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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
4 days ago

Hiked 11/10. Trails are well packed, definitely need spikes the whole way up. Poles are helpful at chasm crossing. Trail is hard to find above treeline, but is still well packed. Look for the giant cairns.

hiking
5 days ago

This trail cranked me.

Not very scenic from the trailhead until 2 miles in. The top of the tree line was covered in snow and it was very windy. By then we were just trucking through knee deep snow. Would do again in summertime.

Beautiful! Relaxing, adventurous!

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?

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.

hiking
11 days ago

Such a beautiful trail. We hiked up on Saturday and couldn’t complete it due to a snow storm and little visibility. Definitely would recommend using yak tracks or micro spikes on a better day. There is snow and ice pretty much the entire trail. There were still quite a few people on the trail.

trail running
11 days ago

Took me 3 hours 48 min. I ran ~4 miles and hiked the rest. Good views at beginning and end. Middle chunk gets a little bland.

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.

Great views and very rewarding. Highly trafficked, and there was some shattered glass on the trail that we picked up to prevent injuries to pups on the trail. I also wouldn't rate this as hard, more of a moderate difficulty. The elevation gain is very gradual.

hiking
18 days ago

CHASM Lake! WOW! It's everything I've ever wanted in a hike. We started at 6:30am just as the stars were dimming, the sun was coming up and the moon was going down. Once you exit the Goblin's Forest, the views of Longs Peak are extraordinary. This is an epic hike; to be in the valley below Longs Peak is breathtaking. Now, let me add this. To get to Chasm Lake, you need to keep on keeping on. Don't give up when you get to the "vaults" at the intersection. It's at least another mile to Chasm and if you see a small frozen lake on the left, that's Peacock Pool, that is not Chasm Lake so keep going. You have to ascend a very rocky, hilly, ice-covered mountain to actually get to Chasm but when you do, it's GLORY, GLORY, GLORY! I have #hikingfever and this hike has now eclipsed all but one of my hikes ... Hope Pass will forever be my #1 hike!

Good hike that’s not too hard or too easy. Not much shade on a warm day. I don’t think I’ll do it again but I enjoyed it once!

This trail freakin rocks! Awesome open areas and great trails! Highly recommend this trail!

hiking
19 days ago

This was our first hike on our Colorado honeymoon and it didn't disappoint. We went on a Tuesday in mid-September; the parking lot was about 3/4 full when we arrived at 7:30, the weather was perfect, and the colors were gorgeous! As flat-lander Minnesotans I would say most of the trail is moderate, with the rock-scrambling at the end being difficult. Phenomenal views the entire time, up and back.

We parked near the entrance to the amphitheater and came down the stairs on the right hand side and out to the trailhead. The sandstone rocks are incredible and are definitely the best part of the trek. The hike itself is fairly easy and the trail is pretty wide most of the way. If you’re visiting the amphitheater, go ahead and do this one.

Hiked on 10/26. I had been there almost 20 years ago with my kids aged 1, 3, and 4 (a good fraction on my back as you can imagine). This was during the summer and we had a great time. This is why I wanted to take the opportunity of my visit in Boulder to return.
Some snow on the path, but not too much. The lowest part of the trail is somewhat icy, and some may want to use spikes (I did not). After the tree line, the snow is soft, so that the spikes are not useful. Today was very windy but clear. I left the winter parking lot at 7AM and was back at 1PM. There is no need for snow shoes, but good hiking shoes and protection (to avoid the snow to get in) are needed

Our first run in Colorado - absolutely perfect! Very runnable, well maintained, and excellent views.

This is a great hike! It's not too hard or too easy! Gives you plenty of opportunity for getting your heart rate up, but a lot nice and easy straights where you can catch your breath and take in the scenery! Great trail for the doggies too!

trail running
25 days ago

wow! just stunning! this trail itself doesn't run through the amphitheatre but if you veer off this trail, the amphitheatre is a short walk away. I am sort of a geological nerd so these rock formations had my jaw on the floor. such a wild and beautiful place! even in October, make sure you have plenty of water.

hiking
25 days ago

Excellent hike to Chasm Lake on 10/20. Started at 7am. Total moving time was 4.5 hours roundtrip, with an additional hour spent at the lake as we lucked out with zero wind and warm sunshine. The lake was about half frozen. Excellent views of Longs the entire way. Trail was majority covered in snow, but packed. Microspikes were worn the whole way. No issues crossing the boulder field. A little slushy on the return hike. Some short icy patches climbing up to the lake. Just go slow and watch your footing. Very happy to have completed this hike after attempting 1.5 years ago and encountering 50mph winds at the trailhead.

hiking
25 days ago

Hiked on 10/20. As others have said, the road into Brainard Lake is closed for the season, so you park in the lot before the fee station. I tracked the whole hike on my fitbit, and it's 2 miles to Brainard Lake, and another mile to the trailhead. All we wore were Yaktraks over our hiking shoes. It would have been nice to have snow boots or gaiters on, as you fall through the snow a LOT. Our feet were soaked for most of the hike.

Took us 7 hours, and we took a wrong turn on the way to the trailhead that added a mile. 14 miles round trip. There was no wind at all until the top, and even then it wasn't too bad. The snow made this hike TOUGH and made it take a lot longer than it should have for us, but the views are some of the most incredible I've seen. We only saw a few other people all day. Highly recommend if you love a challenging hike--though I wouldn't do it again in the snow.

Awesome summit views

Beautiful hike, lots of scenery and mountains all around you covered in snow. Parking lot (due to road closure) is 3.5 miles away from the lake Isabelle trailhead, entire hike ends up being 12.5 miles. Lake Isabelle is completely frozen over and looks immaculate. Expect a 5 and half hour hike. I would arrive early to get the best views and temperatures.

Loved it! Got to parking lot at Gateway at 6 am and biked the 2 plus miles to trailhead. The trail starts in trees and snow was packed on the trail with scattered ice. I wore micro spikes and knee gaiters—both were needed. Parts of the trail were nearly dry on a ridge about 3/4 of a mile up and before tree line. After tree line it’s consistently snowy. The trail above tree line is marked by rock piles and was easy to follow until a quarter mile from the summit. Lots of packed snow and many post holes from recent hikers breaking through the crust. The wind above tree line today was fierce. Three other hikers and I were all amazed at the wind speed, likely a constant 25 mph + with stronger gust? ( I had no gauge so let’s just say it was plenty strong and slowed my forward progress to a crawl at times.) But glorious views at the top! Well worth the effort. I hike about ten miles a week at elevation but I’m a slow hiker and took my time, stopped often and ate lunch near the summit. Got back to the Gateway parking lot at 4:45 even using a mountain bike. Highly recommend this trail, but with more snow I will pass on going again till summer. Snow shoes would have done no good today, if you’re going soon use knee gaiters and spikes.

**there is a separate account for “winter” trail, but this is the first account most people go to** Beautiful hike the entire way. As someone else mentioned the road to Brainard Lake is closed. From parking and back we clocked a round trip of 12 miles to get to Lake Isabelle and back to parking lot. The trail had nice packed snow 90% of the way, the last part before the lake is a little slushy and muddy being exposed to sun which can cause it to be a little slick, so careful if you have some limitations. The lake was completely frozen on 10/20.

Did this on 10/20/18. THE GATES ARE CLOSED FOR THE SEASON. You must park at Gateway Trailhead and walk the 2-2.5ish miles to the Beaver Creek Trailhead- or anywhere else you want to go around Brainard. If you are at all worried about time or icy trails, just walk the road. Yak traks are necessary if you do not take the road but everything else is doable without them. Highly recommend tall snow boots and gaiters as you will spend a lot of time stepping in the snow to your knees... which I'm sure will only get more significant very soon. You should also allow more time than you think with the snow... it took me 6.5 hours having to walk from Gateway and I am an experienced hiker. BUT the hike is amazing, the snow capped mountains are gorgeous and you should do this hike!!

Nice early morning hike before the sun got too hike. Lots of parking and easy trails.

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