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on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
1 day ago

At points it feels like endless scrambling through small, loose rocks. We joked that it was like hiking on the moon! Still a fun trail with pretty views at the end (although the views would be better if there was water in the lake!).

Beautiful views! Went in early October and it was freezing. There was snow and ice on the trail which made it a little more difficult. In the end if you aren’t a master hiker, taking rest stops along the way to take in the sceneries will get you through it.

Beautiful foliage! Definitely recommend the trail to crater Lake. I hiked with two dogs by myself and do not recommend hiking this narrow trail with two dogs. It was rainy, muddy, and slippery. At crater lake it was sleeting and cold. The lake was not dry as the post from last week said although it was cloudy and views of the mountains were not good..

on Thomas Lakes Trail

hiking
12 days ago

Nice drive to the trail head, great scenery all the way through.
trail is nice but gets a lil difficult in certain areas...(inclines) but if u tread through and make it to the top it is exactly what u expect pure awesomeness.... Enjoyed every min of the 2.5 hr trex up.

on Mount Sopris Trail

hiking
12 days ago

Awesome hike. Enjoyed the scenic views and workout. We are from sea level, to 10k elevation was a kick in the chest. Lakes were pretty, but at the end of summer, so obviously low. Fishing was unsuccessful, but had a great time. Would definitely do it again.

hiking
14 days ago

Maroon Bells is absolutely breathtaking with the aspen tree fall foliage. This was definitely a moderate hike, it was steep most the way up and very rocky. I recommend good hiking shoes with grip due too many loose and slippery rocks. I had to stop and take a quick breather about 3-4 times on the way up, however, I’m from sea level and have only been in Colorado for 2 months. Took just over an hour out and maybe 30 minutes back. Overall a good hike minus the heavy traffic on a narrow trail along with multiple people blasting music on their cell speakers along the way. If it’s solitude you’re looking for you won’t find it here. Just gorgeous scenery.

Great hike! Once we were above the tree line, the wind was horrible. Bring layers and hats for the summit.

It is stunning scenic trail with the foliage. The lake is empty now but the scene does not disappoint

August 2009. Amazing beautiful trail

hiking
19 days ago

Definitely recommend continuing the hike beyond Maroon Lake for additional sights. It is a rocky trail with some steeper inclines, and, I will admit, at one point I did get turned around on the trail. The trail is more heavily trafficked once the shuttles start dropping people off at 8:00AM. Even though Crater Lake was dry when I went, the autumn colors were fantastic!

hiking
19 days ago

Somewhat difficult if not in shape or lowlander. Views were gorgeous south pines and aspens. 2 areas of scree to maneuver but just take your time and don't rush. Remember to start down before sun starts to set for light on the way down.

camping
20 days ago

It is difficult getting up there and easy coming back. The Lake is dry currently.

Nice easy hike up to Crater Lake. The lake is dry but amazing colors of the Aspens all the way up.

hiking
21 days ago

I did this hike a week ago with my friend and our two dogs, a Lab and a Sheppard. We got started shortly after the sun came upon the Bells, mostly to start the hike before the trail got too crowded (it was a Monday) it was so beautiful with most of the aspens in full color. Our dogs did fine on the terrain and yes, some parts were very rocky but wasn’t an issue for any of us. We got to Crater Lake which we knew was dry, but it was a nice spot to sit for a bit and have some snacks before heading back. We encountered ALOT more people coming up the trail, especially as we were almost at the end. Good move on our part to start early. Would have given 5 stars if the lake wasn’t dry

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful! Definitely a heavily trafficked trail. While there was no water in the lake, we knew that ahead of time. The trees are GORGEOUS right now. Moderate is a very accurate description for this trail. We plan to do this trail again after it opens next year!

At 530am, I was stopped by the rangers and told that the overnight parking was full. They directed me to park at Aspen Highlands. On Saturday and Sunday, parking at Aspen Highlands Parking lot is: 0-3 hours $10, 3-8 hours $15, 8+hours $25.

Long line to buy bus tickets to trailhead. Would recommend buying them the night before to skip the ticket line. I did see some call the local taxi because they didn’t want to wait until 7am for the ticket office to open. I called the taxi service and was told they were completely booked until 7am. There is also another line for the buses.

The Aspens are a gorgeous mixture of green, yellow, and orange right now! Crater Lake is completely dry and you can walk around where it would be filled. As soon as the sun comes out, the temp rises. Dress in layers. It was 35 degrees at 5am and warmed up to 72 degrees by 10am.

I hiked with my husky. It’s rocky, but not harsh enough for little dog booties for a medium or large dog. After reading a few reviews mentioning the harsh terrain, I got booties for my dog. I took them off her after 0.5 mile. Not necessary unless you have a small dog. Most small dogs were carried.

One of my favorite hikes. Perfect time right now with gold aspen leaves. The first 6 switchbacks thru the Aspens are worth it and then the climb thru the pines and meadows is even better. Be on bear alert.

hiking
24 days ago

Colors were great.

hiking
24 days ago

What a pleasant surprise. This trail begins as a rocky road with mtn bikers. It wasn't terribly exciting and the fall colors were limited. Then at the junction, the aspens improved. Many people were confused by the number of lakes, first lake on right is more like a large pond, then second lake on right is nice by the best views are at the third lake where no one went!! We had it to ourselves except for the SALAMANDERS. So Cool! Pics and details here: https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/09/20/road-trip-to-the-rockies-a-weekend-in-aspen/

hiking
24 days ago

I hate this hike. It’s all up hill, on lose rocks, FULL OF PEOPLE, you have to pay $8 just to get there, and the lake is more like a dried up small bog. Next!

24 days ago

Gorgeous day today. This trail is as amazing but it is extremely rocky. The leaves could not have been more splendid. Highly recommend this hike.

Wonderful hike mostly shaded by the aspens. This is a perfect time to capture the colors of fall! Rocky the last quarter. Crater Lake is dry, but the location offers a spectacular view of the Maroon Bells and the glorious, brilliant aspens.

hiking
26 days ago

Nice views of maroon bells. It is a steady up, and trail is rocky pretty much the whole way, but beautiful fall colors against the ‘maroon’ colored mountains. It does have a lot of people traffic

on Mount Sopris Trail

28 days ago

Pretty challenging. Super windy and the sun was strong. Bring a wide-brim hat, sunscreen, and stuff for your lips so they don't get cracked. Beautiful!

Beautiful views of the Maroon Bells.

hiking
29 days ago

Tough trail, definitely a beautiful lake. Not sure I’d need to do it again.

Lovely hike up. Weather perfect. Lake dry but colours in full swing

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Great views of the aspens and scree throughout this short and sweet hike. The lake at the end is very dry, but it’s a fun new view of the Bells. Given that this is the only hike greater than a mile but less than 20 miles at the Bells, it’s worth doing.

hiking
1 month ago

From TH near Dinkle Lake (8635’) , first 4 miles to very scenic Thomas Lakes are slightly rocky gently uphill (+1400’), then mile 5 is more rocky and steep (+700’). Next 1.5 miles are extremely steep (+1400’) and mostly on generally stable broken rock with moderate exposure and includes a false summit (12402’). Last 3/4 is steep (+800’), but the trail is generally visible all the way to the east summit (12954’). Very windy this date which stopped any attempt to include the west summit, which is an additional 3/4 mile down a saddle (-300’) and then back up to an almost identical summit elevation. Views from the summit in all directions are spectacular, and even more spectacular from the west summit. Three 65 year olds made the total round trip in about 8.5 hours with about 1.5 hours of stops along the way.

Beautiful colors throughout the hike up and back. We had a warm sunny day, Crater lake is a little dried up but the views with the Aspen color changes were worth the hike up.

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