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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.

A few weeks ago I and three buddies I go to college with hiked the Conundrum Creek Trail to the Conundrum Hot Springs and camped overnight. A permit is required for overnight stays. The second day we hiked back in the late afternoon. It is a 17-mile hike round trip. There was clear sunny weather both days. The trail is in pretty good shape. It was a bit muddy in a few areas. A good pair of hiking shoes is essential. There were few others at the campsite overnight. We had the hot springs to ourselves that night. The second day we hiked a bit further south and then returned to hit the hot springs again before descending. The only people we ran into that day were an older couple on the trail passing by while we were in the hot springs and a guy and his two teenage sons who joined us in the hot springs.

I read a review that talks about people being "inconsiderate" because they were naked in the hot springs. Please note: These hot springs have traditionally been a place where people are naked. There is nothing inherently inconsiderate about this. My friends and I enjoyed being naked in the hot springs on our trip. Nothing more. Nothing less. The older couple passing by seemed shocked and shook their heads at us. The wife muttered under her breath that we could cover up when people pass by. By contrast, the father and his sons decided to join us naked in the springs and everyone had a pleasant time hanging out. Clearly the main difference between the two groups of people we met while we were in the hot springs had to do with their differing attitudes towards nudity. Please, either respect the right of others to enjoy being naked in nature or avoid the hot springs, however, do not expect others to stop enjoying this traditionally nude area because you have a problem with simple nudity!

Easy and fun hike with the kid and the dogs.

on Sandbeach Lake Trail

hiking
12 days 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.

hiking
13 days ago

Excellent trail that is to be experienced in the fall. We were a couple weeks late to do this. However, the snow in the path made it a bit difficult to traverse. Took us 3 hours from car to car including the breaks and photography. Would highly recommend this trail during the fall season.

It was extremely snowy this time of year. Do not go without snow shoes. About 90% of the way there I had to turn around because the snow was up to my waist. Still beautiful until that point!

Beautiful hike with lots of lakes and pretty views. Hiked this back in September. Saw mother and baby mountain goats. Not too many people on the trail, but definitely some traffic.

My favorite trail. Running water, moose, aspens and pines. this trail has it all.

Hiked this 3 weeks ago and needed crampons to make it to the top. There are two ways to make it to the lake. One of them requires a rock scramble; but both are a steep climb. It's beautiful country and worth hiking it in the snow.

hiking
16 days ago

We went off season which was October 26th. At this time there is no having to use the shuttle to get up. You need to pay at the entry of the park which is $10 per car. We went about 930a and now issues finding parking. When we got done with the hike around 1p the parking lot was pretty full. We wanted to do an easy hike as my friend just flew in the day before from Minnesota. We were planning to do the easy trail called Maroon Bells scenic trail. This was closed so other only option from that trail was Crater Lake. This was a little more challenging then we were expecting. But it was a great. Lots of rocks and boulders to climb over. There was some areas with snow and ice but not too bad. But all worth as once we got the lake it was huge (though the water was low). Enough room to go by ourselves to have a snack without being next to anyone. Would come back to do this in another season to see all the aspens.

Its snowshoe season!

low traffic, beautiful pines surround you, very peaceful, great for anyone

trail running
20 days ago

A very enjoyable forested trail. Mt Antero looked great with a touch of snow. The trail was clear and conditions were good. The waterfall isn’t mind blowing but it’s a nice spot to stop for a photo and a snack.

Good hike. Nice steady climb after about a mile of flat. Went in late fall and definitely needed the yak tracks and some good water proof hiking boots. Layers was the name of the game. Bring a wind breaker cause it was pretty windy at Heart Lake.

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked this trail yesterday 10-27-18. Very snowy like the previous poster said. After the first lake it got really deep and we had to turn around. It was also pretty slick after everyone had compacted the snow and melting then refreezing at night. I would be cautious, there were a few parts that were a little touch and go. On the other hand, beautiful beautiful hike!!

Did this trail when the scenic loop was closed. It was steep until the end and snowy and rocky in spots. But for those of us in our party who made it, it’s was great.
The lake was not very full, but the scenery was great and the local birds are friendly!
For the part of our party who couldn’t make it to the top there was an opening with a amazing Mountain View about .75 miles in. A great place to call good enough if u have to.

Did this hike back in July, so this review might be a little off by now. Overall a Solid hike, with a well maintained trail. 3-4 hour hike depending on your pace and if you break for lunch at the waterfall.

I hiked this trail on 10/21/18. Very beautiful area. However, this 7.2 mile out and back turned into 10.5 miles due to the snow. 80% of the trail had between 2 inches - 2.5 feet of snow. The snow and ice made the hike very difficult. Unless you’re experienced with snow hiking and snowshoes, I would not advise the hike until the snow melts. In the end, the snow got so deep, we couldn’t even make it the last 400 meters to grand lake.

One note though is that the first mile of the hike is easy (if no snow) and takes you to a beautiful small waterfall and small lake.

Lovely hike for a partial day. The steepest part was the first section, then it was easy and beautiful. Very little snow and ice on this sunny October day. You can continue up to the lake for a hike that us twice as long.

The popularity of this trail has completely destroyed the area, there's poop everywhere along the trail & around the campsites. This place has transformed into a rocky mountain national park or emerald bay of tahoe lake situation. Aholes that don't respect anything go & pollute so the forest service now requires reservations to camp in the middle of the wilderness. Thanks people!! Crappy fake casual outdoors people ruined it for absolutely everyone, great job!!!!

Perfect 3 hour hike with the pup.

The best in Colorado

What an adventure! This trail was 9.6 miles to and from the hot springs so 19.2 miles round trip according to my iPhone health app. It was very muddy and there was lots of snow especially the higher up you go so make sure to bring reliable warming and waterproof gear. The trail was really easy to follow and the bridges were fun to cross (3 bridges total) but the altitude is something to watch out for going up. It’s true what everyone say the hike down is a cake walk. It took us 6-7 hours to get up and 4 hours to get down.

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!

The BEST hike, I did it in July in 3 days and it was the hardest but most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life.

Get a good water filter, tent, rain gear (a must), the usual. We had to have a beat canister when we went and it was SO heavy, and doesnt get much lighter throughout the trip due to "bring it in bring it out." Next time we will use those bear bag type deals, much lighter and you're still able to rent those.

Its amazing, I am not in the best shape but not in bad shape and it was hard but not discouraging by any means! Have fun!!!

Gorgeous country and great hike. Very peaceful and the trail is certainly challenging at times.

Beautiful views wherever you go! Challenging backpacking!

hiking
1 month 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.

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!

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