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The road to the trailhead is definitely crazy - our 4x4 Pathfinder took it like a champ! But, you definitely need a 4x4 vehicle to get through.
We pulled into the lot at 5am on Wednesday and there were only a few cars at the top parking lot.

This was my first 14er and it was the hardest hike I’ve ever done in my life! Definitely worth it! We had our 7 year old with us... and it was pretty difficult for him. We all summited Grays and enjoyed the breathtaking views. We didn’t summit Torrey’s. One was enough for us.
We took a lot of breaks with our son - it took us about 6/7 hours to reach the summit. We made it back down to the parking lot in about 2 hours.

This trail felt like walking through a fairy tail. Just too perfect. We arrived at 4:30, after the crowds were leaving; but the trail was still swamped with people. Completely worth the crowds. Just magical.

Amazing experience. Got there around 7:45 and got the last parking space. Nevertheless, never felt crowded. Such a nice trail. Water along the way. Gentle slope. When we got to the falls, agree with other reviews you need to go up the left side. We tried to go further after lunch, but it was too much for my 11 and 13 yo.

It was my first time hiking in Colorado, great place to start. Really fun and enjoyed the beautiful views. Was a bit hard for the first time but I bet if you are used to hiking it would be a pleasant hike.

What an amazing hike! It’s a tough one for sure. The road is definitely scary, but we took it pretty slow. My Jeep Patriot did great. Got to the TH at 530am on a Wednesday morning still spots in the parking lot, not too busy on the trail, was perfect. Took 8 hours with a lot of breaks. Did Grays and Torreys, worth every second!

hiking
1 day ago

Hiked this today with my 7yo (experienced hiker) and had no problem at all. Beautiful views of Copeland at the bottom and there’s a few nice spots to take a break at the falls. Keep left there, as everyone says, have fun be safe!

As others have mentioned it is about 8-9 mile loop, great scenery, going counter clockwise would of been easier, didn't know my clockwise to counter and went the hard way, the wildlife is great saw many deers, snake, chipmunk, and rabbits. Fun but challenging hike, especially the last mile, which felt like 3. :)

WE ARE GOING AGAIN! Do I need to say more. Great trail. VERY busy, but that is to be expected in RMNP. The trail gets warm by midmorning so start early.

The trail can be a little hard to follow because of lack of trail signs. Download a map and bring a GPS if you aren't familiar with the area. There are no bathrooms at the trailhead. The waterfall isn't too impressive later in the summer. I've always enjoyed hiking this one in May/June. HAPPY EASTER! Please follow trail etiquette. Leash your dogs. Pick-up and pack-out their poop...and please take yourself 200 feet off the trail, away from the water, to do your business. Nobody wants to step in your mess or on your toilet paper. Eeeewwww. Parks and Rec really need to put in a Port-O-Potty of vault toilet. In the meantime, bury it!

I arrived on a Monday evening around 6:30pm - there were 2 other cars by the trailhead, by 10pm the parking lot was about half full and when I headed out at 6:30am the next morning the lot only had a few spots left but there was still another 8-10 spots on the side of the road by the beginning of the trail. There are a few sporadically positioned camping spots by the trailhead with firepits - I counted 5 but there may be more. I highly recommend arriving the night before and sleeping in your car or camping as it takes the stress out of wondering whether there will be a place to park once you finally get up the dirt road. Plus you get to see some amazing stars and get to start your climb at whatever time you choose.

The road is as described by many others - rough. I have a 4x4 Jeep and found it tricky in places and slow going 5-10mph for most of the ride to avoid damaging my vehicle. I did see a Prius and several low clearance 2 wheels up at the trailhead which I would not advise unless you're in a rental or just don't care about wrecking your car (or inconveniencing others if you get stuck).

The hike is fun but challenging. I'm in my early 40s - active, above average fitness and live in Denver so not coming directly from sea-level and found it tough above 13k. There's a lot of rock and scree. The views are worth it. I did Torey's first by veering right where the trail splits and then Gray's - which seemed to be against most of the traffic so I'm glad I did. Overall it was busy (especially for a Tuesday morning) but not to the point where that affected the pace of my climb or my enjoyment of it - just plenty of people to say hello to.

Time wise I got up to the top of Torey's in 2-1/2 hours, it then takes about 45 mins to go down, traverse and summit Gray's. I took my time at the top of Gray's and came down fairly casually. I was back down at my vehicle in 5 hours 40 mins (8.6 miles, 3,107ft of elevation gain).

The weather was great - clear all morning. It was chilly at the top of Torey's so I was glad for a nano-puff and pair of lightweight gloves.

It's a fun, challenging hike - that will take your breath away in more ways than one.

Gorgeous area. If going on the weekend, get there early, parking lot does fill up, and area from echo lake to the Idaho Springs reservoir can get quite busy. Well shaded, good distance, pretty lakes, creek, and reservoir. Also dog friendly, expect to see a few. Highly recommend this hike!

2 days ago

Where to Park: You will park in the Cheeseman trail lot.

You will find the path to the trail head past the “fancy” outhouse. Take that path over the wooden bridge. The path splits, go left. You will walk about 50 yards and come across a dirt road that interrupts the path. Just walk across the dirt road and the path picks back up across the street. You will walk about 1/2 mile through the woods/trees and come across the actual trail head and map of the trail.

The Trail: the GILL trail runs along the water that leads to Cheesman Lake. Its and out and back.

Suggestions: Bring plenty of water 100oz or more and have at least one hiking friend

We are VERY experienced hikers and this was a Incredibly challenging. The trail is very challenging to follow and the last mile to Cheeseman Lake was a lot of climbing and bouldering.

The views are BEAUTIFUL!

hiking
2 days ago

a beautiful hike

Didn’t get up to area until 10:30am, on a Monday however no trouble parking at brainard lake parking. Beautiful lakes, meandering paths until you reach Mitchell lake then it is rocky path up to blue lake which is not difficult to navigate. Trails very well marked. Did not attempt little blue, however, it must be beautiful. I can only imagine. It must be a very steep rocky ascent. It wasn’t overly crowded however once at blue lake you certainly see and hear others. I can’t imagine it with more people. We did have a moose sighting which was a gift. This hike is now one of my must dos during my annual visit Home to Boulder

Really cool trail! Especially if you’re looking for a hike that isn’t going to take all day. The fire tower was amazing, the views were insane! My boyfriend discovered that he was terrified of heights but definitely worth the climb! Haha.

beautiful, moderate hike, very crowded on the weekends. recommend arriving at trailhead before 730am. diamond lake has plenty of space for the masses but is busy by 930am. recommended!

Attempted this hike today and saw 2 Rattlesnakes on the trail within the first .5 miles. I was alone and decided not to risk it but will re-attempt in cooler temps with a buddy. Trail looks very nice but minimal shade.

This was an absolutely amazing hike! I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 for the following reasons:
1. The hike is listed as easy which it definitely was not, I would say it is more moderate and that is due to the trail being super rocky, picture a river that dried up, that’s what the trail was. But if u can handle that than it is totally worth going, the views r just spectacular all around you! I highly recommend continuing past the lake to where the snow is, the views only get better and it was not hard to hike up there. 2. We got a lil lost on the way back because the trail is not clearly marked, good thing we had the map from this app and a friendly person to point us in the right direction.

hiking
2 days ago

I started this hike at 7:30 a.m. (second car in the otherwise empty parking lot) on a Monday and returned somewhere between 1:15-1:30 p.m. This hike was definitely challenging for me as a flatlander and I had to stop to take breaks quite often. I also spent quite a long time up at the lake *maybe 45 minutes or longer) and took another longer break during my return at the reservoir to soak my feet before making the final uphill climb. I think this hike is moderate for people who live at altitude and hike regularly, or who are otherwise very fit. If you're not much of a fitness enthusiast and don't workout very often, this is going to be a very challenging hike. If you're fit-ish to average on physical activity, this hike is challenging.

It really surprised me to see so many folks without adequate hydration and starting later. Do yourself a favor and start by 7:30 a.m. because there isn't much shade after you get passed 10:30 a.m. All of the regular rules apply: bring sunscreen and reapply once you're up at the lake, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring more water than you think necessary, and pack loads of snacks. I brought 64 ounces of water and drank about 3/4 of it. Didn't encounter too many bugs other than curious bees at the lake. The only wildlife I encountered were birds (saw an eagle at Echo Lake first thing) and chiding squirrels. Trail rules indicate dogs are required to be leashed but most were off-leash - doesn't bother me but it's something to consider if you don't like dogs.

Some additional navigation tips:
-Once you complete the initial descent and get closer to the water, look out for the primitive log bridge to cross
-Exiting the woods, take a left to follow the access road for about a mile; if you're early in the day, you'll pass the Idaho Springs Reservoir and see trout jumping out of the water to feed.
-Follow the access road past the cabins; the trailhead will be ahead on your right with a no-fee permit station. Fill out your permit and take the trail immediately in front of you, not the unmarked trial to your right.
-You'll pass a second sign indicating that you're entering the Mt. Evans Wilderness; don't worry, you're on the right trail.
-I tried finding the trail to the upper lake and was unsuccessful. I ended up following some of the unmarked trails that go around the lake and wound up in a boggy area just before the lake. Maybe avoid that and do more research on picking up the trail to the upper lake than I did.

Nice trail with a variety of terrain. This trail may be considered hard for those who do not hike frequently... some narrow, rocky areas with over 1000 ft of elevation change. The river was a nice spot to stop for a rest half way through the hike.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike! Definitely not too difficult... fairly trafficked on the weekend as of you approach the Lake. Lots of fun waterfalls and little features along the way.... If you’re doing this on a weekend definitely make it to the trail head by 7-7:15AM or you’ll be in a jam to find parking! We made it at 8 and parked about a half mile down!

To reiterate others' comments, the road is an absolute mess -- without a SUV, pickup, or Jeep, there's no way you'll be able to drive to the upper (summer) trailhead. We managed to get about half a mile in a Honda Civic before parking on the shoulder and walking the rest of the way (~2.5 miles). By 7:00 AM on a Sunday, the parking lot was completely full. Don't expect much solitude, especially on the weekend - at least a few hundred people summitted the same day we did.

All that said, the hike itself was a lot of fun, though certainly difficult even after a few days of acclimation at RMNP. I'd recommend doing Grays first, going down the saddle, and then heading up to Torreys. Grays is all steep switchbacks; from the saddle, Torreys is a short but very steep climb. We thought the views were slightly better from Grays. Despite being rained on, hailed on, and briefly snowed on (yes, in August), the trails themselves weren't difficult to follow. Definitely a good experience for our first 14ers!

First, the road: NEVER AGAIN! What an awful beast of a road. I think I have PTSD from driving those 3 miles from hell. (And yes, I was in a high-clearance 4x4 truck.)

Next, the trail: Just wonderful all around. Mostly moderate in difficulty but hard in some places. The trail up to Torreys is steep and a lung-buster. Hiking poles highly recommended for the descent.

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail. Lots of climbing on the way up, but it’s all worth it for the views at the top. Go early to avoid the crowds – it was already pretty busy at 7am and people were lined up inching along the narrow paths on on the way down. Free parking is available about 10 blocks away.

Vraiment beau paysage !!

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful trail. Definitely arrive by 7:30 am to avoid heavy traffic. If you are not an early riser and always lucky, arrive around 10 am to take the early birds' spots.

hiking
3 days ago

Great morning hike! Took me 2 hours with a 15 min stop at peak.

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