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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hiking
7 hours ago

We were told by the bus driver that Crater Lake was a lot more dried up this year, and that was completely obvious once we saw the lake. I’m sure it would have been a lot more attractive if the water were higher. But pretty views throughout the hike! Saw a ton of families, so should be doable for most kiddos. And if you have a dog, they’ll probably enjoy cooling off in the lake at the top.

I’m physically active so I thought the trail itself was mostly easy, but we flew in from GA ~18 hours before the hike and I definitely felt some negative affects of the altitude adjustment. If you’re not used to high altitudes, bring plenty of water and remember to take deep breaths.

It tricked my watch! Shorter than the app posted!

hiking
13 hours ago

Reviews are a bit confusing - there is the scenic gravel road, but also unmaintained forest service trails above the dam. we hiked around for about 2.5 miles on these and were rewarded with beautiful views, wildflowers, marmots, pikas, chipmunks, and even mountain goats! beautiful alpine streams and scenic overlooks. altitude was rough for a Floridian's first day in CO but definitely a good choice for an early hike! not too steep but still gorgeous, and not crazy crowded at 8 am. be sure to keep driving past where the GPS tells you to go to the upper trailhead on the right side of the dam.

hiking
15 hours ago

It's past peak wildflower season, but there were still some pretty blooms up near the top. Please be mindful that this trail is quite steep and rocky for the first mile and the last mile, so if you're bringing dogs or kids, make sure they have proper footwear (yes-- PLEASE put shoes on your dogs to protect their paws!!). View from the trail just before you hit the lake is gorgeous. Go early to avoid the crowds, we arrived at the TH just after 8:00 AM and snagged one of the last parking spaces. It was windy and chilly up at Herman Lake so bring layers!

Great hike!

hiking
16 hours ago

Went hiking on 8/11 and it was great! Got there early around 6:30 and their was plenty of parking. Definitely recommend getting there early to beat the crowds and have the lake and trails to yourself. Coming down it was starting to get overly crowded. Last half mile was a little tough but well worth the views.

A perfect hike for a time period of about 2 hours! Amazing views at the top! Have hiked this trail multiple times and it never disappoints!

I consider this trail to be strenuous, and I typically only seek out strenous trail. 2nd time to Parika Lake on a day hike, and since I had my head lamp with decided to do the whole trail instead of walk the same trail. Past Parika Lake is some pretty heavy exposure to me. Your essentially hiking a narrow ridge with dramatic vertical dropoffs and the wind along those ridges is steady and huge. Glad I made it down safely because I didn't expect the trail to keep climbing like that. Like another hiker said two continental divide crossing past Parika Lake. Cake walk down hill after that. My legs were just noodles. I wouldn't want to hike it clockwise, because I feel going downhill,on those exposed areas would be shady. I rate it strenuous.

This hike offered a quick escape from Denver heat today, but not much escape from crowds. We enjoyed the trail, but it was very crowded and of course, there was a lot of dog poop along the trail and two dogs off leash, despite someone asking the owner to leash them. I think this hike would be much better during the week; it was just too busy on a weekend.

Quick and fun. Did it with my nephews - both 7 years old. They enjoyed the Tower and talking with the Ranger at the top. The views are fantastic.

cougar was sighted at base of grizzly drive after an evening hike. other than that trails are in great shape and the creek is running.

Family of 4 with an 11 and 13 year old. One of the best hikes we have ever done. Got there around 8 and got the last marking spot; so arrive early. Gorgeous trail with a gentle grade. Agree with others who recommend going up the left side of the falls. We tried to extend to Ouzel Lake, but the trail was hot and steep. Just too much.

"Stairmaster Sanitas" is a great place to get a very real workout in. We are in decent shape and climbed up Sanitas and went back around the valley loop trail within 2.5 hours. I would categorize this as "moderate to hard" given a few of the rocks you have to scramble over and how steep it is. While you can carry a child on a backpack up an down, it's not the greatest one to choose for that since you might have to shuffle a bit over rocks, etc.

Don’t be scared off by the incline at the beginning. Great views throughout the entire trip, very wooded in some areas and not in others. We clocked about 7.5 miles round trip.

Loved the hike there. Got to the trailhead at 5:45 PM for a sunset hike and finished the hike at 8:20.. about 2.5 hours of hiking and gaping at how beautiful Golden/Colorado is at the golden hour and at sundown.. the trailhead is wayyyy less trafficked at the time we went. Had my dog on a leash all the time because of the rattlesnakes but seemed to be ok!

Beautiful trail in Park. Falls, trees lots of boulders. Be aware no cell service in area so have a map if not familiar w roads. Drive up 7 from Lyons is gorgeous!

Great hike. Decently steep towards the top before the lake but gem lake is beautiful. Went further to balanced rock which was an 8 mile round trip and had some good views along the way. Would hike again!!

off road driving
2 days ago

I did it with stock new Silverado. it was brutal for this kind of car, though it has 4x4 low and all that crap, this trail is not for stock SUV like KIA sportage or so, because it is really rocky and you dont enjoy the drive.
I would recommend a jeep or something like Expedition for this.

other than that, lake is nice and all, but not breathtaking.

Great hike, nice views. Lots of sun, only a few areas that were shaded, so don’t forget a hat and some sunscreen.

Beautiful hike, but super busy (of course, for a Saturday). We went beyond the lake to the upper lake, which doesn't show an official trail on the map. Lots of scrambling and hard to breathe above treeline. The second lake is pretty, but the first one is better. Another group saw some mountain goats beyond the second lake, but they had run off so we didn't attempt to go further. One note on the trail - wear sturdy boots because there is a lot of traversing over rocks and lots of tree roots. And on a hot day, bring lots of water.

The falls are amazing, heed all advice regarding footwear.
The road up is 3 miles of extremely rough terrain.
I saw all sorts of cars, slow going.

Great hike, some steep parts, but I really noticed the incline more on the way down due to the trail being a bit loose. Great views though, lots of wild flowers, pretty lake at the end. Parking g lot fills up real fast, got there at 8am and it was already overflowing to side streets.

Part of the RMNP but start outside of park. Started at donut shop on the way to trail. Great donuts but made hiking a little tougher.

This hike is different than being in the RMNP, the rocks-boulder different shapes and sizes. Made for numerous little caves, which the 2 and 5 year old loved.

On the way up, get some good views of Estes park.

There is a actual toilet near the top. My 5 yr old loved this!!

Lake is very ok. Also leaches in the lake, so don't get all the way in. But plenty of exploring and climbing near the lake for the kids.

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5). 5 yr old hiked off and on.

The hike was really nice. The waterfall was okay though.

Tough trail for someone who is not used to hiking but worth the view at the end!

Amazing views and easy lots of little chipmunks that come very close to you. Many spots for photos. ALOT OF PEOPLE!!! but lots of fun and many trails next to it

This trail gets a bad wrap here! it was actually beautiful and the signage was just fine. I counted no fewer than 5 signs directing me along the trail. and the map IS accurate. just follow it while you are walking (pull out your phone when you get to a fork in the path) and if you take a wrong turn you can easily see it on the map on AllTrails.

The hike is great, lake is underwhelming. Views along the hike are awesome.

Super nice hike! Only went to the first lake and the waterfalls. Overall, well marked trail, few stretches over boulders that were a bit harder to negotiate, well shaded for lots of the way, quite a few hikers. Parking is a challenge (only 3 spots at trailhead) but road parking farther down. Scenery is beautiful. Good for intermediate hikers.

Really pleasant nature trail. Too many people, but that seems to be the nature of everything today.

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