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hiking
22 hours ago

This is one of the most enjoyable hikes I have ever done. Gorgeous views the whole way. Mild ascent to the first lake followed by a short (but steep) climb to the upper lakes. Hiked this trail on 9/15 to enjoy the fall colors.

We only hiked about 4.5 miles of this trail since we got on the road a little later than expected. Still a beautiful hike, is mostly a steep incline for the first couple miles so I would recommend being prepared for that. There’s a really pretty waterfall around mile 2(ish) off to the side. Would definitely like to go back and go backpacking!

This is my go-to hike for all my out of town visitors. Typically it is very crowded, but most people are courteous and friendly. Get an early start to get parking and be sure to bring water for the pup. Great views and a fun experience climbing the 143 stairs to the fire lookout tower and of course meeting Billy Ellis who has been stationed at the tower for over 33 summers!

I'm guessing the hard rating is based on the minor scrambling required to get to the upper lakes. Overall a great hike with 4 gorgeous lakes. Saw some people braving the cold water and had wished I packed some extra clothes to jump in as well. Even though there's a decent amount of traffic on the trail, it didn't feel overly crowded and everyone I encountered was friendly and courteous.

hiking
1 day ago

Majestic arch!!!

Beautiful hike! Long one with heavily trafficked trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful views.

hiking
1 day ago

The bluest blue water that blew my mind! Most of the hike was not too bad until the last 45min. Completed the loop rather than out and back.

This was such a good sunrise hike. We had a very large group but everyone was able to make it up and down the scramble at the lake. If you’re not in great shape, the elevation gain will be challenging especially getting closer to the top. It was also super windy for us and I felt that I was going to be pushed over the edge into the gorges below us (it was also really dark too).

hiking
1 day ago

First off I would rate this as moderately hard haha. Only because of the elevation gain. The scramble at the end up to see the lake isn’t bad either and definitely worth it ! Lovely spot to rest and take in the beauty of the mountains and the crystal lake . Absolutely gorgeous .

Loved this hike! Amazing views!
Only issue was our gps took us down a county road that was full of rocks and we had off road for 5 miles. We took another way out and it was fine. If your gps tries to take you down a county road and it looks rough don’t go down it, it only gets worse unless you have a Jeep or 4 wheel drive. We were coming from Colorado Springs.

The trail is (very) narrow (in some parts), the distance hiked is 6300 feet one way. With an elevation gain of 1000 feet, it puts the average grade (incline) at 16%. Due to the volume of people (500 an hour, on the trail) You'll be pulling over a lot to give others the right of way, or they'll be doing the same.

This hike consists of a trail, with a creek rushing down the mountainside. 7 Small bridges will help you zigzag your way to the top, and although the distance is short (1.2 miles) to the top, the grade makes the hike a challenge. With large rock steps, loose dirt and pebbles. It should take about an hour or two to the top, and your descent will be twice as fast. Take time to enjoy the scenery, it's not a race. Don't kid yourself, take enough water as the natural water isn't pure, bacteria thrives in it.

Many people take an extended break at the top. The water is crystal clear, but not safe to drink. The waterfall hitting Hanging Lake makes this a National Landmark and a great place to zone out. Loved it, please don't damage it with graffiti or trash.

this is a incredibly steep incline if you go via the mount sanitas trail route and not the valley. the valley offers no shade. the trail is steep and very rocky with a heck of a lot of stairs. there is no flat on this trail it is all up. parts of the trail were rock scrambling. dogs are welcome on leash and it's supposed to be a green tag trail. however every dog except mine were off leash and not all of them were voice recall trained. when I called out to people that my dog was not nice several had to run to grab their dogs. If you have a dog who has some leash aggression issues I would not take on this trail. many other trails in area with less dogs. this one has a lot and it was a Friday morning at 10 when we started!

great views at the top and was a great workout but I was in the mood for a moderate trail. I would have called this one difficult and I would have probably enjoyed it more had I been in the mood for a difficult trail that day

there is some shade offered the way of the mount sanitas trail and some nice stopping points to take pictures or chill.

The trail to the top is worth it, though it’s pretty short and soooo crowd. There is a few steep climbs along the way. I would go as early as possible and certainly not on the weekend. In may 2019, hikers will need a permit $ to hike this trail and moreover, they’ll have to take a shuttle to get to the trailhead.

Challenging but so beautiful! The scenery was incredible - glad I made it to the Colbert blue lake!!

Nice! Uphill 1st half then down way back. Plenty of shade along the way but no water for the doggo so bring some for them too! Great views from the lookout tower.

A must if you are in the area! The lake was unbelievably blue and beautiful! Felt like a straight up and straight down hike with only a very small portion that was flat. Seeing ice lake at the end makes every step you have taken worth it though!

Great views the entire time and will do this hike again when I'm back in Silverton.

hiking
3 days ago

The trip to the top is worth it! The views to Spouting Rock are neat where water coming through the rocks. The Hanging Lake’s water is clear as I have every scene anything.

Bring water and a snack or two and you will be fine.

Great trail. Not hard until you start up to the upper lake. I would note that there are two trails up to the upper lake. If you go between the lakes and up, it’s pretty steep and you will end up climbing a lot of boulders. You will not follow the trail on all trails. You’ll end up to the left of the trail but will still reach the lake. You have to go around the lower big lake a bit to reach the actual trail (the one you find on all trails). It’s steep (maybe not as bad as the other way). Both trails have been travels a bunch so marked.

Trail was pretty but not sure I would do it again. Long dirt rocky road to get to the trail. Don’t not necessarily need a high clearance vehicle or 4wd. HUGE parking lot so you don’t have to worry about getting a spot. Probably holds 50 cars.

3 days ago

It is worth it! It is not easy. It becomes Very steep and small tight switch backs. Don’t give up at Sentinal Pass. After this it’s kinda brutal because the pass is a treat too. It’s just a bit further and worth the entire stair master. A very rewarding hike. Great workout.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike. Excellent views. Moderate in difficulty. Wouldn’t consider it to be very hard. I would definitely do his hike again.

Great hike. Not for beginners. My husband and I (late 50s) took about an hour to hike to the top and about 40 minutes to descend. Beautiful view from the arch.

this was a great hike and it is steep and rocky but well worth it when you get to the top and see the beautiful view.

Beautiful hike worth the climb to the upper
Lake. Great hike to break for lunch at the halfway point.

Tough, short, rocky hike with beautiful views of the city and the valley. Watch your footing as the path is rocky with a lot of loose gravel. Pretty busy and I went at 10:30 am on a weekday. When you're done, splash your feet in the cool stream near the entrance.

T U F F. But worth it. Go early to avoid the crowds at the top, trail is fairly simple to follow except for when it’s not.

Love this hike. Arrive early to avoid the crowds. Change to reservation / shuttle system scheduled for May 2019 - limiting usage to 615 per day. A welcome change.

Check out spouting rock - unique and impressive - just a short additional distance.

backpacking
5 days ago

Extremely difficult but equally rewarding

My husband, dog, and I hiked this trail today. First things first, this trail is wayyyyyy more than advertised. We clocked it at almost 9 miles with our GPS watch. Besides that, Ice Lake was absolutely beautiful - blue and full of water. The scramble further to island lake had some sketchy spots that I would have loved to use trekking poles on. Island Lake itself wasn’t as pretty as Ice Lake but still cool I guess. The water was kind of green and not nearly as striking as the ice blue water.
As far as the trail goes, it starts out in a nice pine forest that goes in and out of sunny aspen meadows (some of the leaves already started turning yellow which was beautiful!). Finally you get to a clearing where it flattens out a little followed by a pretty long and difficult climb to Ice Lake. The scramble to Island lake was less than a mile.

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