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Made it to the lower crater lakes. Started at 9am and was back at the parking lot by 12:30pm. The last mile is a good upwards climb. Snowshoes only needed up top when you're exploring the lakes. I had crampons on otherwise.

Snowshoed 1/12/19. Tracks were easy to follow. Fairly gradual for the first couple of miles. The last mile is pretty steep so be prepared for a climb

Made it to the upper lake on snowshoes! Lots of people on skis up to the lower lakes, but I'm not sure it would be possible for most to make it to upper lake on skis - very steep! You'll need one or the other to make it to the first lakes, started postholing about half a mile from them.

Started around 8:30, got back to the car around 4, with lots of breaks and trail breaking and route finding slowing us down. Absolutely worth the effort! So beautiful.

Wow for sure the best snowshoe I've done so far in Colorado. This trail was magical in the snow! Even the drive there was delightful. It can be hard to tell which tracks to follow, but if you keep following the signs for the trail you'll get to the lake eventually! If you go up a little beyond the lake it is heckin steep but the views are stunning and majestic this trail was the best.

snowshoed this trail 1/6/2019

beginning of trail needed just our micro spikes, transitioned to snowshoes a couple miles in. For a Sunday not busy at all..we arrived around 10am...plenty of parking. HIGHLY recommend some sort of GPS device...as you can follow 1 wrong set of snowshoe prints and add an extra mile (which made it waaaaay harder). we only went to the lower lakes as we were cold by that point. we plan on returning in the summer!

hiking
13 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.

Lost lake is absolutely beautiful with the mountains in the background! Highly recommend this hike for the views. Did this hike on 1/5/19 and arrived at 8:30am. Ran into about 5 groups of people on the way to the lake and 5 groups on the way back. Arrived back at the car around 10am and it was PACKED! So many people & dogs about to start the hike. So definitely recommend getting there early to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the trail. The snow is very packed down all the way to the lake, Snowshoes aren’t necessary but I would recommend yaktrax/spikes for traction. If you pass the lake and continue to the end of the trail snowshoes would be helpful (but not absolutely necessary) as the snow gets very deep! Note: the area to park is slightly before where AllTrails directs you too. You will walk about 0.4 miles on top of a partially frozen creek. There is a very thin and hidden path off to the side to avoid walking on the ice!

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.

One of my favorite hikes. IPW is fantastic.

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

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!

Super beautiful in the snow. The lake was frozen solid on new year's day!

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

My first snowshoeing experience! So much fun!

For being so close to Boulder, I was amazed that there were as few people on the trail as there were. Completed the hike on 12/30 and the snow was pretty good - it’s certainly possible to do this in spikes, but I switched out my spikes for snowshoes after about a quarter mile and had a much better experience that way. The views at the top are gorgeous and do not disappoint! Highly recommend.

Fun Jeep drive. Close to Denver but far away.

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
26 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

My husband and baby went snowshoeing here today; it's a long-shot, but he lost his car keys. Old beat up key for a Scion tC, safety pin, house key, and a silver metal flash drive. If anyone happens out there tomorrow and sees them, please let me know! RhiannonDean07 @ gmail

Attempted this over the weekend at the height of the snowfall. Did not complete the hike as the split in the trail to head to Crater Lakes was completely covered in snow. We followed some "fresh" prints but soon realized that even with GPS and a big ego/pride, it could not be completed with the current conditions. I do not think that this can be completed with confidence with new snowfall or even existing trail conditions. Beautiful otherwise with amazing views of the Moffat Tunnel and surrounding areas. Still giving it 5 stars as I know the end result is amazing but nature didnt allow for views this weekend.

*Use extra caution during snow storms when entering/leaving the road on the trail. The snow gets high enough to not visibility to the edges of the road. I lost control of my vehicle and luckily, it took some digging and persistence to get out. Just be extra careful during the winter months even if you have good tires and all wheel drive.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

A little tough getting from parking to trail. Good snowpack, could get by with spikes.

Beautiful with the fresh snowfall!

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Today the trail was packed, didn't need snowshoes until that last 1/2 mile after turnoff for Lost Lake. Most of the hike was shielded from wind before getting to the lake. Super gusty today so not a fun afternoon to linger at Lost lake, but saw a few pretty views while there. It's a fun and easy to moderate level snowshoe trail.

Loved this hike! We went 11/12 and it was super snowy! A lot of people had snow shoes but our spikes worked just fine. Saw 3 large moose on the trail! You have to hike about a mile from your car to the trail head, so factor that in! Also, there was a frozen stream you could hike, however with our spikes it was a little sketchy. If you don’t want to hike the stream there is a trail to the right of the stream that goes through the woods in order to get you to the trailhead.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

This was a beautiful hike that had a ton of snow today. It was a gorgeous day out and I cannot wait to do this hike again. Heads up, the road to the trailhead was snowed in and we had to walk the rest of the way.

Beautiful trail but as previous reviewer mentioned, at some point near the end, the foot path in the snow deviates from the actual trail. I had a GPS with me so was able to figure this out (coupled with clues based on the trail just not seeming right). We never actually made it to the lakes but the hike was still beautiful. I would say if you don’t have a GPS, be careful as just following the footprints in the snow isn’t actually the trail & gets a bit sketchy.

Trail is all snow, most packed by skiers. Final ~1/4 mile to the lower lake is unpacked snow (unless we took a wrong turn, we were definitely off trail on deep snow following footprints).Great hike but with the current conditions if you don’t have snowshoes or skis you won’t make it all the way up.

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