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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The BEST hike, I did it in July in 3 days and it was the hardest but most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life.

Get a good water filter, tent, rain gear (a must), the usual. We had to have a beat canister when we went and it was SO heavy, and doesnt get much lighter throughout the trip due to "bring it in bring it out." Next time we will use those bear bag type deals, much lighter and you're still able to rent those.

Its amazing, I am not in the best shape but not in bad shape and it was hard but not discouraging by any means! Have fun!!!

hiking
4 hours ago

Hiked this trail yesterday evening. Encountered a few slick areas, but very manageable, even without spikes. Took 2 hours there and back.

best starter hike in colorado

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.

Well it was super icy today but it sure was easy if you have spikes on your shoes! Slippery for sure but if you’ve done it before you know to just keep pushing. If you haven’t done it before.. well, keep pushing! Beautiful fun tough work out. I always take the 1st and 2nd loop, i even took my parents from Texas in today and we finished it in 4 hours... beautiful in the snow if you ever wanna get it :)

Great hike. More challenging than I thought especially attempting it immediately upon arriving from the east coast. Well worth it once you get to the arch.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike, but beware that it is very slippery and icy with the recent snow. I underestimated how slippery it would be on the way down and I fell several times. Definitely come prepared and watch the weather before you go!

Beautiful views wherever you go! Challenging backpacking!

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful day on the trail on 10/14. Lots of fresh powder came in overnight. Some areas were quite icy, but it was very manageable if you come prepared and aren't hiking in sneakers. We saw less than 10 people total during our 3 hours out. Views were limited by the snow clouds, but it was still spectacular!

hiking
4 days ago

There are many routes to the top! be aware when you finish the switch backs that run doing the creek there is a false summit. Go past the trail marker and you'll have to head down for a little bit before a short climb back up to reach the Arch.

Steady climb. The views half-way up exceeded the actual lake view, but it was a nice hike with some icy stairs.

Amazing beautiful Trail! Fantastic rock formations if you go all the way up. We will be back. Camped at
Goose Creek campground, but could have camped on the trail. Got fantastic photos!

It was beautiful but very icy! The whole trail was nothing but ice. Need some yak tracks and hiking poles. Went on 10/12 and it was very crowded on the way back down. Worth the views but definitely would wait until the summer to do it again.

Challenging for a recreational hiker & worth it - beautiful views, the arch did not disappoint!

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
4 days ago

At points it feels like endless scrambling through small, loose rocks. We joked that it was like hiking on the moon! Still a fun trail with pretty views at the end (although the views would be better if there was water in the lake!).

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.

For someone from Indiana this was definitely more moderate than easy.

hiking
5 days ago

Gorgeous views! The journey was through snow and ice for the entire hike. Would recommend traction and waterproof shoes. Sunny and clear Friday oct 12 when we hiked but very windy, especially at the edge of the lakes!

hiking
5 days ago

Really beautiful hike with flowers and an amazing view, very well worth it. make sure to bring lots of water!!

Solid hike, not too hard and great views.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike as expected but extremely windy! We started around 8:30 and the parking lot was pretty empty. Def would recommend wearing micro spikes because a good portion of the trail is very icy and also waterproof shoes! The wind was blowing so hard at Dream Lake I was sliding across the ice! It was pretty with the snow but hard to see the mountains. The trial was very crowded on our way back down so still would recommend going early.

Mentally and physically challenging!! Don’t give up, best reward is to get to the top!

Enjoyable shortish day hike. Lake is SMALL. Views back over Estes Park and of RMNP and great!

hiking
6 days ago

It was pretty chilly, but still beautiful! Took us about 3 hours with a lot of photo stops. Unfortunately we couldn’t see much of the mountains, but we got some pretty amazing photos of snow-laden trees being reflected in the waters. It was by far the busiest trail that we did all weekend, I can’t imagine what it would be like during peak season! We went early (around 8am) and didn’t have issues with parking. The lot was filled by the time we got back

Awesome hike. Trail is well traveled and moderately difficult in some areas.

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
6 days ago

One of my favorite hikes ever, even with the crowds. A must see during winter, too!

Did this hike yesterday in the middle of a snow shower, and it was really nice! Like others, we missed the turnoff for the falls, but found it after finding the sign on our way back down. Apparently, we hiked nearly 1/2 a mile past it. My phone was acting up, so I wasn't able to add a waypoint to the map.

That being said, this is a really nice hike. It would be great for out-of-towners, since the elevation gain is very managable. I don't know if it was the weather, or that it was Wednesday, but we ran into more bags of dog poop than people. Seriously folks, clean up after yourselves!

This has taken the top spot for my favorite hike in RMNP.. We hiked it on Oct. 9th. The Ranger Station there has been closed for the season for several weeks now. Decent size parking lot but even with the cold, snowy, slushy conditions there were quite a few cars there and people on the trail. We did not need our spikes this time. The scenery is breathtaking under fresh snow. Copeland Falls is .4 miles in. Take the side trail to lower falls and follow it to upper Falls. There, you can connect back to the main trail. About another mile or so is Calypso Cascades. The trail gets a little steeper from here up to Ouzel. When you reach Ouzel, walk to the left side before the bridge down by the big rock and step out to the right to get a better view of the top of the Falls. You can’t see if from the bridge. We read about the trail up to the top of the Falls but weather conditions did not permit us to locate it. We took our time going up and MANY photo stops. Ascended in about 2 hrs 20 min. Hung at Ouzel long enough to eat a bite of lunch (it was really cold) then descended in about 50 min.
Loved every minute of it.

Beautiful views! Went in early October and it was freezing. There was snow and ice on the trail which made it a little more difficult. In the end if you aren’t a master hiker, taking rest stops along the way to take in the sceneries will get you through it.

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