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Seemed more dry and desolate than most of the trails I've been on. Didn't see any water anywhere which was actually nice at times because of how quiet it got. Great views at the top.

Difficult but great view at the end!

Pack a ton of water. When you think you’ve packed enough, throw in another bottle. Beautiful views from lookout. 100% worth the hike.

Fabulous hike!!

Beautiful hike up to the top. VERY Rocky trails so make sure you have good ankle support. Also it's a long one, definitely bring snacks and lots of water.
**WARNING**
There is a male moose starting to make a home within the first mile of the trail, small blue and white flags to the right of the trail mark where a new trail is being created to avoid getting into his territory. The flags are difficult to see as you come up the trail but look carefully - they don't make the trail much longer and it keeps you safe from a defensive bull moose.

Beautiful hike!! It was long and got rough near the end, but the lake and cirque views are worth it!

Up to Cirque Meadows is very easy. The aspens are changed, making much of the path very colourful.
We were confused at first about the marked campsites which are farther up the trail past the meadow-the sites were nice, site 3 has a good view.
The rest of the way was tougher, and some places we lost the trail as it wound up the boulders.
The end views are breathtaking, and great photo opportunities. I plan on going again in June when the wildflowers are bloomed.

The summit trail was pretty tough, gravely rocks made it slippery. The incline is constant, with some good breaks through meadows.
The end view would be better in spring/early summer when the snow is still around in the distance.
Watch your dog’s paws-some might not be able to handle how rocky it is without boots.

hiking
2 months ago

Did the hike early September. Saw no one out or back from the fork with Cow Creek Trail. Moderate hike and well worth doing though the lake is a bit disappointing. If you do this trail from Cow Creek make sure you walk for couple hundred yards onto main Gem Lake Trail for great views. Took this 71 year old just over 4 hours so you can certainly give a try

mountain biking
2 months ago

A bit difficult going uphill on the bike unless you're good with super technical / steep climbs. Down hill was a blast tho. Only saw a couple other bikes on the trail, but it was a Monday morning so..

hiking
2 months ago

I did this trail yesterday and it was absolutely stunning. The hike up to the Cirque is relatively flat and I think would be doable by most people. It is lined with aspens so would be really pretty if you catch them in turning season. The trail is very diverse-aspens, then pines, some meadows, lots of small lakes, streams, and some waterfalls, wildflowers, berries, mushrooms...it was nice and cool as well. Not crowded. The lakes surrounded by peaks and snow were beautiful blue. I think it was more like 11.4 miles, and I was shocked that it went by so easily, mostly cause a lot of it is mostly flat.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is average compared to all of the amazing options Colorado offers but I'm always looking for somewhere new. We clocked 10 miles from Drake fire station. The hike is continuous up thru pine with occasional breaks for views w trail topping out at a rock cropping w views of RMNP. Saw 6 bow hunters on the trail. Why they have to be on recreational hiking trails is beyond me but I found it unsettling. Won't repeat this one.

hiking
2 months ago

I consider this a get right hike. This hike has everything without being too physically demanding. It has good flat parts, good inclines, a beautiful halfway turnaround spot at the Cirque Meadows, a high alpine lake, aspens, rivers, wild flowers.

If you have been on some rough hikes this will be perfect difficulty to get you right. We started at 8:00, reached Emmaline by 10:10, and were done by 12:45. A dip in the lake was cold but surprisingly refreshing.

This trail is actually 13 miles RT.
Also, it's important to note that 8 of those 13 miles are just STEEP inclines that consist of nothing but ankle breakers!

Enjoyable, short, and a good exercise. Close to the road in Gregory canyon, but pretty scenery.

The entire elevation gain is the 3ish miles closest to the lake, where the incline hits you like a wall! We found ourselves scrambling quite a few times up and around rock walls. The lake is underwhelming, not sure if the final climb was really worth it. The weather was beautiful though, and friendly hikers and packers that we passed along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike! There were meadows and thick forests! Only downside was there was no water, only some dried stream beds. We took the crosier rainbow trailhead that is 8.0 miles from US 34; very steep and wonderfully challenging. Would say the rainbow trail is difficult rather than moderate.

I've been hiking this trail for 45 years and enjoy it still.

So beautiful at the summit. So worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderfully peaceful and scenic hike. My friends and I saw not a sole on a beautiful day. Great views on top!

Went counter clockwise and boy it was tough. Trails are not well marked and accidentally went halfway up Gregory canyon again before realizing it. At least it was a nice scramble down. Overgrown with poison ivy everywhere. Long sleeves and pants are a good idea.

I took my dog on this hike and she loved it! Tons of little streams and different landscapes. The incline is a little difficult but if you take breaks along the way it is doable :)

I am really surprised to see all the positive reviews. Beautiful scenery up top but very dry so bring water, especially if you bring a dog. Also it’s a very steep ROUGH trail. The size of rocks on this trail make it frustrating to hike through. Too small to rock hop but large enough you can’t just walk through easily. I have heard that Signal Mtn is more enjoyable approaching through Pingree Park.

Amazing trail, great views and not very crowded. Currently there is a sign at the trailhead warning of a black bear siting that happened on July 18th, just a heads up. Also the directions are accurate, the trailhead starts up and over a berm to the right of the metal gate.

Absolutely gorgeous, went early and had the trail to ourselves. Wild flowers are in bloom and the waterfalls are flowing. Just amazing!

We started this hike at 7pm, did it clockwise (via Saddle Rock) and hiked in complete shade, as other reviewers suggested. It was pretty tough to start. I would say it was about 45 minutes to the top, but honestly, I didn’t realize we were at the top when we got there so I didn’t check my watch! If you go clockwise be sure to stop and take in the views on the ascent. Those are the best views of the beautiful mountain range. You don’t get a grand view at the top so stop and enjoy while you ascend. After reaching the highest point, the trail is a lovely walk through the woods mostly on a gradual downhill. Our total trip was just over 2 hours and we were in no particular rush. Very light traffic- only saw 6 other hikers.

Great hike with a dog lots of shade and water!

backpacking
4 months ago

Backpacked 2.5 in set up camp at the first campsite. Went on headed toward the lake and .3 mi from camp I encountered a large black bear. He was as startled as I was and ran off to the north. I headed back to camp and packed up and left. I did see a mother weasel carrying her baby and a whitetail buck on the return trip.

Long and steep. Went in late May and still had some snow drifts at the higher altitude. Not a lot of foot travel though! Went with my dog and it may have been a little overzealous of us. View at the peak was amazing though. Definitely difficult if you aren’t well versed in hiking or with the altitude. Take lots of snacks and lots of water. The upper part became very difficult to follow a trail and only marked by stone men so pay attention

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