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Gorgeous hike and one of my all time new favorites. Highly recommend. However, realize it is 5 miles to the summit and not 4 as advertised. Not a problem and WELL worth it. Go early.

hiking
3 days ago

GORGEOUS! One of our top 10 favorite hikes that we've ever done! Amazingly beautiful trail and offers a little bit of everything: cascades, waterfalls, wildflowers, neat dead trees, views, wildlife, and lake! We hiked this trail on Saturday, July 14. We made it to the parking lot by 6:15am and it was full by about 7:30am that day although that didn't keep the crowds away. Many folks parked down the road and added a few miles to their hike. This hike is actually a total of 12.8 miles according to the national park sign. The trail starts as an easy one. There are neat rapids and waterfalls towards the beginning. You will encounter LOTS of people up to Ouzel Falls but after that, you won't see as many. There is a rustic "privy" pit toilet just beyond Calypso Cascades a few miles up. The privy has no door but some slatted wood panels on 3 sides. Above Ouzel Falls, there is more of an incline, then a more open area (from the 1978 fire) with lots of new growth trees and neat lightning struck trees. Then you'll go through an established forest and back into a more open area from the fire. You'll encounter this type of topography a few times before reaching a steeper section. After the split-off to Ouzel Lake, there are a variety of wildflowers and lots of raspberry bushes. There are more and more flowers the farther you go. The last half mile to the lake is the steepest and includes a steep, short rock section and large snowfield on an incline; both are definitely doable as you take your time. After some rain the day before, the mosquitoes were especially bad and relentless beginning around the split-off to Ouzel Lake to Bluebird Lake and definitely the worst at Bluebird Lake where there were the most mosquitoes we've encountered in Colorado. We had lots of chipmunk and marmot sightings and only saw a half dozen people at Bluebird Lake, definitely a much different wilderness experience than at the beginning of the trail. Solitude and amazing scenery at the lake.

While the views are great, this is a difficult hike with tons of downed trees and an elevation gain of approx 2,000 ft. Not the hike described. There are 4 peaks and total distance is 4.4.

4 days ago

Amazing alpine hike with spectacular mountain views. Ended up seeing multiple elk along the trail and big horns near the summit! First time seeing big horn in the park. Do start early to avoid the crowds and the afternoon showers. Also you’re exposed for the majority of the trek so bring appropriate gear/sunscreen. Definitely would do again!

Hiked Ida in June and there was a lot of snow under the treeline. Took the group I was with about 2 hours to get out of the treeline. Once we were out, the hike was beautiful. The wildlife is abundant and the views are awesome. Ida is a little more tough than moderate I would say because she has a lot of false summits and it's an uphill climb most of the way. You feel like you're close, then there is more. Well worth it though, just be ready for a good challenge.

Amazing hike. My brother and I hiked Bluebird this past June. About 12 people we had passed told us to turn back because it was too snowy. We ended up hitting some snags but we ended up doing some rock climbing and sledding to get there and back but we made it. Hiking turned into Mountaineering but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Well worth the risks!

hiking
8 days ago

Just hiked this trail today, July 11th, and the scenery is superb. You get above tree line fast so the views start within the first 30 minutes. Of course, this means that you are gaining elevation quickly so it is a bit challenging. It took us about six hours round trip moving at a good steady pace, including about 25 minutes at the summit. Some guidebooks say to plan for eight hours, while some reviewers say they did it in about four. I don’t think I could have gone much faster than we did as the trail can get a little slippery in spots due to loose gravel, and the boulder field up top takes time to navigate. I am bushed but it was totally worth it! We started at about 6:15 AM and shared the trail with just a handful of people at that time. We had a good 20 minutes at the summit all to ourselves. Even on the way down it wasn’t super busy, but the parking lot is small so you should get an early start. An early start also ensures you are down below tree line before afternoon storms pop up as you are VERY exposed on most of this trail. Once you hit the boulder field below the summit the trail disappears so just find a good line and head upwards. Beautiful 360 views! I really liked this trail and would do this one again! My gps clocked this at 10.1 miles but that may be because we kept trying to find the trail through the boulders.

I wish I could give this hike more than a five star. AMAZING hike! One of my all time favorite hikes. Great mountain vistas and lush green meadows along the trail. Great wildflowers and saw some wildlife. Must do in RMNP!

11 days ago

Great trail

Amazing views and cool rock formations at the top. It is an intense climb up with steady and sometimes steep parts, but worth it when you get to the top. We did it in 5.5 hours. Didn’t see too many people on the trail

hiking
13 days ago

I love lake hikes! Did this on a week day took off from the trail head at 7 am. The first part of the hike is beautiful but super buggy- bring bug spray you’ll need it! After the ouzel lake split the trail opens up to views of Ouzel from above. I ran into two bull moose on the trail. I gave them time and space and let them mosey on down to the lake ~ 15 minutes worth. Then ran into a momma deer with two babies. It was probably the time of day, but be aware of the wild life. Made it to the lake and back in 5.5 hours. No snow on the trail, nice hike. Minimal people after the Ouzel lake split. Would consider a moderate hike.

hiking
16 days ago

This was a difficult hike but TOTALLY worth the time and effort. We got off the trail so we could hike the top of the divide and the views were better than expected.

walking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike! A lot of loose rock along the trail so don’t let the moderate classification fool you!

hiking
21 days ago

Beautiful trail! Very crowded until after ouzel falls then there was almost no one.

I believe this is also Segment 1 of the Colorado Trail. Do it!!!

hiking
23 days ago

Parking lot was full at 10a on a tues, but there was parking about 0.7 miles from the trailhead. Plenty of people until after ouzel falls and not so many after which was great.

Clear of snow except for a patch about 100yards long just below the lake.

A lot of these hikes are just different combination of the various lake. Pick the distance and elevation gain you feel confortable, and pick your lake.

Mills lake is one of the best, and not so hard to reach. Skypond is amazing, but include some scrambling. The other lake on this current suggestion are good. Bear lake is the most boring

hiking
25 days ago

I did this hike last year and again last week. It is definitely a tough one! It is incline pretty much the whole way with switch backs as soon as you get closer to the top. We were able to go a steady pace and not take as many breaks.Make sure you veer right when you hit a fork in the trail. I recommend packing a lot of water/food and start early, it gets pretty hot. The drive to the trailhead was nicely paved. It was nice not running into a person every 10 minutes, The trail isn't too busy.

hiking
26 days ago

Hiked 6/22. Beautiful trail. Follows the rushing creek for the first couple of miles. Very lush and green. You’ll see Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades (the latter was especially amazing - pictures don’t do it justice). Continues on to Ouzel Falls - be sure to take the side trail and get right up next to the falls. The water is absolutely gushing right now. Trail later opens up to great mountain views and is lined with wildflowers. You’ll come to a stretch that’s almost like a foresty meadow with lots of downed trees (maybe from a microburst?). This area is so green and beautiful. Lots of wildflowers Saw some deer and marmots here. Trail then climbs into some woods, crosses streams, etc. You’ll come out of the woods and have the last uphill push to the lake. There was still a small uphill snowfield to cross, but I had no trouble without poles or traction. The lake itself was stunning - again, pictures don’t do it justice. In all, the hike took around 5.5 hours. One of the prettiest hikes I’ve done in the park.

26 days ago

Amazing hike. It can’t be said enough to be prepared though. Only a few spots today where the trail was slushy and or still had snow on it. Wildlife abounds. Took our time and really enjoyed it. Started at 05:20 with a mostly empty parking lot. Finished and it was crazy busy. Clear skies and beat the crowds.

hiking
27 days ago

There was only one snow field to skirt around as of 6/20. Started just after 6 am and was back at the car by 11:30. Hiked a brisk pace, but stopped frequently for pictures and water. Bring layers! I had a fashion show on the trail! First shedding and then adding bit by bit. Gloves, warm hat, windbreaker strongly recommended. Highly recommend this hike.

hiking
27 days ago

Went up to Bluebird lake on Father's day the 17th and the trail was clear of snow for almost the entire hike. There were a few patches of snow that we had to go up on the final pitch to the lake. negotiated no problem with boots and poles. The hike was awesome and the lake was quite beautiful. I highly recommend if you have the stamina to do the whole 12.5 mile hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked in July and didn't think we wanted to get to the summit. Were so close decided to push to the top and got stuck near the top during a thunderstorm. Listen to the rangers and get below tree line by 1pm. Scary time running down the trail in rain and hail with lightning striking in the nearby mountains. Great views from the top, despite not staying too long to appreciate them!

Great Trail!!! definately not a walk in a park!! make sure to bring hiking poles.. you will need them

hiking
1 month ago

One of my absolute favorite summits in RMNP - though definitely not for the faint of heart. Right now the first mile is covered in snow (and ice in the morning), but once beyond timberline, it is perfectly clear. The majority of the hike is very exposed so prepare for the sun and strong winds. The trail isn’t always easy to follow at the end on the way up through the boulder field, but scramble through with the summit in sight. We started around 6am and round trip it took us around 4.5 hours not including stopping at the top. We were advised to start early to avoid afternoon storms since the exposure doesn’t lend itself well with lightning. Overall an awesome hike and would do it again in a heartbeat! One of the best of RMNP!

hiking
1 month ago

Only complaint i have was finding the trail head. If you want to summit snow mountain read this. You will first sadly need a YMCA pass or pay the 20 dollar day pass since a staff member made me turn around .3 miles up the trail since i didnt have a wristband. Turn onto. CR 53 to enter snow mountain ranch. Follow the signs to the bike shop and programs building. Im pretty sure its the first stop sign to the right if i remember. They will give you a map with instructions to the trailhead there but ill tell you anyway. Head south on cr 53 from the building and turn right on meadow ln. then make a left onto blue ridge road. The road curves south soon after that and then follow the signs south east to the reservoir. Park south of the reservoir by all the canoes and there is the trailhead. They tell you there are 3 peaks but i kept hiking up the ridge anyway and found out there are actually 5 peaks. I found the 5th peak sign and everything. Overall it was a great and easy hike before work and i recommend it. I didnt realize that there was a fee to be there so thats why its a lower review.

Another trail, no dogs??

Amazing trail. Loved the change in terrain from Ute Creek and wispy grasses to the aspen trees and meadows and eventually tundra at the alpine summit. While we could see Bison Peak easily at the end, the trail to the summit was not marked. Cairns marked the intersection with McCurdy but it appeared to indicate its path rather than Bison. Used Gaia app to ascend. Highly recommended. Would do again. Wonderful panoramic views of many notable peaks.

Lots of snow made it hard to stay on the trail to start so we postholed our way up. Once we got past the tree line it was completely dry though. Getting to that point is very difficult until the snow melts. Above the trees you have beautiful views and easy rolling trail that leads to the final scramble to the top. Though the views are good throughout the hike, they get exponentially better when you reach the summit.

backpacking
1 month ago

The trail was very well marked. This was a pretty hard hike. Initially, I started off at 0645. I was at the summit approx. 1130. There were two false summits. Keep to the left of them and it’s not all that bad. I do believe the trail is to the right, however it’s not difficult to find your own way. The mountain top was incredibly beautiful. The entire trail was dry, no snow at the top.

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