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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.

Hike was a challenge for our seven and nine-year-old but we were able to push them along and they were glad they made it to the Falls! What a spectacular seen. The trail is beautiful framed by mainly Aspen, with some stunning scenery of the cliffs.

One note: as the write up says this is a very popular hike, so there were plenty of other people, dogs, and trail runners but all courteous and friendly.

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

Couldn't have asked for a better hike today. The weather was beautiful, we had to park at the Brainard Lake Lot after getting there at 9am. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had expected
Everyone we did come across was super nice and very quiet. If someone can tell me of a place that is this easy of a hike and even more beautiful please let me know. I'm not sure there is a place.

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.

hiking
1 day ago

Start early!! We started the trail at about 930 but it was already super hot. Other than that it was a beautiful trail, lots of little places for shade and lots of cute little lizards.

Hard but short hike up! Totally worth it a

Absolutely Incredible hike! Easily my favorite hike I’ve done in the 7 years I’ve lived in Colorado! Very challenging but worth every moment of struggle. The entire trail is filled with breathtaking views, each one better than the last!

Start early!! Limited parking if you don’t camp at the trailhead and a big majority of the hike is in the sun so it gets very hot very quickly. We started at 7:20am and were back at the car at 12:30pm (If doing it again I would start even earlier.) The 5 hours included water, snack, picture breaks and about a 25-30 min stop at Ice Lake soaking it all in. We went up to Ice Lake first and then over to Island Lake making the way back down a little more pleasant avoiding incredibly steep loose rock.

We saw a lot of overnight tents through the hike and a couple handfuls at Ice Lake itself. When we got up there just before 10am it was pretty busy and only getting busier by the minute. The hike to Island Lake is about 10 extra minutes and although not as blue still very pretty.

On our way back down we ran into packs and packs of people on their way up which got pretty obnoxious as part of the trail is single track and hard to step off and no one actually has their dogs on leash. So, again, start early and avoid the crowds.

The view was worth the hike!

Very nice trail, mostly on an old forest road but be prepared for some extended hiking on rocks in places. A good balance of shade and sun. If you take your pup, there are a few small stream crossings where they can get a drink. Near the top there is a nice area to see the falls from about a quarter mile away, but the hike to the falls itself will reward you with some great views back toward the valley.

This was a great hike. Great day and a beautiful hike.

It was a little longer than a mile, honestly wasn’t worth it. It was beautiful, don’t get me wrong but it’s so small and the fact you can’t swim in it anymore makes it out for a little disappointing. Other than that the trail has 7 bridges you cross before you get to the end, was super rocky and the scenic views were gorgeous.

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.

excellent hike. beautiful

A great hike to get acclimated to the altitude. If you get an early start then you’ll likely have the falls to yourself. The views are fantastic along the way. We wrapped up the hike around 11:30 after relaxing at the top for 40 minuets, and the trail was pretty crowded at that point. Only 4 stars due to the sheer beauty and solitude of other hikes in the area.

hiking
3 days ago

Very cool hike! We did the day hike to Lower, Middle, Upper Blue Lakes and to the Sneffels pass. I recommend camping at the trailhead for an early start. The lower lake is beautiful (it's better than the other two) but pretty full of campers. The best view is from near the middle lake looking down on the lower lake. The path can be hard to find going from lower to middle. The trail from upper lake to the pass was narrow and steep and did get boring, so you could definitely skip this and you wouldn't be missing out. The hike is quite steep in beginning sections, so it gets real old on the way back down (we saw two people who appeared to have twisted ankles from sliding or falling in these sections... both of whom were hiking in tevas, so do with that what you will).

Easily the best hike in all of Colorado - The lakes, the mountain views, the wildflowers. It's just tough enough to be challenging and is beautiful throughout the entire hike. I suggest camping near the trailhead, makes for an easy start and no parking issues (but seriously, if you get to a popular trailhead after 9am and are pissed it's full... you're an idiot). We started around 5am; about an hour in we heard a huge group of coyotes howling off in the distance, presumably about a recent kill, and it was very cool. We didn't see anyone until we were past halfway and started seeing backpackers coming down. When we got to Ice Lake, we were the only ones (on a holiday weekday!) and it was extremely special. Island Lake is definitely worth the additional short trek, but it's not as electric and jaw-dropping as Ice Lake.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful BUT: The Lake is now drained. There's only little water left. no more waterfall, and compared to a month ago most of the wildflowers are now gone.
Still a nice walk/hike, would suggest going later in the day as it gets crowded in the morning.

This is definitely a very popular trailhead. Arrived at 445 am and the lower lot had cars parked, we found a spot on the road near the upper parking lot cause it was full. The road up was sketchy for sure. Highly recommend you use a 4 x 4. I have a 4Runner and made it no problem, but there was a Prius 2 people in front of us that got stuck a couple times. Be smart people! The trail itself was nice but crowded.

Really awesome hike - short but steep and worth it. Saw a snake around 1 pm today. Definitely got lucky with parking!

shoutout to Mike for giving us a ride up to the trailhead. TIL what altitude sickness is. View from the top is 11/10.

Great hike. The people that climb these peaks are so pleasant to be around. It's almost like a family thing. Awesome views from either peak.

hiking
4 days ago

Arrived at 5:25am in a Friday and there was 2-3 parking spots left but when lot is full people just park on side of the road. Also noticed people parking just past the trailhead as the road does extend a bit further. As a flatlander making first climb at this altitude it was hard. It made it up in 3:15 with frequent breaks.

Great hike. Quite busy on Friday and the road up takes a bit of time but it is not bad. Outback made it up easily. Went up Gray’s first, awesome view! Both peaks were great, easy to keep on the trail. I could have used 2 fewer miles on the way back! The beginning of the trail is pretty, but long. Enjoy!

hiking
5 days ago

Arrived at the trailhead around 4:45PM on Friday. Easy climb With most traffic coming down as we were going up. Only another 6 people at the lake at the same time. Still pretty, but looking rough. Since I was there in 2013 the lake is not as clean with trash was floating on the surface and foam covering the water up to about 10’ from shore. Disappointed and don’t expect to be back.

Absolutely beautiful! A tremendous amount of work to get to Ice Lake (upper) but 100% worth it!

Great little hike. Got there at 830 ish and had to park further away.

Beautiful stream and gorgeous lake

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5), had hiking child carriers.

I’m honestly hesitant to give this a review because of how good it is. This is a hidden gem (from tourism) and perfect alternative to the emerald lake, dream lake, lily lake, etc. It’s also not only easy, but a great duration. I suggest an evening hike for the sunset at Lake Isabelle, absolutely incredible. Check weather though for any afternoon hikes, always.

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