accomplish this, but I'm super freaking proud for making it so far.
I'll try again in maybe a year or so lol but the views were TOTALLY worth it.
Good luck and pack lots of water and protein bars!

Walked this on the way down from the Incline. A bit steep in spots with beautiful scenery.

My first solo trip. Weather was perfect and the trail lived up to all my expectations. CLockwise and glad I did!

Beautiful views: mountain-backed lakes, harsh ridge lines, and wildflowers. Well-marked trail.

We hiked clockwise, three days, two nights -camped at Bettie Lake and Devil’s Thumb Lake, felt alone at both. Jasper Lake looked like a popular camping spot, and there was a site by the stream right before the off-shoot to Bob and Bettie Lakes if you don’t want to leave the loop. We were skinny-dipping at Devil’s Thumb and realized there was a lone fisherman across the lake getting a great show, haha, but otherwise, camping was very peaceful.

I was thankful for layers because it was really hot during the day, but surprisingly cold as soon as the sun dipped. We made Nalgene hot water bottles to supplement our 20* sleeping bags.

We hiked mid-week (Aug 8-10) and saw more hikers and trail-runners than backpackers. Some people struggling, but then also an older couple of women crushing it, and a Dad with two young kids. I’m a beginner with a heavy pack and ended each day smiling.

Brought my 35lb pup - she wore off her front pads chasing marmot in the rocks... which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had kept her on leash. She loved it. Didn’t see many (any?) dogs out towards the peak, but lots at the trailhead. Leash definitely required for the first bit.

Elevation is no joke, but plenty of places to refill water, so keep drinking!!

Side note: we stopped in Ned on the way home and ate at the Thai restaurant - killer $10 lunch deal!

hiking
3 days ago

This is a beguiling Trail we took our 11 and 12 year old children. The rating said moderate, okay. It was a Jeep road, okay. All features pointing to a decent hike. But I’d say this was more difficult than its rating. Jeep road was very rocky and it was steeper than we realized. True to the other reviews there were several false summits so we were prepared to go the distance. Trail says 8.1 mikes( we clocked 9.6. Yes we went all the way to the top. And the altitude slowed us down. The kids liked the wide open spaces and he fact that they had a sense of where the finish line was. Just when you think you’ve reached the top there is another rocky peak. The views were outstanding! We could see across Breckenridge. It took us about 5 hours moving and 6 total hours. Dad loved it; Dad rates it a 5 for high elevation and something tough. Kids said Mom was dead weight. (Altitude slowed her down) All in all we are proud of making it to the top. Thanks Colorado for this opportunity.

Arrived at 5:15 am on Saturday and there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road but still plenty of space. People can't seem to agree on which way to go- I decided to go counterclockwise and I'm very glad I did.

I have been up to Jasper Lake a couple of times but this is the first time I tried the loop. In my opinion the north side of the loop is more scenic. It's best to do it in the morning when the lighting is better and you still have energy. Also I like steep inclines more than steep declines as they're more exciting and less stressful on the knees. Saw a bull moose about halfway up to Jasper Lake. That was pretty terrifying as he was only 25 yards or so off of the trail hidden behind some trees. I snapped a quick picture and got out of there.

The trail is pretty easy. The distance is the hard part. I was feeling pretty haggard on the last 3-4 miles. Got back to the parking lot a little before 3PM. I probably could of finished at 2 if I hadn't of taken so many pictures.

Overall an awesome hike! My favorite one so far

I like to do the Peak at least once a year. It’s a nice challenge and worth it. The ascent took me 6 hours but I have done it in 4 1/2. Not my best time, obviously. I believe the average time for ascent is 8 hours. I did the ascent and descent for a total time of 11 hours. The last couple of miles are the hardest and my brain always says, “why am I doing this”! But, you just push through it and are happy to get to the top.

Make sure to dress in layers. The weather can change quickly. I like to take a camelback and I don’t bring much food. I’m just not real hungry.

The change in the terrain is always interesting It’s beautiful country. Thankful to have it as my backyard.

Total miles my app recorded was 23.85 miles.

Bunch of knobs on the trail

hiking
4 days ago

We did a portion of this hike as a day trip, starting at the trail head and turning around at the camp site near the large waterfall, about six miles from the trail head. We were walking on a weekday in July and only saw a handful of other people all day (two small groups of backpackers on their way up in the afternoon as we were coming down). Despite the dry weather, there was still some flowing water in most, but not all of the side drainages, which came in handy to refill our filtered water bottles. Note that the road between the rest room/parking area and the trailhead was doable with a garden variety small SUV, but lower clearance cars would struggle, in my opinion. The entire hike is amazingly beautiful, from the stunning rock formations to the stands of aspen to the meadows. Can’t wait to come back here and go for the pass next time!

Wonderful trail! We hiked only 3 miles in, then turned around as we had our dog and needed to get things done at home in the afternoon. Aspen and/or pine woods for the first mile, mostly shade. The trail then opens up to grand views of the valley below and surrounding mountains. We plan to return in the fall and do more, if not the entire trail.

Other hikers and mountain bikers. Everyone was very pleasant.

Despite the entrance being adjacent to a campground, there is a sign very specifically about no public bathrooms.

We arrived at 8:20am, four cars in the lot. Nearly full at 11:30am.

We arrived to start the loop on Saturday morning at 5:30 am. Were greeted with overnight lot full sign. There were two parking spots in the overflow area just before the overnight lot. When we walked thru the overnight lot, there was one open spot. When we returned on Tuesday both of those parking areas were full. You might have to check out the other overflow parking area to find a parking spot.
We did the loop CW to West Maroon pass first. We did this because one hiker was not acclimated, and this direction is not as steep. The valley was crowded with hikers and runners up to the pass. The camp sites between West Maroon and Frigid Air are about 1/4 mile off the trail in the trees. There is a stream for water between the trail and campsites.
Thunderstorm started at 6 pm and rained and sleeted for a couple of hours. Intermittent rain thru the night. Only about 800 ft elevation change from camp to Frigid Air pass, a 100 yard section was steep and slick from the rain, so it was a relatively easy morning hike. 2100 ft elevation change downhill into the next valley.
We camped just after the intersection with the Geneva lake trail. Several nice camp sites in the area and water is close at the river.
Third day was a tough one. First 2170 ft elevation change up to Trail Rider pass. 1700 ft elevation change down into the Snowmass lake area. Then 800 ft elevation change up to our next campsite. The area was dry due to the summer conditions, so a lot of streams were dried up. There is water in Snowmass lake but we didn't need water at the time. We didn't really want to pull water out of the swamp, though the beaver dam was busted and it was flowing. At the campsites halfway up to Buckskin pass, there were two good streams for water.
Fourth day another roughly 800 ft elevation change to Buckskin pass, then close to 3000 ft downhill to the parking lot.
Outside of the main valley the trail was not crowded. Beautiful flowers, lakes and mountain scenery. Lots of animals, pikas, marmots, deer and a mountain goat guarding Buckskin pass.
Doing the trail in the CW direction was right of us, so the unacclimated hiker was able to make it. But it does make the last half of the hike the hard section. If you are a flatlander and live at low elevation like me, I do recommend spending a 3 or 4 days to acclimate before doing high altitude hiking.

Requires lots of effort to get to the good views but it is worth it. Starting at Fern and going to Bear lake is tough with a lot of uphill hiking

This trail was amazing. I went two nights 8/6-7. I suggest going two nights. Spending a whole day just relaxing is worth it.

I went up solo. It took Me quite a while to make it up. Start early and take breaks as needed. It’s not a race. The altitude was pretty rough for me. The trail is pretty rocky so bring solid foot wear. Also many parts of the trail are through thick brush. Long sleeves will save some scratches. On the way back down by the ponds past the creek ford I encountered moose. But I came up on the with no coverage or protection. The bull was chill enough that I could back off slowly and not spook it, but easily could have been bad. Be mindful out there.

The people up there were all great. Just a group of strangers all there to relax and enjoy the hot springs. Everyone was there for a great time. Don’t be uptight cause there will be drinking, probably nudity and a few were smoking pot.

I would suggest bringing foot wear you can wear in the spring. It’s great but the bottom and edges are super rocky. It’s very painful getting in and out. Sunscreen and bug spray cause flys and mosquitoes were all over me. Also don’t skimp on cold weather stuff. The days were very nice, but even early August as soon as the sun sets behind the mountains it got VERY cold.

mountain biking
7 days ago

This trail is accurately rated “hard.” You start with a 14ish mile, steeeeeep in places, climb up a gravel to dirt road. It is hard. As you ascend, the views are absolutely stunning. I recommend taking your shoes off to cross the pretty little creek! By the time we got to the trail, we were totally exhausted. I am a strong intermediate rider and I was ready to throw my bike off the mountain! The 5 mile DH has sections that are fast, fun, and flowy and more amazing views. There are also sections that are the hardest and most technical that I know of. A lot of the DH was treacherous and very hard! Long travel bikes and years of experience are recommended. Overall, this trail could possibly be fun if there were a shuttle up.

Pretty neat!

hiking
8 days ago

My husband was determined to get to the top mine. Our oldest son and myself said we’d go! What a climb but well worth the gorgeous views.

hiking
8 days ago

Didn’t have this App as we took off for the mine. That was our ultimate goal. We had already hiked Sallie and True romance. Enjoyed the views

hiking
8 days ago

Mt. Baldy offers the best 360 views. Parked part way up for dirt road (at the saw mill). The hike up to the towers was pretty easy, but after that you should be prepared for several false summits and some rock scrambling (nothing to difficult for seasoned hikers). While the hike up is not super scenic, the 360 views are well worth it.

Absolutely beautiful hike! Flowers/colors are amazing! We hiked in on 8/3 for 1 night.
Took us about 5 hours to get to the first camp site #19 and at least 30 minutes more to get to site #4 (our site). The hike from #19 to #4 may have been the most difficult part of the hike. We saw 3 moose, a few deer and a far off bear sunning itself in a rock near silver dollar lake! Rangers stopped us on our way and asked to see our permit, ID and bear canister. The springs were spectacular and surprisingly uncrowded. Took us 3.5 hours to hike out.

Doing this loop at the end of the week and was wondering if bear canisters were required.

Did it CCW......Was a very hard brutal and at times scary climb to a couple of the passes. Fridge Air was steep as hell and very loose rock for this 67 year old man we had great weather not sure I could do it in rough weather wind and rain you know...would slide right off. 4 days 3 night .....but loved it and may do it again CW

Beautiful hike ... LONG hike, but beautiful. Totally worth it!

Great drive but I didn’t see any off road trails.

Did this hike a few years ago. Totally worth it!

Definitely worth the hike. Just be proactive about drinking water. I carried some high-energy snacks and drank about every 1/2 mile. The end of the hike was kind of chaotic because the trail isn't super visible, but the feeling of accomplishment was 10000% worth it.

mountain biking
13 days ago

Wow, interesting trail. It is a 14 mile climb. All on some form of road. I could kill this thing on my gravel bike but riding an 140 mm travel bike up the road for that long is quite exhausting. Not physically as much as mentally. It is beautiful, it has great views. Once the downhill starts it’s a little tricky to find your way at first but not a big deal. Then you come to the middle section of the downhill which is incredibly smooth and ultra fast. You can jump from turn to turn. It is absolute just pure fun. Probably one of my favorite sections of trail. Then you come to the third part. It is super technical. I do not advise it for anybody that is not truly and accomplished bike rider. I did it with no problem on my longer travel bike but my wife had quite a bit of issues on her hundred millimeter bike. I don’t think that the trail is really worth the climb. It would be a really fun shuttle trail. With that said, most rides in Colorado are this way so take that for what you will.

hiking
13 days ago

The hike is great! I started from Lawn Lake trailhead on Wednesday (8/1) at 740am and returned around 320pm. Wish I woulda started earlier so I could've bagged a couple of the 13ers at saddle but it was noon and clouds were rolling in (and I hadn't planned on doing any of them).

A few things:

-Per GAIA GPS: 17.19 miles, 7:36 hours, 3,884' ascent.
-Water. It's everywhere along trail - the river and then lots of creeks/streams up high. I filled up 2x.
-Clothing. Catherine is 100% right - long sleeves and pants are essential up high as you hike through pretty thick trees, bushes, plants.
-Once atop the saddle the cairns end so I just kinda wandered and walked around - wonderful views.
-I skipped the trail to the Crystal Lakes but scrambled up a little ridge on descent from Saddle to overlook the lakes - gorgeous!
-Once past Lawn Lake I only saw four total people! Ascent from TH to Lawn Lake I saw ~9, descent from Lawn Lake to TH ~20 people (and 7 horses).

This was my first solo backpacking trip. I completed the loop counterclockwise, and I did it in three days. It was challenging but so beautiful. This trail includes wildflowers, lakes, and everything in between. If you are new to backpacking, I would recommend only doing part of the loop versus the whole thing. You can still see some beautiful scenery!

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