Explore Colorado - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
1 day ago

hiking
2 days ago

This is borderline easy-moderate. The majority of the trail was snow and ice covered on 11/10/2018. We had microspikes and didn't have any issues. Would definitely recommend microspikes or snow shoes in the near future as winter starts moving in. The streams are partially frozen but you can still see some water flow - makes for some neat ice formations! The lakes and ponds are all frozen but still very pretty

hiking
5 days ago

first part of trail is great but then 2nd half is just a service road. saw a few deer and a hawk.

hiking
17 days ago

Great hike! We went last Friday and it was a beautiful day. The trail was icy and snow packed in some areas and even more so the closer we got to the lake.

This has quickly become one of our favorite hikes. The elevation gain is serious, but there are only a few spots that get challenging. The lake is peaceful, and we had it to ourselves today. It does get snowy and icy, so wear your spikes or bring your poles.

hiking
20 days ago

This was a good hike. Pretty steep right from the get go. We took a lot of breaks. Good views along the way. Not overly crowded on the trail, but parking was pretty hard to come by on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Coming back up from the river was the hardest part for me. All in all, 4 hours well spent.

hiking
23 days ago

This was my first hike after moving from the midwest. It was a nice trail, took the dog with us, got my heart rate going right off the bat and we took it nice and slow. Probably not the best first hike for someone who hasn't hiked much, we didn't make it all the way to the end, but we will next time!

hiking
23 days ago

We went on this trail on (10/15/18) after a big snow and it was awesome. THE MOMENT we stepped out of the car we saw a huge moose about 100 ft away. Immediately turned around and walked towards the trail. About 20 steps into the trail there was an even larger moose, about 50 ft in front of us. We were pretty spooked and almost just went back to the car but we waited a bit and he went on his way, so glad we continued. We went up and turned onto the first lake trail (I forget the name) and it was frozen and beautiful.

hiking
25 days ago

It was a gorgeous day to hike. I started early and there was no one on the trail all the way up to Diamond Lake. I did wear spikes the entire way due to ice and snow. I couldn't have hiked the last mile without them. My dog was with me and we had a blast. Yes, the road is awful to drive on but if you're a confident driver, you can make it. Please PULL OVER if someone is behind you and you're coasting down (or up) the road. It was a celebratory hike for my 61st birthday and the day couldn't have been nicer.

Beautiful hike, lots of scenery and mountains all around you covered in snow. Parking lot (due to road closure) is 3.5 miles away from the lake Isabelle trailhead, entire hike ends up being 12.5 miles. Lake Isabelle is completely frozen over and looks immaculate. Expect a 5 and half hour hike. I would arrive early to get the best views and temperatures.

**there is a separate account for “winter” trail, but this is the first account most people go to** Beautiful hike the entire way. As someone else mentioned the road to Brainard Lake is closed. From parking and back we clocked a round trip of 12 miles to get to Lake Isabelle and back to parking lot. The trail had nice packed snow 90% of the way, the last part before the lake is a little slushy and muddy being exposed to sun which can cause it to be a little slick, so careful if you have some limitations. The lake was completely frozen on 10/20.

hiking
26 days ago

Amazing view!

26 days ago

Best views of the Canyon. would reccomend

Third time hiking this trail (first during winter and the second during summer). Despite it being mid-October, there was still a lot of snow on the upper two-thirds of the trail, so definitely bring appropriate gear and be prepared to stay out all day; it's a very long trek. Mirror Lake was frozen over but there are some nearby streams to get fresh water, if needed. Also, the gate to access Monarch Lake trailhead was open, but I know they close it as it gets closer to winter so double-check this before heading out, as it can add an extra 2 miles (round trip) to the hike. Otherwise, beautiful hike - one of my favorites in Colorado.

Just a heads up the road to Brainard Lake is closed for the season as of 10/15 so you have to park at the winter lot and hike the 2.5ish miles to the trailhead.

As of 10/16 the gate was closed before the fee station which adds about 5 miles RT to any hike you plan to do. The road has some snow/ice but also has large dry stretches. Once you get near the Mitchell Lake TH you will be on snow the whole time. The trail is packed down for most of the way. I brought microspikes and snowshoes. Never put the spikes on, but snowshoes were very helpful once I got about 1/4 mile below Blue Lake. Was glad to have gaiters and waterproof boots. Beautiful hike.

Incredible experience! Dress warm and wear shoes for winter conditions. $11 FEE. This hike is full of captivating views of towering mountains and frozen lakes. 4.9/5!

Hop over to here2summitup.wordpress.com for a detailed description with pictures and videos of this hike! Follow @2_Summit_Up on Instagram to see this hike and more adventures.

Moderate to easy hike, Blue lake is gorgeous! Snow and ice on much of the trail now. Cold and windy at top, but worth the work.

This was a beautiful hike with varying difficulty in the trail throughout and lots of beautiful views along the way. we didn't make it to glacier lake but lake Isabelle was great!

Solid hike, not too hard and great views.

We do a lot of hiking in Colorado, and for my entire family this is our favorite. It is extremely easy, and just shockingly beautiful the entire way. I can't think of a better place for a hike. We went on a Wednesday, arrived at the park about 7:05 in the morning, and there were only two parking places left. Arriving early and bug spray are both a must!

This was a great hike!
I tried to reach little blue lake but I could not find the trail for the life of me. After about 1mile of pushing on towards little blue lake I gave up, my dog was not happy with all the small boulders and snow causing us to fall a lot.
Otherwise I would do it again in the spring when everything is green

Incredible views. Bring layers. Very windy by the lake

hiking
1 month ago

The views were great, the trail is REALLY easy. But I wouldn’t call the loop kid-friendly due to the fact that the second half of the “loop” is literally along the “scenic highway”. Code for you’re walking on the side of the road with your child. If I did this hike again I would have to do it as an out and back, and that really would take away from the beautiful views of the lake from the roadside. Probably great for someone hiking solo though.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice, easy - moderate fall hike. Get there soon before the leaves fall. I would recommend a higher clearance vehicle for the last four miles to the trail head. I drive a Subaru Impreza and bottomed out more than once.

Easy hike and busy on a Sat. Beautiful lake at the golden hour! Chilly at the top so bring layers.

So pretty the entire time!! Dog friendly & everyone had their dogs on a leash. Very appreciative of this.

Great little nature trail, except for where you have to walk along the highway. Pretty views.

Probably one of the best hikes I’ve done in CO. Like others have said, makes for a LONG day hike - still so worth it. Wish I had 2 or 3 nights to explore the surrounding Crater Lakes area.

There are 12 designated camping spots around crater lake. On a Saturday the place was packed with campers. The ranger must’ve given out at least a dozen citations. Even though permits are not required at this time of year, got to get up there early to claim a spot.

Will definitely be bringing the pack for next time!

Careful on the drive up! There's a good stretch of dirt road with lots of big rocks that can be difficult to drive over. We got to the trailhead around 8:30 in the morning and it wasn't very crowded at all. Absolutely gorgeous trail with a good incline. Weather was pleasantly cool and crisp until the way down when it got hot (and kind of crowded) in the afternoon. There was a really neat waterfall about 2/3 of the way to the lake, and the lake was stunning, but very windy. Beautiful hike. We took it super slow on the way down because I managed to hurt my leg. Hahah, we still had fun!

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