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We took our 4 year old and 2 year old yesterday on this hike it was beautiful. This was our second time to do this hike once last year and again this year on our annual trip. Be aware that there is a $6.00 fee to hike this trail this was new to us. I believe last year it was donation only. Make sure to bring some cash.

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail. Lots of climbing on the way up, but it’s all worth it for the views at the top. Go early to avoid the crowds – it was already pretty busy at 7am and people were lined up inching along the narrow paths on on the way down. Free parking is available about 10 blocks away.

hiking
1 day ago

Great morning hike! Took me 2 hours with a 15 min stop at peak.

This can be a great hike - if you're prepared. I completed this hike with 3 friends this past Saturday, August 11, and we all found it more challenging than expected, especially given that the most recent review here says "first easy hike...perfect for our 7-year-old's first time in CO"! I'm wondering if either they did a different trail or they just have the toughest 7-year-old in the world.

The first challenging aspect is that this hike is located in the true Colorado desert, much of it without cover so you're hiking in the full sun. Second, it's a a lower elevation than most of the hikes we do in CO so there's not the normal escape from the summer heat that we're used to. I would not recommend doing this hike in the summer at all unless you have plenty of water - as in bring what you think you need then bring about half as much again - and you have the proper summer-time gear, like wide brimmed hats, lots of sunblock, etc.; or you hit the trail VERY early in the day before it gets warm.

This trail is very rugged. The condition of the trail matches the fact that it is in a State Wildlife Area as it definitely wild! In many places it is overgrown to the point that you are pushing through vegetation without being able to see where you're going. Often we were essentially skirting the side of the canyon on a single-file trail. The trail itself is covered in largish rocks that force you to keep an eye on where you're placing your feet. If you want to take in the scenery, which really is beautiful, you almost have to stop to avoid a misstep.

The trail isn't always clearly marked either but we did download the All Trails map and it helped us get back on track a couple of times, BUT, there is one section that apparently has been rerouted since the map was last updated. When going clockwise, right as you're leaving edge of the creek for the last time, there is a fork in the trail and the All Trails map tells you to go left, even though the trail on the right is more well-used and there are a few rocks partially blocking the left fork. We thought we should trust the All Trails map though and went left and wound up in what appeared to be a bear's bathroom! The trail just tapered out at an area of undergrowth that was covered in bear scat! We even passed a bear scratching tree with a big clump of bear fur on the ground below it. We wondered if the trail was rerouted to avoid a bear den! In any case we turned around and took the right fork and got back on track.

The length of this loop is also a little longer than stated here. We started recording with the All Trails app as soon as we got out of the car, which was parked very close to the trail, and our round trip distance measured 8.2 miles. I think the 7.5 mile distance doesn't include the walk from the parking lot to the actual trail head.

Overall I did enjoy this hike. The canyon itself and the creek are really beautiful and I loved that there was only one other car in the parking lot when we arrived - something unheard of in most places in CO on a summer Saturday. But as I stated earlier, it was definitely more challenging that we expected and I don't know that I would do it again any time soon. Maybe in the autumn and would still bring a lot more water.

Certainly challenging, but nothing to lose sleep over. Expect to wait in line if you’re hoping to get decent pictures at the top.

"Stairmaster Sanitas" is a great place to get a very real workout in. We are in decent shape and climbed up Sanitas and went back around the valley loop trail within 2.5 hours. I would categorize this as "moderate to hard" given a few of the rocks you have to scramble over and how steep it is. While you can carry a child on a backpack up an down, it's not the greatest one to choose for that since you might have to shuffle a bit over rocks, etc.

Great hike. Decently steep towards the top before the lake but gem lake is beautiful. Went further to balanced rock which was an 8 mile round trip and had some good views along the way. Would hike again!!

hiking
3 days ago

This is definitely a “hard” trail, bust super proud when I finished! Practically all up hill on the way there but that means down hill on the way back! The views at the top are beautiful! I would recommend starting it sooner rather than later so the traffic is low and the sun isn’t too high!

Part of the RMNP but start outside of park. Started at donut shop on the way to trail. Great donuts but made hiking a little tougher.

This hike is different than being in the RMNP, the rocks-boulder different shapes and sizes. Made for numerous little caves, which the 2 and 5 year old loved.

On the way up, get some good views of Estes park.

There is a actual toilet near the top. My 5 yr old loved this!!

Lake is very ok. Also leaches in the lake, so don't get all the way in. But plenty of exploring and climbing near the lake for the kids.

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5). 5 yr old hiked off and on.

hiking
3 days ago

We enjoyed this hike! It was definitely a high incline and rocky but it was worth it. It was a bit harder then expected the the views are beautiful and the arch is pretty neat. Bring lots of water, take stops and enjoy the outdoors! There are trees on a lot of the hike which gives some much needed shade every now and then.

Thought we would start here on vacation to get used to the elevation before heading to RMNP but this was a tough hike for us. Arch bigger than expected and nice view of flatirons

hiking
3 days ago

This was a very nice short first day hike for our CO vacation to get acclimated to walking at this altitude/weather. I would put the overall difficulty more towards moderate, but it’s a tough call as parts are easy, parts are moderate, and there are some steeper stretches that are more difficult. We went relatively early on a July weekday and the number of people going up was not bad at all, but we passed a ton of people going the other way as we can back down. Yes, bring water, wear good hiking shoes, sunscreen, etc and otherwise use common sense. Although short, the trail has more of the feel of a “hike” than a walk in the park.

Amazing views and easy lots of little chipmunks that come very close to you. Many spots for photos. ALOT OF PEOPLE!!! but lots of fun and many trails next to it

This is a heavily trafficked trail over steep rocks to a really fun swimming hole.

Really pleasant nature trail. Too many people, but that seems to be the nature of everything today.

Good one

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful views from the Royal Arch and worth the effort it takes to hike up! Would not recommend this trail for small children, elderly, or dogs that are not experienced hiking companions in high altitudes. Very steep, rocky, and mostly vertical climb. Several areas require scrambling. You’ll want a good pair of hiking/approach shoes. Do not take this trail if you have bad knees, hips, or ankles. Otherwise, enjoy!

Almost 100% vertical. Take breaks, bring water. Go early on a weekday - my group went on a Sunday late morning, and it was super crowded. Trail is fairly narrow and rocky, which makes navigating the crowds fairly difficult.

hiking
5 days ago

Nice view of city and UOC Boulder from top. Great view of the flatirons. Steep toward the end. Arch is very impressive. Saw lots of raptor hawks. A hazy view of Denver in the distance.

This is the perfect trail for families with small children. ...and there are a lot of them on this trail because you don't need hiking shoes or boots for terrain, but, beware of wearing new shoes because there are a lot of puddles.
And while this is a trail, it's absolutely not a "hike" in my opinion. You're simply walking around the perimeter of a lake. Nevertheless, this walk offers breathtaking views and many opportunities of idyllic mountain views as your picture's backdrop.

Was a pretty good workout for this Nebraska boy, but enjoyed the views and the little rain shower. Recommend the hike overall!

I started up the Sanitas Valley Loop first. Beautiful views of urban Boulder and a smattering of homes in the hills. The moderate valley trail gives way to some steep inclines as it connects with the East Ridge trail. I was visiting from Atlanta so I had to catch my breath and steady my footing as the trail ascended. Had to get used to the change in altitude. Plan to take your time navigating the rocky, sometimes not well marked East Ridge trail if your new to it and out there alone. I got out early in the am and had a few hikers help me find the trail but I can see that this trail gets very well populated after mid morning. At the top of Ridge Trail I met some nice folks who directed me to Lion’s Lair trail just beyond the summit for a good trail run. This trail was pretty smooth and the decline makes for a steady tempo run. Don’t get too comfortable because the switchbacks will keep you on your game. Overall a fun trail to test your trail speed. The locals pointed directed me on how to go from the Lion’s Lair trail to a narrow barely there trail that runs parallel to Sunshine Canyon Dr. This trail led to me the Centennial Trailhead parking lot. Overall awesome experience for a trail runner who wants to mix it up with a hike and run.

DO NOT TAKE TRAIL 626!! There is a trail before the Mt Rosa trail head called 626. This trail is extremely dangerous for hikers. We were shot at multiple times during this hike. The area leading up to the trail is also dangerous because people have makeshift shooting ranges along the road. The whole place has a bad vibe and there is a disrespect for hikers and the environment around this area. This place is not for people looking for a peaceful hike. AVOID THIS TRAIL!

very good hike!! it was a tough uphill but only took a little over an hour to the arch. total about 2 hr round trip for us. loved the workout!

hiking
7 days ago

I’d do it again, mainly because it is such a great little workout. Don’t underestimate that uphill! It is totally doable though. There is a $2.50/hr parking fee between 8 and 5, but I recommend hiking before 8am anyway this time of year. 6am would be ideal so that you get the most shade and the best temperature to make the hike as pleasant as possible.

hiking
7 days ago

While the trail is beautiful, winding through the woods up to a arid clearing and then into the woods again to the summit for a 360 degree view, I would recommend approaching the trail from Cheyenne Canyon instead. As mentioned by previous reviewers, there are many people using the area (esp along the 379 road that you add to your hike if you don't have a high clearance vehicle) as impromptu shooting ranges, destroying trees and leaving an incredibly disheartening amount of trash. Shots fired can be heard throughout the hike. While some of the people out shooting looked to be responsibly enjoying the sport, there were just as many groups who looked shady: teenagers smoking weed, drinking, and firing semi automatic weapons level shady. While we did see a sheriff drive by on old stage twice, the sheriff does not drive on 379. It was to the point where we saw multiple other hikers with their own side arms making my dad comment that he wish he had a side arm for the hike as the amount of unruly people along 379 was to the point of discomfort (case in point poor Zach's review below!).

Shooting ranges aside, the hike was 8.2 miles total starting from the lot on the left of old stage, up 379, turn off on 672 about 1.8 miles in (we missed the frosty park trailhead as it is not marked), and then heading up to the summit. In total it took my dad and I 4 hours and 26 min including 35 minutes picnicking at the summit. I would suggest bringing hiking poles if you have them for the descent. Personally, I found the hike a bit more rigorous than anticipated on the uphill but it sure made for a great workout! My dog loved it as well but the top can be pretty exposed in the heat so bring extra water for your pup!

If you drive to Frosty's park up 379 the hike is probably closer to 4 miles however the road has portions with enough dips and rocks that I didn't want to risk scraping the bottom of my 2005 Toyota Rav4. Vehicles that I did see make it up included pickup trucks and jeeps for reference. Keep in mind that if you select the 'directions' option, google maps actually tries to take you on roads that no longer exist due to reclamation. Ignore the turns and just stick to old stage to gold camp until you get to Rosemont-Penrose Reservoir and there will be an obvious widening of the road for a lot on the left. From the time you exit the neighborhood at the base of old stage road to the parking pull off below road 379 will be about 10 miles.

this incline is no joke! my poor pups paws were shredded after hiking these rocks. I ended up having to carry her 2 miles to the end. It was scenic but not as great as everyone makes it out to be.

hiking
8 days ago

Did this on a Monday early afternoon after misreading the Flatiron closure warnings. Heavily trafficked - lots of groups, people playing music in their phones aloud, etc - with that said it’s not a national park or anything. Great variety for a shorter trail. Beautiful views, busy at the arch but was able to wait out the crowds to get the pictures I wanted.

hiking
8 days ago

Really hard but worth it

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