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Great trail for our 2nd and 3rd 14er!! Definitely need an awd vehicle for the Rd to the trailhead!! Very big rocks, took us 15mins to go the 3 or so miles. We arrived at 430am on a Wednesday and were the 3rd car in the parking lot. Trails were very well marked and gorgeous views the entire time! We tagged Grays then Torrey's, some steep grades, but not technical. Highly recommend!!

Lovely and manageable hike.

The road to the trailhead was a brutal hike, but we got lucky and hitched a ride part of the way from I70. We aren’t “newbies” by any means but we don’t get to hike often, so this was a rough trail for us. We made it about 13,000 feet before turning around, but even at this point the views are amazing. It was a great hike, and moderately busy for a Monday morning.

Go figure .... flight from Denver is delayed by almost 2 hours to go home! Damn the luck
Happy birthday to me

Great day. Near empty lot at 5AM. Accompanied my wife on her first 14er to Grays. I continued on to T’s with a friend. Back in the condo with a drink by 1:00!! Beautiful hike.

A bit crowded on a September weekend, but most trails in the park are at this time. We had to do about .8 miles of road-walking from the shuttle stop, where we were lucky to get a parking space (there were tons of people circling the lots and walking the road). Much of the trail goes through the burn area, which detracts from the scenery, and it's also the most horse-poop-covered trail I've seen in the park. Gross. The lake is lovely and we saw a couple of moose (and the crowds thin after each viewpoint - the pond and the falls - so there weren't tons of people who made it all the way to the lake. We didn't have time to do Odessa, which is reportedly great, but just Fern Lake as a destination was only so-so compared to other hikes in RMNP.

Definitely need awd vehicle! For my first 14er, this hike was great! Did both grays and Torrey’s, started around 7:30 and was down by 2:30. Hiked closer to 11 miles including the hike from the car to the trailhead.

One of our most favorite hikes. Started at Bear Lake, sun just rising and the Aspen were “on fire.” We’re flat landers from Ohio and seniors, so took our time and enjoyed it immensely. The only tricky part for us was the last mile down to the lake. Pretty steep with lots of loose rocks. The lake is pristine. Enjoyed our lunch on the shore and headed back the way we came. AllTrails said 8.6 miles and took us just under 5 hours. Lots of rest breaks and photos. Highly recommended.

Started at 5:30 on a late summer Sunday and there were already 70-80 people on the trail. Parking lot was completely full - seems like it’s legal to car camp and possibly even camp on the trail, or nearby?

The road up there is insane: 3 miles of legitimate off roading; I almost destroyed my hatchback. At the road’s last mile is a particularly insane dip which only SUVs and trucks managed to clear. You will feel terrible about what this road will do to your car.

I did Gray and then Torrey and my Garmin said 9 miles, but you will have to hike more if you park far back. Took me 4.5 hours including 15 minutes resting at the top of Torrey.

By the time I headed down there were HUNDREDS of people on the trail. If you can do this one on a weekday I’d recommend it.

Absolutely beautiful! Beautiful people, beautiful scenery and beautiful goats! Very awesome day!
It was chilly before the sun came out but was very nice once it did. Take your time and enjoy it!

What a view!

hiking
9 days ago

Just a fabulous hike. A steady climb to the lake, but you pass a number of great waterfalls and open meadows on the way up. I saw 3 moose (bull and cow with older calf), deer, a family of friendly grouse, turkey, and lots of pickpocketing squirrels and chipmunks. The lake was not crowded and the trail was really not busy at all for the park. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see a sub alpine lake without a crowd. Just bring lots of snacks and water and please don't feed the wildlife!

hiking
10 days ago

Excellent!

Beautiful, moderately steep assent to a most wonderful Alpine lake. Definitely worth the hike for a 55 yo in decent shape

I believe this is my favorite Front Range hike. I have hiked it 3 times this year and had the pleasure of seeing this area in peak wild flower season as well as almost peak foliage. Expect to see abundant wild life and amazing views. There is plenty of water along the way for dogs and the lower 2/3 of the hike is rarely busy. This hike is a wonderful, rewarding challenge. Be sure to bring plenty of food/water and a set of hiking poles will help your decent of the slide area adjacent to the upper C Lake. I clocked it around 15.2 miles and with my pup it took right at 7hrs stopping 4times.

We hiked this to flattop mountain on a day hike. A little longer then we expected and then further got delayed by having a bull moose on the trail who would run at us when we tried to pass, ended up waiting 30 minutes for him to move on. Lots of wildlife 2 bull moose, elk, mule deer, beautiful views and lots of water. 22 miles total for us in 10 hours. Not to bad

We hiked Gray's and Torreys and as someone that has done several other 14ers, these guys were harder than expected! I think adding Torreys was the real kicker. Its a steady but slight climb through the valley with a few flat parts and then an uphill slog to the top of Gray's for the last 1-2 miles. Gray's has a beautiful view and we saw tons of mountain goats (with their babies!). We didn't get to rest much on Gray's since we were doing Torreys. Torreys actually seemed like the easier hike even though it was a class two. Do Gray's first then Torreys! For us, the downhill was worse than the uphill just because it seems to go forever. BE WARNED the hike was closer to 9 miles than the listed 7.7 and will be farther if the parking lot is full (we ended up hiking 11 miles in 9 hours). All in all, a beautiful and easily accessible hike, but beginners should perhaps stick to one mountain unless they're really feeling it. (fyi, as others have said 4wd is probably needed for the road)

Would definitely recommend awd vehicle, my 2017 Passat could not make it, so I had to park mid way. It’s a descent 14er with really good views. Hiking poles would help

Great hike on a beautiful day! Arrived at 7:30 a.m. and was back at the trailhead at 12:45 (5:15 hours). App said 8.1 miles. FYI - I only did Grays. Tired and had to be back in Denver by 4:00. Ditto regarding the access road - it's VERY hairy. I came upon what looked like an impassable section of the road and decided to park 1 mile away. Then I saw another SUV carefully navigate it and decided to go for it (I have an AWD Hyundai Santa Fe). Made it successfully to the trail head and was able to park on the road 100 feet away. The last hour was somewhat brutal, but well worth it. About the same difficulty level as Bierstadt and Democrat. Incredible views - including looking down on the Breckenridge ski slopes from a distance. Some not-so-smart people on the trail - blasting music (no headphones), no warm weather gear (it felt like 25 degrees at the top), and behind a guy who was navigating the trail on the way down with his hands in his pockets - obviously freezing, but if he stumbled he would face plant. Don't be "that guy" :-).

Amazing hike! Hike up to grays was relatively easy for a 14er, up to Torrey’s was more steep but definitely shorter. So worth it!!!!

We hiked Grays on 9/2/18. This was my first 14er. We stayed in the foothills a couple days before (we live in KS) and drove out that morning and arrived at the bottom of Gluch Rd at 0500. We knew my car wouldn't make it up the road, so we hiked up. From what I could figure out, the road is 3 miles long with a 1,420 foot gain (for those who are curious). We made it to the top of Grays at 1030. We were tempted to try Torreys, but it was getting close to turn around time and our legs were wrecked from the hike up the road. Amazing view at the top. It snowed just a sprinkle on the way down. Shout out to the kind family we passed on the trail who later offered us a ride down the road to our car. I'll definitely be back to do Grays AND Torreys.

Hike offers great views throughout, especially once you summit you can see for what seems forever. The day we hiked there were 40 mph sustained winds which made for a tougher hike to summit both peaks. Wind was especially strong in the saddle between the peaks. Very few did Torrey’s due to the high winds. We had a fun raucous crowd celebrating their first 14er on Gray’s which made for a fun time on top. The road to the trailhead is in very poor condition. Not recommended for vehicles other than 4 wheel drive with very good clearance.

Awesome hike had to turn around at noon because of weather so made it to the top of the mountain but not to Hylett Peak. Glacier was awesome to see and you can't beat the views

hiking
16 days ago

Epic hike and probably most difficult trail from Bear Lake. Leave early and bring plenty of water. Amazed me to see number of folks with limited hydration! Elevation gain is no joke so bring your A game. Views are worth every step!

hiking
17 days ago

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! Thanks to Heather's review (two down, past the salty dog guy's unfair rating), I decided to round-trip to Bear Lake, making my personal journey 16+ miles. However, as Heather mentioned, there is a shuttle at Bear Lake if you want to ride back :)

The trip to Fern Lake was isolated and wonderful. I was averaging seeing 2 people per mile until the lake. I would recommend going a little further to Odessa if you can, the chasm is so gorgeous and unexpected when you come to it that it took my breath away!

I saw 50+ elk as well as deer, ducks, squirrels, chipmunks, pikas, AND the "resident" bear! He crossed right over the trail about half a mile from the Fern Lake TH, at 7 pm. Not overly afraid of humans but also not eager to make acquaintance! It was breathtaking to see such a beautiful creature in his natural habitat. Stay safe and smart out there hikers!

Great experience, completed this on my 44th birthday after less than 36 hours acclimating as a Midwesterner. Next 14er I will acclimate for at least 3 days before attempting. Very doable - pack light, stay hydrated, use sun screen.

Did this hike starting at the Fern Lake trail head at Moraine Park entrance. It was a beautiful sunny day. About a mile in from the trail head saw a black bear about 50 ft off of the trail. It was special to see this bear and it's only interest was to forage for food. I continued to The Pool which was a good photo point. I continued to Fern lake were I had a snack and spent some leisure time taking in the mountains and the lake as well as plenty of Cutthroat Trout as well as the Greenback Cutthroat which is beautiful and the only trout native to Colorado. Yes you can fish but only catch and release. Than on to Odessa Lake with fantastic views of the green tinged lake and the Little Matterhorn. The climb up to Odessa lake and then beyond is a pretty stout climb and you will reach an altitude of about 10,600 ft. At the apex of the hike you will level out for a few miles and than descend to Bear Lake. The trail from Odessa lake is quite rocky so watch were you are putting feet. The hike is about 12 miles long and worth the effort for the beauty along the way. Possible to see Moose on the way down toward Bear Lake .

4:45a on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend and got the 2nd to last spot in the parking lot. Great time to go, felt like I had the whole place to myself. Passed a dozen others on the trail, and both summits were clear by the time I scrambled up.

The way back down? Holy conga line...

Easy hiking to Grays. Final pitch up Torreys is steeper. A pleasant loop overall.

Regarding the road, it’s rough, but if the road to the South Colony Lakes 4x4 lot is a 5 this road is a 1. Really not that bad as far as these things go.

Wow, did the altitude hit us, huffing and puffing like oldies... but a great hike. We actually thought we would to get to Hallet Peak then Otis Peak, but settled for cresting Flat Top. Saw Elk, Marmot, Pika and several birds. Gradients are hard, we just needed many stops to regain our breathe. This was our first hike at higher elevations. Highly recommend.

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