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Has someone lost their dogs? Three golden retrievers? They seem lost and there aren’t many people on the trail now...

I don’t love sharing the trail with a steady cavalcade of other hikers but we had been warned and this was a very nice hike. It was good advice to get an early start. We started at 6:18 AM and got off trail at 11:55 AM (spent 30 minutes at the top). We were grateful for overcast skies because this has the potential to be a scorcher on a sunny day. Just the right amount of hard for someone in moderately good shape.

Was disappointed not to see any mountain goats but loved the views from the summit. Was not surprised given the fact that some imbecile shot two goats a week or two ago on this same trail. The saddle between the first “false peak” and summit was nice - affording hikers time to catch their breath and rehydrate before making final assent.

Trail demands good ankle high boots given rocky terrain. We saw lots of people wearing tennis shoes but I’m guessing they regretted it, especially on the way down.

hiking
10 hours ago

We had a great day on Longs today. Started 2am, summited at 7:10am, arrived back to the car at 11:40. I drank all 3 liters of water I packed, and was glad my partner had a water purifier. Note that in addition to the restrooms at the trailhead, there are two more chances to visit the privy on the trail (at Chasm Junction and the Boulder Field). Bring your own toilet paper, just in case.

I’d say this is one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. I did this on a Wednesday afternoon (began hike at 12:30pm) and it took me about 4 hours after spending 45 minutes at the peak. I only saw a few people total which was great. I’d consider this more of a moderate hike not hard, because it’s only about 6 or so miles. But, there are tons of boulders and a nice scramble towards the peak. The water was amazing at the Final lake and I spent 10 minutes soaking in the ice bath with my dog.

Starts out moderate but gets very steep about halfway through. It was sunny until you get into Shadow Canyon, but then gets much steeper so was still very challenging and once you get to the top there is more sun. I found it very difficult and stopped many times, but I haven't done much hiking lately. The view at the end was nice, getting to see the mountains in the distance, but I was very worn out coming down. I should probably have waited until I had done more hikes before doing this one. The dog liked it but she was very worn out at the end. It was her first hike and it was probably a little too much for her.

Really enjoyed this hike because of the challenge, views and trail maintenance. The trail is heavily traveled and you better leave early if you want the trail to yourself. I started at 7:30 and the parking area was full, but plenty of parking along the road. I am a beginner hiker and the trail was very challenging and took me about 6 hours to complete. Views above tree line and at the summit were spectacular. Finally, the trail was mantained very well. Dress warm as it was cool and windy at the summit. Have fun.

hiking
2 days ago

The trail was challenging but very scenic and clean.
The mesmerizing views will give the push to ascent 3526 ft elevation in 3.1 miles.
Hiking sticks are recommended especially for the down trek
1 complain - there should have been at least 1 trash zone on the trail (6.2 miles round trip)

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful hike! Some notes for out-of-towner’s (like us) trying to gauge this hike against ability. I am 53 year old male, reasonably fit., but could lose a few. Hiked with my 24 year old daughter, who is in good shape. We started at 5:30. Up and down in 4:25. Took us 2:17 up. We didn’t stay long because of wind and cold at the top. My wife who is also here with us, opted out because of posts here on loose footing up above. But now that we’ve done it, we realize it is not as bad as many other hikes we’ve been on.

We were faster than most, but did get passed by others, including one guy who was running- yes running - UP. He must’ve been up and down in 3::00-3:15 - impressive.

Gauging by the groups we passed, which varied in age from 10-75, I’d say that’ the average round trip is 6 hours, and 90% finish in the 4:30-7:30 hour range.

Have fun!

hiking
3 days ago

What a great hike! I love goals at the end to strive for and that view does not disappoint, so push through folks! I read many reviews before I headed up and many had said the loose rock is kinda tough, I may have underestimated those comments and felt the rock proved difficult, especially on the way down, watch those ankles!

Awesome trail with great hikers. 0 trash found and overall well maintained. I brought and out of town relative here for an overnight. couldn't have asked for more. Camped at the lower lakes then hiked the upper before breaking down camp for the hike down. it's got fair traffic but overall does not take away from the experience. I will definitely do this again in day hike format.

hiking
4 days ago

Amazing hike. Did this in two days, second 14er. First one was La Plata, which I thought was harder. But then again I learned my lesson and took ibuprofen and tylenol every 6 hours to prevent the pounding headache that I had with La Plata.

This was part of a bachelor party! We arrived Friday at trailhead at 11AM, hiked up the trail to the second campsite about 3.7 miles in (much better than first), and arrived around 2PM. First campsite super crowded, had about 7 groups. We had the second one to ourselves pretty much. Set alarm for 1:30AM to go outside and find a sky lit up with stars and a great view of the milky way and some sweet shooting stars.

Woke up next day, lazying around and left at 9:30AM. Summited with day packs around 2PM because we are out of shape. Tough hike with the elevation, with a small 5-10 minute technical climb at the end but definitely doable. Views on top are of course, unbelievable. Shared some celebratory scotch at the top.

Things to keep in mind:

- You need a 4x4 to get to the trailhead, Definitely. A miniSUV might make it, maybe.
- Plenty of water along the trail. Bring iodine pills, a pump, or what have you. No need to carry tons of water.
- Campfires are usually allowed, except when it's super dry in the summer and there's a fire ban in place

We did not do Columbia too, but ran into some people who summited Columbia, and hiked across the ridge to Harvard. They had said Columbia is the toughest they've ever done after 12x 14ers. Take care with attempting to bag 2 peaks in a day.

10/10 would do again

I did this trail to warm up for the Dead and Company shows in Boulder the following weekend. This trail had everything, low traffic (in the morning), a challenging climb, loads of flowers, and spectacular peaks towering over you. I climbed up the south ridge of the Crater Lake saddle to get up to a beautiful view of the next valley and then climbed on up to the continental divide. Hike exceeded my high expectations of hike in the Rockies.

Killer wildflowers - July 12th

Enjoyed the hike. The wildflowers are out in full force. Not to be outdone by the flowers, at the first lake 3 good sized fish decided to feed right where we were standing and one was courteous enough to stop and pose for the camera (see pic)! And, so the fish and flowers weren't to get all the glory while walking back a Weidemeyer's Admiral butterfly landed on the trail and showed off for the camera as well (pic posted too). There were quite a few people on the trail and even at the uppermost lake - so bummer for that. But we had the third lake all to ourselves. We had never hiked up the rock path before - previously traveling up the path that follows more along the major waterflow between the 2nd and 3rd lakes. We decided will stick with our original path - much!!!! prettier!!!!!!

hiking
5 days ago

Physically demanding, but certainly worth it. Great scenery and a nice view from the top. Definitely recommend an early start to beat the crowds and/or summer thunderstorms.

Got on the trail early, left about 4:45 and only saw a few people on the way up. Great trail, one of the easier 14ners but the view at the top is great. Saw lots of people on the way down but wasn’t to crowded. Nice hike for sure

We stayed at the lower 2 Crater Lakes and oh my goodness it was busy! The lower lakes are ~4mi and 1500’ gain according to my GPS. We hiked to the upper lakes the next morning, another 700’ gain and 0.7miles. We had our full packs so it was a workout. The hiking poles for the descent were a must. There was quite a bit of talus to navigate.

Crater lakes is beautiful, the wildflowers are at peak right now. The campsite was nice, I was just in awe of how crowded it was (yes on a July weekend, should I be so surprised?!) All campers were respectful and tried to minimize impact. Everyone was using bear canisters or bear bags but with as many people and dogs were there that night, I didn’t think a bear would be wandering through.

Left at 4:30ish. There were maybe two other groups going up at the same time. Got to the top around 7:45ish. By the time we got to the very last stretch, we looked back and saw hoards of people so definitely leave early. There was quite the crowd on the way down. I do not recommend bringing dogs unless they have booties. The rocks are pretty sharp at the top.

hiking
6 days ago

Awesome and tiring hike to the peak. My wife and I did this hike today with the luck of some awesome weather. It was a bit crowded toward the top, but like others have said, the trail is very, very well maintained. Almost to a fault. I enjoyed the peak mostly for the 360 views. It's hard to describe and even pictures do zero justice for how vast and awesome it truly is. If you start at the bottom lot, expect a pretty gnarly start to the trail. We were surprised by the sudden incline, which sort of beat us up a bit before we acclimated and fell into our rhythm. Much like other 14ers, always assume that it never ends. Near the top, you have to ascend three nearly straight up (at least from your vantage point) climbs before the 'final' trek to the summit. Seriously, it never ends. But when it does, amazeballs. Oh, and leave the little Pikas and goats alone. They deserve to be there as much as we do, and they're insanely adorable to look at on your way up. Luckily we ran into both. It does get pretty cold at the peak. Simple cloud coverage had us shivering, but it's still worth it. Go!

Hiked this last Wednesday. On the trail at 5:20am, the hike was enjoyable with cooler weather up to the flat. Summit at 7:30 (2:12 min) at a good pace. I climb every year and the early departure was a big plus , fewer people on the trail and cooler temps.
Hiked in shorts, t-shirt and hat with trail runners, One very light weight down jacket (used at the summit), a shell (not used), spare socks, battery backup, tiny blister kit and kleenex completed the pack. I carried 3L and used 2.25L of water, 2 snickers,a banana and protein bar.
Down in 1:40, jogging on the flats for a total trip of 3:52. I hiked with wife/daughter last year at a more leisurely pace and we were up/down in about 5:20 (added water and snacks)
In 10+ summits the trail is in the best shape I have ever seen it - thank the hardworking trail crew if you see them.

The initial part of the joint trail that serves a number of hikes is gentle although the quality of the trail can hit the feet in places!
The turn to the Crater lakes begins the fun/hurt, the gradient at times was a challenge for a 66 years young person who lives at sea level but for the young and locals the trip to the first lakes is moderate. Then you look up and see people trying to climb what seems like a vertical trail to the lakes beyond. That climb also includes scrambling over two areas of boulders, again easier for the younger hikers - overall a good trip especially if you manage the final climb - a great sense of achievement.

did this hike on Thursday 7/12. got started at 8:30 which was probably a little late. Hike measured at 7.1 miles from upper parking area. One of the most difficult hikes I've ever experienced. Weather turned nasty right at the summit and started raining and hailing so no home to enjoy any views. Definitely recommend a good wind breaker or even a good ole trash bag in the event of bad weather. My wife, 2 daughters and I had none of the above so we froze on our descent. Learned some harsh lessons on this trip but my first 14'er. Take plenty of water, some energy gels, hiking stick highly recommended, some clothing layers as it gets cold up high and a wind breaker. 6.5 hour round trip.

Amazing.

It was so beautiful my eyes could barely stand it. Definitely do the final lake. It takes a scramble but it’s more like a playground of rocks.

hiking
8 days ago

One of my favorite 14ers to date. Summited July 1st on a blue sky day. Healthy winds brought down the temperature for the start of July, but no a cloud in sight. Trail was dry all the way up.

hiking
8 days ago

we loved it!! although all 3 of our watches had it between 8-9 miles (not 6). view is so worth it

backpacking
9 days ago

I hiked to Jim’s Grove on my first day and camped for the night. I then woke up sometime in the wee hours of the morning to get to the summit. The weather was perfect and the trail was actually minimally trafficked. This was my first solo hike and 14er. That being said, it was the most challenging hike I have done. Make sure to bring a water filter and all of your endurance. The scrambling portion is no joke and it lasts quite a long time. Kudos to those who do this peak all in one day.

very awesome!

One of my favorite local hikes! Nice because unlike some trails in Roosevelt National Forest there is an actual parking lot with ample parking. Even on the fourth of July we found parking without difficulty. It is heavily trafficked but everyone was polite and friendly and followed good trail etiuqette. If you don't do the final scramble I think this clocks in more like a moderate, personally.

Short sweet n steep

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