Explore Crater Lake - 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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Beautiful trail but as previous reviewer mentioned, at some point near the end, the foot path in the snow deviates from the actual trail. I had a GPS with me so was able to figure this out (coupled with clues based on the trail just not seeming right). We never actually made it to the lakes but the hike was still beautiful. I would say if you don’t have a GPS, be careful as just following the footprints in the snow isn’t actually the trail & gets a bit sketchy.

Beautiful views! I brought my dog to hike and she loved it- we met several other people with dogs too who were all very friendly. I didn’t wish I had snow shoes until the end when I started sinking in waist deep snow and my dog started disappearing completely under the snow- it was moderately challenging but well worth it!

Trail is all snow, most packed by skiers. Final ~1/4 mile to the lower lake is unpacked snow (unless we took a wrong turn, we were definitely off trail on deep snow following footprints).Great hike but with the current conditions if you don’t have snowshoes or skis you won’t make it all the way up.

East trailhead Castle Trail up long switchbacks to Walker Ruins & Summer White Hse (great views west!) return Down Turkey Trot Trail north facing sections icey slush. 8am start, not too crowded mid week.Windy, layer up, gloves & ears. CMCDan,Nov 2 ,2018.

hiking
9 days ago

We really enjoyed this hike. We encountered only one other trail user. We used winter hiking boots with crampons. This was sufficient to make it all of the way to the end of the trail. No need for snowshoes or backcountry skis today. It snowed throughout our hike and was windy, especially when nearing the lake at the end. There's a waterfall flowing into the lake which isn't frozen over yet. A thin layer of ice currently coats most of the lake. A standard car with good all season tires can make it to the foot of the trailhead.

Went in early October on a cloudy day and got some snow near the top. The lakes were incredible though. Lost the trail on the way to the furthest lake, and ended up doing some rock scrambling that we weren’t prepared for. Saw a moose alongside the road on the way to the trailhead! Def want to go back on a clear day.

Hiked 10/29/2018 Castle Trail up to the Presidents Summer House. Beautiful views. Not too busy. Perfect weather and views. Easy to moderate. Great trail while acclimating to the altitude.

Steep uphill climb for the first half if you're coming form Morrison, but lots of switchbacks makes it easy. Once you're at the top, you'll get an awesome view of Denver and Red Rocks. We also saw tons of wildlife. Lots of options for castle and trail exploring, too. Really good place to take someone new to hiking or visiting the area because you can stay up there for hours or come down if they're not feelin' it. Get ice cream in Morrison after!

Beautiful!!! Hiked October 20th. Definitely need spikes toward the top. The lakes had two feet of snow! Easy hike. Spikes good P.S there is miss in the trees!!! Yes looks like Spanish moss. !!! Incredible

Beautiful hike, the lower lakes are all but frozen to the edges. There was a fair amount of snow/ice on the trail so yaktrax/microspikes definitely recommended. Also worth noting, there were bear tracks in several areas along the trail and around the perimeter of the south lower lake!

Well marked, well maintained trails. Some nice views and interesting ruins. A lot of side trails near the top, so you can make it a bit longer. Not too much elevation gain; kind of a mild trail. Not crowded this morning (Tuesday).

off road driving
22 days ago

Stock Wrangler JLU up and down with ease in 4wd High at the end of summer. Fun trail with great rewards; more to explore in Jeep and on foot. Nonmotorized use allowed year round according to gate’s sign in the AllTrails photos, Sean D, but it also says no parking at the gate.

hiking
23 days ago

Nice moderate hike with plenty of lakes and streams- although as a result probably not ideal during mud season... jasper lake was frozen but still beautiful.

Since last weeks Snow, we brought crampons and poles which made both the accent and decent so much more enjoyable There were people who had to turn around because they didn’t have enough traction.

Question - can you still hike to the lake with the gates officially closed?

off road driving
25 days ago

closed for the season as of Oct 18, 2018. disappointed. I took my stock Raptor up, zero issues... not even close to breaking a sweat. With a stock half ton truck, you will likely bottom out in a few spots, especially the first rut. Subarus won't make it without damage, end of story. looked promising but the gate was closed about 3/4 mile up. tight turn around.

A bunch of moose, a bunch of lakes

walking
30 days ago

A most wonderful hike, and a loop so no retracing. Magnificent view of the lake at the trailhead. Parking can be an issue on summer weekends. There are moose around, and they can be dangerous, but generally no problem other than the pleasure seeing them. The trail on the sunny side is wider and easier, but the darker and narrower other side is enchanting. Not difficult, but a few logs to cross over streams. Take water particularly in summer and keep dogs leashed because of moose.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike that really lives up to rating. Awesome views. The wind was a bit challenging near the top.

This trail was incredibly beautiful and had awesome views. The wind was our antagonist for sure; very windy it blows against you going uphill which is quite the challenge. We did everything but the last scramble and it took about six hours with small breaks.

hiking
1 month ago

Hike offered deep woods trail and nice views of the Monarch Lake. Went very early in the morning but barely saw any birds or other wild animals. Great trail for exercise.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful! Nice fall hike featuring some golden aspens and a couple waterfalls. In the early morning it was a misty hike through a cloud, which I thought made the whole experience even cooler.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife & I arrived from MD yesterday and had not fully acclimated to the +8000’ altitude change, but did not want to waste the good weather. This 4.2 mi loop was perfect. Great views and enough elevation change to make it fun without over taxing our sea level lungs.

Nice steep incline to start and great views! Not crazy packed and met nice people along the way! I’ll be back because it’s only 27minutes from where I live in Denver!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked the whole road, though most people opted to off-road in vehicles. Pretty and scenic; the waterfall at the lake was beautiful. It started snowing while I was there and the fall colors looked beautiful with it.

off road driving
1 month ago

Not sure why this is rated moderate. It's pretty easy for any 4x4. Did pretty much all of it in 2 wheel. Only need a little bit of clearance for the rocks. Great views, and only saw one other person on a Wednesday afternoon. 4/5

Easy hike cool that it’s close to red rocks can hear a little bit of music if something is going on there

Beautiful trail, the Aspens were bright gold. Some of the trail was heavily trafficked but it was never a problem. I am not a very seasoned hiker but I would not rate this trail as Hard. The first two miles are nice wide paths with a slight incline. The last mile to the Crater Lakes is steep, but not difficult.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Trail is open for MTB and hikers although parking is tough.

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