Explore Colorado - Wish List - 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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Now I know why this trail is so popular. Did this trail on 10/25. Beautiful day. Some icy patches, but did not need spikes. I want to go back and see this place again in winter, spring, and summer.

Wouldn’t say is hard- solid moderate. Short. Trail crosses rock slide which is fantastic. Trail takes you to back of first flatiron, which cool, is bit of anticlimax...

Very hard, very worth it. Don’t bring your dog, it’s too much for them. The steps take about an hour, and then it’s a nice leisurely walk down the Barr trail. Beautiful!

We hiked Dec 2 2018. it was mid afternoon and the sun was perfect on the shiny rocks. gorgeous. many parts were icy. the folks with micro cleats had no trouble. the folks in tennis shoes were slipping. easy gorgeous trail. the park itself is a true gentleman.

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes reccomended. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoeing out to black lake. The views from the frozen lakes are astounding. Mild crowding on the way out to mills, very few after that. I would highly reccomend this trail, be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoing out to black lake, deffinitelty exhausting. the views from the frozen lakes is amazing. I would reccomend this trail, just be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

Super fun trail. Beautiful panoramas at the top. Two peak hike - highest to the left with a fun rock scramble to the top. Packed snow the whole way up. I used spikes but others I saw (total of 6 people) did not even have them on. Took a total of 4 hours with a break at the top. Seems like more of a moderate hike to me.

hiking
2 days ago

First time hiking to Black Lake in winter. Trail from Bear Lake to Mills Lake was perfectly packed down, microspikes made it easy. The lake was frozen solid and it was so cool to walk straight across! Softer snow between Jewel Lake and Black -- changed to snowshoes about 20-30 min before reaching Black Lake after post-holing a few times. Luckily there were clear ski/snowshoe tracks to follow all the way. The distance between Jewel Lake and Black Lake always feels farther than it actually is. We walked around the shore of Black Lake to continue snowshoeing up to Blue Lake (used a GPS watch because we didn't see signs of a trail). SO worth it! The views from above the lake were stunning. Even better, Blue Lake was sheltered from wind making it a perfect spot for a snack break. Will definitely come back in the summer to find Green/Frozen and climb the Spearhead.
12.5 miles in 6.5 hours roundtrip

long hike but well worth the veiw from the top did it in sept had nice weather

hiking
3 days ago

The trail is mostly clear with some icy sections towards the top,my regular trail shoes handled it just fine. We took the bar trail back down since the ice was making me nervous. But if you have crampons/yaktrax then no worries. Wasn’t busy on a Sunday afternoon. We took our sweet time and did it 2.5 round trip. Love the views and workout.

on Royal Arch Trail

trail running
3 days ago

On a beautiful Sunday, it was relatively calm and I had the trail to myself for large portions of the trip although traffic increased toward late morning. Packed snow after the final creek crossing and used traction for most of the ascent. Removed for the downclimbing rock scramble 'cause the rocks were clear then put them back on for the last portion to the Arch. Repeated on the descent.

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked 12/8/18 - Conditions were great. a few sections of ice/snow but mostly dry. No traction needed...just expect to be more careful on the small sections that are ice/snow covered. Hiked it with full winter loadout and completed the incline section of the route in 54 minutes. Then we took our time going down the Barr Trail. This is a great workout hike and even better if you add a summit of Rocky Mountain to it!

Great hike in the winter. We only needed our spikes for the stair section that takes you down to the river, which is the most exciting and beautiful part of the hike. Our dog loved it and the 8 miles felt more like 6 miles. The trail should be rated as moderate not hard. One note, the map above is not accurate towards the end of the loop if you do it counter clockwise. The trail has been updated and remapped for the last mile.

solid trail, mildly strenuous, the lake at the top is worth it. The scramble at the end was tough at times to know whether we were supposed to go.

snowshoeing
3 days ago

Beautiful
Doable in regular hiking boots
Went on a Sunday at 11am and was moderately traveled
Lots of available parking

Completed hike on 12/8. Very rewarding view of Longs and the Mummys. Add at least a 1/4 mile from parking lot to the trail head. Began at 10:30 and was on the first summit by 1. Snow pack almost the entire way- much deeper at RMNP/National Forest boundary marker. Crampons definitely recommended. Can easily summit both "sisters" within an hour (plus lunch). We were lucky to have minimal wind at the summit, but it was cold- roughly 15 degrees and colder with wind chill. All around amazing, not too difficult of a hike even with the snow. Plan to be back in the parking lot by 4:30 (sunset).

on The Incline Trail

4 days ago

It does need some energy to get there, but worth it!

Great hike and view from the top spectacular!

Love this hike, my fav! The change of scenery never gets boring.

I went to hike this yesterday morning/early afternoon (12/7/2018) and the road we came in on was closed about 6 miles out. I did not try to loop around to the west nor did I head back east to go over and up and see if that pass was open. Beware.

Love it!

hiking
5 days ago

I always love this hike! Today was probably the most windy day I've had there thus far, at the lakes, but still beautiful! I started out around 9:40am, plenty of parking in the lot. I used my crimp-ons until just after nymph lake, then switched over to the snowshoes. There were quite a few people making it to Emerald lake with just the crimp-ons. That said there was a lot of post holing as well! I would recommend having your snowshoes with you. And to Arizona ( just moved here from AZ) have fun playing this winter! and maybe I'll see you snowshoeing next time;)!

Great hike. Wore spikes to nymph lake then switched to snowshoes for rest of way. Trail was fairly well packed but a step off the trail and you quickly realize how deep the snow is. Got to dream lake and some hikers were ice skating. Walked across frozen lake and pressed to emerald.. some elevations getting to dream and emerald but nothing too long. Wind was down which made for a nice walk in the woods.

hiking
6 days ago

Completed this hike (+ a little extra) with my girlfriend in late summer. We did not set out with a definitive plan...got a late start, around 10am. We attempted to reach Green Lake after Black Lake, but turned around halfway (around 11,150ft) due to approaching storm clouds, and wanting to be back before dark.

Hard is an accurate rating, especially the last half-mile to Black Lake, and the extra mile we did after. I'm in moderate shape, and my girlfriend was visiting from sea level (her first hike above 10,000 ft!). We took a fair number of breaks for snacks and pictures...our Fitbits said 12 miles, 36,000 steps, in ~9 hours. The hike itself was not daunting, but we were exhausted by the end, and sore for a few days after.

Top pros were that the views were spectacular, and that the trail was mostly well marked. The exceptions are that we never saw the turn to Shelf Lake and Solitude Lake. We also completely lost the trail in the bolderfield between Black Lake and Green Lake, which contributed to our decision to turn-around.

The biggest con, and reason for not giving it a 5th star, was the heavy traffic up to Mills Lake. We even got stuck behind a lady talking on her cellphone for awhile. We chose to skip a number of attractions (i.e. Alberta Falls) to avoid, and try and surpass, the crowds. Fortunately, most people stopped at, or before, Mills Lake. We saw less than two dozen people between Mills Lake and our turnaround.

Overall an excellent hike that we hope to do again, next time with an earlier start, a better plan, and hopefully in a little better shape!

Awesome hike!

windy at top. amazing views.
nice cool hike

hiking
8 days ago

Just up there today, winds out of the west with gusts that had to be 60 mph. Hike out past nymph lake was calm, but approaching dream lake winds really picked up.. high drifting past dream lake, without snow shoes you can’t get beyond the last hundred yards or so to emerald lake. Still a beautiful and awesome hike despite the winds. Only got up to 9F, gear held up nicely

Beautiful hike for all skill levels.

Snowshoes to the top today, great conditions!

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