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Great hike! Nice views of Golden and Denver. Some icy patches so be careful but you don’t need snow shoes yet. Some tight and rocky spots, easy hike close but not too close to the city.

Super easy and super beautiful.

backpacking
9 days ago

If you are an avid hiker and love the outdoors, Iceland is probably on the top of your vacation bucket list. There is a wide variety of unique landscapes and beautiful scenery packed into this small island. Have you wondered what is the best way to experience all this country has to offer in less than a week? The Laugavegur Trail has it all. While hiking the 55 km (34 mile) trek, you will experience four days worth of geothermal pools, rivers, lava fields, glaciers, canyons, and mountains; so many beautiful, colorful mountains. It is no wonder the Laugavegur is one of the most popular hikes in Iceland and attracts hikers from all over the globe.
Since Iceland’s summers are short, this hike can only be done between June and September. Expect nights to consist of freezing temperatures and the days to max out at about 15 degrees C (60 F). Also, weather can be unpredictable in the mountains so be prepared for severe wind, snow, sleet, and rain.
Most people start in Landmannalaugar and hike south towards Þórsmörk because of the overall decrease in elevation. To get to Landmannalaugar, there are several bus companies that leave right out of Reykjavik, and the ride is only a few hours. Once in Landmannalaugar the trailhead is easy to find, or pitch your tent and do some of the day hikes in the area.
Camping is only allowed in designated areas around the huts that are located along the trail. If you want to sleep in the huts, you should make reservations up to one year in advance as they fill up quickly and are quite expensive. However, if you don’t mind carrying all your supplies, there is unlimited space for tents at each camp area. Each hut has running water so there is no need to filter your water if you plan to carry enough for the entire day.
Most people do this hike in 3 nights and 4 days. There is an additional 1 to 2 days you can add on if you choose to hike from Þórsmörk to Skógar. Regardless if you continue to Skógar, there is a bus at either location to bring you back to Reykjavik.
 
Day One: Landmannalaugar – Hrafntinnusker
12 km (7.45 miles)
Elevation increase: 470 m (1,541 ft)
Start day one in Landmannalaugar N63°59.600 – W19°03.660. After you get off the bus you should easily be able to find the trailhead. Most of this day is uphill as you climb to Hrafntinnusker. Along the way you will come across several geothermal hot springs.
There will be views of surrounding mountains and you may experience snow cover as you gain elevation. Just before reaching Hrafntinnusker, you will come across a memorial for an Israeli hiker who died of hypothermia. After you reach Hrafntinnusker, there are several short day hikes you can take if time allows. N63°55.840 – W19°09.700.

 
Day Two: Hrafntinnusker – Álftavatn
12 km (7.45 miles)
Elevation decrease: 490 m (1,607 ft)
Day two starts by walking across a ravine until you reach an area with a short climb. Here you will see a spectacular panoramic view of colorful mountains.

This is the highest elevation for the hike. Next you will walk along a ridge until you reach another panoramic view of a green valley.

The trail now descends quickly into this valley towards a lake where Álftavatn Hut lies. This section is very steep with a lot of switchbacks. Once down in the valley, the trail flattens as you walk the final stretch to Álftavatn N63°51.470 – W19°13.640.
 
Day Three: Álftavatn – Emstrur (Botnar)
15 km (9.3 miles)
Elevation decrease: 40 m (131 ft)
Day three does not have as much elevation change, but that does not mean a lack in scenery. From the hut, you wade through a small river and continue hiking through the valley. After about 5 km (3 miles) you come across Hvanngil Hut where you can stay a night if you choose. After passing Hvanngil, you cross a bridge and come to a point in the trail where it splits. Follow the signs for F261 (Not F210) towards Emstrur.

After this, there is a large river that needs to be waded across. Use caution as the water can be deep and fast moving. Use hiking poles if available. Always unclip your waist and chest strap on you backpack in case you fall into the current and need to abandon your pack.

Then the trail leads through several lava fields where you will walk across black sand and lava rocks. Keep following the trail along a road until it splits and follow the signs towards the Emstrur Hut. Once you arrive, you will see much more vegetation. N63°45.980 – W19°22.480.

 
Day Four: Emstrur (Botnar) – Þórsmörk
15 km (9.3 miles)
Elevation decrease: 300 m (984 ft)
For the final day, you start by walking towards a canyon with a fast moving river. There is a steep descent down to a bridge where you can cross the river.

The trail follows this river along the edge of the canyon where you will get views of the river below and surrounding mountains. Towards the end of the day there is another river that needs to be crossed. The last short section of the trail continues through a small forest towards the huts in Þórsmörk. 63°40

Easy hike close to the city.

hiking
14 days ago

Well-maintained trail with great views of the canyon. Some parts of the trail are icy - wear YakTraks if you have them and your trek will be much more enjoyable. Dog poop on the trail both in and out of bags. There is an $8 fee to enter the park.

Tried to hike this today and it was covered in ice. Decided to turn back shortly after we started. Definitely recommend spikes at this point in the season, especially with the high winds we have had recently.

Great trail. Moderate traffic. No bikes when we did it. Easy access. Awesome views.

hiking
19 days ago

Great hike, I would agree with another poster that it’s moreso easy rather than moderate. There were a few icy spots, but we were fine without our spikes. Beautiful views, well maintained trail—I would come back.

Great view, really easy loop.

love this hike! have completed it a couple times. great to take out of towners who want to see our beautiful canyons, feel accomplished, but not terribly difficult. lots of areas to stop and enjoy the views. fun seeing the rock climbers throughout the canyon. interesting history with the hotel ruins.

there are more trails at this location than the .07 mile loop, but finding trail maps for these areas is next to impossible, i will continue to search and will update when i find more information

Fairly easy trail with some great views of Golden, Coors plant, and Denver. Lots of interesting rock outcroppings and formations. Also lots of great places to take pictures.

When we went (11-15-2018) there was a fair amount of snow and ice on the trail. The trail is obvious and we had no problem navigating the ice and snow with just our hiking boots.

If you're looking for something to hike in winter without dealing with unknown conditions in RMNP, this is a good alternative.

hiking
25 days ago

I love this trail. I completed it last month before the snow. The nature and views are beautiful. I loved watching the train pass in the distance. I am a Colorado native so I never really feel inclined to go back to most trails but I will definitely hike this trail again. There is an $8 fee to get into Eldorado State Park, or $5 to park outside the park and walk in, but you can tell the state park puts the money to good use. This has to be one of the cleanest trails I’ve seen. There aren’t too many tactical areas. I went counter clockwise at the loop, so going down the incline back to the trailhead was rather rocky and steep. I almost fell at one point, but it was only for a short stretch.

Backpacked this trail about a year ago. Was a solid trail but lots of sand so prepare to be a little dirty. Boardwalks were pretty cool. I recommend going during the winter. Watch out for the rainbow people! They won’t hurt you but they might try and steal stuff while you sleep.

This is one hike I always recommend to someone going to Colorado. Stunning view at the top!

snowshoeing
26 days ago

Well kept easy trail to hike or snowshoe

There are rattlesnakes so be careful, but don't miss out! This is a great workout for people looking to improve beginner hiking skills. Lots of great views, really cool area for rock climbers, and a little history hidden on the trail.

I would have liked to pick up the pace to get a better workout in, but the trail was pretty crowded (granted, it was midday on a Saturday.) Overall it was a nice trail, great views at the top, and fun to watch climbers on the opposite rock face. My friends and I maintained regular conversation without much huffing and puffing and there were plenty of kids on the trail, so I’m not sure if deserves a “moderate” categorization, but it was a great outing for sure. Saw some cool birds, too!

Really pleasant lake. Only thing is you can park right next to hit so there's no hiking needed to arrive at the destinations. None the less, super beautiful!

got there at 10 a.m. yesterday only a couple of cars in the lot. though there's not a lot of spaces. well maintained trail. nice steady incline for first couple of miles. the view at the top was beautiful! bring layers! started off needing 2 jackets a hat and gloves went down to just day clothes as we got going.

Great trail. Awesome views.

Of all the gulches on the front range this one is only a medium amount of gulchy

I love this trail! I just wish people would realize that the “Dogs Must Be On Leash” signs do, in fact, apply to them and their dogs. Today I watched someone leash their dog to start because the maintenance person was in the parking lot, and then as soon as they got out of sight they unleashed the dog. If you know what you’re doing is wrong, why are you still doing it?

Just finished a three day hike from Clearwater Lake to Hopkins, November 2-4. No real water sources from Clearwater until you get to Alexander Springs. From Alexander to Juniper Springs there is one water source at the prairie campground near the lake. From Juniper to Hopkins the only water source would be Hidden Pond. All in all, great hike and lots of hills, ups and downs, not a flat trail by any means. Thanks to the Florida Trail Association volunteers that were out doing trail maintenance on November 3rd. They were getting the trail in great shape for another hiking season.

This is a nice, close-to-Denver hike. I’ve done it a half dozen times at different times of year and it’s definitely best when it’s not scorching hot. There are some beautiful views (even a glimpse of Mt. Evans) , a bit of rock scrambling, a section of forest cover, and I’ve never seen it crowded.

3 couples hiked it together in November 1st , there were several inches of snow on the ground and it was snowing the most big lovely flakes . The sun was peaking through and shinning off the water . How could I not give it a 5 star review ? Easy access , nice beautiful easy hike . We loved it !

Hiked this my first day in Denver so getting used to the elevation was a little rough for me. But overall I thought it was a great hike! The overlook was incredibly beautiful and while the trail was a bit rocky in places, it was mostly flat and wide with a slight constant incline to the top. I am not an avid hiker and a bit out of shape so I thought it was the perfect combination of a challenge, scenery, and length.

It was a fun loop. Nothing extremely notable though. Like other reviews have said, I think it was worth doing this once, yet I'm not rushing to want to go back.

Awesome little trail with a nice overlook. some snow was melting from a dusting earlier in the week, so the trail was a bit muddy, but otherwise good.

I had a few free hours in the afternoon and live about 30 minutes away from here, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Nice trail. Well maintained. Great scenery. Gentle elevation gain.

Certainly not one of Colorado's greatest hikes, but a good couple hour loop.

It can be a little crowded, and parking can be hard to come by.

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