Explore Camping - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Camping Map
VIEW FULL MAP

One of the most underrated trails I’ve ever done. Absolutely breathtaking. Not too strenuous, but difficult for us Indiana folk because of the whole breathing thing.

We opted for this hike because it seemed to offer more visual interest (and wind protection) than the more open meadow trails to the south, but the downside to this forested loop was that about a third of the trail was covered in mud or ice. We saw a couple of trail runners but otherwise we found pure solitude, despite it being the tail end of a holiday weekend. Plus, no highway traffic to be seen or heard in this corner of the park! We’ll certainly come back again when it dries out a bit.

8 days ago

Beautiful setting. This is set as Easy however parking is a bit tricky and it's a pretty steep climb to get to the glacier. Was pretty slick with all the snow, will go again in spring.

I just moved here and found this hike a little challenging because of the altitude. the trail is pretty packed down so I did it in tennis shoes with no problem. a lot of people brought sleds that looked fun! I took a lot of breaks but the view was great.

For someone not used to the altitude, this hike can be more challenging than most people have rated it. It’s short, but fairly rocky and steep. Combine that with the altitude, and some breaks may be necessary. Once you reach the top though, it’s worth the effort and you’ll probably want to hang out for a bit. Beautiful hike, but don’t underestimate it!

hiking
9 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.

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike for the entire family! We battled 40+ mph winds and still had the best time! Can’t wait to do it again. We hiked on 1/4/18, completely snow-packed but made it even better. Kids slid back down the trail almost the entire way!

snowshoeing
16 days ago

Great treed trail.

We did this trail end of July. Trail itself is rocky and steep but the reward is an amazing view of the lake and glacier. Hike up the glacier for more amazing views! People were sledding and skiing down the glacier!

hiking
17 days ago

Went to the top where it levels out today - used spikes for more sure footing but could be done without them. Such a beautiful, warm day!

hiking
21 days ago

We participated in the "First Hike" this year on the Blackmer Loop Trail. It was a guided hike with about 12 participants. We took the Blackmer loop from the Limekiln trailhead for a ~5 mile hike. The volunteers and rangers provided hot chocolate, souvenir cups, and a fire for us before and after the hike. This trail was covered in ~2 inches of snow. There were 1-2 slippery spots with loose gravel or smooth rocks where my boots slipped. We saw three bucks, two doe, and several birds. The trail guide presented historical facts about Harry M. Blackmer. If you have some time, look up the "Teapot dome scandal" and "Blackmer v. United States" to better understand some historical background associated with the trail. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackmer_v._United_States https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teapot_Dome_scandal https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_B._Fall

hiking
25 days ago

About as easy of a hike as you can get near Estes. I took some elderly family members here during the holidays. Dont come here if your're looking for a real hiking experience or any amount of solitude. Id say its a great hike for families or elderly people/small kids.

Hike to the lake was easy and packed snow; beyond the lake and up the glacier was windy, packed snow and ice, with some deeper spots; we had Microspikes and they were perfect; face protection and googles a must for the top and 20-40mph winds. Views were spectacular and hike was awesome.

Yesterday was the first day of winter and the warmest forecast in the foreseeable future, so we darted out for a quick hike. It was quite windy with snow blowing, so we only went to the lake, but it was a beautiful trek! Next time we’ll make it further to the glacier!

Did this hike 11/30/18, started around 10 am. Was beautiful. Spikes and poles were helpful to about St Mary lake. Went a little further but snowshoes definitely are recommended for heading up any further. I will definitely be back with my snowshoes!

Absolutely beautiful hike. I went early Friday morning and had the trail / glacier all to myself. I was glad I had my spikes and hiking poles. I was able to get quite a ways up the glacier. Snowshoes would have been helpful toward the top.

Beautiful. Trail is packed down at this time. Microspikes are helpful but probably safe without them. Beautiful.

Beautiful and easy hike. A bit uphill in the beginning. I was happy I had microspikes but snow shoes would’ve been helpful, especially if you want to explore around. It’s windy once you get there. A face cover would be wise to bring in fall/winter. Also was envious of the smart folks who brought sleds for the downhill back!

Went during Thanksgiving week with a few inches of snow. Only did the water front. Winter wonderland!!

Loved it!!!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike down to the bottom of the canyon! The echo was absolutely amazing. It's a very steep on the way back up and some areas are challenging. Definately worth it!

Great day hike, not too challenging and a nice steady incline. A good amount of snow was on the trail but it was packed down well, no spikes or poles necessary. Saw no other people and the view at the top was incredible. Very cold and windy at the top.

amazing hiking, even in the winter!

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful short hike although it does get crowded. Everything was frozen over and we walked across the lake. You can get some beautiful photos up here! Hiked in November and microspikes were definitely helpful.

trail running
2 months ago

First time on this trail this afternoon. Nice trail, a few mildly interesting spots and a bit of a view right before the falls. Even without any mind blowing highlights, there is pretty complete immersion in nature. Was a bit icy in spots... I didn’t have any traction devices and my dog and I were just fine, but bring some kind of spikes if you aren’t comfortable on ice. There are still plenty of decent foot placements that aren’t solid ice if your eyes are open, but I’m sure many would appreciate spikes. I’m wondering how this’ll be in late winter/spring though... yikes!

Some mention they recorded the trail as longer than 6.3 miles, but my gps recorded it at 6.2 miles, 1440 ft of ascent, and it didn’t feel any longer than that to me.

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.

Good trail for all age groups. However, it’s a bit rocky but that should be fine. Took us 2-2.5 hours from car to car including breaks. The views at the top are pretty good and picturesque. Would highly recommend during fall season.

hiking
2 months ago

The views were incredible, but the trail itself was not very well marked (except for the trailhead). We were essentially just following footprints in the snow, and at one point reached a fork in the footprints. We decided to follow a set of footprints that ended up taking us off the trail, and into very deep snow drifts. Microspikes aren’t necessarily required, but waterproof snow boots and multiple layers are essential. It gets very windy up there!

great hike, beautiful views, and a frozen lake.

Load More