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hiking
17 hours ago

Very cool hike! We did the day hike to Lower, Middle, Upper Blue Lakes and to the Sneffels pass. I recommend camping at the trailhead for an early start. The lower lake is beautiful (it's better than the other two) but pretty full of campers. The best view is from near the middle lake looking down on the lower lake. The path can be hard to find going from lower to middle. The trail from upper lake to the pass was narrow and steep and did get boring, so you could definitely skip this and you wouldn't be missing out. The hike is quite steep in beginning sections, so it gets real old on the way back down (we saw two people who appeared to have twisted ankles from sliding or falling in these sections... both of whom were hiking in tevas, so do with that what you will).

I consider this trail to be strenuous, and I typically only seek out strenous trail. 2nd time to Parika Lake on a day hike, and since I had my head lamp with decided to do the whole trail instead of walk the same trail. Past Parika Lake is some pretty heavy exposure to me. Your essentially hiking a narrow ridge with dramatic vertical dropoffs and the wind along those ridges is steady and huge. Glad I made it down safely because I didn't expect the trail to keep climbing like that. Like another hiker said two continental divide crossing past Parika Lake. Cake walk down hill after that. My legs were just noodles. I wouldn't want to hike it clockwise, because I feel going downhill,on those exposed areas would be shady. I rate it strenuous.

My first solo trip. Weather was perfect and the trail lived up to all my expectations. CLockwise and glad I did!

on Hells Hole Trail

hiking
1 day ago

Once you get to the top, the view is great but other than that, eh, there are way prettier hikes in Colorado.

Beautiful views: mountain-backed lakes, harsh ridge lines, and wildflowers. Well-marked trail.

We hiked clockwise, three days, two nights -camped at Bettie Lake and Devil’s Thumb Lake, felt alone at both. Jasper Lake looked like a popular camping spot, and there was a site by the stream right before the off-shoot to Bob and Bettie Lakes if you don’t want to leave the loop. We were skinny-dipping at Devil’s Thumb and realized there was a lone fisherman across the lake getting a great show, haha, but otherwise, camping was very peaceful.

I was thankful for layers because it was really hot during the day, but surprisingly cold as soon as the sun dipped. We made Nalgene hot water bottles to supplement our 20* sleeping bags.

We hiked mid-week (Aug 8-10) and saw more hikers and trail-runners than backpackers. Some people struggling, but then also an older couple of women crushing it, and a Dad with two young kids. I’m a beginner with a heavy pack and ended each day smiling.

Brought my 35lb pup - she wore off her front pads chasing marmot in the rocks... which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had kept her on leash. She loved it. Didn’t see many (any?) dogs out towards the peak, but lots at the trailhead. Leash definitely required for the first bit.

Elevation is no joke, but plenty of places to refill water, so keep drinking!!

Side note: we stopped in Ned on the way home and ate at the Thai restaurant - killer $10 lunch deal!

Arrived at 5:15 am on Saturday and there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road but still plenty of space. People can't seem to agree on which way to go- I decided to go counterclockwise and I'm very glad I did.

I have been up to Jasper Lake a couple of times but this is the first time I tried the loop. In my opinion the north side of the loop is more scenic. It's best to do it in the morning when the lighting is better and you still have energy. Also I like steep inclines more than steep declines as they're more exciting and less stressful on the knees. Saw a bull moose about halfway up to Jasper Lake. That was pretty terrifying as he was only 25 yards or so off of the trail hidden behind some trees. I snapped a quick picture and got out of there.

The trail is pretty easy. The distance is the hard part. I was feeling pretty haggard on the last 3-4 miles. Got back to the parking lot a little before 3PM. I probably could of finished at 2 if I hadn't of taken so many pictures.

Overall an awesome hike! My favorite one so far

Absolutely amazing! Breathtaking and worth every step!

Bunch of knobs on the trail

One of my favorite trails!

This is a great hike! Fairly shaded most of the way, which is nice when it's hot! This hike is best in the summer because of the falls at the end is very temperature cool, and I would recommend water shoes or hiking sandals because you will walk through the water. It's a really fun hike, very beautiful place!

We arrived to start the loop on Saturday morning at 5:30 am. Were greeted with overnight lot full sign. There were two parking spots in the overflow area just before the overnight lot. When we walked thru the overnight lot, there was one open spot. When we returned on Tuesday both of those parking areas were full. You might have to check out the other overflow parking area to find a parking spot.
We did the loop CW to West Maroon pass first. We did this because one hiker was not acclimated, and this direction is not as steep. The valley was crowded with hikers and runners up to the pass. The camp sites between West Maroon and Frigid Air are about 1/4 mile off the trail in the trees. There is a stream for water between the trail and campsites.
Thunderstorm started at 6 pm and rained and sleeted for a couple of hours. Intermittent rain thru the night. Only about 800 ft elevation change from camp to Frigid Air pass, a 100 yard section was steep and slick from the rain, so it was a relatively easy morning hike. 2100 ft elevation change downhill into the next valley.
We camped just after the intersection with the Geneva lake trail. Several nice camp sites in the area and water is close at the river.
Third day was a tough one. First 2170 ft elevation change up to Trail Rider pass. 1700 ft elevation change down into the Snowmass lake area. Then 800 ft elevation change up to our next campsite. The area was dry due to the summer conditions, so a lot of streams were dried up. There is water in Snowmass lake but we didn't need water at the time. We didn't really want to pull water out of the swamp, though the beaver dam was busted and it was flowing. At the campsites halfway up to Buckskin pass, there were two good streams for water.
Fourth day another roughly 800 ft elevation change to Buckskin pass, then close to 3000 ft downhill to the parking lot.
Outside of the main valley the trail was not crowded. Beautiful flowers, lakes and mountain scenery. Lots of animals, pikas, marmots, deer and a mountain goat guarding Buckskin pass.
Doing the trail in the CW direction was right of us, so the unacclimated hiker was able to make it. But it does make the last half of the hike the hard section. If you are a flatlander and live at low elevation like me, I do recommend spending a 3 or 4 days to acclimate before doing high altitude hiking.

Beautiful hike.

Pretty neat!

Gorgeous views.

Love this hike. What a find just a few miles off the 15. Well worth the $9 entrance fee.

Easiest to jump in the creek and follow it up the canyon. Perfect for summer afternoon. Tracked it at approx. 2.7 miles and 1 hour to the 2nd ladder but I was moving at fairly quick pace. Appears trail continues quite a distance past the 2nd ladder with even taller canyon walls at some point but had to turn back before sunset. Will definitely return.

The shoreline of the lower lake alone is worth the effort.

One of my favorite hikes so far. The waterfall was an amazing end to the hike.

backpacking
7 days ago

Great hike and beautiful views.

We did the hike late in the day (started around 17.30). It took us about 1.5 hours to go up and left us not enough time to make it all the way to the upper lake (going down last mile we had to use flashlights - its getting quite dark there in the trees in between two mountain ranges), but that feeling of being the last ones going up, resting in the quiet serenity of the lake and going down all alone was precious. The hike - smells, birds, wildberries. streams, gorgeous waterfall - everything is so good..

Doing this loop at the end of the week and was wondering if bear canisters were required.

Did it CCW......Was a very hard brutal and at times scary climb to a couple of the passes. Fridge Air was steep as hell and very loose rock for this 67 year old man we had great weather not sure I could do it in rough weather wind and rain you know...would slide right off. 4 days 3 night .....but loved it and may do it again CW

This hike was strenuous but definitely worth it. The views were amazing the entire hike!

Nice steady climb up and a beautiful view at the top.

Awesome hike! Definitely will do it again when we’re in the area

We got there early on a weekday and only saw six other people. The aspen groves were fantastic and we’re planning a trip to go back when the leaves are turning.

hiking
9 days ago

Great Hike! Start early and go to the upper lakes! The view down to the lower lake is amazing!

hiking
9 days ago

We did this hike this morning, which is a Saturday. Decent sized parking lot, and we got there about 9:15 and there were only four or five other cars in it. There is a bathroom at the trailhead, but it’s essentially a port-a-potty. The trail is quite steep for the first three miles (first mile especially) and then levels out a little the rest of the way. We didn’t see too many other people on the trail, so the whole thing was nice and quiet, especially once we got to the Hell’s Hole area. The trail is almost completely in the woods of Arapaho National Forest. Hike was a great workout, but I don’t think I’d want to do it again-once we finished at the “top” and headed back down, we were ready to be done. The trail is pretty straight the entire way, so you’re just plugging along and navigating the rocks. It took us 3 hours and 55 minutes to complete, and my tracking app said it was 8.77 miles total.

steep hike for the first 30/45 minutes but overall not a difficult hike, lower lake is absolutely gorgeous!

hiking
11 days ago

Gorgeous trail! Lush & green most of the way with abundant, tall wildflowers, even moss and ferns. Shaded. Follows the creek most the way. Rocky in spots, but mostly soft trail. 10 campsites along trail. Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, trout & bear scrapings. Ample parking @ trailhead. Bring bug repellent -- sneaky biting flies today (probably from nearby stables). You will see damage from big flood a few years back, but all bridges are rebuilt for the 3-4 creek crossings.

hiking
12 days ago

I think this might be my favorite hike to date! Go! You won’t be disappointed.

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