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12/8/2018 - A good amount of ice on the trail, so I would recommend spikes at minimum, but a fresh dusting of snow left the trail impassable with about 0.7M to the end (~1.5ft of snow, and I only had spikes on). Most of the snow on the first half of the road had melted, so not ideal for XC skiing or snowmobiling anymore I’d imagine. Only option for parking is illegal street parking.

This is my favorite close by hike ❤️

on Ouzel Falls Trail

hiking
8 days ago

Quite possibly my favorite hike. The river was so full you could feel the power of the water rushing by. At points the water is overhead. Just amazing.

Late review. We went late summer 2017.

Beautiful views by the reservoir

I'd recommend snowshoes. I had Yaktrax and they worked fine for the first mile, then snow got deeper. Trail signage is not the best - bear hard right for Chicago Lakes trail, the sign is easy to miss. Lots of REI snowshoe tours on the weekend with big groups of people since RMNP is closed. Nice wind break from the trees along the trail.

hiking
10 days ago

Great winter hike! Did this one today, and there is a ton of snow, but we managed with just spikes. There were a lot of people snowshoeing and cross-country skiing -- good trail for that as well. The lake is completely frozen over, but the views are amazing.

hiking
10 days ago

Hiked the trail 1/5/19 with spikes. All the way to the lake, the snow on the trail is packed down and snowshoes aren't really necessary unless you want to hike off trail or maybe you're hiking the day after a snowfall. We hiked a little of the Devils Thumb trail from the junction of the Kings Lake trail and snowshoes would be handy there.

Parking is along the side of the road up to and just below the junction of Hessie Road and the 4th of July Road (which are closed). On a weekend day, get there by 8 am or earlier to avoid crowds and parking. We were done around 10:30 am and from the beginning of signage for roadside parking to the junction it was lined with cars, with still more people coming up and trying to find a park spot.

Hiked New Year’s Day, definitely needed my spikes, lots of ice but didn’t use my snowshoes, though I had them with. Views at the beginning are nice. People were walking out on the frozen reservoir. I had just got back from vacation in flat lands so I think elevation got to me a bit and couldn’t catch my breath to go all the way to Chicago lakes. I’ll be back to finish that but prob wouldn’t do just a hike to the reservoir again.

Did this hike on 1/4/2019 and was beautiful. Great snow hike. My girlfriend and I just had YakTrax and boots but saw many others with cross-country skis and snowshoes.

For those with Two-Wheel Drive cars: I have a Toyota Celica and made it to the parking just fine but word of advice would be to park sooner rather than later. At the end of the trail is a hill to turn around. I couldn’t make it up this hill due to snow and ice so I had to reverse my way out. Once you see a parking spot, take it.

Overall great trail and friendly people. The snow made it more of a moderate-hard trail mainly due to the steep grades and slippery snow.

Loved this trail. Easy to follow. Packed down nicely. Probably could’ve done just fine without snowshoes up until closer to the lake, but I was really thankful to have them.

Went last week. Could not get all the way to the trailhead by car, parked .7 miles down the road. the Snow was good but the trail is hard to find after about 1.5 miles from the car, so we didn’t get very far past the trailhead. My trail finding skills might be novice, and I didn’t feel like getting lost in the winter. But, I look forward to trying again either this winter or in the summer!

12/30/2018 We went here this past weekend and the snowfall was quite less than I had expected for this time of year. The hike was great with not too many people around. One trekking pole and some Yak Trax were all I really needed as the snow was well packed. Fresh snow just fell yesterday so next weekend we may attempt the entire Chicago Lakes Trail if weather permits.

One of my favorite hikes. IPW is fantastic.

hiking
14 days ago

Good views of falls, which aren't magnificent. Take the trail from Allenspark to avoid park closures.

Easy snowshoe with some decent views. Crowds and parking are kind of a drag.

hiking
14 days ago

The park was closed due to government shutdown so it added 5 miles to this hike. Beautiful trail. The hike to the trail was lovely. No part of the entire 10 miles was hard. Didn’t need spikes even and we went on 1/1/19 the day after fresh snow. The waterfall at the top was covered in snow. So not particularly scenic but the trail overall was wonderful. Peaceful winter beauty. Looking forward to spring to see the waterfalls.

UPDATED: Never found our car keys, but have already contacted the number below and they were not ours. Thank you all for checking in with me though! Happy 2019, and Hike On!

The snow was quite packed and I had no problem hiking this trail using micro spikes without snow shoes.

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked 12/15/18. Went with a friend and we both wore spikes and used poles. It was a gorgeous hike; I've hiked to Ouzel Falls in every season and it is gorgeous every single time. Do you know what an Ouzel is? Google it! And then you'll know what to look for while hiking. Enjoy the waterfalls. Consider extending your hike to Ouzel Lake. It is much quieter once you pass the falls and head to the lake and that's where you'll find your solitude on a sunny summer day so add that to your list, too. #52hikechallenge

My first snowshoeing experience! So much fun!

Easy hike! Only some patches of ice but I was fine without crampons. Super clean trail & easy trail to follow thats offleash for the pups!

Loved it. Great hike from beginning to end. Some icy patches, glad I had crampons on my bag. Next time, I’ll pack a lunch to enjoy along with the view from the top.

Awesome trail for hiking running or nature walking with your dog. Yesterday was very cold, came back with freezing hands and face. hand warmer and a scarf would it helped. Beautiful views specially when you get to the dam.

hiking
21 days ago

Hiked this last year. Great hike, well maintained, moderately trafficked.

Snow is very well packed on this route on 12/24. None of us required snowshoes or traction devices, although there were quite a few spots that some yaktraks would have been nice to have. Would recommend wearing those or some lightweight traction devices if you have them. Especially, if you’re going to walk out on the lake.

The road to the trailhead is well packed down. Practically plowed, but nonetheless we did see a FWD car get stuck in the ditch. I think any car (even RWD) with snow tires would have been ok. Otherwise, AWD OR 4x4 only. I had AWD with all terrains and it grabbed great.

Also, found a note, that someone found some car keys on 12/22 and left a phone number. Call 570-971-9335 if you believe they might be yours.

snowshoeing
23 days ago

Really simple and beautiful trail. I started with crampons and then was very happy I had snowshoes. Trail is super visible and saw a few people. I attempted to do a longer loop with devils thumb and woodland lake trails connections but the trail was lost and very very deep snow!

Hiked this today 12/23/18. Got to the trail head around 10 am. No problem parking and there were a couple more spots open. Also not a problem getting to the trailhead with AWD vehicle, depending on weather conditions I can see it being difficult because there are signs that say the road is not maintained so likely not plowed. I brought snow shoes but did not wear them. They haven't had any recent snow so the trail is pretty well traveled and packed. I did wear spikes and do recommend those since it is a bit icy in some spots. Beautiful a d peaceful hike, will definately be back in the summer as well!

Pretty nice hike. One of the busiest hikes I’ve been on though, and when I got to the lake there were people flying their drones overhead...pretty stupid. Parking is challenging, but the green buses are awesome at picking people up to bring them to the trailhead (not the 4WD actual trailhead). Nice wildflowers in the spring

One of my favorites, can’t go wrong in the Brainard Lake area really :) one thing I learned this year: Lake Isabelle serves as a reservoir, and at the beginning of September if gets largely drained. Still a beautiful hike with long lake, a waterfall, and happy doggos. Always see moose up in this area, and marmots and pika often chirp alongside the lake.

Great place to hike with the dog off leash. Crampons would have been useful today (mid December) at the higher elevation but we were okay without them. Recommend to dog owners.

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