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This was an absolutely amazing hike! I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 for the following reasons:
1. The hike is listed as easy which it definitely was not, I would say it is more moderate and that is due to the trail being super rocky, picture a river that dried up, that’s what the trail was. But if u can handle that than it is totally worth going, the views r just spectacular all around you! I highly recommend continuing past the lake to where the snow is, the views only get better and it was not hard to hike up there. 2. We got a lil lost on the way back because the trail is not clearly marked, good thing we had the map from this app and a friendly person to point us in the right direction.

8 hours ago

8 hours ago

Great short hike to a beautiful view. Would highly recommend bringing visitors here to show, great views and easy enough up and down while truly being in the mountains. Definitely great for the dogs as well.

Family of 4 with an 11 and 13 year old. One of the best hikes we have ever done. Got there around 8 and got the last marking spot; so arrive early. Gorgeous trail with a gentle grade. Agree with others who recommend going up the left side of the falls. We tried to extend to Ouzel Lake, but the trail was hot and steep. Just too much.

off road driving
2 days ago

Very easy trail. Some narrow spots and switchbacks but very basic - great for beginners. We also camped to watch the meteor shower. Camping spots were plentiful. Really nice, open spaces. It was a great weekend trip!

What a gem so close to Denver and I-70! We hiked on a Sunday morning in August. I hadn’t expected all those wildflowers in August—so lovely! This was a short hike we planned for the morning-we had to travel on to Salida that same day, so the 3 of us allowed just enough time to hike at our own pace, touch the glacier, enjoy the views, and get back to the car within 3 hours. I am tempted to rate this as 5 stars except for: toward the top, so many hikers have made branching trails that we weren’t sure which path to take to reach the lake (a helpful hiker passing us said: don’t worry, they all lead to the lake); parking was really crowded with few options; and the main parking lot was really rocky and our “standard rental” car bottomed out and scratched the undercarriage (thankfully not noted by the rental people). The views from the toe of the glacier are just stunning, so we didn’t try to go higher up the rocky scree slope—that looked like it would take more time than we had.

Beautiful trail in Park. Falls, trees lots of boulders. Be aware no cell service in area so have a map if not familiar w roads. Drive up 7 from Lyons is gorgeous!

Great hike. Decently steep towards the top before the lake but gem lake is beautiful. Went further to balanced rock which was an 8 mile round trip and had some good views along the way. Would hike again!!

off road driving
3 days ago

Did this trail in a stock 18 tacoma off-road with no issues. Had been there a couple weeks back but had to turn back due to my friends 09 2wd jeep commander not being able to make the rut towards the beginning of the trail, but it looks like someone has filled in one side with some rocks since then. Overall a great trail, anyone with reasonable ground clearance and 4wd should be able to do it. Only gripe is it gets really busy on the weekends

off road driving
3 days ago

It was a nice, relatively easy drive with the family, I went up in a 4Runner with only a couple inches lift and never felt like I was close to scraping anything. Beautiful scenery. There were lots of people at the top, I counted 35 trucks up there on a Saturday around noon. I thnk calling this trail moderate is a bit much, it's slightly slightly more complicated than what I'd call easy.

off road driving
3 days ago

I loved this trail. It was a 5/10 difficulty. It basically has two “harder” obstacles at the very beginning but once you get past those it’s great.

The only reason it gets 4 stars is because it’s extremely crowded. There are hikers walking along the road and campers everywhere. If you’re looking to “get away” this isn’t the spot for you.

Part of the RMNP but start outside of park. Started at donut shop on the way to trail. Great donuts but made hiking a little tougher.

This hike is different than being in the RMNP, the rocks-boulder different shapes and sizes. Made for numerous little caves, which the 2 and 5 year old loved.

On the way up, get some good views of Estes park.

There is a actual toilet near the top. My 5 yr old loved this!!

Lake is very ok. Also leaches in the lake, so don't get all the way in. But plenty of exploring and climbing near the lake for the kids.

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5). 5 yr old hiked off and on.

The hike was really nice. The waterfall was okay though.

hiking
3 days ago

I went early so there weren't too many cars on the road up. Beautiful views!

Perfect for a quick, easy, dog-friendly day hike. There were a lot of great areas to pause and soak in the view or just hang out for a bit.

Took kids and dog. trail was lovely and shady on a hot day. no waterfall...only a trickle but climbing around was fun. the reservoir was beautiful and we stayed there an hour just enjoining the calmness.

on Jones Pass

off road driving
4 days ago

A great, straight forward trail with tremendous scenic beauty. Numerous places to pull off and enjoy the scenery, camp, or picnic. The trail is open all the way to the summit at about 12500 ft. Once you head down the back side, there's a cut off that trail called by some Crashed Truck Trail. There's a crashed Toyota 350 at the end of the trail. The trail is definitely not EASY and has a few sketchy parts. Don't attempt with a full sized truck!

Awesome ash trail! Bring $5 for parking

At over 12,000 feet not everyone would consider the uphill part of the trail easy. The views are spectacular. Of course there are too many people.

hiking
4 days ago

Great trail if you love water! The stream and various falls are all along the trail up to Ouzel Falls. At Ouzel, venture to the left to get up close to the falls ... find a good rock and enjoy the beauty. Instead of doing this as an out and back, we continued on past the falls, picked up the Wild Basin Trail and then at the Thunder Lake Trail junction turned right. This will take you past several campsites and connect back into the main trail. We really enjoyed this added section. (made the total distance a little over 6 miles) We arrived at 7:45 am and there were still 10+ parking spots left. Recommend getting there early to get ahead of the crowds.

hiking
4 days ago

A very scenic trail/road that follows a river most of the way up! It is a 4WD road so you may be passed by cars at times but don’t let stop you! If you drive it you miss all the beauty of the river and wildflowers (that are now in full bloom). Once to the first lake keep hiking to the top via a skinny path through the bushes to rise above the lake and see two more. This is a great place to take out of towners for epic views but you’ll need to breaks on the way up with the inclined road and steeper path to the top.

This is an easy but beautiful hike! We love taking our dog on this one!

We hiked this on the morning of 8/9/18, leaving the smaller parking lot at 8:45am. The trail to the lake is almost entirely rock; I’m guessing this was once a river bed, at least during the snow melt season in eons past. The lake, mountainside behind it, and the snowfield are stunning. We set off higher, and quickly lost the trail. There is a waterfall just below the glacier, and we ended up following some others up across the water below that - as in, through the water. This meant we were completely off the trail on the other side, but we stuck to other descriptions of staying to the right side of the glacier as we ascended. This was really tricky. We were just feet from the edge of the glacier, and the terrain is a mixture of scree and a variety of sizes of rock. Really slow going, lots of slipping on the scree. After about a half hour of this, we observed two people ahead of us walk across the snow (which eventually narrows to nothing as you proceed) and climb up the opposite side to a trail up there. We did likewise, and finally found ourselves on a real trail. Furthermore, at that height, we could see an actual trail on the side we’d been on, which wasn’t visible to us when we were lower. We continued on to see James Peak. It became obvious that unless we continued straight for an uncertain distance that all we would see was the top of the two mountains. At 2.20 miles from the start, we turned around. The trail we were then on was going to take us to the left side of the glacier, which then ends at the glacier, so we knew we had to cross back over and get on the real trail there. We skirted along the top of the snowfield, lots of scree there and steep, although not any long distance down. We got onto the actual trail, and picked our way down as there is still plenty of scree there too. We got back to the lake area, and found the official trail which, surprise, does not walk you directly through the waterfall stream. The rest was easy enough.

This is lengthy to let others know: 1) that the trail just up past the lake isn’t necessarily easy to find; 2) the trail farther up from the lake can be truly difficult to find (we saw several people ascending the way we’d gone); 3) there is no actual end point on this trail nor any “wow” view up higher; 4) so. much. shifting. scree, so be prepared for that.

We got to our car at noon, and the large parking lot appeared full as we drove past it. There were tons of people. It’s very popular.

AllTrails rates this as Easy. However, we have a book of hikes that rates it as Moderate. Our hike was a challenge, certainly not Easy.

off road driving
5 days ago

The Destination: Wonderful place for a picnic and/or camping. Beautiful serene lake at altitude. Water is too cold for recreational swimming, but good for fishing. Also, a kayak or paddle board would make for great exploring around the lake rim and up to the waterfall. The lake area doesn't offer much shade. Bring sunscreen, or a cover of some sort (umbrella, lean-to, overland-awning). Remember UV exposure hits harder up here.

The Trail: The trail is more of an access road than trail. Moderately trafficked by SUVS, Trucks, and ATV's. Hikers may not enjoy being passed by off-road vehicles (be courteous 4WD'ers). Trail is suitable for novice drivers and unmodified SUVS/Trucks with 4WD and a little ground clearance. Tire placement will be essential for stock vehicles. I would recommend 9 to 10 inches of ground clearance.

Pros: Easy to access. Great picnic spot. Open areas to play. Good easy hiking up form the loch.
Cons: Easy access (maybe too easy for preservation), Novice trails attract newer less courteous (uneducated) off-roaders and even tourist in rentals.

hiking
5 days ago

Very pleasant & fairly easy hike, mostly in the woods, past several nice waterfalls (Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades) and culminating at the best of the bunch, Ouzel Falls. Nice views of Longs towards the end as well. We went in the late afternoon and had no trouble finding parking at the Wild Basin trailhead or in navigating the dirt road in a 2WD. All in all, a great alternative to the Bear Lake craziness at RMNP.

hiking
5 days ago

This was our last RMNP hike ☹️. I wanted something easy (after having done a few days of alpine mountain hikes) and yet has good views. We also wanted to sleep in for the day so I have to avoid overly popular and crowded trails. This trail fits the bill.
We arrived close to 11am and was able to park at the trail head since the early birds are just done with their hikes then. Much nicer to be right at the trail head than have to park on the dirt road where you may end up walking close to 1 mile to get to the trail head.
Most of the trail is along the river which is very nice and you can hear the sound of waterfall which is very refreshing. The last mile is more technical. Once you get to the bridge at the base of Ouzel falls, I took the advise of other reviewers and walked to the left of the bridge and up an unmarked trail to get up close and next to the fall. Quite amazing. Since we started off late, we were caught in a bit of rain and slight hail but it was nothing too bad as the walk down was fairly easy and not technical.

Ran this in my stock 4Runner with BFG KO2’s with no problem at all. Great trail lots of camping. Make sure to bring your fly rod.

Was a pretty good workout for this Nebraska boy, but enjoyed the views and the little rain shower. Recommend the hike overall!

I loved the views this trail had to offer with the lake and surrounding mountains. I will say though that it was probably my least favorite trail to hike that I’ve done so far, and I’ve done many trails including 14ers. The reason I didn’t like this one was because of the gravel when you go to hike to the top of the glacier. There is way too much sliding around and stressing out trying to figure out the best place to put your feet without falling. I was not a huge fan of that. Other than that, it was really pretty, and if you hike to one of the trails to the right of the glacier, there were a ton of wildflowers and even more pretty views. I’m glad I did it, but I probably wouldn’t care to go back because of the rocks and sketchy trail to the top.

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