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

Grand Lake Shorter Hikes Map

Hiked 3/14. Made it all the way up with boots and poles. Poles were a must or at least spikes as it's steep and slippery. The last mile I was sinking in the snow quite a bit so I actually put snowshoes on to get back down to the river bottom. Awesome winter hike!

Good hike! Did this one in mid March and the snow pack was decent. Used snowshoes the entire way and towards the top the snow got pretty deep. Definitely doable and worth the view!

Lots of snow. Need microspikes and snowshoes. It is a great workout as it is steep.

Spikes were sufficient until about a mile before the lakes

22 days ago

Beautiful snowshoe hike. Extremely well marked. Has a 10 to 15% grade for first mile. Mostly packed snow up to the hut. After the hut, trail not marked and mostly powder but easy to snowshoe. Incredible views.

Snowed all morning, but no wind. It was awesome. Most of the trail is good enough to walk on with hiking boots, snowshoes would have been extremely helpful, skis would have also been nice. I have neither snowshoes or skis so I didnt make it to the lakes, started post holing every step about 3/4 mile to the lakes so I turned back. Hey it was worth a shot.

1 month ago

So much powder! A steady incline, some parts steeper than others but the view was worth it. I wouldn’t recommend for beginner showshoers but a good challenging jaunt for intermediates. The parking is just past Berthoud Pass, directly off 40 and the trailhead is right there. No restrooms that I could see.

Very windy day, which wasn't too bad in the forest. The snow was pretty firmly packed on the trail. I used hiking boots most of the way without a problem, then switched to spikes about a mile - mile and half from the lakes, and then snowshoes for the last stretch. Unfortunately, the wind made hanging out by the lakes pretty miserable, so the trip was cut pretty short. Still gorgeous, though. Lots of skiers!

Completed 1/14, made it all the way up to the first lake with yaktrax/hiking boots. Last mile was definitely slow-going. Beautiful day, no wind. The trail was pretty obvious to follow.

Early morning hike. Surprisingly, the trail was well traveled and easily followed unlike other times. Once making the turn from Rollins Pass, snowshoes are a must. Always a great hike and take the time on some of the steep climbs.

***Get there early as the parking lot was 1/3 full at 8:30 and was full at 11:30. About 75% of people were skiers.

Wife picked this trail on the way up, without telling me it was rated hard/difficult haha. Got there, and only after the first mile or so I asked what the rating was, since the inclines were no joke, especially using snowshoes with 2-4ft snow the entire way. Finally got to the lakes, much too windy to actually see them, but still an accomplishment to get there. The trek down was fast and a ton of fun though.

Note: The snowshoes were a must to make it all the way to the lakes; the trail was not very packed down for the last mile and you would post hole the whole way if just wearing boots!

Made it to the lower lakes easily- the last push to upper crater lake was no joke with deep, soft snow and we turned around at about 10,800ft. Used spikes until the last mile up then switched to snow shoes for the rest. Perfect day with no wind!

A beautiful, relatively flat trail. I hiked without skis or snow shoes. Paths are worn enough. The loop shown isn’t totally navigable this time of year. I had to double back to find a used path across the river. Still a good trail!

Windy but beautiful. The trails are perfect for snowshoeing. It isn't for beginners.

Don't let the lack of snow on the drive in fool you. We went up today 1/9/18. The first 1.6ish miles you can get away with microspikes, yax or even just boots honestly. But if you go up the actual crater lakes trail, it gets pretty deep & steep once it splits off from the Rogers Pass trail. We were confused because two people we passed said they made it to the lakes in just spikes/yax, but we never saw their tracks. The snowshoe tracks eventually went off trail and eventually just dead-ended at an overlook. So we cut our own trail and it may not have been the best route, but we eventually wound up at the southwest most lake and circled back to the land between the two lower ones. Sorry if anyone is scratching their heads when they follow our footsteps. But also, you're welcome for us breaking trail. ;) haha. Never saw any tracks near the lakes so I have no idea where those other people went. It was a beautiful view & pretty snow, but slow going and challenging for sure.

Lost keys on trail today - Nissan key. A bit snowy for just boots. Would’ve been better with snowshoes. If anyone finds them please give me a call. 7272496099

Excellent hike. BEAUTIFUL views at the lake. Well worth the elevation gain. In the snow, definitely falls into the hard category, but seems like a moderate hike in dry conditions. Lots of snow here today. Nothing fresh. Spikes were very helpful. Would highly recommend them. Lots of snowshoers, but didn’t find it necessary. One or two points where I would’ve preferred them, but overall don’t see them as necessary for the hike in current conditions. Lakes were totally frozen over. Walked across them. Would love to go back in the summer.

cross country skiing
2 months ago

We took someone new to backcountry skiing. He is an intermediate/advanced skier downhill. He had a good time on this trail. I suggest taking it clockwise, because you go uphill through the more technical turns at the NE part of the trail. This trail follows mainly the flume trail and the creekside trail. The trail stays fairly interesting for something with low elevation change.

cross country skiing
2 months ago

Great for xc skiing. Generally good snow from Late December through March.

2 months ago

We snowshoed this a couple days after Christmas. Moderate traffic and plenty of snow. Views are worth the incline! Skiers and other hikers were great on the trails as well. Perfect for dogs and a quick hike.

2 months ago

Got up to the hut today. The first half mile is well-packed snow and it's ideal for snowshoeing. After that the trail is mostly fluffy powder and I sank in about a foot in a number of steps. It is easy to lose the trail and be sidetracked by all the new paths created by skiers. The view from the Broome Hut is worth the trek although there was some pretty serious wind up there today.

3 months ago

There was low snow when we visited in mid December so we just booted the whole way. A little harder closer to the top, but still beautiful!

3 months ago

A winter wonderland. I took the off-road route here and decided to go off the main trail a bit. Climbed the rocks that appeared once you are through the thick of the forest and was able to get to the top - terrific 360 views. I had snow boots on and hiked with really no problem (a little slick sometimes) but there were plenty of people snowshoeing and a few skiers as well. Will definitely be going back in the summer.

A little delayed in posting. Enjoyed this hike on a crisp September day. All other hikers clearly planned for the weather better than we did - there were very few hikers and most were on their way down as we went up. There were a few small patches of September snow, and it naturally got chillier as we climbed. Thankfully, the rain didn’t begin till we saw the lakes. Despite a chilly rain the entire descent, this was one of my favorite (maybe favorite) hikes. The sounds of the forest and babbling brook brought such a sense of calm that it was easy to forget the actual challenge of the trail.

Just did this. There was snow but it was fun. Have done in summer too. Good times!

Just hiked this today. I am a novice, so this trail was very difficult, especially near the end. It was also somewhat windy, and on the hike back I thought I had gone down the wrong trail because two small trees had fallen across the path while I was at the top, and I didn’t remember stepping over them on the way up. It got icy in the final quarter mile or so, but man was it worth the time. Most of the snow has melted, but be careful going from one lake to the other at the top—you can get your boots wet sinking in the remaining snow if you’re not careful. I recommend this hike: the views are beautiful!

Beautiful views.

Very nice hike through woods with an occasional nice view and three lakes at the end. Currently very snowy throughout most of the hike, snow packed and icy in spots. We made it with just hiking boots but extra traction would have been nice. I would agree that most of the hike is on the moderate side except for the last half mile push to the top lake. Right now the trail leading up top lake (which is not the actual trail, just a few footprints that everyone else followed) is straight up and very snowy and slippery. It is worth the push and the views are spectacular. This trail can get very crowded during the summer but it was pretty quit on this snowy fall day. Great hike overall.

Huge parking lot. Pretty crowded early on, but once you get up near the lakes, it thins out. Beautiful views of the lakes. Also a very peaceful spot for contemplation.

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