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hiking
1 day ago

Woman plumets to her death. Please be careful folks, she just tripped and lead to her demise!
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/colorado/articles/2018-08-13/woman-plummets-to-death-while-hiking-off-mount-royal-trail

hiking
4 days ago

Absolutely AMAZING time hiking up Quandary on Sunday. After camping near Blue Lake just down the road, my girlfriend and I got started up the trail at about 6:20am. The trail had lots of friendly folks on it, but i never felt that it was overcrowded. I can honestly say, this wasn't easy. However we didn't feel it was extremely hard either. It was the perfect balance. Total roundtrip was just about 6 hours from the lower lot and that was with spending about 20-30 minutes at the summit. The Summit experience was very rewarding! So many people up top smiling, taking photos, and sharing stories. The hike down was extremely hard on my knees, but trekking poles made it a bit better.

As a side note, I believe I accidentally left my light blue Camelback backpack in the lower lot so if anyone happened to find it, please contact me at jasondlyman@gmail.com.

hiking
4 days ago

I tackled Quandary for the second time on Saturday. I’m a moderately active 38-year-old from Kansas City. We arrived in Summit County on Thursday, hiked Shrine Pass in Vail on Friday to warm up our legs and lungs, and then hit Quandary trailhead on Saturday morning at 5:45 am. Had no trouble parking in the lower lot, but cars were arriving regularly. It was a perfectly clear day - my husband and I reached the summit in about 4 hours. Last year it took me nearly 6 as I had no idea what I was getting into and almost quit several times. This year I prepared mentally and trained starting with using the stairclimber at least once a week since April, weightlifting once or twice a week, hill sprints, hiking mild hills with a weighted pack, lunges and box step-ups, and pushing and pulling a weighted sled. Additionally I used trekking poles this year which I did not have last year, and we brought a little can of oxygen we found at the grocery store. It was a much more positive experience for this flatlander and though it was still very difficult, I couldn’t stop smiling! The trail is intense and nearly straight up from the beginning with only a couple short flats. I think the ascent from 12k-13k ft (as well as the descent of this part) is mentally the worst as it takes a lot longer than you think this part will. But getting up to that 13k ft ridge provides amazing views and a nice rest before hitting the final steep ascent. We also got to see a mountain goat here, both on the way up and when we were headed back down, which was a highlight for me. The trail was very busy, as I expected from last year, but it was fun meeting people along the way as everyone was friendly and supportive. The last ascent to the summit is grueling and steep, rocks on rocks on rocks, and it’s difficult to see the summit most of the way so it feels like you are going nowhere for a long time. But reaching the summit was so exhilarating, especially after shaving a couple hours off my time from last year! Attitude is everything but proper training helps too, especially if you aren’t conditioned to the mountains! Even with trekking poles, I do think the descent was more difficult this year and took longer, but last year we got caught in a snow squall until we reached the tree line so that may have sped us up a bit! Also, both years I did this, my iPhone clocked over 10 miles, as opposed to the 6 on the description.

First 14ner . What an awesome experience. I trained for six months, with cardio. Swim spin and cycling. The reality being from Ohio is there is no way to prepare for the altitude. Everyone is going to be affected differently. I would say having enough water can’t be understated. I consumed 3 liters and wished I had more. The key is the summit is taking your time. As previously stated very loose rock at the top. The reward is at the summit. Enjoy it! The trip down is / equally challenging. Poles are a plus for stability. Your knees will thank you. I hiked this on 7/20, with an awesome weather day. Hazy in the morning, but cleared on the way down and it got warm. A week later they experience snow and hail. Always be prepared for changing weather regardless of the forecast.
I did have full cell service at the summit. None at the trail head.

hiking
5 days ago

Wheeler Lake is a great hike for the morning. Start early as Trailhead parking is unpredictable (there’s not a parking lot, just various intersecting roads you can park on the edge). There’s also no Trailhead sign but it’s correctly marked on AllTrails. There’s very little tree coverage and shade on the trail so I recommend sunscreen and a hat. There’s plenty of running water and streams throughout the hike and up to the lake which is great for canine companions. Keep an eye out for vehicles (we didn’t encounter any on our way up but we started at 8am). The lake had tons of wild flowers around it and a rushing waterfall from an upper lake. We sat up there and enjoyed the views and a snack. Keep an eye out for the many marmots near the lake.

This was not difficult. We did Baldy Peak the day before and that was difficult. I’d put this in he moderate side. This trail spends a lot of time on a Jeep road with decently packed rocks. I always forget we can drive up much higher to the Trail head than getting caught with all the traffic at spruce lake to Mohawk Trail Heads.

Crystal lakes gives you jeep roads, thru the forest, above tree line to the truly crystal clear lakes. Now I understand how they get their names. They are beautiful lakes. We went up to the second lake. Once at the first lake, take the trail to the right to go tot the second lake. Don’t be fooled by the trails you can see on your top left, it’s just a turn around.

Going up to the second lake took 46-51 minutes more. We had our 11 and 12 year old with us. There was one part up to the second lake where we slowed bc of elevation. But you’re soon there and it well worth it.

hiking
6 days ago

Awesome first 14er. Wife and I made it up with relative ease. Summit views of the adjacent peaks are gorgeous!

Did this 14er today. It was my first 14er alone so I wanted a heavy trafficked trail. I am an in shape 27 year old and well acclimated to 14ers and altitude and it took me 5 hours start to finish. I would say this is a moderately hard 14er. If you are in shape and used to altitude you will not have any problems. :) It hailed on and off pretty much my whole decent even though the weather forecast did not say that was coming. I ended up running down hill almost a mile in the storm to make it to my car before it really downpoured. As with all 14ers its a good idea to bring a rain jacket of sorts so your not soaked while hiking if a storm does come your way. If you are hiking alone and nervous this is a great trail as you are constantly surrounded by people. If you want solitude I would not recommend this trail. There was barely even room to sit at the peak!

hiking
7 days ago

We did it! By we, I mean two 48 yr olds and 3 teenagers: Nina, Casey and Reagan. We've been here for 6 days & have done a few hikes already. Hit the trail at 9:30 on a Friday. Parking was easy as the early hikers were coming off. Prior to the hike read all these reviews and then some. Definitely helped to prepare. First time doing a 14er and so glad we did it! We are not seasoned hikers and found this challenging especially walking on all the loose rocks. Steep incline most of the entire hike so was dreading the hike down. Hit the summit in 3 hours. Then the storm rolled in. Hail in August! Snow on neighboring mountains. The forecast was for a clear day...got to love Colorado! Then the thunder...thankfully the rain held off for awhile. We made it down in only 1 hr 15 mins! Views were amazing! Overall a tough hike but take your time and enjoy the views!

7 days ago

Did this hike today. Gorgeous views and worth it to get to the top. Incline to the lake is demanding with loose gravel and rocks but so beautiful at the top.

trail running
9 days ago

It was the perfect morning for a jog! The trail was easily followed and it only took me 2.5 hours up and back down. :)

hiking
10 days ago

Weather was perfect. Whole family made it to the summit. 7 year old climbed on own and 4 year old rode on my back. Distance is at least 1.2 miles off, not even close to 6 miles round trip. Plan on 7.2.

my 1st 14er and it was amazing! Starting hiking at 5am (with head lamps) & watched the sunrise once we got above the tree line. The upper section had me sucking air. I don't hike on a regular basis, so anyone that hikes can make this climb. the views on top are incredible!!! I would recommend this hike for anyone that wants to do a 14k mountain.

hiking
10 days ago

Just did it! The climb is pretty steep the entire way up. Trails are loose rock and dirt and will definitely get your heart thumping! Just take your time and enjoy the views. The top of the trail winds you along the edge to amazing views overlooking all of Dillon Reservoir. Truly worth the hike. On the way down, the trail will definitely take a toll on your knees. We (2-48 yr olds and 3 teens) slowly jogged down which seemed easier than walking. Nice short hike, done in under 2 hrs, but stay longer and enjoy the vista!

I’m giving this a 5 Star because the feeling is amazing when you finally get to the top and the views are beautiful, but PLEASE don’t take this lightly. I consider myself a seasoned hiker that has tackled lots of “thrill” hikes around the country, but this was my first 14er. I underestimated the difficulty of hiking at altitude (never hiked above 10k feet) and it’s safe to say I suffered a minor case of altitude sickness. Blue lips, numb fingers, almost complete loss of ability to move my body up towards the last half mile. Had to dig deep and finally got a second wind (or fight or flight lol) and made it to the top. The descent was painfully difficult. There are people who will review this as “easy” and I admire them, but for A LOT of people - even seasoned hikers and athletes - find this extremely difficult. Super worth it, but know your limits! Also, I clocked the distance on my watch at closer to 8 miles round trip from parking lot to summit and back. Keep that in mind as well!

Amazing! Would do it again in a heartbeat!

hiking
11 days ago

It took me 9 hours to complete the hike trail head to peak and back. Possibly i was out of shape this year. Not a starter 14er for me.

hiking
11 days ago

This trail should not be underestimated. Yes, the ascent is hard (as all 14ers are), but in my opinion, the descent is harder! Even with hiking poles, the scree (which goes on for miles - no joke) makes you feel like you are walking on marbles. The views are gorgeous and the wildlife is adorable. Just know your limits!

hiking
12 days ago

Arrived the night before and slept in the car. Woke up at 4 am, started hiking at 4:15 to beat the crowds and watch the sun rise from the false summit. It was great, because the morning light illuminated the mountains around in beautiful pink color and made the mountain ranges well defined, in contrary to the later light. Also, we were super happy that we didn't have to hike in a train of people blasting music on their way up (smh). It took us 2h50min to the top and some 2 hrs down. It wasn't easy, but also not super difficult, if you hike regularly...

hiking
12 days ago

It’s very easy to underestimate this hike. The reviews here don’t accurately tell the whole story. We had a group of 10 ranging in age from 14 to 56. Eight of the ten summited which was awesome considering the difficulty. It took my wife and I (in our fifties) 5.5 hours to summit. The 3.3 miles to the top is grueling. The trail follows the fall line of the ridge once above tree line and is very steep. After an intense climb to a false summit you reach a nice saddle which gives you a good break. While we didn’t feel it was dangerous at all, the left side of the ridge falls away sharply and can be quite scary for anyone uneasy with extreme heights. Now the real work begins, with Quandary’s majesty towering over you, almost taunting you to keep going, you must climb over one thousand feet in under a mile to the top. I was counting paces and sometimes could only go 20 steps before having to stop. We are flat landers in moderate shape and it was the breathing at this altitude that really got us. This last mile took us at least two hours. The views from the top were out of this world and it was relatively calm and warm in early August.
Now it’s time to come down. I’ve hiked my whole life and have never experienced a descent this difficult. This is what you don’t hear in these reviews. The down is nearly as tough as the up! With so many rocks and the steepness of the trail, you must go slow. It took us almost 4 hours to come down with our bones and muscles aching at each step. Take hiking poles, they spread the load to more muscles on the way up, and reduce impact on the way down, not to mention they reduce fall risk from missteps. I estimate that poles increase your efficiency by as much as 25 percent. After 10 hours we had completed our first 14-teener. I never want to see that trail again, but will never forget the awesomeness of Quandary. It’s now time to start training for Grays and Torrey, and dare I say Long’s. This is an incredible trek but I must say it is very difficult and should not be undertaken without knowing the intensity required. Climb on!

hiking
12 days ago

Excellent marked trail. First mile in the forest and moderate climb- but then once you get above tree line it becomes steeper and a scramble over rocky terrain all the way to the top. This being said the trail is well worn, easy to follow, and gorgeous. We saw a pack of mountain goats (with babies), marmots, fox, and pika- along with many wildflowers. The top is rewarding with incredible views. Lots of people but we didn’t mind. Just do this!

The trail is much closer to 7 1/5 miles then it is to 6 (reaching the summit at mile 3.6). And it was definitely the busiest 14er have ever been on, which can get a bit frustrating when there’s not enough room on the trail for both directions of traffic, so one person has to stand aside and wait for several minutes until the line of oncoming hikers has passed. Also, there is a false summit followed by the most grueling part of the hike. So don’t be lulled into a false sense of achievement with that. But overall, it was a decent trip.

Parking is very limited, so I would recommend getting there very early (my companion and I drove up the night before and slept in the car). And the “jeep road“ leading up to the trailhead is certainly doable with a smaller vehicle that is not four-wheel-drive. It is not paved, and it is not pretty, but it is easily doable.

The only bathroom facilities are a couple porta potties in the lower lot… So keep that in mind for when nature calls.

on Quandary Peak Trail

12 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous. However, I feel like this is an extremely difficult hike. I don’t think any of the reviews so far really capture how much of this trail is loose rock.

My first 14er in 10 years and my wife’s first in 20. Great, beautiful hike. Moderately difficult given we’re in our mid 40s and hadn’t done it in so long. 2:50 up. 10 minutes on top. 2:30 down, but that includes a lengthy snack break hanging out with a flock of mountain goats. 5:30 total. It says 6 miles here, but the sign at the upper lot says 3.33 miles each way and we parked below, doing almost exactly 7 miles. Ready for another 14er soon. Many thanks to the crews out working on the trail for all that they do.

This hike was very difficult, but well worth it. My girlfriend and I are from out of state, both 22 and in fairly good shape. The climb took us about 3 hours and 15 minutes and the descent roughly 2 hours. Plan to bring lots of water and plenty of food for the hike as you will need lots of fuel. I would also recommend starting as early as you can to beat the crowd. This peak is rated as one of the easiest 14ers and was our first, however it was not easy by any means.

Super steep, lots of loose rocks. This map stops short of the best views...you keep going downhill after you scope out the highway views and then scramble up a rock to get to the very top. Excellent views from there. Mix of shade and sun.

First off, read all reviews. This is a tough but well maintained trail. It got very busy and for some folks that might a putoff but for us was great. Folks were super friendly and nice-everyone helping everyone. There were 2 amazing ladies that walked with us for a bit and then checked on my son who summited solo-we made it to the saddle. I’m 52, 240 and this was an 8 hour journey. Views were amazing. If you wish to do a 14er this is well traveled. I am glad we took this challenge and hope to feel my legs and feet soon.

hiking
15 days ago

Arrived at trailhead at 9:15. Many vehicles were parked along the road but we were lucky enough to find a spot in the parking lot. The parking lot was very small and only 7 spots are allotted there. This was the busiest 14’er that I’ve done and it was a Wednesday! I can’t imagine how crowded it must be on weekends.
Well maintained trail and fairly steep incline the entire way. My Garmin measured the distance from trailhead to summit at exactly 4 miles (8 total), not the stated 3.33. It took my daughter (age22) and I (age 52) 3 1/2 hours to summit and 2 to return, and that included a stop to photo a mountain goat.
Above the tree line was like many other 14’ers, rocky steep with some scrambling. NO crawling required.
Below tree line was pretty but no springs or creeks.
This was the easiest 14’er that I’ve done and I have no regrets about hiking it.

A beautiful hike with awesome views. We spent a good chunk of time at the top just taking in the beauty of the lake and the incredible wild flowers. My husband and I are in decent shape, in our late 20s to early 30s and it took us a total of 3.5 hours. One of the most beautiful places I’ve seen and a very gratifying hike. Will do again one day.

hiking
16 days ago

This one will kick your ass if you don't prepare. Views are incredible, but bad weather can roll in quickly. I hiked it in winter (around 1st of Jan), got caught in a little blizzard/strong winds and had to retreat down just some 500 yards from the summit.

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