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beautiful trail and perfect weather on 1/14. 6-8 inches of snow on each side of the trail, moderately packed snow on the trail itself. used micro spikes pretty much all the way.

Great views. Did trail clockwise so went up the stairs which felt safer. Trail was snow covered and deep in places. No ice but should wear micro spikes

One of my favorite trails! So beautiful. We did the loop counter clockwise, it seems like it could have been a little easier to do it clockwise though.

great trail - went yesterday and still didn't need crampons or yak tracks

One of the most beautiful trail from Boulder! This hike was a pure joy :)

My dad and I hike this trail often and love it

Great trail. No snowshoes needed yet. Easy to follow and nice views.

Great option so close to Boulder, a very well maintained and marked trail. I arrived at 9am and was the 5th car in the parking lot. For the first couple miles I had the trail all to myself. When I left (around noon) the parking lot was almost full. I’d categorize this loop has moderate/moderate +, there are some good climbs but also a good mix of flat and downhill - plenty of time to regroup before the next incline :) Most of the trail is hard, packed dirt (currently) and the few slick spots are manageable without needing micro spikes. (*also this loop is a solid 8 miles)

hiking
20 days ago

This is a great winter hike. The trail is well marked, is a mix of forest and sunshine, has several bridge crossings (all well maintained) and a small view of snow capped mountains toward the end of the hike (if you’re doing the loop counterclockwise). We brought our boot spikes but never needed them. It was very quiet on a cold Saturday, we never heard hunting activity and the trail has good uphill without being exhausting.

Easy 14er. Views are amazing! Windy at top!

hiking
22 days ago

We did this hike in June, we started counter clockwise which was smart. The first two miles were pretty brutal with some boulders and elevation change. We pushed on and it became easier. Loved the views and would do it again. My friend and I are beginner hikers and we found this to be totally do-able as long as you are in shape. As always, I would recommend a lot of water and snacks along the way.

hiking
23 days ago

Awesome! But super cold at the top

the hike was beautiful, and the trail was mostly good. there were spots on the tail end of the trail (relative to the counter-clockwise loop) where spikes helped a lot. I saw an older man not using spikes and it was rough. do so at your own risk.

I enjoyed a very quiet hike on the Walker Ranch Loop, right up until the end, when I ran into folks starting from the other direction. It's a lovely trail that winds through a very pretty forest. Loved the hike. No snowshoes or spikes were needed but I did use poles the whole way just cos I felt like it. We were cautious about going over the steps but didn't put our spikes on. (Always carry spikes!) Cheers.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 9.22. Great for a first 14er but a bit to many people on my way up, especially at the summit. Took the east side of the mountain down to the lake and hooked up to the abyss trail to make a loop out off this (makes for a 10+ mile hike). Much more secluded just watch your step as you are hopping boulder to boulder on the way down the side of the mountain. One wrong move you'd go down pretty hard but that was the most fun part for me. Also easy to lose yourself in 6' tall and dense shrubbery. Had to just power through some sections to find the trail again on the abyss portion.

Great hike in the winter. We only needed our spikes for the stair section that takes you down to the river, which is the most exciting and beautiful part of the hike. Our dog loved it and the 8 miles felt more like 6 miles. The trail should be rated as moderate not hard. One note, the map above is not accurate towards the end of the loop if you do it counter clockwise. The trail has been updated and remapped for the last mile.

Love this hike, my fav! The change of scenery never gets boring.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a nice hike to do in the winter. It can be pretty crowded the rest of the year. Easy to follow trail even with some snow. There were a few icy patches and one stretch on the north side but the trail was doable without micro spikes. A couple of nice stretches near the river which was flowing very well right now. If you are on a bike keep in mind there is one spot where you will have to carry your bike either up or down a very steep staircase. No spectacular views but the woods and the meadows make for a nice hike. Keep your dog on a leash on this trail. They are very strict and rangers are out watching.

Amazing experience. I love challenging hikes.

Hiked 10/18 Gorgeous hike and the views are incredible! More difficult than we anticipated. Mileage is off, guessing closer to 12 miles. Sign for Black Cloud is tiny and faces the road, look right about 3/4 mile past Twin Peaks campground for a dirt road. Took us just over 5 1/2 hours to summit and coming down wasn’t quick as it’s really steep. Total RT was 9 hrs. Experienced cold, snow and high winds near summit - prepare for anything. Poles are helpful, spikes not needed. Lost the trail a few times but was easy to find again. Highly recommend if you take your time and start early.

Great hike & gorgeous views along the way as well as at the summit. Not too difficult if you are in good shape. Some ice in the beginning to middle of the trail that turned into slush on the way back down in the early afternoon (boots definitely got muddy on the way down). Doable with just hiking boots, but yaktrax and hiking poles are helpful if you have them. A good amount of snow as well as wind during the middle to end of the way up to the summit. Top of the summit was quite windy and only stayed up there for about 15 minutes due to this. Way back down was much easier if you had a hiking pole to help with the snow & ice, but again, doable without. Would recommend multiple layers, hats & gloves, handwarmers to put inside gloves (those were a huge plus!), as well as a ski mask or something to pull up and over most of your face for the way down, as the wind was almost unbearable at points. Bathrooms are available in the parking lot at the start of the trail. I recommend starting in the morning (8am or earlier) in order to avoid some of the snow & ice melt that turns the trail into mud on the way down.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike and views.. Not as challenging as some other 14ers but there was a good amount of snow and ice from the half way point up. If you want a more enjoyable hike definitely bring micro spikes and some walking poles. Poles aren't necessary but will make your hike easier. There is a false summit that leads to a bit of a scramble to actually summit. On the way down the spikes made descending much faster and easier. I took mine off about half way down as the weren't needed anymore. When you get about half way down all the morning ice and snow pretty much turns to mud.

Great hike. it may have been 34 at the trail head but half way to the summit the wind had to be 30+ mph. Deeper snow as you head up to the ridge. Definitely need poles or micro spikes.

hiking
2 months ago

Did it today. Beautiful weather. Started at 8:30am, summited at 10:45am. Only stayed up there for 10 minutes and i think it took me about an hour and thirty minutes to get back down.
I put on my spikes about half way up. The snow was nicely packed, only deep in a few spots. It was windy in a few spots but not bad for the most part.
It wasn’t easy due to the wind but not very difficult since it’s a fairly short hike and there is zero exposure.
My first Colorado 14er!

hiking
2 months ago

Really great trail - much of it along a little stream. It intersects with the Burro trail to provide some options. Very quiet - almost no other hikers or bikers on a Friday. There’s plenty of parking at the Nott Creek lot - so shouldn’t be too tough to park even on the weekend. This area of the park is open for hunting in the fall - so I didn’t see any deer, elk or moose (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). Trail was dry. No snow or ice yet.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this hike yesterday. Weather was 35 and sunny when we left the parking lot at 9:00. Beautiful hike. Beautiful day for the end of October. Nice and easy with a slight incline the first 2 miles. Packed snow on most of the trail. The last mile to the summit was kind of treacherous. Loose snow, very windy, cold. Yak tracks are a MUST. It was doable if you were set on doing a 14er in late Oct, but I were to do this hike again, I would go in August.

Pretty low traffic and amazing views. Didn’t see any wild life but the river was awesome. Along the river there are a few picnic tables.

hiking
2 months ago

We left the trailhead at 9:30 am. There trail was covered in packed snow from other hikers. We passed others hikers leaving that couldn't summit because of the wind but by the time we got up there at 1:15pm there was no wind and an eerie silence. Beautiful views all around. Going down was slippery but felt that the packed snow around the rocks cushioned our steps. We made it down in 2 hours.

Awesome summit views

Hiked this one today, it my was my first 14er but I’ve been living In Colorado and hike rather frequently. Got to the parking lot at 9am and found open parking. The hike is long and mainly flat for the first hour, then starts climbing slowly and ends with a rock scramble up the last few hundred feet to the summit. Lots of packed down snow and icy/ slippery patches going up made it feel like walking in sand, very tiring. Coming down extremely slippery. If you do this one in the snow you absolutely need poles and yak tracks. Took lots of breaks along the way and had a picnic at the top. Took us 7hours round trip. Overall beautiful views and not too Terrible, snow made things slightly more challenging.

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