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very short steep hike. only took us 15 minutes to get to the lake. we ended up climbing up the rocks to the very top of the mountain which was worth the view!!

Walked this on 9/20. We hadn’t researched it so we didn’t know what to expect, but it was probably the highlight of our day on the Trail Ridge. It was incredibly windy and cold. We got to the top and enjoyed climbing over the rocks up to the Memorial index. On the way down we saw a snow storm roll in. I thought it was rain coming towards us but it was snow pellets. Near white out conditions for about 15 mins. On our way back down a coyote crossed the path in front us, which was a surprise. We waited out the snow storm in the car. Really recommend, but prepare for the wind!!

Had a wonderful morning hike to Lily Pad lake. It was easy to take my dog (leashed) and there were some moose in the first pond on the trail.

short hike great place to spend the day

hiking
3 days ago

Amazing views and we got to see moose who were out and about

This trail does get packed later into the day and holidays, so the earlier you go the better and there are two parking lots (north and south of the trail) that cost $5.00 cash to access. The trail head is in between the two lots. While I was there, there weren't many people on the trail and it was very peaceful. If you take the trail to access the lake just follow the main trail, don't veer right until you start to see the lake through the trees on your right hand side, then you can climb down to it using the paths.

The drive up to the trail head is beautiful in the fall, aspens cascade down both sides of the road (which has been newly paved at the time of writing this). The trail starts off wide with some loose rocks, but it is not difficult to hike and it's a short hike if you're just trying to make it to the lake itself. The main trail is nice with lots of foliage and boulders to rest on if you need to catch your breath due to altitude. Once you get to the lake the landscape becomes absolutely breath taking! While my husband I were there the water was unbelievably cold and it's colors were beautiful! Shallow parts of the lake were tan, but then others had a beautiful blue hue and it was completely clear!

If you want the hike to be a little more challenging (and a bit longer) hang a right and walk around the bank of the lake and go up towards the glacier. There is a trail to follow that goes up to the glacier and then up to the very top of the mountain itself. There is a warning sign saying it's not an official part of the trail, so take caution. There is wet ground and slippery rocks around due to the glacier and you may lose footing if you aren't careful or wearing proper shoes. My husband and I climbed up to the glacier bit and looking out over the lake and physically feeling the glacier was a wonderful experience. Pictures will be posted on here soon! Over all, this trail is easy, but you can make it more challenging and looking out over the scenery next to a glacier is not a bad way to spend your morning!

Not sure where the main trail head is, we walked 20 minutes over all rock. Tried to hike up next to a waterfall like stream and had to turn around. Terrain and climb was moderate to difficult with little or no payoff. Many people around us were really confused too-very disappointing.

took the family (Wife daughter 5 son 3) for their first hike. we had a great time. the waterfall is dried up at the moment but the lake was beautiful.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

Great easy, short hike for out of towners with a high reward. Extremely crowded which is to be expected for such an easy hike. I highly recommend continuing up to the glacier for a bit more of a challenge plus some great views.

we hiked this trail with our 3 and 5 year olds and it was great! easy enough for them to do without complaining. it took us about 25 minutes to get from the trailhead to the lake. the views from the top were beautiful! the actual hike is fine but not particularly scenic and quite a few people which is to be expected for a beautiful Saturday. we will definitely do this hike again!

nice short and easy trail with a well worth it view

hiking
7 days ago

Fun and quick trail. It’s a bit rocky and steep, but an easy trip to do for a nice view of the lake. The lake was pretty and there’s a good area to hangout and swim.

Absolutely gorgeous views for a relatively short hike. The incline makes you work a bit!

We snowshoed and it was a lovely hike, as described.

Very rocky but great trill

This was my introduction to Colorado. It was the perfect distance (for a guy coming from 700ft about sea level). Absolutely beautiful place and great for breaking in the lungs too!

The start of the trail was a little confusing. It’s mostly a rock path. Once you get close to the glacier it gets pretty steep. It’s a beautiful hike nonetheless!

hiking
10 days ago

This is a popular place. I used to live in Colorado and do this hike 3-4 times a year. In the early spring you get a lot of run off. Late July and Aug is the best and you can even take a dive into the lake. Great place for pictures as you summit to James Peak. In Feb/ March this is a great place to sled or ski. We have hiked with our children up to the lake and sled all the way back down to the parking lot.!
Go on a weekday or non holiday! every other day is busy and too crowded. Easy hike for all levels

11 days ago

Beautiful trail! As a lot of the reviews mention, go all the way to Lost Lake! It’s a half mile up after the end of the Hessie Trail.

Huge tip to not get lost: Download the map if you have Premium version of All Trails. If you just have the free version, keep the app open on your phone. When you get there, go to the trail on All Trails and click on the trail map. When you’re in the area, your phone will show a blue dot with your location on the map. Just follow the red line to stay on the trail. When you reach the end of the Hessie Trail, follow the dotted lines to Lost Lake.

When you get to the fork where you can either go left to go to Lost Lake, or go right to go on a different trail, make sure to take a right first, walk about a quarter mile til you get to a wooden bridge that goes across a stream. That valley over the bridge is gorgeous! We were originally going to just take a left to Lost Lake, but another hiker recommend we walk down to the valley first. After you check out the valley, turn around, go back the way you came, then go left when you get back to the fork to go to Lost Lake.

The hike itself isn’t hard, but it does get rocky after the Hessie Trail ends. The elevation is the only thing that makes it somewhat difficult, it’s at 9k feet. Other reviews said it’s probably not a good hike for out of towners, but I disagree. There were 6 year old kids on the trail and they were making it just fine. Just make sure to bring lots of water.

Also, about a quarter mile before you get to the end of the Hessie Trail you’ll hear a waterfall. Follow the sound, and it will take you to the beautiful stream that turns into a waterfall. It’s where the pictures of people in the water were taken on this trail description. Must see! Water is freezing, but very refreshing on a hot day.

First hike anywhere in the Rockies, first mountain hike in years. Parking was good but we arrived around 9:30 a.m. - Returned at 11:40 and the lot was jammed. Trail was fun, mostly rocky, a bit steep the way we went (to left and up, takes you to S. end of lake, off to the right at trailhead would take you to N. end of lake). Though rocky, not marked, it's a nice wide trail the way we went, fairly obvious and I was told more direct as it led to near side of lake.

I did this September 9th 2018 and it is NOT easy, lots of boulders and rocks to slip on but lots of boulders to rest on, when you get to the lake or when you see the lake and St Mary’s Glacier, it all makes it worth while.. just take your time and look around, life is beautiful : )

Trail was very busy, hard to find a spot to park on a very rocky parking lot. Very rocky trail with no clear markers on the trail, pretty good incline on the trail so I would mark it more moderate. Very pretty once you get to the lake and if you go further up it’s cool to see what’s left of the glacier. But again so many people!

I have hiked this 3 or 4 times now. A nice stretch of the legs, this out and back trail has some beautiful views. Go early, especially in warmer months, and avoid the crowds. Large parking lot accommodates large horse trailers for those lucky folks who have a horse lifestyle. Dogs on leash.

Had fun, very dog friendly. Would recommend a day that's not too hot.

No waterfall action, but the reservoir was beautiful!

Really good beginners trail little dry but nice

hiking
15 days ago

Great easy trail, all the elevation is at the trailhead. Nice pines and watch for the chipmunks.

I personally enjoyed the beautiful pools of West Thumb even more than the Grand Prismatic area. It features beautiful views of Yellowstone Lake, and the pool depths and colors are other-worldly. The trail offers a brochure that talks about each feature that can either be returned or they ask for a dollar donation.

Go at sunset to get a great view of Grand Prismatic and alpenglow covered mountains. The new overlook trail is a steep but short hike.

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