Explore colorado round 2 - 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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Since last weeks Snow, we brought crampons and poles which made both the accent and decent so much more enjoyable There were people who had to turn around because they didn’t have enough traction.

Question - can you still hike to the lake with the gates officially closed?

off road driving
1 day ago

closed for the season as of Oct 18, 2018. disappointed. I took my stock Raptor up, zero issues... not even close to breaking a sweat. With a stock half ton truck, you will likely bottom out in a few spots, especially the first rut. Subarus won't make it without damage, end of story. looked promising but the gate was closed about 3/4 mile up. tight turn around.

Just a heads up the road to Brainard Lake is closed for the season as of 10/15 so you have to park at the winter lot and hike the 2.5ish miles to the trailhead.

As of 10/16 the gate was closed before the fee station which adds about 5 miles RT to any hike you plan to do. The road has some snow/ice but also has large dry stretches. Once you get near the Mitchell Lake TH you will be on snow the whole time. The trail is packed down for most of the way. I brought microspikes and snowshoes. Never put the spikes on, but snowshoes were very helpful once I got about 1/4 mile below Blue Lake. Was glad to have gaiters and waterproof boots. Beautiful hike.

Incredible experience! Dress warm and wear shoes for winter conditions. $11 FEE. This hike is full of captivating views of towering mountains and frozen lakes. 4.9/5!

Hop over to here2summitup.wordpress.com for a detailed description with pictures and videos of this hike! Follow @2_Summit_Up on Instagram to see this hike and more adventures.

A most wonderful hike, and a loop so no retracing. Magnificent view of the lake at the trailhead. Parking can be an issue on summer weekends. There are moose around, and they can be dangerous, but generally no problem other than the pleasure seeing them. The trail on the sunny side is wider and easier, but the darker and narrower other side is enchanting. Not difficult, but a few logs to cross over streams. Take water particularly in summer and keep dogs leashed because of moose.

Moderate to easy hike, Blue lake is gorgeous! Snow and ice on much of the trail now. Cold and windy at top, but worth the work.

This was a beautiful hike with varying difficulty in the trail throughout and lots of beautiful views along the way. we didn't make it to glacier lake but lake Isabelle was great!

Solid hike, not too hard and great views.

Did this hike yesterday in the middle of a snow shower, and it was really nice! Like others, we missed the turnoff for the falls, but found it after finding the sign on our way back down. Apparently, we hiked nearly 1/2 a mile past it. My phone was acting up, so I wasn't able to add a waypoint to the map.

That being said, this is a really nice hike. It would be great for out-of-towners, since the elevation gain is very managable. I don't know if it was the weather, or that it was Wednesday, but we ran into more bags of dog poop than people. Seriously folks, clean up after yourselves!

We do a lot of hiking in Colorado, and for my entire family this is our favorite. It is extremely easy, and just shockingly beautiful the entire way. I can't think of a better place for a hike. We went on a Wednesday, arrived at the park about 7:05 in the morning, and there were only two parking places left. Arriving early and bug spray are both a must!

hiking
12 days ago

Really gorgeous hike. The last mile up there is already a decent amount of snow and at the top, close to 6 inches. Definitely wear waterproof hiking boots.

hiking
12 days ago

Hike offered deep woods trail and nice views of the Monarch Lake. Went very early in the morning but barely saw any birds or other wild animals. Great trail for exercise.

This was a great hike!
I tried to reach little blue lake but I could not find the trail for the life of me. After about 1mile of pushing on towards little blue lake I gave up, my dog was not happy with all the small boulders and snow causing us to fall a lot.
Otherwise I would do it again in the spring when everything is green

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

hiking
13 days ago

My wife & I arrived from MD yesterday and had not fully acclimated to the +8000’ altitude change, but did not want to waste the good weather. This 4.2 mi loop was perfect. Great views and enough elevation change to make it fun without over taxing our sea level lungs.

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked the whole road, though most people opted to off-road in vehicles. Pretty and scenic; the waterfall at the lake was beautiful. It started snowing while I was there and the fall colors looked beautiful with it.

Incredible views. Bring layers. Very windy by the lake

off road driving
16 days ago

Not sure why this is rated moderate. It's pretty easy for any 4x4. Did pretty much all of it in 2 wheel. Only need a little bit of clearance for the rocks. Great views, and only saw one other person on a Wednesday afternoon. 4/5

Weather was great for hiking and not too many people on the trail (it was a weekday after all). Trail is pretty dusty and I can see this getting muddy after some rainfall. Really wasn't much too see as there are not any viewpoints and you're walking through dense forest. We missed the sign that points to the falls 100 yards away. It was kind of easy to miss as it doesn't really face the trail very well. There were at least two other groups that had missed it also and we were all looking for it. After finding the falls, it was disappointing to see the dismal trickle of water coming down the rocks. I'd hardly classify it as "falls". All in all, it was an ok hike.

Beautiful trail, the Aspens were bright gold. Some of the trail was heavily trafficked but it was never a problem. I am not a very seasoned hiker but I would not rate this trail as Hard. The first two miles are nice wide paths with a slight incline. The last mile to the Crater Lakes is steep, but not difficult.

Easy hike and busy on a Sat. Beautiful lake at the golden hour! Chilly at the top so bring layers.

So pretty the entire time!! Dog friendly & everyone had their dogs on a leash. Very appreciative of this.

Not much water, but easily one of my favorite hikes in Colorado. Keep hiking up to Isabelle Glacier if you’ve got it in ya

Went up to Cascade Falls and around Monarch Lake. Beautiful trail, especially if you love horse poop! I clean up after my dogs!! Dodged more horse poop than rocks but otherwise well worth it.

Very easy trail, a few steep-ish climbs right before the lake. A lot of bang for your effort with fantastic views at the end. The lake is currently low due to the drought, but still an amazing sight. Watch for moose, as a bull lives here with his family - I actually saw the bull chase away some idiots with their unleashed dog.

off road driving
24 days ago

Loch Lomond is a classic that's easy to get to. The trail is very bumpy but is easy. Once at the top the views are fantastic. Not a lot of Aspens but the bushes turn yellow and it's still very nice to look at haha. If you'd like to see a video of the run I have one up at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oGcy1MWOvY

Have fun out there!

The lake was low when we went in September, but it was still super beautiful. I've done this trail multiple times over the years and it's still one of my favorites. The top is windy, so bring a jacket!

Beautiful hike! The colors were so pretty with a few aspens interspersed in the ponderosa. Keep your eyes out for the sign down to Maxwell falls off the trail - it can be easy to miss depending on which way you come up. You have to walk ~100m upstream to see the main falls. Also, please pick up your dog poop bags! We saw at least 6 bags at the trailside.

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