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hiking
13 hours ago

Great trail! Beautiful lakes, wildflowers, wildlife and mountains. It’s a push to the final lake, and save food, water and energy for the final mile back to the trailhead because the hike down to the creek is tough to hike back up at the end of 10 miles! We started early to avoid the heat, but there were people headed out as we finished with one 12oz bottle of water! Please be prepared with at least a liter of water, electrolytes and snacks...we live in the mountains and we needed all these...flatlanders will really need them!

I’d say this is one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. I did this on a Wednesday afternoon (began hike at 12:30pm) and it took me about 4 hours after spending 45 minutes at the peak. I only saw a few people total which was great. I’d consider this more of a moderate hike not hard, because it’s only about 6 or so miles. But, there are tons of boulders and a nice scramble towards the peak. The water was amazing at the Final lake and I spent 10 minutes soaking in the ice bath with my dog.

Awesome trail. Pretty difficult unless you hike trails on the regular. Lots of wildlife everywhere as well. We hiked down from summit lake to the Chicago lakes.

Long and hard, but worth it. Camped at East Cross Creek. Woke up and hit the trail at 6:30am. Took me 4.5 hours to summit and 2.5 to come back down. Bouldering at the top is exhausting for the last 1/4 mile. Would highly recommend trekking poles to save your knees. Came back down and camped another night and hiked out the last three miles on the third day. Not my favorite 14er, but not the least favorite either.

Hiked this last week. Only saw one other person on the way up until the trail met with the one coming from 4th of July trail head. This review is for the part of the trail starts at rainbow lakes TH- way less crowded but it does add 4 miles. The trail was well maintained. Long with pretty steady elevation gain. Mostly hiking above tree line with gorgeous views. Windy on the way up. Definitely recommend. We started at 7 and were down around 1. We did not do the scramble up north Arapahoe peak but did see plenty of people up there.

I loved the hike. Only went as far as the reservoir because we started late. Go early to avoid the heat because you’ll need it for the incline areas. It was a “good” hard hike. The difficulty was due to the incline at altitudes of 10,800. But we’ll worth the challenge...you will say that at the end. Careful bringing dogs..,lots of rock I would believe to be hurtful on there pads.

Awesome trail with great hikers. 0 trash found and overall well maintained. I brought and out of town relative here for an overnight. couldn't have asked for more. Camped at the lower lakes then hiked the upper before breaking down camp for the hike down. it's got fair traffic but overall does not take away from the experience. I will definitely do this again in day hike format.

There is another listing on AllTrails that has this trail listed as MODERATE. It is not moderate but HARD. Great hike that will leave you feeling tired/sore but like you accomplished something! Very rocky trail (feet were sore after hiking on so much rock). Its a long hike and weather changes quickly. Take rain gear. Beautiful day when we started then black clouds and thunder rolled in. We hiked at a very rapid pace back down to treeline trying to get cover from rain since it looked like it was heading our way. Wind changed directions at last minute and rain missed us. We were lucky! Very exposed trail above treeline, can get very windy. I loved the adventure of this trail. Definitely not boring!

I did this trail to warm up for the Dead and Company shows in Boulder the following weekend. This trail had everything, low traffic (in the morning), a challenging climb, loads of flowers, and spectacular peaks towering over you. I climbed up the south ridge of the Crater Lake saddle to get up to a beautiful view of the next valley and then climbed on up to the continental divide. Hike exceeded my high expectations of hike in the Rockies.

hiking
4 days ago

Wow what gorgeous views!!! But the Hard rating on this was definitely deserved, mostly due to the last 2 miles or so are steep and technical. Gorgeous wildflowers and views the entire time, some tree coverage for the first mile- mile and a half. Definitely start early for parking and avoiding the afternoon storms!

We finally made out to James Peak Wilderness this weekend. The start of the hike was ok but the higher we got the prettier the views! The wildflowers were amazing along with the views. We will definitely go back and explore more.

Enjoyed the hike. The wildflowers are out in full force. Not to be outdone by the flowers, at the first lake 3 good sized fish decided to feed right where we were standing and one was courteous enough to stop and pose for the camera (see pic)! And, so the fish and flowers weren't to get all the glory while walking back a Weidemeyer's Admiral butterfly landed on the trail and showed off for the camera as well (pic posted too). There were quite a few people on the trail and even at the uppermost lake - so bummer for that. But we had the third lake all to ourselves. We had never hiked up the rock path before - previously traveling up the path that follows more along the major waterflow between the 2nd and 3rd lakes. We decided will stick with our original path - much!!!! prettier!!!!!!

backpacking
4 days ago

Some people say this hike isn't strenuous. Maybe with just a day pack it's not. If you plan on backpacking in, it's very strenuous. The views from the upper lake are incredible. Apparently, CO has a statewide fire ban. If you plan on staying the night, bring a gas burner (jet boil or similar). There was very little mud along the trail and the temps were 70ish during the day and low 40's over night. The first 1 mile is mostly downhill. The last 4 miles are uphill.

We stayed at the lower 2 Crater Lakes and oh my goodness it was busy! The lower lakes are ~4mi and 1500’ gain according to my GPS. We hiked to the upper lakes the next morning, another 700’ gain and 0.7miles. We had our full packs so it was a workout. The hiking poles for the descent were a must. There was quite a bit of talus to navigate.

Crater lakes is beautiful, the wildflowers are at peak right now. The campsite was nice, I was just in awe of how crowded it was (yes on a July weekend, should I be so surprised?!) All campers were respectful and tried to minimize impact. Everyone was using bear canisters or bear bags but with as many people and dogs were there that night, I didn’t think a bear would be wandering through.

backpacking
4 days ago

Great hike but tricky. Mega incline technical footing. Trail starts at the parking area near the lake. Walk around the lake by the picnic tables and ascend from there. It does not start at the visitors center mentioned below. Start early as it rains in the afternoon

This hike was INCREDIBLE! We camped at the trailhead Saturday night and took 11 hours to summit on Sunday, including a delicious hour-long respite at the top (and multiple breaks along the way). Started our hike just after 5 am and had the sunrise to warm us up on the first 1000 feet. Hiking poles were incredibly helpful with the 5600 feet of elevation gain. Layers, extra food and sugar, and tons of water are essential. We were 2 adults and a 40 pound dog and went through about 8 liters of water (though there is a lovely river valley about 2 hours in to the hike that allow for some filtration opportunities). Above treeline was very rocky, making for some sore knees and feet. Would highly recommend this hike, but not to first time 14er summiters, flatlanders, or those not in good shape.

Took my husband in his first backpack trip. Was well worth it as the flowers are in full bloom. Trail is well maintained. Rocky and lots of tree roots but the beauty makes up for it. We had perfect weather and were able to sleep under the stars.

Still my favorite hike in The Front Range even though it’s gotten more crowded over the past year. Did the hike on 7:14 and beautiful wildflowers all around the lakes! (There are three easily accessible! Don’t miss the first to the left behind the trees)

The initial part of the joint trail that serves a number of hikes is gentle although the quality of the trail can hit the feet in places!
The turn to the Crater lakes begins the fun/hurt, the gradient at times was a challenge for a 66 years young person who lives at sea level but for the young and locals the trip to the first lakes is moderate. Then you look up and see people trying to climb what seems like a vertical trail to the lakes beyond. That climb also includes scrambling over two areas of boulders, again easier for the younger hikers - overall a good trip especially if you manage the final climb - a great sense of achievement.

Wildflowers are amazing right now! Great hike in spite of hour or so of rain, sun broke out just in time. At first wasnt sure which path to take to get to upper lake because there are a few forks all at once... go with the "middle-ish" one that passes an abandoned camp stool, easy to follow after that.

It was so beautiful my eyes could barely stand it. Definitely do the final lake. It takes a scramble but it’s more like a playground of rocks.

One of my favorite local hikes! Nice because unlike some trails in Roosevelt National Forest there is an actual parking lot with ample parking. Even on the fourth of July we found parking without difficulty. It is heavily trafficked but everyone was polite and friendly and followed good trail etiuqette. If you don't do the final scramble I think this clocks in more like a moderate, personally.

This was such an incredible hike. Amazing views and a difficult trail that wasn’t too long. The hike to the upper lake is really hard, scrambly in places, but worthwhile. Not a lot of people went up that far and it was a great place to recharge before descending.

The first several miles run along a stream with lots of great waterfalls and plenty of shade. The first lake below Heart Lake has a great field of wild flowers and the views are amazing. Heart Lake is just as pretty, and well worth the hike. I would suggest going all the way to the Pass, as the views from the top are absolutely amazing. If you go to the right along the ridge, you can see Crater lake and both glacial lakes from above. There weren't as many people above Robert's Pass as below, but it never felt crowded.

hiking
11 days ago

I've done quite a few trails and this by far has to be my favorite! It's a challenging hike in some areas, especially if you decide to climb to the mountain peak at the end!

This trail has the best smells and the best views. So many water falls and babbling brooks!!Definitely bring bug spray and ready your legs for a rocky terrain. The views at Heart lake are definitely worth it!

hiking
11 days ago

Amazing hike. Ended up being around 11 miles with the climb to the top lake. Beautiful wildflowers all over, not too much elevation gain and it was spread out throughout the whole hike. Definitely recommend if you’re looking to get some miles in.

Incredible hike! The view at the top is absolutely stunning, we spent an hour staring in awe at the beauty. We took our 2 dogs with us and they had a great time hiking as well. 100% recommend!

hiking
12 days ago

Feature rich with blue glacial ponds, alpine lakes & waterfalls, lovely vistas, meadows filled with wildflowers. A fun scramble to finished it off. Fairly easy incline for most of trail. One of my favorite CO hikes to date!

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail with some climbing.

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