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Bring backup snowshoes for sure and spikes for boots if going in winter. Beautiful trail with a VERY scenic drive up. Took about an hour in snow but we started from the fork of lonely lake and creedmore, adding a little less than another mile to the hike. I was expecting there to be water in the lake but I guess that's just a summer/fall thing. Definitely a good spot if you don't have much time to hike and you want to camp overnight.

snowshoeing
9 days ago

Great treed trail.

hiking
10 days ago

The hike was like walking on a dirt road, it was pretty level and easy. Make sure you know where you are going because there are quite a few junctions. I used the AllTrails app just to make sure I didn't go around in circles. Some snow on the trails but nothing to write home about. The best part of the hike was scrambling up to the top of Mount Margaret.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

My girlfriend and I, along with my best friend and his girlfriend, all tackled this bad boy last Sunday (12/9); and it was magnificent.

We got a relatively late start after making the roughly two-hour drive up from Fort Collins; beginning our snowshoeing trek around 12:30 pm and returning to our vehicle around 4:30 pm.

The road down to the actual trailhead was closed due to the amount of snow, so we added an additional 4 miles to our trip (approx. 6 miles round-trip). With the small parking lot being full, we just parked along State Hwy 14 without a problem.

The road leading up to the trailhead was somewhat steep, but we were blessed with blue skies the whole way up. And even though the temp dropped into the single digits near our trek's end, we were well prepared to bare the elements.

The Crags to the east of the trail provided us with some stupendous views as the sun crept down beyond the mountains, just illuminating the tops of these exceptional peaks. We made it all the way to the lake, but decided not to make the full loop around, for it was getting dark and with most of the hike being in the shade (and at least 10 degrees cooler), we decided to head back. We were fortunate enough to only have seen four to five other groups on the trail, which just added to the splendor of this amazing hike!

Would love to return in the spring or summer to see how different it is in another season!

Tip: Make sure you have your All Trails Map downloaded prior to the hike, for we almost took a wrong turn and got lost, as the trail is completely covered in snow.

Great trail, snowshoed this on December 1st 2018. could have gotten away with yaks or just heavy tread hiking boots, but certain spots were deeper and icy. great trail.

This is one hike I always recommend to someone going to Colorado. Stunning view at the top!

off road driving
2 months ago

PLEASE HELP! this trail looks AMAZING but I was wondering if it is an off roaring trail or do you have to hike it?? If it is an off roaring trail can you get to the top of that ridge in a off road vehicle?
Thanks!

Its snowshoe season!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice short hike over packed snow. Watched a cow and calf moose wade the edge of the lake about 150 yds away while we ate some lunch.

The best in Colorado

Awesome trail! Couple of inches of snow on the trail this morning! Time to start whipping out cross country skiis and snow shoes!

Beautiful hike!! It was long and got rough near the end, but the lake and cirque views are worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

Our 7 and almost 4 year old had fun on this hike! The lake is a great place to play, have a few snacks and take in the scenery!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful, easy trail.

We backpacked this loop counter clockwise for Labor day weekend in 2018, camping at the Twin Crater Lakes on the first night and Camp Lake on the second night.

Beautiful area -- lots of water, with many stream crossings that used logs or stones to get across w/o getting wet.

Because we went in September we saw almost no flies and zero mosquitos. There was plenty of water to filter to drink (creeks, lakes, ponds) but it wasn't marshy with a ton of mosquitos. We saw 5 moose, stunning views of meadows and mountain lakes, amazing stars at night.

The Twin Crater lakes were too high (about 11000 feet) and shallow for fish. We didn't see any fish at Camp Lake, but other backpackers said they caught many fish in the Raway Lakes.

The parking lot at the West Branch Trailhead was full Saturday at noon on Labor day weekend, but people can park along the wide dirt road next to the parking lot, so that was not an issue.

Molly Lake Trail was closed, so we went back to this one. Very nice and easy trail with some stream crossings.

Up to Cirque Meadows is very easy. The aspens are changed, making much of the path very colourful.
We were confused at first about the marked campsites which are farther up the trail past the meadow-the sites were nice, site 3 has a good view.
The rest of the way was tougher, and some places we lost the trail as it wound up the boulders.
The end views are breathtaking, and great photo opportunities. I plan on going again in June when the wildflowers are bloomed.

Did shorter 20.1 mile loop - in a 3 day/2 night trip.
- Day/Night 1: Parking -> West Branch -> Rawah -> Twin Crater Lakes (hiked up to but camped below lakes) ~6.6 miles
- Day/Night 2: Twin Crater Lakes -> Rawah -> Sandbar Lakes -> Camp Lake Trail (skip Upper Camp Lake Trail, sleep @ 2nd intersect of Camp Lake x Camp Lake Ditch Loop trails ~6.9 miles
- Day 3: Camp Lake -> West Branch -> Parking ~6.6 miles

Highlights!: Excellent clean (spring fed?) creeks at each camp site, even in Sept. West Branch -> Rawah Trail very pretty w/ aspen trees, everything from Twin Crater Lakes, Grassy Pass, to Rawah Lake 3 was superb eye candy, love the sweeping ridge views & alpine lakes. Heard wolves (?) and elk on Night 1 and saw a BIG moose on Night 2!!

Meh: Camp Lake Trail was very muddy & brushy near the lake, even in Sept - best to wear pants and waterproof shoes! Lots more standing dead pine on the Camp Lake side of the trail.

Crowds: Saw under a dozen people per day - day hikers, backpackers, some fishing and hunting. 2 other groups camping at Twin Crater Lakes, 1 at our 2nd camp.

Map Note: National Geographic's map for this area is missing Camp Lake Ditch Loop trail, I don't think those intersections are marked, and while it shows more creeks than All Trails, not all creeks on that map were running mid-Sept, so we were confused about where we were by the end of Day 2.

hiking
4 months ago

Snowshoed this in late January. Great trail for snowshoes and dog walking.

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked the trail down to the lake and then on beyond down to a stream (dashed trail on the map ending in the red dot). Initially, we thought we would ride our bikes on the trail but they are fairly steep with quite a bit of loose rock. As others have said, the last half mile or so of the drive in in fairly rough. We were in a SUV that handled the road well, but a car in front of us nearly got stuck. The trail down to the creek is very steep and covered in dense growth of Lodge Pines, Quaking Aspens and Birch. It's beautiful but hardly "easy." The area was surprisingly crowded for as remote as it it. Several campers took the No Camping within 100' of the Lake Shore sign as merely a suggestion.

Tip: The trail down to the stream is sort of hidden behind the big pile of boulders at the north end of the lake. The trail appears to dead-end into the boulder pile but, in fact, it does not. You just have to climb over the boulders and continue on the trail heading south.

Beautiful scenery, very diverse (meadows, forest, open space above tree line with amazing views, stunning lake), trail well maintained. Would highly recommend and would do it again! One thing I would like to add is that the mileage seems a bit off. I measured about 8 miles out and back.

Hiked this clockwise Sept 2018. Departed at 4 PM on day 1 and hiked in 5 miles (West Branch Trail to Rawah Trail) and camped near the intersection of Rawah Trail & Twin Crater Lakes Trail. Day 2 we hiked up to Twin Crater Lakes, then followed Rawah Trail to Sandbar Lakes Trail. My trail companion fished in Upper Sandbar Lake (she caught 3 fish) then we camped by Camp Lake. Our campsite was visited by a huge bull moose around dinner time. Day 3 we hiked out via the Camp Lake Trail / West Branch Trail.

Views on the Rawah Trail were terrific. Each day felt different and highly recommend.

We used the book and map by Raymond Ave entitled "Backcountry Adventure Guide to Colorado's Rawah Wilderness"

hiking
4 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in this area of Colorado, thus far. Excellent trail getting you above tree line fairly quickly. A fairly long trek across the ridge, but with fantastic views all the way. Looking south from the peak was amazing and the climb down, though a bit steep in some spots, was reasonably marked and fairly easy to follow if you have the app loaded up with a recent track. I referenced the track a few times just to be sure we were moving in the right direction. We saw a bull moose as well coming down near tree line. Would absolutely do this one again when I'm in the area.

We only saw one other person on the trail, so safe to say this is very lightly trafficked and quiet.

on American Lakes Trail

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked today and was impressed with the views...then we saw the moose on the trail. Incredible! Just hike up to Snow Lake...you won’t regret it. Maybe 15-20 people in the 10 miles we hiked.

hiking
4 months ago

Outstanding! Ideal for backpacking in to camp at the end of the trail before it gives way to trails to Thunder Pass and Snow Lake. Could hike to Thunder Pass one day and Snow Lake another, or crush them both in one day!

hiking
4 months ago

Mildly steep, quick ascending trail. Totally beautiful reward arriving at Lake Agnes. All by ourselves, no one out there but us. Monday 6a start time.

hiking
4 months ago

Stunning the whole way!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful, short hike with some short areas of heavy climbing. We parked at the winter lot because that is where the GPS directed us, and walked up the road. I think it's about 2-1/2 miles roundtrip when parking from this lower lot,

hiking
4 months ago

What a great hike! 6 Moose and some deer along the trail. Lots of wild flowers and enough of a distance and elevation gain for a good workout. The lakes at the top were amazing. Quite a few campers staying over night by the lakes. Trail is very rocky in several places, but easy to follow with so many different views from thick forest, open meadows to hill top scenery.

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