Explore conquered - 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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hiking
8 minutes ago

This trail is amazing and had an awesome hike! Hiked this in partial rain with significant fog but it was still very nice and I will do it again one day to try to catch the views. I read the review regarding crampons for the latter of the hike and wish I would have taken the advice - it was definitely doable without, but it would have been more comfortable with.

hiking
2 days ago

Went up yesterday 12/12/18 and although it was quite windy it wasn't to bad with the trees shielding the wind. Really easy hike with a very good snow pack conditions, all I needed was crampons. I have trouble breathing at altitude but this hike didn't leave me to much out of breath. Didn't go on to Dream Lake since I would need snowshoes and didn't bring any with me.

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.

To echo other reviews, Fiery Gizzard is a rock festival almost the whole way through the gulf. You'll want to be sure footed and a trekking pole or two is a near necessity. This is mainly what makes it "hard" as the elevation changes are pretty minimal. After the climb up the boulders are fewer, and Dog Hole is pretty clear until it drops back down.
The trail is well marked by a combination of tree tags and paint. It gets a lot of traffic so pretty well worn as well.
There are some interesting rock formations, the river has several falls from medium to small, and a couple of good swimming holes. Not much in the way of views even with the leaves off until Ravens Point. Dog Hole has a couple of overlooks as well.

snowshoeing
6 days ago

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

Went on a weekend in early December and the trail was packed with people. Trail was snow packed. I didn’t wear boot chains but i should have.

Saw more people than I would have liked, but the views were amazing. Go all the way to Myrtle Point. If icy, crampons are worth carrying.

backpacking
7 days ago

Trail was pretty easy to follow and there are plenty of waterfalls to look at along the way. On the hike in, we went up to Martha’s Pretty Point from the junction just past the cable crossing (solid uphill but nice view and campground). We stayed for about 15 minutes and then left and went back down to the main trail. Finished the trail and at the Falls loop junction (past Big Laurel Falls) we continued straight (lower trail) and down the rocky ridge. Rocky is 100% correct. It’s a rough downhill but nothing terrible. At the “T” we continued to the right and on to Virgin Falls (to the left is Caney Fork River). Great waterfall and a nice camp area. We took the spur trail to the top of the Falls. Very short trip and an easy place to get water if you’re staying here overnight.
There is a junction here to continue on to Lost Creek Trail but we didn’t go that way. We stayed the night and then continued the loop (upper trail), past Sheep Cave, and then back to the main Virgin Falls trail. If you’re not planning to do the entire Falls loop....take the UPPER trail on the way in and out. It’s less rocky, more flat, and generally easier.

The trail itself could use more trail markers past Big Laurel Falls but if you take a little time you can find the trail if you look ahead.
Wood had been pretty well picked through if you’re trying to build a campfire but go a little further out from your camp and you’re sure to find something that has fallen.

Overall a good hike and one I would do again.

Lots of waterfalls in a short hike. Easy in harder out. Like a fellow said we met on the trail “it’s all downhill till you turn around”! He was pretty much on the mark. Slippery rocks and leaves in winter but spring and fall would be awesome!

hiking
7 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
11 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

Most beautiful trail in the park. If I could only do one this would be it for sure.

Super easy and super beautiful.

Beautiful hike for all skill levels.

hiking
12 days ago

Absolutely incredible. I live in Nashville, and this trail tops my list for hikes that are within reasonable driving distance. Spectacular scenery with every step.

snowshoeing
14 days ago

Nice show shoe, plenty of snow now.

hiking
14 days ago

Wind was intense once we reached Dream Lake! Got out of the wind by staying along the bank in the trees, but would've been much more difficult if we didn't have snowshoes.

We did this trail Fiery Gizzard up to Ravens Point and then Dog Hole Trail back down. There were areas of the trail that were not well marked due to down trees. Very rocky terrain. We definitely felt a sense of accomplishment when we finished in 7.5 hours. Beautiful scenery along the trail.

Decent views. Cold around the lakes so don't quit. Snow shoes make it easier after dream lake. Emerald lake is gorgeous

Wife & I hiked this trail to the bluffs and back for a total distance of 4.6 miles. This was perhaps our favorite of all the trails we hiked in the park, not so much for the destination but for the trail itself.
The first segment of this hike is just delightful, with gorgeous views up and down Alum Cave Creek. We did this hike after a day of heavy rain, which made the creek particularly full and active – and scenic.
Nice, wide path from the trailhead all the way to the bluffs. Numerous crossings on bridges or sturdy footlogs. Climbing the rock stairway through Arch Rock is a unique experience. The last segment past Inspiration Point is rather steep.
As always, carry – and drink – plenty of water, and take some energy snacks (or lunch) to enjoy at the bluffs before heading back to the trailhead. Even though much of this trail is shaded, sunscreen is never a bad idea. And since the trail is near the creek much of the time, bug spray is advisable during the warmer months.
A couple of days later we drove past this trailhead and parking was INSANE! Dozens of cars lining both sides of the road in both directions! This is most definitely a situation where you’ll want to be at the trailhead early in the morning to avoid the crowds – and an extra half-mile walk from your car to the trailhead!

Beautiful hike! Easy! Great views!!!

Ok trail nice when you get to the lake
Easy trail

Nice pit stop on the way to black lake

All right trail nice views at times

9-29-17 one of the most beautiful trails out there. Cute log bridges and interesting features along the way. We sighted bear scat. At the top we had a foggy view but the smell of pine and lush flora made it more than worth it! We hit the trail very early and had some solitude at the way up- as always the further out you go the less people you see. Took us a little over 5 hours.

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful and Cold with a straight west wind. All three lakes are frozen solid but remain breathtaking. Trail is hard packed up to Dream Lake, but leg up to Emerald is looser. Can be done with micro spikes, but changed over to my snowshoes and going was much easier.

One of my new favorite trails! Challenging but the views DO NOT disappoint! Absolutely gorgeous.

snowshoeing
18 days ago

Went on 11/26 and there was great snow! We used crampon spikes with 2/3” spikes and could only get to Dream Lake. The snow got knee deep after that so we had to turn around but snowshoers continued. Beginning of the trail had wide, packed snow but got progressively looser and more narrow as the trail went on. Beautiful views and great fun!

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