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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.

hiking
snow
17 hours ago

Great trail, amazing views! We used snowshoes to the lower lake but they weren’t necessary (1/21).

Snow shoe or ski in. Otherwise you post hole. Busier than I wanted it yesterday morning. Trail condition is great. Mostly established main trails.. Packed snow on trails until you start climbing the last steep 1000 feet then it’s deep snow country and would be difficult without a reliable flotation devise (snowshoe or ski) The first lake we run into was frozen. To ski or snow shoe? If you ski here you glide. You snowshoe? Hard work = great toned legs! :) either way this place is relatively close to DENVER and offers amazing views and tons of photo ops with other like minded humans. And its as cliche as the saying “it‘s worth it”! Happy trails!

Great snow, great trail! Snowshoed up to the lower lake this morning. Started at about 9:30, done by 1:30. Definitely need snowshoes as we were breaking trail in tons of powder up by the lake. Also, snow is great all the way from the trailhead, so best to wear your snowshoes or skins/skis to keep the snow pack as smooth as possible for others.

hiking
snow
2 days ago

Hiked 1/19 2.5 mi out and back (5mi round trip). Starts off somewhat open and some trees, but just after 1.5mi it’s real shaded and in the forest, especially past the point when you get to Lost Creek Wilderness. Not much snow at the beginning, but once in the forest the snow takes up the entire trail. Used yak tracks and they were helpful with the incline on this trail. The snow gets less packed down as the trail goes on, and would probably be best done with snowshoes at that point. Not too crowded, saw only a few small groups of people. A nice place to enjoy the woods and forest setting if that is what you’re setting out to do.

If the parking lot is windy, don't worry. There is great tree cover all the way up to the lakes. The first mile is packed snow, but you can still wear your snowshoes. You will need them. The last mile is a steep climb up and traction is crucial. I continued to the upper lake and followed someone's else's tracks. Snow was knee deep - fun! Took me 3.25 hours RT.

7 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
8 days ago

Beautiful trail, outside of RMNP gates. First visit 1/13/19 - snow on most of the trail, well packed and well traveled. Sunny skies and warm rocks to relax on. I left my snowshoes in the car - a few slippery spots where crampons would be helpful but not bad. Lake frozen solid. Well maintained trail allowed for trail running on the way down.

Made it to the lower crater lakes. Started at 9am and was back at the parking lot by 12:30pm. The last mile is a good upwards climb. Snowshoes only needed up top when you're exploring the lakes. I had crampons on otherwise.

Snowshoed 1/12/19. Tracks were easy to follow. Fairly gradual for the first couple of miles. The last mile is pretty steep so be prepared for a climb

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike with beautiful views along the way. Steady increase the entire way up. There were all ages and levels of experience doing this hike. As others have mentioned, a few slick spots but I was able to get up and down easily without microspikes.

hiking
9 days ago

We were there on 1/9. The trail had some slick spots but we were able to conquer it without microspikes and they probably aren’t needed since most of the trail was dry. The lake was frozen over and absolutely beautiful. Due to the government shut down, the garbage cans at the trailhead had a bag taped over them. The bathrooms were also closed. There is an outhouse near the top, be sure to bring some toilet paper with you!

Made it to the upper lake on snowshoes! Lots of people on skis up to the lower lakes, but I'm not sure it would be possible for most to make it to upper lake on skis - very steep! You'll need one or the other to make it to the first lakes, started postholing about half a mile from them.

Started around 8:30, got back to the car around 4, with lots of breaks and trail breaking and route finding slowing us down. Absolutely worth the effort! So beautiful.

hiking
9 days ago

Hiked at sunset on the 13th, used lights, spikes and pole for safety on the last third due to recent snow. Steady climb all the way with frequent 10-15" step ups, although the trail is well maintained and traversed. It was a cool down hike from a great week for some perfect overlooks on the way up as the Sun set over Estes Park. We went ahead and completed the hike after pictures heading up and the lake was frozen solid as usual. Did some handstands, and headed down. Great cardio hike any day.

Wow for sure the best snowshoe I've done so far in Colorado. This trail was magical in the snow! Even the drive there was delightful. It can be hard to tell which tracks to follow, but if you keep following the signs for the trail you'll get to the lake eventually! If you go up a little beyond the lake it is heckin steep but the views are stunning and majestic this trail was the best.

hiking
12 days ago

Snow packed, great trail to upper lake. Traction was ideal, snowshoes not necessary at all. Clocked 9.9m, 2100’.

hiking
13 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!

Want to test your new microspikes out? This is a great hike. Hard because it ends with an incline. Strava mapping wasn't as great at calculating the distance/elevation gain- was more than 2 miles off (said we hike 11.2 versus the listed 8.7). Enjoy!

nice hike, mostly dry on 1/6.

snowshoed this trail 1/6/2019

beginning of trail needed just our micro spikes, transitioned to snowshoes a couple miles in. For a Sunday not busy at all..we arrived around 10am...plenty of parking. HIGHLY recommend some sort of GPS device...as you can follow 1 wrong set of snowshoe prints and add an extra mile (which made it waaaaay harder). we only went to the lower lakes as we were cold by that point. we plan on returning in the summer!

snowshoeing
15 days ago

Great treed trail.

snowshoeing
15 days ago

Lovely conditions on 1/5/19 - snow covering 95% of trail to upper Chicago lake. Most of trail has packed snow, due to heavy use, but adequate to snowshoe, which we did for part, but using micro spikes was ideal due to rocky trail (particularly, the type that have crampons - I use Hillsound, rather than little yaktracks). I snowshoed on the lower reservoir lake surface, which looked to be solid ice. However, use caution...

hiking
16 days ago

This is currently open but the parking lot bathrooms are closed due to the government shutdown. There is an outhouse 3/4's the way up. It's uphill the entire way to the lake, there were all ages and abilities making it to the top. Most of the trail was dry/dirt but there were sections that had snow and crampons/spikes were not needed up or the way down. Made it the top in an hour.

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
16 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!

Great hike overall. Brought snowshoes in anticipation of a lot of snow but micro spikes worked well since the trail was packed snow. Definitely coming back this summer.

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful "gotta do" hike.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful hike. Went this morning 12/30/18 and it was perfect. A couple ice patches towards the top (I just wore hiking boots no spikes or snowshoes) and stronger winds but totally worth it!!

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