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snowshoeing
7 days ago

Snowshoes or Skis necessary as there is 1-2 feet of snow at the trailhead with snow-depths well over 4' near the ridge. The trail had little use since the last big storm and needs some traffic to pack it back down.

Hiked to Lake Dorothy up the Arapahoe pass on Sept 17, 2018. A beautiful day, we arrived at the trail head at 8:30 AM and were able to find a legal parking space just down the hill from the camping area. We only saw 5 other hikers the entire trip; one woman coming down, two college men who passed us on the way up and three people going up on our way down.
Very windy at the lake, The "shelter" at the the lake is little more than an organized pile of rocks that is too short to protect you from the wind. The Arapahoe trail was protected from the wind, and the sunny south exposure was very pleasant. Completed the 7.6 mile round trip in a little less than 4 hours with a lunch break at the lake.

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!

One of my favorite hikes. IPW is fantastic.

snowshoeing
15 days ago

Trail snow covered but packed down. Cold but trees blocked the wind while still allowing some sun through. Most vehicles parked at fork in road 1/2 mile from trailhead-a but dicey after that.

Hiked July 2017 trail to the lake/ glacier offered amazing views and we loved weaving through the forest on the way up. The glacial lake and surrounding mountain range in breathtaking! I personally thought the trail deserves a moderate rating as long as you don’t follow the switchbacks to the very top.

Terrific hike! Beautiful views...highly recommend!

As of yesterday the road was snowy but not slick all the way to the trail head. It was 3° when I started at almost 11am but warmed up to about 18° by the time I turned back to the car. The path is well worn and easy to follow, which is good because my downloaded Alltrails map never works here. Spikes are a must and snowshoes will be needed if you want to make the last 1 to 2 miles. It was beautiful and I only saw two cross-country skiers as I got back to the trail head. The restrooms are open but have frozen pee on the seat.

Trail was snowpacked from the start. Wore microspikes that did fine. Hiked two miles in and the trail was easy to follow. Didn't get any views but would hike it again to see what the end of the trail has to offer. Road to trailhead was mostly clear of snow except for the last quarter mile or so. One hour from north Denver. Definitely recommend for a nice day hike in the winter!

We’ve done this hike in spring, summer, fall and winter and each time it amazes us. It’s a lot more challenging in the winter and easy to lose the trail. In the summer, climbing above the waterfalls is challenging and technical-ish but totally worth it. Use the cairns to work your way across the boulder fields and through the brush above the waterfalls.

Views at the top are worth the lack of views during the hike through Shadow Canyon. The first 2ish miles are not bad at all. Once you hit the real elevation gain in Shadow Canyon it sucks. The last 1500 ft in gain seemed to take forever! Only section that really might want to consider spikes is after the saddle on the final ascent to South Boulder Peak. You can get away without them though with careful foot placement. If you really want to hike to South Boulder Peak, go up through Fern Canyon and hit Bear Peak then South Boulder afterwards. Fern Canyon is similar in toughness, but better views. Though when I hiked it 2 weeks ago it had much more snow and ice and spikes were necessary the last 800 ft in gain. Have fun!

Beautiful area. Attempted this on December 15th. You can't drive all the way to the trail head. You can only get to about a mile from the trail head. Temps were in the teens to single digits. Needed snowshoes for significant portions of the ascent and descent. Micro spikes worked fine for the majority of the ridgelines. I was with others that had crampons and I believe they had an easier time. Winds were the worst I've ever encountered. 40+ mph sustained all day. Gusts were easily 60+ mph. Was knocked off my feet a few times. Made the day very very cold and difficult. I only made Bross and Cameron. Lincoln was visibly windier than everywhere else...just so exposed. By the time I got around to Democrat, I was just beaten up by the wind so came on down. Will definitely go back and give it another shot. You can't blame the hike for the conditions.

Did this guy over the summer with my family. It was their first 14er and they weren't too happy about it... but I absolutely loved it, especially since you can hit 4 peaks in 1 day. One recommendation is hiking the trail counterclockwise. Bross is a nightmare. I felt bad for the people descending Bross

hiking
1 month ago

We went there in August of 2017. It was hot but you can get to enjoy the snow! Just amazing. My GPS was not working so I was not able to record my hike but it was totally worth hike. Enjoy!! x

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Following the trail was almost impossible after the first two miles. There were tracks in the snow that we followed and they abandoned the switchbacks and just went straight up. We saw a handful of backcountry skiers on the trail. The weather was beautiful until you come up the saddle, then the wind is bone chilling.

Awesome hike with stunning mountain views, wildflowers, and a beautiful lake. Perfect for a single day hike. Get there early for parking when the weather is nice.

We did this hike on thanksgiving day and we were happy to see many faces on the trail. It’s definitely one of the most gorgeous hikes we’ve ever done. Even in late fall with ice on the ground, this trail had a lot of scenery to offer. I’d say it’s one of the best hikes to accurately represent Boulder, as you see diverse rock giants throughout. We are quite fit so it wasn’t terribly difficult, but let’s be honest the way down was INTENSE! Complete and utter focus is required to make it down those huge rock stair cases. Saw a family of deer and that made my day.
Will be back in the spring time to see all the wildflowers bloom. You have to see this place!

Stunning views of the peaks all around. Pretty lakes below. Perfect distance for a great day hike.

As of October 28, the road up was perfectly clear, and the route has some snow and ice on it, but doable, especially if you have trax or poles. The wind on the pass was crazy, probably 70 mph-- enough to knock you off your feet if you're not bracing yourself. That and the snow on the other side kept us from going any further than the pass, but it was well worth just being on top. Great hike.

Its a little slushy and slippery out there lately, best if you have high boots and yak tracks. As always, a lovely hike!

My husband and I, along with our dog, Breezy, did this hike this morning. We arrived at the first parking lot at 8 am. We didn't think we could make it up the road to the TH so we decided to just hike it. It was a pretty good workout on the way up and I was really thankful for my spikes. Once above the tree line, I was glad I had lots of layers on. The wind almost blew us over at times. It was gorgeous up there! We went to all 3 lakes and only the highest one was frozen over. Beautiful views and not too much snow. I would love to come back in the summer to do this hike again. My Fitbit clocked 7miles RT including the hike up the road to the TH.

Hiked on 10/26. I had been there almost 20 years ago with my kids aged 1, 3, and 4 (a good fraction on my back as you can imagine). This was during the summer and we had a great time. This is why I wanted to take the opportunity of my visit in Boulder to return.
Some snow on the path, but not too much. The lowest part of the trail is somewhat icy, and some may want to use spikes (I did not). After the tree line, the snow is soft, so that the spikes are not useful. Today was very windy but clear. I left the winter parking lot at 7AM and was back at 1PM. There is no need for snow shoes, but good hiking shoes and protection (to avoid the snow to get in) are needed

This is still one of my favorite hikes. Great views, waterfalls, forest, lake meadows and sweeping views at the pass. At this time there is lots of snow and ice and it is likely the trail will not be passable in the next couple of weeks with any additional snow. Forth of July road was rough but still passable with 4WD drive and decent clearance. No snow on the road at this time. It was very challenging to get to Lake Dorothy. Most people had stopped at the pass and in addition to being sandblasted with snow and ice from hurricane force winds, there was no path to the lake. We tried and got caught in thigh high snow from the drifts. Views at the top were spectacular if you could handle the wind. Great hike. Definitely one to add to the list.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 10/20. As others have said, the road into Brainard Lake is closed for the season, so you park in the lot before the fee station. I tracked the whole hike on my fitbit, and it's 2 miles to Brainard Lake, and another mile to the trailhead. All we wore were Yaktraks over our hiking shoes. It would have been nice to have snow boots or gaiters on, as you fall through the snow a LOT. Our feet were soaked for most of the hike.

Took us 7 hours, and we took a wrong turn on the way to the trailhead that added a mile. 14 miles round trip. There was no wind at all until the top, and even then it wasn't too bad. The snow made this hike TOUGH and made it take a lot longer than it should have for us, but the views are some of the most incredible I've seen. We only saw a few other people all day. Highly recommend if you love a challenging hike--though I wouldn't do it again in the snow.

Loved it! Got to parking lot at Gateway at 6 am and biked the 2 plus miles to trailhead. The trail starts in trees and snow was packed on the trail with scattered ice. I wore micro spikes and knee gaiters—both were needed. Parts of the trail were nearly dry on a ridge about 3/4 of a mile up and before tree line. After tree line it’s consistently snowy. The trail above tree line is marked by rock piles and was easy to follow until a quarter mile from the summit. Lots of packed snow and many post holes from recent hikers breaking through the crust. The wind above tree line today was fierce. Three other hikers and I were all amazed at the wind speed, likely a constant 25 mph + with stronger gust? ( I had no gauge so let’s just say it was plenty strong and slowed my forward progress to a crawl at times.) But glorious views at the top! Well worth the effort. I hike about ten miles a week at elevation but I’m a slow hiker and took my time, stopped often and ate lunch near the summit. Got back to the Gateway parking lot at 4:45 even using a mountain bike. Highly recommend this trail, but with more snow I will pass on going again till summer. Snow shoes would have done no good today, if you’re going soon use knee gaiters and spikes.

This was a great hike! There are three lakes at the top, the third is a bit further up & is frozen over. The trail is completely snow covered and icy in some patches but passable the whole way. Spikes would be nice if you like to use them, but not necessary. It was a little windy at the third lake and we were occasionally stepping into knee deep snow. Great hike with the doggies. We saw a few other groups of people along the way. Absolutely gorgeous!

Did this on 10/20/18. THE GATES ARE CLOSED FOR THE SEASON. You must park at Gateway Trailhead and walk the 2-2.5ish miles to the Beaver Creek Trailhead- or anywhere else you want to go around Brainard. If you are at all worried about time or icy trails, just walk the road. Yak traks are necessary if you do not take the road but everything else is doable without them. Highly recommend tall snow boots and gaiters as you will spend a lot of time stepping in the snow to your knees... which I'm sure will only get more significant very soon. You should also allow more time than you think with the snow... it took me 6.5 hours having to walk from Gateway and I am an experienced hiker. BUT the hike is amazing, the snow capped mountains are gorgeous and you should do this hike!!

Hiked this trail on Wednesday. It was very icy with lots of snow. Road getting to the trailhead was rough too! Better have a high clearance vehicle for this one. Came across a moose and her calf 1/4 mile from the trailhead. They were very close so got some good pics of them. Didn’t seem to mind us at all but they were blocking the trail and I know moose can be aggressive so we made a wide left around them just in case! Very scenic hike but I wouldn’t recommend it this time of year. Snow packed and icy.

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.

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.

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