Explore Colorado Summer 2018 - 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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One of my all-time favorite hikes! Close to home but it doesn't feel like a lame weekend warrior kind of trail. Great starter hike for the inexperienced.

beautiful scenery!

Rangers recommmended that I did not go up the royal arch without micro spikes! Flat irons loop was icy and snowy as it is!

snowshoeing
5 days ago

First ones on the trail 1/13/18, for the most part followed skiers along the trail I was familiar with. We reached a point where the trail was lost and followed up a skiers way for a bit and turned back. We were about .5mi from the lake which was a bummer !!

Absolutely bring snow shoes and spikes. Views are just fabulous

Did this hike in the beginning of fall. Aspens were starting to peak and it was absolutely gorgeous!! Would do this hike again in any season, it’s awesome. Very dog friendly and the trail is thin so if your dog isn’t quite friendly, be wary of passing dogs. The only thing that turned me off was the amount of dog poop bags along the trail. Pick up your dogs poop!! It’s stupid to just pick up your dogs poop and leave it in a bag as trash, id rather you not even pick it up. Lastly, it’s off roading to get to the trail head and parking fills up fast, so get there early. Awesome hike!

Completed on Sunday, January 13th: Beautiful trail!! Pretty snow packed and it was a sunny day so it got pretty muddy in spots, be careful going down. Also, leash your dogs as it’s a leashed trail. It doesn’t matter if your dog is 10 lbs and friendly as heck, still needs to be leashed (my family member had a problem with an unleashed dog and disgruntled owner). Overall, awesome hike!

Beautiful bluebird day! Snowshoes were very helpful with about a mile to go. The trail was clear and easy to follow. I highly recommend!

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.

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.

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.

Completed on 1/10/18. Pretty easy trail but had some incline! The red rocks trail part of the loop is basically flat and the Morrison slide portion had the most incline. Good hike to do by myself because it was somewhat busy for midweek at noon. Tiny parking lot at the trail head, so many people parked on the side of the road. Not by the amphitheater, so there are no bathrooms FYI.

hiking
8 days ago

Went with just spikes and gaiters. Unavoidably deep at some parts. Waist deep about 0.3 miles from the end of the trail, which was a real bummer.

Great variety of terrains.

a challenging hike especially if you’re not used to the elevation. Incline right away and pretty much the whole time, but definitely worth it.

hiking
9 days ago

Definetly the hardest hike I’ve been on, bring lots of water and a small snack. If you’re from the Midwest like myself be prepared for the elevation difference, lots of yawns.

10 days ago

12/8/2018 - A good amount of ice on the trail, so I would recommend spikes at minimum, but a fresh dusting of snow left the trail impassable with about 0.7M to the end (~1.5ft of snow, and I only had spikes on). Most of the snow on the first half of the road had melted, so not ideal for XC skiing or snowmobiling anymore I’d imagine. Only option for parking is illegal street parking.

hiking
11 days ago

We saw 20-30 other groups out on this trail during our 3 hour hike today. Gorgeous views. No snow on the trail, but icy in spots as was mentioned a few days ago.

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!

on Royal Arch Trail

hiking
13 days ago

I hiked this with a group in the fall. Outstanding hike and view at the arch. Hoping to trail run up to the "false summit" in the near future.

snowshoeing
13 days ago

Great day to get out and explore. Honestly, the trail is so packed you don't need snowshoes. I put mine on about 1/2 miles before the lake, thinking I would need them, but I didn't. Micro spikes would've been fine. Also agree with the last comment...please pack out all of your trash and your dogs as well.

hiking
13 days ago

Great winter hike! Did this one today, and there is a ton of snow, but we managed with just spikes. There were a lot of people snowshoeing and cross-country skiing -- good trail for that as well. The lake is completely frozen over, but the views are amazing.

A little icy and snowy in some areas, but plenty of parking and a beautiful hike.

snowshoeing
15 days ago

Great hike! Started mid-morning and the sun and incline kept us warm. Snowshoes definitely recommended for the second half closer to the lake. Personally had fun figuring out where i would less likely sink down ha
My friend had snowshoes which helped a lot

Nice short hike, rather steep, cool arch. Currently icy in spots, microspikes very helpful.

hiking
15 days ago

Gorgeous views throughout! We snowshoed today but probably could have gotten away with just microspikes as long as we didn’t step off the trail (we definitely saw evidence of postholing a couple feet deep just inches off the trail). Please pack out ALL trash as there are no trash pick ups here. In other words, please don’t leave bags of dog poop on the side of the trail or laying by the port-o-lets - take it home to throw away. Thank you for keeping the trails clean.

Went last week. Could not get all the way to the trailhead by car, parked .7 miles down the road. the Snow was good but the trail is hard to find after about 1.5 miles from the car, so we didn’t get very far past the trailhead. My trail finding skills might be novice, and I didn’t feel like getting lost in the winter. But, I look forward to trying again either this winter or in the summer!

Who doesn't want to hike to the highest point in Colorado?!? Several false summits, but well worth the effort.

hiking
17 days ago

Steeper than you think, but views at the top are spectacular. Leave some extra time to hang out / explore around the lake. Wildflowers are fantastic in season.

Absolutely loved this trail! It was difficult and beautiful with an amazing arch worth hiking to. We hiked in Arches NP previously and this arch rivals many there, in fact, we were able to get directly under this one and were impressed with its size. The trail was well marked, offered varied terrain, and excellent views. The elevation, icy surfaces, steep inclines, and rock scrambles provided a nice challenge for us, but may make it challenging for some. Many parts of the trail had a thin layer of snow over solid ice, so consider wearing shoes with good traction.

For being so close to Boulder, I was amazed that there were as few people on the trail as there were. Completed the hike on 12/30 and the snow was pretty good - it’s certainly possible to do this in spikes, but I switched out my spikes for snowshoes after about a quarter mile and had a much better experience that way. The views at the top are gorgeous and do not disappoint! Highly recommend.

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