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Beautiful views from the top!! Did this hike on 12/15, didn’t need snow shoes but yaktrax were necessary!! Snow is packed down on the trail but slippy without them.

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes reccomended. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoeing out to black lake. The views from the frozen lakes are astounding. Mild crowding on the way out to mills, very few after that. I would highly reccomend this trail, be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoing out to black lake, deffinitelty exhausting. the views from the frozen lakes is amazing. I would reccomend this trail, just be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

hiking
6 days ago

First time hiking to Black Lake in winter. Trail from Bear Lake to Mills Lake was perfectly packed down, microspikes made it easy. The lake was frozen solid and it was so cool to walk straight across! Softer snow between Jewel Lake and Black -- changed to snowshoes about 20-30 min before reaching Black Lake after post-holing a few times. Luckily there were clear ski/snowshoe tracks to follow all the way. The distance between Jewel Lake and Black Lake always feels farther than it actually is. We walked around the shore of Black Lake to continue snowshoeing up to Blue Lake (used a GPS watch because we didn't see signs of a trail). SO worth it! The views from above the lake were stunning. Even better, Blue Lake was sheltered from wind making it a perfect spot for a snack break. Will definitely come back in the summer to find Green/Frozen and climb the Spearhead.
12.5 miles in 6.5 hours roundtrip

hiking
6 days ago

Hiked this with my sister back on October 6th. Wasn’t our planned hike. Decided to do it and Hallet since we couldn’t get to Mount Ida. Trail Ridge was already closed and under snow. We were only in the park for two days so lots of huffing and puffing but we made it. Started off around 7am in the fog and climbed above the clouds into the snow! One of the best hikes I’ve ever done. Super cold and windy at the top but amazing views. Soaked socks, shoes, and legs. Didn’t plan for the snow but it was awesome. Can’t wait to do it again next summer along with Mount Ida.

Great trail! Nice and steady incline all the way to the top. Hiked this 12/9, leave your snow shoes in the car, this hike is totally doable with just yaktraks

I really enjoyed this trail. I'm from florida, didn't need spikes uphill, buy used hiking sticks downhill.

hiking
9 days ago

Completed this hike (+ a little extra) with my girlfriend in late summer. We did not set out with a definitive plan...got a late start, around 10am. We attempted to reach Green Lake after Black Lake, but turned around halfway (around 11,150ft) due to approaching storm clouds, and wanting to be back before dark.

Hard is an accurate rating, especially the last half-mile to Black Lake, and the extra mile we did after. I'm in moderate shape, and my girlfriend was visiting from sea level (her first hike above 10,000 ft!). We took a fair number of breaks for snacks and pictures...our Fitbits said 12 miles, 36,000 steps, in ~9 hours. The hike itself was not daunting, but we were exhausted by the end, and sore for a few days after.

Top pros were that the views were spectacular, and that the trail was mostly well marked. The exceptions are that we never saw the turn to Shelf Lake and Solitude Lake. We also completely lost the trail in the bolderfield between Black Lake and Green Lake, which contributed to our decision to turn-around.

The biggest con, and reason for not giving it a 5th star, was the heavy traffic up to Mills Lake. We even got stuck behind a lady talking on her cellphone for awhile. We chose to skip a number of attractions (i.e. Alberta Falls) to avoid, and try and surpass, the crowds. Fortunately, most people stopped at, or before, Mills Lake. We saw less than two dozen people between Mills Lake and our turnaround.

Overall an excellent hike that we hope to do again, next time with an earlier start, a better plan, and hopefully in a little better shape!

Did this hike 11/30/18, started around 10 am. Was beautiful. Spikes and poles were helpful to about St Mary lake. Went a little further but snowshoes definitely are recommended for heading up any further. I will definitely be back with my snowshoes!

Absolutely beautiful hike. I went early Friday morning and had the trail / glacier all to myself. I was glad I had my spikes and hiking poles. I was able to get quite a ways up the glacier. Snowshoes would have been helpful toward the top.

Beautiful. Trail is packed down at this time. Microspikes are helpful but probably safe without them. Beautiful.

The view at the top is great! Very quiet, not many people on the trail. Can get slick in some areas. Views were ok throughout. Top is your moneymaker

hiking
17 days ago

Did this 11/29/18. Fun hike that should probably be labeled as “moderate” in the winter. Used yak traks today and they were very necessary. It is a slog going straight up but the views are worth it!! We breezed down which helped. Trialhead VERY easy to miss as others have stated look for a light reflector sign across from the parking area. Lots of snow on the road to the trail head that a person in front of us got stuck in. Be careful and mindful driving up.

Great hike summer or winter will need spikes for sure

Great views easy addition to flattop
Worth the extra effort

Snow-packed trail that was mostly protected by trees; the wind at the top was brutal in conjunction with the 15 degree temps. Traction wasn’t necessary, but I would bring them just in case.

Beautiful and easy hike. A bit uphill in the beginning. I was happy I had microspikes but snow shoes would’ve been helpful, especially if you want to explore around. It’s windy once you get there. A face cover would be wise to bring in fall/winter. Also was envious of the smart folks who brought sleds for the downhill back!

hiking
23 days ago

Gorgeous hike. I hiked this in August. The raspberries lining the switchbacks right above treeline were a welcome surprise

hiked this trail today! reaching the summit was impossible. i did not have snow snoes, but dont think they would have made much of a difference. still incredible views and an awesome hike! want to do this one again in the summer :)

amazing hiking, even in the winter!

hiking
1 month ago

This hike will convince you to move to Colorado! Have completed it several times and it still never gets old. Bring a couple of liters and crush it. If you do it in March, prepare to post hole for six hours.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful short hike although it does get crowded. Everything was frozen over and we walked across the lake. You can get some beautiful photos up here! Hiked in November and microspikes were definitely helpful.

Yaktracks and layers made this possible and as wonderful as well. Will be back !

This is a great trail to couple with the Squaw mountain. I would suggest doing this one first. This one is still an easy trail, but is slightly more difficult than Squaw. The incline a little more steep. My opinion is this is better because it’s more in the woods and the trail is more fun. The views at the top are stunning as well.
You will be able to identify the parking on the side of the road but the trailhead is easy to miss. It’s on the other side of the road and is a small entry.

As of 11/10/2018 the trail is covered in snow but I didn’t need shoe traction at all and the trail is still being used enough that the path is obvious. A great, short hike with unbelievable views at the top. Download the PeakFinder app for some fun after summiting.

I hiked this trail in 1972 and it was an amazing journey. A fellow wanderer and I took off one morning from Glacier Basin Campground and parked at Bear Lake. Hiked up and over the mountain and camped in a primitive campground. Got scared like I've never been scared in my life from some animal noises outside the tent. I lost the coin toss and had to see what it was. Never been so happy to see a porcupine in my life! The next day we hiked on down to Grand Lake and caught a ride with some hippies in a VW bus who took us back across Trail Ridge Road to our car. As I recall the total hike was about 16 miles and it was through some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. I would love to think I could do it again some day, but I'm pushing 70, so memories will have to suffice.

Good trail for all age groups. However, it’s a bit rocky but that should be fine. Took us 2-2.5 hours from car to car including breaks. The views at the top are pretty good and picturesque. Would highly recommend during fall season.

Trail is difficult to follow after about one mile but by that point you’re just making your way to the summit. It’s unmarked and across the road from where you’re able to part. I would rate this at hard vs moderate. Loved it, views were so worth the climb.

hiking
1 month ago

The views were incredible, but the trail itself was not very well marked (except for the trailhead). We were essentially just following footprints in the snow, and at one point reached a fork in the footprints. We decided to follow a set of footprints that ended up taking us off the trail, and into very deep snow drifts. Microspikes aren’t necessarily required, but waterproof snow boots and multiple layers are essential. It gets very windy up there!

great hike, beautiful views, and a frozen lake.

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