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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.

Amazing hike! We took our sleds and had a blast.

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.

Great hike for a bunch of us flatlanders (we are from RI)! Gorgeous day and views were awesome. Last 1/3 of hike up was in snow which made it challenging as well as the thrill of sliding down a few steep patches. Have driven by so many times; it was great to finally hike to the top.

Gorgeous hike! I would suggest trekking poles if anything, and snow shoes would help, last half mile/mile is less packed down and you will definitely fall in a bit! Speaking from experience!

hiking
6 days ago

Hard to say the actual length of trail as there are loops and tunnels leading off the main trail. We parked at a car at the top and bottom and walked all the way down from the top. Beautiful and full of history, much of the trail buries old track. Neat experience for sure

Question:
Is this trail accessible/recommended in the winter for snowshoeing?

snowshoeing
8 days ago

Hard packed to split. Floatation was ideal after as postholing was unpredictable.

snowshoeing
9 days ago

Pretty trail but not enough snow right now. The trail was groomed so much that we had to take our snowshoes off and hike instead.

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!

As another review stated, snowshoes weren’t necessary until the split. The trail is packed hard and wide. Lots of people and off-leash dogs (most under control and near their owners, some not. Off-leash is allowed here. ). Beautiful scenery on both ends of the split in the trail!

Did this hike on 12/28/18. Snow shoes not necessary for the first mile and a half. After that, they aren’t necessary but would be helpful. Snow is pretty deep after the split in the trail. We arrived around 9:15am and only saw a few people on the way out, everyone was on snow shoes or back country skiing/boarding. Got back to the parking lot around 11am and it was busy. Lots of off leash dogs running around. Absolutely amazing views, definitely recommend this hike!!

Fun hike. A bit of light scrambling to get to the lake - numerous social trails (so pay attention to find your way back down easily). Parking fills up early.

snowshoeing
16 days ago

Went snowshoeing here on 12/29/18 and loved it. No super steep slopes, not crowded, 4 to 5 ft of snow (powder as you get farther along). Only challenging part of trail is the distance since the road leading to the trailhead is closed it adds about 2 miles one way.

Have done this a few times in the past month, not the entire length, just a few miles out and back. Beautiful and peaceful trail! The beginning is a little steep but generally after that point it’s pretty flat. Heavily wooded in some parts and trail narrows as it goes deeper into the forest. Planning to come back once more in the winter to do the entire thing then probably again in the summer to see how the trail differs.

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.

Terrific hike! Beautiful views...highly recommend!

This trail is our favorite of all time - so dynamic. From lakes to a smooth ascent over the Divide to the High Lonesome trail and the incredible reward of King Lake, it truly is awe inspiring. We wandered around a bit and ended up closer to 20.0 miles but still completed before sundown. Be sure to bring lots of water and fuel as high lonesome trail is exposed and a long stretch of the hike.

This is an incredible trail -- but in the winter, it was TOUGH! We went today (12/18/18), and the entire trail was covered with snow. The first 2 miles, which we had parked at the entrance to Quandary Trail and had to walk to the Gulch trail, was fairly easy and very flat. Then, to the lower falls, was 1 mile, and it was extremely hard. We had hiking boots, but the snow was about 3-4 feet deep. Thankfully, it was pretty compacted down, but we kept sinking in every other step. The views were spectacular, which is why it's absolutely worth 5 stars. I would not otherwise recommend in the winter, unless you don't mind sinking in to the level of your knee!! Wish we could have gone to see the waterfalls, but sadly, the trail was so covered with snow that I wasn't able to continue.

Very pretty. We did it the weekend after Thanksgiving and there was plenty of snow. It was very busy midday. It was not very strenuous and a great first snowshoe for my out-of-town family.

Absolutely beautiful. Steady-ish incline, but not too challenging for any beginner hikers or out of town guests. Take it at pace for a more challenging hike for anyone. Views are amazing the entire way, but especially at the end when you get to the split of the trail, to either head to the old mining cabins for spectacular views at the base of the mountain, or up the extra steeeeep leg for an additional .5 mile of upward switchbacks for another amazing view over the ridge.

Packed snow trail to the cabins and great views for the flatlanders.

Hard packed snow up to the mining camp. Could have walked with boots/spikes. But we snowshoed for fun and for the exercise. Plenty of snow for breaking a new trail in the cirque area. Beautiful, sunny day. Great place for awesome pictures!

I really enjoyed this hike, the views were wonderful

Great hike... but do not leave valuables in car!! Notorious for car break ins....happened to me a few weeks ago.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 10/27. missed the beautiful larch colors, but was still an amazing hike. Breathtaking views. Note....drove past trailhead was looking for NF-600. thinking it would be marked as such. It is actually at the Rainy Pass rest stop area.

Awesome trail. Love my AT APP.

Beautiful in the fall when the mountains are covered in snow. Not too much elevation change and you get big views for a moderate amount of effort. Definitely heavily trafficked on the weekend though!

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