Explore Engagement - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
12 hours ago

This trail felt like walking through a fairy tail. Just too perfect. We arrived at 4:30, after the crowds were leaving; but the trail was still swamped with people. Completely worth the crowds. Just magical.

beautiful, moderate hike, very crowded on the weekends. recommend arriving at trailhead before 730am. diamond lake has plenty of space for the masses but is busy by 930am. recommended!

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike! Definitely not too difficult... fairly trafficked on the weekend as of you approach the Lake. Lots of fun waterfalls and little features along the way.... If you’re doing this on a weekend definitely make it to the trail head by 7-7:15AM or you’ll be in a jam to find parking! We made it at 8 and parked about a half mile down!

Vraiment beau paysage !!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful trail. Definitely arrive by 7:30 am to avoid heavy traffic. If you are not an early riser and always lucky, arrive around 10 am to take the early birds' spots.

Awesome! Incredible views. We camped in the Boulder fields. We booked months in advance, heads up! Morning hikers will wake you (we had some bozos playing music at 4AM hiking through camp, LNT is more than picking up garbage). Watch out for slick rocks if it rains. There were multiple water sources available. It is a popular trail. Be careful and follow the trail markers.

3 days ago

Did this on 7/23. Parked at 3:00 AM and was only headlamp I could see on the trail above tree line. There were several cars in the lot and many Long’s Peak hikers. Very windy and steep then when trail splits to Chasm it gets much easier. Views were breathtaking and this is one of my favorite hikes of all time. Add this one to your list and do it. Sunrise on Long’s was worth it all.

Beautiful scenery but there are better ones than this lake.

hiking
3 days ago

What a great way to get away into the mountains fast! We drove from Carbondale in the morning on a Wednesday in late August. The 3 of us had the full spectrum of hiking experience, so we hiked to the pace of our slowest friend—and we had a great hike! We parked at the hairpin turn (the upper trailhead) that you encounter before Independence Pass—plenty of parking there and it’s a paved surface. So we did the hike counter-clockwise and reached Independence Lake after 2 hours of very slow hiking. My friend has a heart condition, so we’re happy she could come so far! We hiked to the saddle above the lake and stopped for a half hour as we watched a herd of mountain goats approach and pass us on the trail. We decided to turn back to the car so our friend could rest but my athletic husband decided to trail run the rest of the loop (so he continued on past Lost Man Lake). So we split up and by the time I reached the parking lot for the Lost Man Lake Campground, he was already there (albeit very sweaty). I’m posting this long narrative hoping it shows just how awesome of a trail this is—a short morning hike, a trail run loop, a picnic spot, wildlife viewing, wildflowers even in late August, a camping option, clearly marked trail, and easy access.

My entire body feels like I got hit by a truck. Type 3 fun for sure. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before beginning your trek, though it’s really not as sketchy as others say it is, just be aware.

hiking
4 days ago

It's worth the uphill grade to see Emerald Lake. Very pretty and attainable.

This hike without other factors should be a 5. Three great hikes in a short hike. But the amount of people on this trail just ruins it. Started at 830 and already way too late.

Once you get the lakes don't find a place to sit down immediately as other do. Explore around the lake to find some solitude.

Really want to do this hike again but starting at 530 am.

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5). Had hiking carrier for them but they also took turns hiking.

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful hike despite all the people.

hiking
5 days ago

Four lakes along the trail. There are all beautiful. My favorite is the dream lake. I went there in summer and it's so cool. Imagine How I was happy as I went there from south Arizona!

hiking
5 days ago

Easy trail. Beautiful view of lake

hiking
6 days ago

Second time doing this hike. We got to trailhead at 6 am. Parking lots was full but I parked on the side along the entrance so didn’t have to park down the road. We got to lake at 9am. So took us 3 hrs to get there with minimal breaks. It was sunny and no clouds in the sky. Couldn’t hAve asked for a more perfect weather. There’s definitely an incline and last half mile requires scrambling up rocks but it’s so worth it!! One the best and moderate trails to do!

Gorgeous scenery. Went in early August and it was like something out of a fairytale. Great hike for all ages! If you’re up for a beautiful 9+ miles I recommend parking at Bierstadt trailhead and taking the shuttle up to Emerald Lake trail, hike to Emerald Lake and back, then take the trail to Bear Lake, hike from Bear to Bierstadt, then return to your vehicle. Amazing journey! Enjoy!!

hiking
6 days ago

Absolutely beautiful - one of the best, if not the best lake hike in Colorado!

We arrived 6am Wed. Parking lot was full. We parked 1/4 mile down the road from the trailhead.

The trail runs 8.4 miles roundtrip per Rocky Mtn Natl park website. It is a moderate hike, IMO (some will find it easy, some hard, depending on conditioning). The final climb to the lake is a steep rock scramble, under 0.2 miles. This portion of the trail is generally intuitive and partially marked by cairns. If you can't ascend, you'll miss the lake but still be treated to the majesty and splendor that lies before you.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE respect the mountain and weather. I saw one person who had no water or backpack, and people hiking in sandals and one in overalls. If the weather holds, you'll be ok. But cotton is the worst thing you can be wearing if you get wet. Rain means windy and temps in the 40s, or lower.

Be prepared, that includes but not limited to, hiking shoes, plenty of water, food, trail mix, energy bars, rain gear, sunscreen, jacket. Enjoy!

Amazing climb, I’m 61 years old, have been doing CrossFit for three years and still got my butt kicked by this hike. This was one of the most exhilarating and foolish things I’ve done in my life (but truly rewarding). The weather was perfect. Don’t forget when you get down, you still have a six mile hike back to the car! Acclimate for a week, we went up after just 48 hours in Estes. Call me crazy, but I would do it again!

hiking
7 days ago

Standard Keyhole Route

I did this Wednesday, 8/8/18, from the Longs Peak Trailhead. I arrived in the lot around 2:20am and started at 2:31. There were probably 8 parking spots left.

As others have said, it's a pretty straightforward hike on a well maintained trail to the Boulderfield. Once to the Boulderfield (about 5am) I stopped to use the privy (two there, looked like they were building two more). The Boulderfield is well marked with cairns - even in dawn lighting conditions I was able to see cairns. I joined a handful of others in the lighting shelter atop the Boulderfield to wait on a little more light (and eat, change layers from jacket to vest).

I went through the Keyhole around 6am. It's where the real work starts. But seriously. It's no joke beyond the Keyhole - the hard work and sketchy-ness is just beginning. And it's both hard and sketchy. About the sketch aspect of Longs...listen to yourself - if you're too scared, turn around! But I was able to summit because I mentally focused on the next immediate challenge rather than the 100x challenges beyond (some of which you can see). I think people pysch themselves out by getting overwhelmed by all the impending difficulties.

I summited around 8:15am, spent about 15 minutes at summit, and was back to my car at 12:40pm-ish.

A few extra notes/thoughts:
-Per my GAIA GPS app: 13.93 miles, 10:06 total time, 4,871' ascent
-This is NOT a hike! It's not a good first 14er or one to take lightly. I'm serious - a slight mistake after the Keyhole can seriously injure or kill you (or someone else).
-Water. I drink a lot of water and went through 3.5 liters on ascent. I filtered water in the Boulderfield on the descent.
-Helmet. I'd estimate 90% of people don't wear one. I didn't (because I don't own one) but I'm not gonna lie - I wish I would've had one. Falling rocks/boulders would've just been one less worry in the Trough.
-Do others around you in the Trough a solid. If you cause a rock/boulder to come loose yell "rock" so those below you can be aware.
-I was glad to have a pair of light jogger type gloves for after the Keyhole. It's a little chilly in the shade but the rocks are cold and you'll be using your hands a lot!

on Lost Man Trail

hiking
7 days ago

My favorite hike! Majestic views with lovely lakeside picnic spots. Makes for a wonderful day in the mountains. Two-car
shuttle is perfect with starting point at Linkin Lake/Lost Man TH and second car awaiting at Lost Man Campground/TH below:)

8 days ago

This is definitely not a moderate trail. There's an extended area of narrow trail and you have to do some scrambling that's actually climbing. It's beautiful and challenging!

hiking
8 days ago

This and Mt Ida are my favorite RMNP trails. Really amazing and spectacular. Parking lot was full by 8:15am. We parked about 1/4 mile down the side of the road which isn't too bad. We had perfect weather with clear skies. No dark ominous clouds. Rangers were making trail improvements on a segment of the trail. Turns out they use horses to carry logs up.
Steady incline throughout entire trail with gorgeous view once above tree line. There is excellent view of Long Peaks about 1 mile out where there is also the first privy stop. Great place to take a break. Then the trail flattens a bit along a narrow path by the side of mountain with view of waterfall. The trail crosses on top of that small waterfall. At the base of Chasm lake, there is another privy stop. The last 0.1 mile was a bit of scramble up the rocks to get to Chasm lake. It was steep but that was also quite fun especially knowing that the lake is just above on the other side. Well worth the last bit of scramble.
Took us a little over 3hr to get up (with plenty time to rest and take pictures and absorb the surrounding scenery) and a bit over 2 hrs to get down. We spent a good 40 min by lake to have lunch and soak up the beautiful scenery. Highly recommend.

Beautiful hike. We saw some elk, cut throat trout, whitetail deer.

8 days ago

Amazing hike, started at 4am and got to chasm lake by 7am. Hike is pretty strenuous for someone from the flatland. Overall amazing views and would do this hike over and over again!

hiking
9 days ago

Being widely regarded as one of the best destinations in RMNP cuts both ways. On the one hand, Emerald Lake is absolutely gorgeous and well worth the fairly modest hike. On the other hand, the trail and lake are packed with people from roughly 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The number of idiotic parents letting their kids feed the animals at the end was particularly distressing (animals get sick, kids risk getting plague or tularemia, etc.). I gave this four stars because it's a 3/5 most of the day, unfortunately, and a 6/5 when you have the place more or less to yourself.

9 days ago

Simply spectacular!

Beautiful.

9 days ago

Since the afternoon thunderstorm did not happen, I took shuttle from Estes Park at 3:50p and arrived at Bear lake trail head by 4:30pm. There was only another couple in the shuttle. Shuttles heading down, on the other hand, were all packed with hikers.
It was a good time to hike up as not many people were heading up the trail then, whereas lots of people were heading down. Lots of little kids on the trail too. By the time I came down at 6pm the crowd was definitely thinning out.
I gave it 4 star due to the crowd. But hike itself was very nice with some nice views and easy climb with lots of stairs.

9 days ago

Started this hike at 7:25 this morning and finished around 2. Parking lot was full so be prepared. Used this as our practice for Longs Peak and I would rate this hike as hard, not moderate. First portion isn’t difficult. Once you get past the small boulder field and on the actual trail for Chasm it contains some pretty narrow areas but with great views. Some scrabbling is required to get up to the lake and that part of the trail isn’t marked very well. Very easy to get lost in that area. Have plenty of water and sunscreen because that sun can be very hot above tree line. Highly recommend using hiking polls too, I’m 20 years old and an athlete but the polls saved my legs a ton.

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