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summer vacation hikes

Colorado Map

worth seeing and hiking up past the bells! (Did in August 2017)

where the trail splits to go to Andrews glacier is it covered in snow. snowshoes are required at this point. I hiked maybe 1/4 mile in microspikes but the postholing was just too often so I had to abort and turn around.

on Cathedral Lake Trail

3 months ago

Stunning views!

I don't recommend doing this hike all in 1 day. It's a bit much even for relatively experienced hikers. Even so, this was a great hike with a couple cool (but mild) challenges. Docking 1 star because the hot spring area wasn't that well kept and because I've been on better hikes.

We only walked from the parking area to the lake- primarily walking along lake only. It was seriously cold and windy, we weren't really dressed properly. We went on the afternoon of October 9th, 2017, the same day the area received a 4 inch + snow fall. OMG it was gorgeous- everything covered in snow- seriously a winter wonderland!
This area is nice because it's good for everyone- even those who can't walk very far, or for children. Everyone can get to see these beautiful sites!

5 months ago

Awesome trail! Beautiful views! Lake was a beautiful turquoise color. Shortly after reaching the lake the sun went behind the clouds and a weather system came in so we had some snow! Continuous assent made it challenging and going down wasn't any easier. Would definitely go again though.

Went October 5th from 11-4pm. Took me and my girlfriend visiting from FL about 5 hours and was very difficult for us. The switchbacks towards the end were very muddy and had a lot of slush making that last bit very dangerous and nerve wrecking! Saw others with poles going up with ease. The view was absolutely breathtaking and so worth all the struggle ✌

This is a 10 mile chunk of the beautiful Colorado Trail with amazing views of the Aspens during the fall (like right now). It starts off of CR 306 and ends at CR 322. While this is a beautiful hike, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:

-THERE ARE NOT HOT SPRINGS ALONG THE WAY!! The image and description for this trail are extremely deceptive!!! The image is not even for this hike, I believe it is a picture of Conundrum Hot Springs outside of Aspen. Also, as stated, the trail doesn't even "feature hot springs". Which was the whole reason we decided to do this it in the first place, so that was pretty disappointing. We hiked over 17 miles trying to find them, only to come to the realization that the only hot springs are located in town, if you continue on the Colorado Trail for 3 more miles on CR 322. These are obviously NOT remote like we were made to believe by the picture, but instead commercialized and ones that you have to pay for. The hike into town is also on a paved road, which is not friendly on the feet. Especially after already hiking 10 miles with packs on, and then having to hike back up on the same road to get back onto the trail to find a place to camp. So, if you are looking for a trail with remote hot springs, you will not find them here.
-There are no campgrounds. There are spots that are ideal to camp within the first 5 miles, but the last chunk of the trail there are not many spots to set up camp, especially the last .5 mile which runs through private property. Yep... not very remote when you are walking though peoples properties and can see their homes.
-This trail stays on the outskirts of the mountains, and doesn't go deep into the range. So, you are walking next to the street and next to the town the entire way.
-If you start on CR 306, you will have to cross three roads within the first 3 miles, before starting your incline up the mountain. I would have preferred to already have been working my way into the mountains after that distance, and not still on a main street, and been a little more rugged. That being said, if you feel the same way, I would recommend trying to park on CR 343 or CR 344 where the trail intersects.

With all that being said, it is a beautiful trail with a challenging ascent to two clear openings with exceptionally breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and aspens. I am rating it 3 stars for the inaccuracy of the picture and description, and hope that this information will help other hikers/backpackers/campers know what to expect!

It's already winter up there so bring your layers! Snowed 4 inches the night we camped up by the springs. Also there are free wag bags at the trailhead. Use them! You'll save the Forest Service a lot of unpleasant work.

mountain biking
5 months ago

This was a real challenge on my bike. Rugged terrain, rocks, boulders, tree roots etc.

walked from the Breck side in for 1 hour. we made it just pass a large water tank. lots of varied scenery- Open for long view forest, to dense shadowed paths. it was beautiful!!

The best hike of my life. The scenery was amazing. Wading the open stream and crossing the railless bridges were unforgettable challenges.

Hardest hike of my life because of the altitude, I'm from a sea level city and never been in the mountains before, but it was definitely worth the hike and experience. Scenery was amazing and the people you meet on the way were very nice. We camped over night and left early morning; to be honest I wish we could've stayed a little longer for the view and hot spring. Would recommend to anyone wanting a hike with great scenery.

6 months ago

Ran into 2 hunters and 4 hikers the whole day. A good spot to actually enjoy nature. The hike has an incline the majority of the trail, it's a big gain in elevation.

6 months ago

Road to parking lot a bit bumpy. First to the lot for the day. 34 degrees to start, but was down to short shirt sleeves in 1/4 mile. Aspens are starting to look beautiful in several areas. Hike was hard, but very much worth it.

Heads up- "bear canister REQUIREMENT".

6 months ago

Aspens had just begun to turn which made an incredible hike even more so. It was strenuous but well worth it.

6 months ago

Walked trail yesterday with our dog and it was so nice! Streams were amazing and foliage is just starting to turn.

Did the whole thing in one day as an epic trail run for my 40th birthday.
Actual stats as verified by 2 different gps devices: 44 miles, 12,000 vertical gain if going North to South. North end of the trail is much less traveled and we had just a bit of route finding trouble and more than just a bit of deadfall across the trail. From Boulder Creek on to the south was clear of trees and well marked. Took us 12.5 hrs to do the whole thing.

6 months ago

Absolutely beautiful start to finish. Sept 1 , parts of the aspen groves have started to change to gold. There is a side trail to see castle creek acting more like a rushing waterfall just past the aspens. Once you get through the switchbacks, you're solid! A lot of different trails to get across the creek to the lake, they all seemed to work fine. Hike around the lake to the boulder field for best views and a great lunch spot. 4.5 hours round trip with a lunch break !

This was an amazing hike! Started at Bear Lake trailhead and hiked up to the Loch. The hike to the Loch was a little crowded but after leaving this area the crowds pretty much disappeared. Near the Andrews campsite area we saw an extremely large bear across the meadow! He saw us and worked his way up the rocks and observed the meadow for 5-10 minutes and came back down and disappeared. We continued on our hike and it was well worth it. A little bit of scrambling is required for the last 45min or so but nothing too hard for any experienced hikers. I would still rate this hike as hard but it wasn't overwhelming for me. This is one of my favorite hikes in the park and Ill be going back again before the weather changes!

Great trail to hike with a loved one as the lake's beauty is beyond reproach.

Challenging but an awesome beautiful hike!

6 months ago

Great hike, you're going up the whole time but it's short and sweet! Beautiful up top! My husband did fish a little.. large trout in there!

We went from 8/18/17-8/20/17.
As challenging as it was, it was incredibly rewarding once you get to the top and soak in the hot springs. Bring flip flops/ water shoes (highly recommended) if you need them to cross water or also to use at the hot springs. Get there EARLY, and start the trail early to get a camp site at the top. Really be mindful of how you pack your load. Be prepared for the ascent up, it's not easy with 20-40lbs on your back. You cannot have fire at the very top camp sites so be prepared to bring freeze dried food/ or any type of food that you just need to add water.
Make sure to bring a rain cover for your pack and dry bags in the case there is a random rain shower (it really saved us from having wet everything inside our packs), especially since it gets COLD at night!
The hike was just insanely beautiful the whole way and back! Highly recommended.

Beautiful. Good for trail running

6 months ago

Fun hike. Best thing about this hike is the amount of time spent above timberline. Steep at first then it levels off for a fairly flat hike with spectacular 360 degree views.

The first .7 miles or so is easy and covered by Aspen trees. After that, it starts to get rough. While it is a steady climb, if you are acclimated here in CO...you will be fine. My 8 year old dog and I (24) did it in four hours. There is a pretty big waterfall just off the trail after you come to a little clearing (stay right here). After a while, you will come to a spot where you can go left to the river or right...go right! It is a bit of a rock scramble from there. Then you follow the trail until you hit the super steep 1/4 of a mile climb up the switchbacks. From there it is another ten minutes or so, when you get to the stream...stay left for an easy hop to the other side. If you are hiking with your pup...bring water! The stream isn't until the very end but there is a spot where you get closer to the water and can take the trail down on the left to let them get some water for them. So worth it!! Tons of wildflowers along the way and the trail is easy to follow. No snow left and the lake is completely thawed.

Okay, WOW, where do I begin? First off, if you are planning on backpacking, this is not an 'easy or moderate' hike by any means. 7.5 miles with a full backpack is DIFFICULT no matter what terrain you are going up. However, if you are not carrying an overnight backpack, then I could see this being a moderate hike. The uphill is not too bad, it's just very long.

The hike itself was my favorite part. The views are absolutely unbeatable and the obstacles you have to go through make it such a fun and exciting hike.

Beware - we got to the parking lot at 9:15 on Saturday morning (had to rent a bear canister in town, store didn't open till 9 :x (don't overlook this!!)) and we got one of the last spots. I would not recommend starting this hike any later than 9:30 on a weekend as you will likely not get a parking spot or a camping spot.

We got one of the last camping spots as well. If you can get to the top early, I would definitely hike to the very top where the hot springs are and camp up there.

The hot springs were awesome. Such a cool and unique experience. There were a lot of people up there when we went as it was late in the summer and a weekend, however, it was by no means 'out of control, or too rowdy' as some reviews (mostly on other sites) claim. I would recommend bringing some flip flops or sandals to wear to the springs and also to cross the river (on the hike) with.

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