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You have to really work for this one. Seventeenth fourteener of the summer and by far the most difficult one I’ve done. Several sections were very steep and me and my friend got off trail near the beginning which put us back about an hour. Some sections of the trail are not marked that well, especially once you enter the boulder field. On my way down, we lost our trail and ended up going down a lot of loose and sketchy scree for a bit before we found the trail again. Views were spectacular but I will never do this one again.

Great hike today. Wildflowers are still very good although past peak.

Great way to avoid the crowds along the way. Fun scrambling on Kelso Ride. Much easier than the Dragon's Head on the Ten Mile Range. If things look too hard, back up and take another approach, most it it really isn't that bad. I took this down because I started early and missed the turn off in the dark. Going down wasn't too bad, you just end up glissading down some skree at the top and that's not my favorite thing in the world.

hiking
1 day ago

Such a fun hike! Lots of rocks you climb up, it does get steep. It’s not a paved path at all which we loved. It can get crowded at the top with people trying to get pictures but it’s well worth it. We’d do this hike again in a heartbeat.

hiking
2 days ago

Enjoyable hike! Little rocky and challenging at parts, but nothing too crazy. Dog friendly so expect to see a few 4-legged friends out there. Cool views!

hiking
2 days ago

Very pretty trail. A bit crowded, but not as crowded as I was expecting. I'd call this trail moderate rather than hard, and I'm of average shape. There were parts that were tough, but it's really short so that's why I'd say it's closer to the moderate side. I got to the parking lot by 8 am and it was full. However, there was plenty of parking along the street. It cost 2.50 per hour.

Due to the road closure we went up Avalanche, down Denny Creek, then slogged it back to Avalanche on the road. The weather could not have been better! Great views and a challenging climb.

I’ve seen a lot of reports touting Denny Creek, but I wasn’t impressed. If I was to do Yale again, I’d stick with Avalanche. It’s slightly longer but I found it far more enjoyable.

Very beautiful scenery

hiking
3 days ago

Love this hike! The flowers are always amazing even after peak season. It’s a steep climb at times but the beauty is worth it. It’s easy to get to from Denver but can be crowded on the weekends. That is the only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars.

Great hike awesome view from the arch. steep in places and rocky. worth the trip.

Hands down one of the most fun climbs up a 14er! Definitely more climbing than hiking!

As many hikers mentioned it before, I would advise to split this hike in two, the first part from the half moon pass trailhead into East Cross creek campsite and then hike the next day from the campsite into Holy Cross.
We decided to go for the full day hike and it was very demanding to say the least. A solid 8.30 hours hike and we are VERY fit. the way back up into half moon pass after a good 6 hours hiking up the mountain was grueling. beautiful views from the summit though, well worth the pain if you know what you are getting into.

Great trail, hard climb, worth every step

on Butler Gulch Trail

5 days ago

Perfect strenuous hike not far from Denver. The last half mile is deceivingly steep but very doable and worth it. Just hard enough to make you break a sweat and need a breather but not so much that you want to stop. Being above the tree line for the last half mile gives you great views of the surrounding ranges. Gorgeous hike. Highly recommend for a good sweat! In and out with a stop at the top for snacks in 3 hours.

on Butler Gulch Trail

hiking
6 days ago

The trail starts out a bit steep, levels out a bit, and then returns to a decent climb to get to the top. My husband and I hiked this trail, to the waterfall, with our two kids, 7 and 10 year old. It was about 3 mi., round trip, with a 1000 ft. elevation gain (The cirque is a bit further with another 500 ft. elevation gain). The wildflowers were past their peak but there were still plenty to enjoy.

This is our third time doing this Centennial Wildflower Hike and I would have to say that we better enjoy it earlier in the season when water crossing are more plentiful and the colors are off the wall. Today's hike was dryer, still beautiful, and hot. Go in July.

I have to say, there were quite a few people on the trail. This was the busiest I have ever seen it. BIG clap of appreciation goes out to all of the folks picking-up after their dogs. There were some bags of dog poop along the trail going up. When I came back down, they were gone! That's not to say that there weren't several piles left all around the trailhead, but it sure was nice to see responsible dog owner's making a difference in the way our trails are being used and abused by cleaning up after their pets. Thanks!

hiking
7 days ago

A challenging but truly epic hike & summit. The dirt road up to the trailhead was barely passable at 5-7 mph in a Honda Civic – by comparison, it was much better than the Grays/Torreys road from hell – but you’d be tempting fate in anything less than a high-clearance 4WD. Parking spots were still available at the trailhead (North Cottonwood Creek) at 7 AM on a Monday in August. Only encountered four or five other hikers all day.

This trail has basically four parts: in the forest, in the valley, ascending to the shoulder, and the final ascent to the summit. Each section is shorter but steeper and more challenging than the last; the last two sections have probably 2000-2500 feet of elevation gain across <2 miles. Beware of the two unmarked forks along this trail – at the first, it’s left to Harvard and right to Columbia, and at the second, keep right for the Harvard trail and go left for Bear Lake. Lots of marmots and pikas towards the end, and we saw some mountain goats from the summit. Goats aside, the summit views were absolutely spectacular – with minimal wind and clear skies, we spent 40 minutes up there.

Bottom line: definitely harder than some other 14ers but, with proper planning and expectations, totally worth it.

hiking
8 days 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.

My tenth 14er and goes down as my favorite because the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a little deceiving because you’re surrounded by a forest and creek for about half the climb and you can’t see the exposed tree line area at all, but it’s nice this trail spoils you a little bit before the hard work starts. The trail was nice until the very top of the summit where there were big boulders. We had a Boston Terrier who struggled on this part a bit, definitely more class 3 terrain at the top. We only saw 4 other people and had the summit to ourselves, a first for me! The descent was nice and easy since it’s not too steep and you also end in a beautiful forest to reward yourself from the tough climb! Highly recommend.

hiking
8 days ago

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

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful hike!! A lot of the negative comments below can be overcome by good alpine practices. The peak is very obviously exposed, you can see this easily from 285. An early alpine start helps with sun too. We started at 5:30 and summited 2.5 hours later. The trail is wonderfully marked, just look for the next 2-3 cairns, not only the one ahead. The trail moves through a scree field, not sure what the references to “huge boulders” are. There are some but it is more scree than scramble. All in all, be ready for a beautiful and engaging hike. Definitely worth driving the Jeep road if you have the car.

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

This was my husband and my first 14er. Granted we have nothing to compare it to and the views were awesome at the top, but I don’t think we will ever do this one again. It is 95% straight rock scramble with a very poorly marked trail. It took us 9 hours to do 7 miles, and we are not slow hikers. It just takes that much concentration that by the end you are not only physically exhausted, but mentally exhausted. Good time, but beware it’s all rocks.

1. This is longer than 8.3. More like 9.5. Consider that for time. We started at 5.20 am and we were in the car at 1pm. We hike a pretty average pace, but most people we going significantly slower.

2. DON'T MISS THE TRAIL TURNOFF! If you're walking in the dirt road for more than 10 minutes, you may have missed it. It's easy to do in the dark, even with headlamps, and one guy we met missed it by 40 mins. It's about 5 mins down the trail on the left.

on Hells Hole Trail

hiking
9 days ago

Once you get to the top, the view is great but other than that, eh, there are way prettier hikes in Colorado.

You want wild flowers then go here!!!

Also very underrated waterfall, photos don't do it justice.

First old mine is cool, second is not.

hiking
10 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!

hiking
10 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

Steep trail, but beautiful waterfall early on and great tree coverage at the start. “Lake” and mine at the top are so so.

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