Explore Colorful Colorado - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Colorful Colorado Map

The trail is still somewhat icy at the moment. But if you have your spikes, this is a fun, fairly quick hike that will get your heart rate up and reward you with a gorgeous view from the arch at the top.

Loved the challenge of the beginning of this hike, well worth the view at the top of Pikes Peak. Carried 30lb of toddler on the way up on my back and would do it again!

Easy hike with a lot of stairs. Good for kids, but you may need to carry them some if they’re young. Great views from multiple points along the hike.

Hiked this yesterday with my daughter. It was awesome! Some tough climbs at the end with ice and snow pack but well worth it. Micro spikes are a must. A frozen Glass lake and ice fall made for some great pictures.

Very relaxed and beautiful trail!

Wow! The description of this trail is on point, as well as everyone's reviews. We had hiked Emerald Lake the day before and wanted something more challenging... we got it! We wore microspikes and used trekking poles the whole way up. We were hit by a snow storm about halfway to Sky Pond and pushed through. The most difficult part is right before you hit the pond. The trail is barely hiked and therefore you sink pretty deep at such a steep incline. The part where the strap is is extremely icy and therefore I "Spidermaned" my way up the left side of the boulder instead of the right (not using the strap). The pond was gorgeous and frozen solid. *caution** heard a bear as we began our decent down the steep incline. You should bring : snow shoes, microspiked, snow pants, and trekking poles at the very least. *** Also, I dropped our little fox somewhere around Glass Lake, when the snow melts and if he is seen please feel free to contact me via Facebook, he's a precious part of our lives ;(***

1 day ago

this was a lovely hike! I just wore my hiking boots and tried to be careful in areas where it looked icy!

2 days ago

Beautiful views, includes the rock climbers - a little melting ice and mud but otherwise dry

2 days ago

This is like the ultimate stair master on the way up. If you have bad knees, you’re definitely going to feel it but the views are really beautiful. A lot of cool rock formations to climb around on along the way. Path is nearly dry except for a couple spots. The lake is not grand at the end but I didn’t regret it.

2 days ago

March 14... micros spikes needed... snow shows suggested mainly for coming down in slushy snow... this hike was really good... not until hitting the tree line on the north slope does the wind pick up. My guess 70 miles per hour. Make sure and bring face coverage as the last half mile you are walking into the wind with complete exposure. View are amazing and getting to the top was not to hard.

My boyfriend and I hiked this last Thursday and decided that the boot pack was good enough that we'd go without snow shoes. Mistake. We hiked for quite a while but eventually got to an area where the boot pack was non-existent and we started to sink down in waist-deep snow. We continued on for a while and tried to go up the right side of the gulch via some very slippery rock to get out of the snow, but eventually decided it was best to turn around. We LOVED this hike when we did it in the summer and would highly recommend. The lakes are spectacular.

Went up when it was frozen over with some friends. It's tough getting up and back down with all the snow, but so worth it. Some people hike up and sled / snowboard down. You get to walk around on a big frozen lake once you make it all the way. Really awesome.

Beautiful view! A decent climb. DEFINITELY need to have your spikes with you for some parts. Very icy near the beginning of the Arch trail and just before you get to the Royal Arch. If you have walking sticks or gloves for holding onto rocks etc then I recommend that also. I was very scared of going down but I have never walked on an icy trail/never ice-skated or been skiing so it was a whole new experience for me. Other people were running up and down there - making sure to step on the rocks and dry parts. I’m so glad I did it though.

Did this trail out and back via shadow canyon on 3/13. In my opinion, it's a pretty uninteresting trail from a view and geological standpoint until the last 0.3 miles, but what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in physical challenge. Trail was completely clear of snow and pretty dry !

This trail was spectacular. We parked at the Brainard lot because the road was closed. Three miles to the trailhead, but pretty and easy. Once we hit the trailhead we slapped on our snowshoes and were on our way. Nobody other than a cross country skier was out there. The trail wasn’t overly difficult but we felt the hills. We’re doing it again end of March. Beautiful trail for snowshoeing.

Awesome hike. The way up is almost as enjoyable as the view at the top. Slick in many places. We started by 9 and didn’t see too many people. We also did Horsethief and checked out the frozen waterfall. A great day.

3 days ago

Snowshoed up to Black Lake. Trail was hard packed most of the way and switched to micro-spikes for return trip - but snowshoes were helpful for the steep parts of trail ascending to the lake. Round trip took about 5.5 hours with a stop for lunch on the frozen lake. Really beautiful with all of the awesome peaks that frame the basin in which the lake sits.

Almost completely packed down snow right, as all the trails in this area will be for awhile. Slight elevation gain to Alberta Falls, but nothing crazy. We have a 4 and 7 year old and the only one that used spikes was my wife. On the way back it would be helpful though. Right now you can see the water at the top of the waterfall running down through the ice... very cool. This one if good for kids. We do it once during winter and once during summer every year.

The trail is clear of ice, but you will hit mud along the way. Great front range trail for something a little different.

Spikes needed once you hit the spur to the arch.

Great views! Definitely recommend bringing spikes for some areas.

4 days ago

Difficult hike-not for typical beginner/intermediate hiker. Had difficulty staying on the correct trail. Took wrong trail early on- went right, should’ve stayed left. Trail is very loose- mostly dirt/gravel. Summit is great. Good views of city and Rampart Range.

4 days ago

Hiked 3/12. Only used microspikes. No wind. Lots of people for a Monday hike. Nice views

Hiked 3/12. Only used microspikes for the entire hike. Someone has bolted a strap by the only sketchy part of the hike. Slid most of the way down on my coat. Definitely recommend if you are in shape for it. If you’re questioning it at the lock its best to not go up. It only gets steeper from there. If you take snowshoes make sure to also bring spikes for the sheet of ice you have to climb before glass lake

4 days ago

Awesome views! Be prepared for ice at this time and a steep climb. Very rewarding hike!!

4 days ago

Great views of the peaks in RMNP, Longs Peak and Twin Sisters. Interesting rock formations along the way, and lots of steps. The lake was frozen but a nice place to stop for lunch and there was one stretch of snow/ ice that I was glad I had my poles for.. I imagine it gets crowded in the warmer months, but we will definitely go back and continue on to Balanced Rock (another 3 miles).

4 days ago

Royal arches was absolutely stunning. Highly recommend to anyone although be warned it is icy in some spots as of (3/11). Definitely work the trek!

This is a busy park with nice facilities ($7 entry fee). However the crowds thinned out substantially once at the trail head for Carpenter Trail. There was a lot of mud and puddles on the way up; most of the ice has melted, I had no need for YakTrax or poles. Encountered a family of seven deer on the way up and back down. Well marked and cared for (no trash, a pleasant surprise). Arrive early to avoid waiting in line to get into the park.

This trail has incredible views throughout! It starts of with a lot of up via several switchbacks but then you get to cruise and enjoy the views so the hard part is worth it. As of March 11 there were a few areas that still had some hard-packed snow and/or ice but overall not very much and I didn’t have any trouble with it in just boots. There were a good number of people hiking and biking on a Sunday afternoon but it didn’t feel crowded to me on the trail. You do need to keep an eye out for bikers- we always had plenty of time to step to the side though. Great trail!

Great hike, moderate incline, lots of gorgeous views and pretty long. Feels like a workout, but just keep going! If you reach the picnic benches, you are almost to the ruins!! Still some ice in the shadier places, but mostly dry and warm in the sun.

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