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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Beautiful and worth the trek. Avid hikers, but 20lb+ of backpack adds a whole new element to it. Arrived at 730p Friday and Hiked 2 miles in the dark. The next day we hiked 16 miles (ended just before Frigid Pass). Last day we finished the remaining. Plowed through it based on time we had. Would have loved a leisurely 4 day backpack, but if can be done in 2 days. DEFINITELY recommend doing it counter clockwise. My guess is everyone wants to ease into it w a gradual climb on day 1, but it’s worth doing Buckskin pass 1st!Pays off later. Low 40s/high 30s at night. No bugs. Had a 1/2 day of relentless rain. Hand warmers were key! Hammock camped both nights, and even with some rain I was a happy camper! Was not overwhelmed by the amount of people on the trail. Surprised there wasn’t more actually. Very rewarding!! But bed feels good now.

hiking
12 hours ago

Such a fun hike! Lots of rocks you climb up, it does get steep. It’s not a paved path at all which we loved. It can get crowded at the top with people trying to get pictures but it’s well worth it. We’d do this hike again in a heartbeat.

hiking
12 hours ago

It’s a fun hike up to the lake with tons to see on the way. Dream Lake was our favorite part of the hike - absolutely gorgeous, we felt at point like we’d stepped into a lord of the rings movie. I agree the trail is moderate depending on the person. We hiked it pretty quickly but there were a couple parts that got a little steep. It’s partially paved or there are rock steps pretty much the whole way though. Great hike and would do it again! We got there early around 7am and it was not too crowded at all - go early.

Had a lot of fun with our dog (kept her on leash). Went past the 7th bridge up a bit more towards Jones park but didn’t quite make it. Will definitely come again.

hiking
12 hours ago

Very pretty hike with good elevation gain, but huge crowds...

hiking
14 hours ago

Beautiful, easy, hike! Got there around 9AM and it was extremely crowded the whole time. However, the views and lakes truly are incredible.

hiking
19 hours ago

Enjoyable hike! Little rocky and challenging at parts, but nothing too crazy. Dog friendly so expect to see a few 4-legged friends out there. Cool views!

hiking
20 hours ago

hiking
20 hours ago

Very pretty trail. A bit crowded, but not as crowded as I was expecting. I'd call this trail moderate rather than hard, and I'm of average shape. There were parts that were tough, but it's really short so that's why I'd say it's closer to the moderate side. I got to the parking lot by 8 am and it was full. However, there was plenty of parking along the street. It cost 2.50 per hour.

Not pretty, not hard. Won’t be back.

Was warned about the crowds, so we left the Bear Lake parking lot at 6:45 AM. Hike was peaceful and spectacular. We stopped 3-4 times to catch our breath. We hiked at a modest pace and finished in two hours.

Beautiful hike... Well-marked and easy to follow. It will fall between easy to moderately-difficult depending on the person. The last bit of the trail leading up to Emerald Lake is the most challenging portion: a steep incline with LOTS of stairs. Dream Lake and Emerald Lake are breathtaking and well worth it, though. I gave it four stars because of how heavily trafficked it was. If you are looking for a peaceful wilderness experience... this may not be the choice for you. Lots of people, loud voices, and cell phones at every turn.

Being an avid hiker from East Tennessee, there was no hope for me. I completed the incline on my first day in Colorado, but my lungs paid dearly for it since I was not used to the elevation. I strongly suggest that you buy the "I completed the incline" sticker at the gift shop before hand and use that as motivation to get to the top. Overall once you make it to the top, the view is worth it as well as the sense of cheating death and accomplishment. Pack water, food, needle cheast decompressor and a good camera to document your humility.

Fantastic Rocky Mountain hike . This is my first hike in this area ! I am impressed !
It was hard trail to the lake but well worth!

Beautiful scenery at every turn, and very, very crowded. I would rate this hike as Easy-Moderate. Half the trail is literally paved and the second half is well maintained stair steps. Our 5 year old tackled this with no problems.

hiking
2 days ago

Did this trail in June. Waterfalls weren’t super impressive. We took a few wrong turns d/t lack of signage but ended up on a higher trail with beautiful mountain views. Couldn’t tell you how to get back there but THAT hike would be worth it to do again.

on Lake Gulch Trail Loop

hiking
2 days ago

Hot hike. Great wildlife viewing.

took our young children and really enjoyed it! challenging but doable for them. plenty of shade and places to stop. breathtaking scenery.

hiking
2 days ago

An amazing view of what Boulder Colorado has to offer. A must see hike!

Overall a great place to hike; not too difficult and early in the morning it's not crowded. There are some people who don't keep their dogs on a leash and who don't pick up after them.

hiking
3 days ago

On a whim I was looking for something relatively short with some elevation gain since I just moved to Denver and hunting season will soon be upon us. Driving there was pretty easy as the road looks like it was just graded this spring or early summer. don't get going too fast or your tail end will try to come around! There's a five mile dirt road approach that looks highly seasonal, but is fine for all but the lowest cars if you're careful and avoid the potholes and go slowly over washboarding.

The hike itself is nice and relatively gentle elevation gain. I'd recommend some trekking poles for the rocky path you have to take, or perhaps just some sturdy ankle support wielding boots. I'd absolutely come back here, it looks like the trail goes further than the last lake but I didn't have a GPS and it began to look like a goat path. For another day then.

fun trail, you'll get your cardio in!

Definitely a moderate hike, I was a little out of shape when we went but it was a blast. We went at 6:30am and there was plenty of parking and it was a beautiful trail!

Great hike awesome view from the arch. steep in places and rocky. worth the trip.

Definitely gets full of traffic early, and make sure everyone uses the restroom before you park; the restrooms at the entrance are the most disgusting things I’ve ever walked in and then immediately out of.

Beautiful views along the entire walk!

Great route not to be missed if visiting area. Stay hydrated, especially if not used to altitudes.

Great trail, hard climb, worth every step

Up and down

Gorgeous! Hike is moderate with trails easily marked. We saw many elk along the way. We took the shuttle from town because we arrived later in the day and couldn’t park at Big Bear of transfer station...they were full. It was a very pleasant drive up to the hike...and we could both admire the scenery!

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.

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