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Very pretty with all the yellow foliage. Most of the hikes I do are on the east coast so I definitely felt a bit dizzy and took my time up the trail. Took me 6 hours. It got a bit windy while walking up which was nice and then the summit was oddly still. This was my first 14er. I passed a few people on the trail and everyone was very friendly. I didn’t feel like it was super crowded as other posts say. Maybe it was my timing. I left at 12:30 returned at 6:30pm on a Tuesday. Highly recommend this hike.

Beautiful hike through dense, lush forest. The lakes are a lovely ending. The hike was enough to get the blood flowing, but certainly not strenuous.

Easiest Colorado 14er hike. Very crowded all the way to top. IF you want to avoid the crowd start early possibly 4 am. Donot underestimate though. it is still a 14er.

We didn't have the $11 cash to enter the park so we parked at the Lake Brainard trailhead. Hiked Waldrup Trail to Lake Brainard cut off trail to Lake Brainard. It was absolutely gorgeous but heavily populated with loud mouthed hikers. We then hiked to Mitchell Lake, hoping to see moose, no luck. We made our way up to Blue Lake. The trail was slightly difficult in areas, heavily trafficked, but beautiful. The last stretch up to Blue Lake is pretty rocky with many tourists and hikers who don't care about hiking etiquette. Blue Lake is pristine and ice cold. Worth every blister on my feet. I recorded 14.5 miles round trip.

trail running
2 days ago

Great intro to Colorado 14ers. A fairly physical hike requiring some scrambling.

We only hiked about 4.5 miles of this trail since we got on the road a little later than expected. Still a beautiful hike, is mostly a steep incline for the first couple miles so I would recommend being prepared for that. There’s a really pretty waterfall around mile 2(ish) off to the side. Would definitely like to go back and go backpacking!

hiking
3 days ago

My wife and mine first 14er. Wow! What a hike and kicked our tail. Of course we are 60ish. Beautiful weather on 9-14. Around freezing when started out at 7am and sun was just started peeking out behind the mountain but warmed as day went on. Trail maintenance is excellent. Got a good spot in the parking lot but plenty of parking on the road.
Oxygen was our biggest obstacle.

I'm guessing the hard rating is based on the minor scrambling required to get to the upper lakes. Overall a great hike with 4 gorgeous lakes. Saw some people braving the cold water and had wished I packed some extra clothes to jump in as well. Even though there's a decent amount of traffic on the trail, it didn't feel overly crowded and everyone I encountered was friendly and courteous.

This was my first fourteener and definitely a decent challenge. Arrived at the trailhead at 5:30am and the parking lot was already full and the roadside was filling up. Tons of people and so crowded which is to be expected of any lower class fourteener. The lack of basic hiking courtesy and manners by most people really shocked me. My dog was amazing at scrambling and loved seeing all the marmots. Glad I hiked it, but honestly not sure if I'm going to be jumping on the fourteener train as I enjoy hiking to get away from people.

Amazing hike with 360 views almost the whole way . Beautiful scenery and definitely a diamond in the rough . We didn’t see many people out on the trail and the parking lot is small. The road to the trail is definitely bumpy.. slow going for sure. But don’t let it keep you from going . I wasn’t expecting such an amazing hike . We didn’t get to spend as much time as we wanted at the top because it starting storming and lightening. But the view at the top - AMAZING... half the trail is dirt and some is nothing but rocks. The hike isn’t too strenuous and we only got to check out Lake Dorothy but I would definitely love to go back and explore the rest of the trail .

Fantastic hike with great views. Decently strenuous with nearly the entire trail at an incline. Some rockier parts, definitely bring proper hiking boots. Fantastic views, especially after the treeline. Camping is possible. To get to the lake, take the Caribou Pass trail and it will be on your left. Get to the parking area early!!! It will be full by 8AM or so.

Great beautiful bluebird day for a hike on sept 14, 2018. Weather was 36 degrees when I started around 545. The hike is slow and gentle for a fourteener maybe 2/3 the way up. Then there is a scramble to the summit. Well marked until the scramble, which cairns are located it seems on diff trails to the top. But, head up w the masses and get there no prob. The top was windy and chilly, but not Horrible.

Various folks from all ages climbing up. The children I saw were not having fun. It is very exposed and no shelter once you are above tree Line.

I saw all size dogs and most were not leashed. A dog was lost a few weeks back up here chasing a goat, so I would be cautious of that. Fortunately, it was recovered by other hikers at midnight near the top. Don’t do this to your dog. There was a moose off the trail, that would win if a dog had chased it..

I also brought down three bags of dog . If you are going to bring your dog, don’t be a slacker and leave your plastic  up there.. it takes so long for things to grow and decompose in low oxygen environments up high. So far, one of my easiest 14ers. (Not easy but relative to the others).
It was a nice 73 getting back to the lot. It was 90 getting back to Denver..happy hiking!

Great trail. Not hard until you start up to the upper lake. I would note that there are two trails up to the upper lake. If you go between the lakes and up, it’s pretty steep and you will end up climbing a lot of boulders. You will not follow the trail on all trails. You’ll end up to the left of the trail but will still reach the lake. You have to go around the lower big lake a bit to reach the actual trail (the one you find on all trails). It’s steep (maybe not as bad as the other way). Both trails have been travels a bunch so marked.

Trail was pretty but not sure I would do it again. Long dirt rocky road to get to the trail. Don’t not necessarily need a high clearance vehicle or 4wd. HUGE parking lot so you don’t have to worry about getting a spot. Probably holds 50 cars.

This was my first 14er so I don’t have other big hikes to compare it to. For being one of the easier 14ers I would say some parts are still pretty challenging. There was virtually no shade through the hike and we completed it in just under 6 hours.

Beautiful hike worth the climb to the upper
Lake. Great hike to break for lunch at the halfway point.

Travel about 7 miles on the East Portal Inlet/Tolland dirt road out of Rollinsville, CO to the Moffat Tunnel. The road is a bit rough in spots, but easily traveled with a 2WD vehicle. This is a cool tunnel that cuts through the Continental Divide for about 6 miles and ends up on the other side in Winter Park. Once you make it up to the two lakes, by climbing up the steep talus and dirt trail to the upper Crater Lake, you get a beautiful view of this section of the Divide and the lake which has a deep green tint reflecting the peaks above. We saw quite a few marmots in the talus field on the way back down to the lower Crater Lakes and a beautiful panoramic view of that area below and the surrounding mountains. Take your time with this easy scramble because of the scree and loose rock. Our retrievers made the up and down just fine. We camped at the east lake and filtered water from there. It’s crowded for the hike up from the trailhead, but most are day hikers. The Saturday night we camped, there were probably about 3-4 other groups camping overnight along with us in other camp areas. You can pick your own campsite, but it’s encouraged to use a place already camped before obviously. The trail is rated as Hard, but I would say that would be for the upper lake trek where it’s much steeper, but a fun scramble, than the hike up to the two lower Crater Lakes. I really enjoyed this trail especially since you don’t need a permit for an overnight. At this time of year several of the streams were dry under the bridge crossings, but there still is a waterfall, and another good running stream on the way up besides the lake for water. The aspens were changing colors making for a beautiful hike. I’ll do this one again!

Great trail with scenic views! We hiked counterclockwise and camped one night at Devils Thumb Lake. You have to have a permit durning the summer months up until Sept 15th. We camped on 9/7 and the temperature at night got down to around 30 - 31 degrees so make sure you have the correct gear even in early September. The first part of the trail going counter clockwise with a 35lb - 40lb pack can be difficult on some of the climbs in elevation, take breaks and drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine. There are plenty of water opportunities on the trail, so accessing water isn’t an issue for the most part. The ascend up from Devils Thumb Lake to the High Lonesome Trail has some great views you climb about 1,000 feet over approx a 1/2 - 3/4 mile. The rest of the trail after you come down off the High Lonesome Trail by King Lake you’ll be going down in elevation the remainder of the time. The overall trail is marked “ok” but recommend having a map or gps as back up, I would not rely on the trail markers only when hiking this trail. Great 15 + mile trail with beautiful views......go get some!!

One of my favorite hikes! It’s been said before, but the last mile or so is difficult if you take the steep route. We had to take quite a few breaks along that stretch.

We hiked this to flattop mountain on a day hike. A little longer then we expected and then further got delayed by having a bull moose on the trail who would run at us when we tried to pass, ended up waiting 30 minutes for him to move on. Lots of wildlife 2 bull moose, elk, mule deer, beautiful views and lots of water. 22 miles total for us in 10 hours. Not to bad

backpacking
11 days ago

Gorgeous trail! So many different types of terrain. Loved the open meadow entering into Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. We got a permit and camped overnight at Jasper Lake - it was rainy and windy, but campsite 3 is pretty protected. Used our bear canister as recommended - didn't run into any wildlife other than squirrels and chipmunks. The lake is rather low, but the views were still pretty and the aspens are chainging for a beautiful, colorful site.

hiking
11 days ago

This was the first 14er for my girlfriend, my dog, and I. we got a late start, and I questioned whether my girlfriend and dog would be able to continue all of the way to the top. The weather held out for us, but the hike was way more stair stepping than we thought it would be. Between that and the lack of oxygen for us Midwesterners, it was slow going for a while. once I saw the peak was just a pile of huge boulders, I definitely assumed my dog wouldn't make it. Turns out she is part mountain goat and scrambled around like a champion, making us look bad. It was late in the day already, chilly at the top, and we were both sunburnt, so we didn't get to enjoy the summit as long as we wanted, but the views are worth every single step. there was even a snow field for my dog to go nuts in on the way down. She is a husky. It made for a great day. I probably will never do it again, as there are so many other 14ers to see, but I'm glad we did it.

Great hike. Heavily used. Plenty of camp spots around lower crater lake. Highly recommend walking up the short but steep trail to upper crater lake.

Mountain goats on the summit!

We made it about 2/3 of the way up which is a lot further than I assumed we would get. We started at around 1 or so and made it back to the car at 540. great hike. challenging and rewarding all the same.

Love this hike! Got kinda steep but very doable in 2 hours. The lakes are gorgeous. When the Creek is high there are stunning waterfalls

hiking
15 days ago

This was my first 14er and it was awesome but difficult. I’m in pretty decent shape, a Denver local, and 39 years old. I did fine until about 12,500 ft, and then felt the effects of the elevation. We had to walk about 20-30 steps and then rest. Plan for plenty of time to summit. We began our hike at 7am and the parking lot was full. We summited in 3 hours 15 minutes. It was snowing lightly at the top. Pack lunch for the top (we packed two PB&J sandwiches, a stick of cheese, and a bag of chips each). Pack plenty of water, and some snacks like trail mix and Clif bars. Looking back, I recommend walking poles to alleviate knee pain upon descent and to check heart rates regularly upon ascent. We also saw several dogs off-leash who ran off. There are mountain goats and small animals dogs may chase. It was hard, but worth it.

on Jasper Lake Trail

15 days ago

Great hike. Parking is kind of terrible but so is every other hike in CO. They do have a shuttle if you don’t feel like walking to the trail head (but you are there to hike??) we hiked from our parking spot on the road up to jasper lake and then probably another half a mile or so up to a waterfall. Really pretty. Highly recommend hiking up to the waterfall. For us it ended up being about 13 miles and 4,000 feet incline (according to the recording that all trails records)

trail is good - pretty well maintained and clear. only questionable part is toward the top. it turns into a big rock outcropping that you have to scramble up and there's no clear trail. but just head upward and you'll be fine, or follow the masses of people. I started at 7 am and there were already about 100 cars parked in the lots and along the road. the crowds were pretty manageable on the trail. it's pretty much a single track the whole way, but slower people are nice about letting others pass. I don't think most people know that hikers going up have right-of-way, though. some people had dogs, but I wouldn't recommend it; the part at the top where you're scrambling up rocks is too dangerous for them.

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