Explore Colorado in spring - 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
1 day ago

Hiked on 1/21, the trail is very snowy, and can be slippery at some steep slope (even with micro spikes), especially near the top. but the trail was absolute beautiful, quite, and it’s super fun to hike on! It took us a little more than 3 hours to complete, because we stopped a lot for taking photos. Lake on the top was half frozen; it’s gorgeous and totally worth the effort.

Great quick hike close to Denver. Trailhead has plenty of parking around 830am on a holiday. The snow was packed but you absolutely need spikes or tracks. It was slippery! I could not find the first falls due to the frozen water and no sound, and the second main fall was frozen solid but pretty to see. There is a sign right off to the left of the trail. Look for it. I passed a few people who said they missed it. I could not catch the loop on the way back from the hike, at the other trailhead. Either it was snowpacked or not clearly marked. I just went back the way I came. Only annoying thing, even though there were plenty of signs about leashing the dogs, but there were so many dogs off leash and dog poop bags on the side of the trails...some dogs friendlier than others. I have a friend that has been traumatized by a dog bite, and unfortunately, she could never come since people don’t care about the rules. I came for a hike, not to greet 50 dogs.

Easy, snow packed trail. We did this with some friends and they did not use traction on the way up. (We had microspikes). We got here at 8am and had parking, but when we returned at 10am everything was full. The elevation gain was spread out pretty evenly, with the most steep sections at the last half mile.

Snow shoe or ski in. Otherwise you post hole. Busier than I wanted it yesterday morning. Trail condition is great. Mostly established main trails.. Packed snow on trails until you start climbing the last steep 1000 feet then it’s deep snow country and would be difficult without a reliable flotation devise (snowshoe or ski) The first lake we run into was frozen. To ski or snow shoe? If you ski here you glide. You snowshoe? Hard work = great toned legs! :) either way this place is relatively close to DENVER and offers amazing views and tons of photo ops with other like minded humans. And its as cliche as the saying “it‘s worth it”! Happy trails!

Hiked this afternoon with a pup. If you’re gunna bring a dog, I’d make sure you unleash them for some sections. Gets rather technical with snow and they may pose a risk if on leash. Overall great hike. Gives some great views of the mountain range. Don’t have to but microspikes May be a nice addition for the trail conditions right about now.

Great snow, great trail! Snowshoed up to the lower lake this morning. Started at about 9:30, done by 1:30. Definitely need snowshoes as we were breaking trail in tons of powder up by the lake. Also, snow is great all the way from the trailhead, so best to wear your snowshoes or skins/skis to keep the snow pack as smooth as possible for others.

snowshoeing
snow
3 days ago

Nice, easy snowshoeing hike. We took our time and it was about 2 hours. If you're in a rush and in shape, 1 hour is definitely possible.

There were a few people out there, but most were in Meetups and condensed to a few large groups that easily separated and allowed for some private hiking. There is a slight elevation change but doable for people of almost any fitness level and skill.

60% of the hike did not need snowshoes, about 2 days after 6" fell. Trail was pretty condensed. 40% of it, though, I was glad to have shoes. You can get away with spikes for the whole thing.

Lots of dogs on leash.

Note: The parking fills up early. We arrived at 8:45 and it was half full. When we finished by 11:00 there were cars circling waiting for spots to open up.

Garmin: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3317309643

If the parking lot is windy, don't worry. There is great tree cover all the way up to the lakes. The first mile is packed snow, but you can still wear your snowshoes. You will need them. The last mile is a steep climb up and traction is crucial. I continued to the upper lake and followed someone's else's tracks. Snow was knee deep - fun! Took me 3.25 hours RT.

Trail was well covered with ice and snow. I went snowshoeing after the storm to work in a quick hike. I was really surprised for the amount of snow. Probably could have done the whole trail with spikes and you would be okay. Best been to get there really early to get the best work of the snowshoes

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked on 1/17, lots of wet snow making the trail difficult at the top. Yaktrax were helpful. The lake was mostly frozen.

hiking
3 days ago

Great loop if you’re in the mood to hike but not kill yourself with ridiculous incline. Beautiful views throughout but the summit by one of the falls is

Very icy near the top. A bit of a scramble too, most dogs wont make it the last .4

Fun trail! Packed with snow but beautiful nonetheless. For some areas having trekking poles would make it easier.

Icy and snowy on trails! Need micro spikes or at the very least hiking shoes!

Hiked 1/12/2019. Lots of snow, microspikes are helpful. Trail is easy to find. Started at 8:30am, only passed a few people coming up, but trail was busy on our descent.

amazing winter hike. snow was loosely packed, not icy. I hiked in just boots with good grip. get out here when the snow is fresh, it's stunning!

Made it to the lower crater lakes. Started at 9am and was back at the parking lot by 12:30pm. The last mile is a good upwards climb. Snowshoes only needed up top when you're exploring the lakes. I had crampons on otherwise.

trail is snow covered but not icy! beautiful as can be!

Snowshoed 1/12/19. Tracks were easy to follow. Fairly gradual for the first couple of miles. The last mile is pretty steep so be prepared for a climb

Made it to the upper lake on snowshoes! Lots of people on skis up to the lower lakes, but I'm not sure it would be possible for most to make it to upper lake on skis - very steep! You'll need one or the other to make it to the first lakes, started postholing about half a mile from them.

Started around 8:30, got back to the car around 4, with lots of breaks and trail breaking and route finding slowing us down. Absolutely worth the effort! So beautiful.

Excellent hike!

Wow for sure the best snowshoe I've done so far in Colorado. This trail was magical in the snow! Even the drive there was delightful. It can be hard to tell which tracks to follow, but if you keep following the signs for the trail you'll get to the lake eventually! If you go up a little beyond the lake it is heckin steep but the views are stunning and majestic this trail was the best.

Hiked this trail 4 days ago. It was icy with light snow coverage. I used micros which helped a great deal. The frozen waterfall was beautiful!! A great winter hike. I look forward to doing this hike in the spring.

Just hiked the Staunton Ranch trail toward Elk Falls past Sunday afternoon. Clear, well marked trail. Great views.

We started at the Beaver Brook trail which is 3 miles downhill and back up the Chavez which was 2 miles uphill. We went 1/6/19 and there trail had some snow and ice in some areas. The trail is a mix of flat trail, rocks you need to hug or climb over and crossing streams. Just be mindful that the last 2 miles have quite an incline uphill and it’s not easy. I am looking forward to doing it again in summer as it is well shaded and I may be in better shape

Beautiful!

Agree with comment below.

Amazing trail you have to try. Little bit everything on this hike. It was bit sketchy in some areas because of snow and ice over some rocks, but overall it’s a great trail and will be back.

snowshoed this trail 1/6/2019

beginning of trail needed just our micro spikes, transitioned to snowshoes a couple miles in. For a Sunday not busy at all..we arrived around 10am...plenty of parking. HIGHLY recommend some sort of GPS device...as you can follow 1 wrong set of snowshoe prints and add an extra mile (which made it waaaaay harder). we only went to the lower lakes as we were cold by that point. we plan on returning in the summer!

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