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Spiked and snowshoed today 1/20/19 and enjoyed lots of snow, ice and sunshine. I love seeing happy hikers with their children and dogs. Only disappoinment today was all the dog poop on the trail!

Snow shoe or ski in. Otherwise you post hole. Busier than I wanted it yesterday morning. Trail condition is great. Mostly established main trails.. Packed snow on trails until you start climbing the last steep 1000 feet then it’s deep snow country and would be difficult without a reliable flotation devise (snowshoe or ski) The first lake we run into was frozen. To ski or snow doe? If you ski here you glide. You snowshoe? Hard work = great toned legs! :) either way this place is relatively close to DENVER and offers amazing views and tons of photo ops with other like minded humans. And its as cliche as the saying “it worth it”! Happy trails!

Great snow, great trail! Snowshoed up to the lower lake this morning. Started at about 9:30, done by 1:30. Definitely need snowshoes as we were breaking trail in tons of powder up by the lake. Also, snow is great all the way from the trailhead, so best to wear your snowshoes or skins/skis to keep the snow pack as smooth as possible for others.

Made it to the lower crater lakes. Started at 9am and was back at the parking lot by 12:30pm. The last mile is a good upwards climb. Snowshoes only needed up top when you're exploring the lakes. I had crampons on otherwise.

Snowshoed 1/12/19. Tracks were easy to follow. Fairly gradual for the first couple of miles. The last mile is pretty steep so be prepared for a climb

Made it to the upper lake on snowshoes! Lots of people on skis up to the lower lakes, but I'm not sure it would be possible for most to make it to upper lake on skis - very steep! You'll need one or the other to make it to the first lakes, started postholing about half a mile from them.

Started around 8:30, got back to the car around 4, with lots of breaks and trail breaking and route finding slowing us down. Absolutely worth the effort! So beautiful.

Wow for sure the best snowshoe I've done so far in Colorado. This trail was magical in the snow! Even the drive there was delightful. It can be hard to tell which tracks to follow, but if you keep following the signs for the trail you'll get to the lake eventually! If you go up a little beyond the lake it is heckin steep but the views are stunning and majestic this trail was the best.

snowshoed this trail 1/6/2019

beginning of trail needed just our micro spikes, transitioned to snowshoes a couple miles in. For a Sunday not busy at all..we arrived around 10am...plenty of parking. HIGHLY recommend some sort of GPS device...as you can follow 1 wrong set of snowshoe prints and add an extra mile (which made it waaaaay harder). we only went to the lower lakes as we were cold by that point. we plan on returning in the summer!

Lost lake is absolutely beautiful with the mountains in the background! Highly recommend this hike for the views. Did this hike on 1/5/19 and arrived at 8:30am. Ran into about 5 groups of people on the way to the lake and 5 groups on the way back. Arrived back at the car around 10am and it was PACKED! So many people & dogs about to start the hike. So definitely recommend getting there early to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the trail. The snow is very packed down all the way to the lake, Snowshoes aren’t necessary but I would recommend yaktrax/spikes for traction. If you pass the lake and continue to the end of the trail snowshoes would be helpful (but not absolutely necessary) as the snow gets very deep! Note: the area to park is slightly before where AllTrails directs you too. You will walk about 0.4 miles on top of a partially frozen creek. There is a very thin and hidden path off to the side to avoid walking on the ice!

snowshoeing
17 days ago

Started off around 9:30 today. Beautiful day for a perfect snowshoeing trail! Honestly I used my micro spikes up until about 1/2 miles from the lake. The snow was perfectly packed. Only saw about 6 people all day, two skiers as well.

snowshoeing
19 days ago

Great trail for snowshoeing right now! Went on 1/1/19 and saw maybe 6 people (mostly skiers) on the way up, spent 30 minutes alone at the first lake, then passed lots of people on the way down. Would recommend getting to the trail head before 9 a.m. to avoid the crowds.

One of my favorite hikes. IPW is fantastic.

Super beautiful in the snow. The lake was frozen solid on new year's day!

For being so close to Boulder, I was amazed that there were as few people on the trail as there were. Completed the hike on 12/30 and the snow was pretty good - it’s certainly possible to do this in spikes, but I switched out my spikes for snowshoes after about a quarter mile and had a much better experience that way. The views at the top are gorgeous and do not disappoint! Highly recommend.

One of my favorites, can’t go wrong in the Brainard Lake area really :) one thing I learned this year: Lake Isabelle serves as a reservoir, and at the beginning of September if gets largely drained. Still a beautiful hike with long lake, a waterfall, and happy doggos. Always see moose up in this area, and marmots and pika often chirp alongside the lake.

snowshoeing
30 days ago

I’ve done this trail both in the summer and winter now. Absolutely beautiful! As most trails, significantly less busy during the winter. Snowshoes are pretty much necessary this year after the second bridge (because we’ve had so much snow already this season!). The trail can be difficult to follow when you’re about 1/2 mile from the first lake, especially in new snow and with misleading tracks. Make sure to have your gps up, and if you’re able, make it to the second lake!

Hiked 12/8 but didn't have it in me to make it to the lake. Snow was untouched with no tracks at all once you get halfway up the Devil's Thumb Trail. Had to follow the tree line and assume the trail was under you. Fluffy snow that you sink in at least 6" with every step, poles did not help, snowshoes a must. No spectacular views until you get to the lake I assume. Very peaceful and quiet. Didn't see a single person from the Devil's thumb turnoff heading to the lake. Got a bit turned around in the beginning following others tracks and looking at the abandon Miner's Cabins.

Hiked on 11/2/18
I usually love this trail, but after the turn off for Lost Lake, you’re SOL if you don’t have snowshoes or cross country skis. Seriously, don’t continue to Skyscraper without proper gear. I ended up post-holing to my thighs for an extra mile before deciding I should turn around. Would have been perfect with snowshoes!

Attempted this over the weekend at the height of the snowfall. Did not complete the hike as the split in the trail to head to Crater Lakes was completely covered in snow. We followed some "fresh" prints but soon realized that even with GPS and a big ego/pride, it could not be completed with the current conditions. I do not think that this can be completed with confidence with new snowfall or even existing trail conditions. Beautiful otherwise with amazing views of the Moffat Tunnel and surrounding areas. Still giving it 5 stars as I know the end result is amazing but nature didnt allow for views this weekend.

*Use extra caution during snow storms when entering/leaving the road on the trail. The snow gets high enough to not visibility to the edges of the road. I lost control of my vehicle and luckily, it took some digging and persistence to get out. Just be extra careful during the winter months even if you have good tires and all wheel drive.

Beautiful with the fresh snowfall!

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.

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.

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.

on Forest Lakes Trail

2 months ago

Hiked 10/28. It’s pretty snowy already but we managed without yaktraks. Beautiful hike for the short distance. Highly recommended esp, with dogs!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked yesterday 10/28, weather was great. Above 10,000ft, the trail is about 90% covered in snow, which is compacted so I would recommend micro spikes. I put mine on about half a mile from the lake and used them on the way back out for about a mile also. The lake is almost frozen over, some open water still visible.

There was a lot of icy packed snow on 2/3 of the trail. I would suggest a little extra traction for your shoes. The trail has a great pay off at the end of the trail in the form of a beautiful view over Lost Lake.

Got to the trail at 8:30 on Sunday and there was plenty of parking. People were fighting for spots when I left around 11:30. Easy hike with good payoff. Be sure to walk all the way around the lake once you get there. Microspikes are a must for the climb to the lake.

very beautiful hike not so hard. there is several other lakes to hike as well.
parking was ok however it was in fall not summer. the road to the trail is not rough

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!

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