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This trail was spectacular. We parked at the Brainard lot because the road was closed. Three miles to the trailhead, but pretty and easy. Once we hit the trailhead we slapped on our snowshoes and were on our way. Nobody other than a cross country skier was out there. The trail wasn’t overly difficult but we felt the hills. We’re doing it again end of March. Beautiful trail for snowshoeing.

4 days ago

Hiked 3/12. Only used microspikes. No wind. Lots of people for a Monday hike. Nice views

We hiked this trail yesterday (3/11/18) and it was quite wonderful! We hiked 3 miles in before turning around. The part of the trail we hiked is packed and easy to follow. Microspikes/crampons recommended after the first mile or so. Definitely don’t need snowshoes right now. For such a popular area, there were only about 15 other people the trail. Great hike, in close proximity to Denver.

This trail has incredible views throughout! It starts of with a lot of up via several switchbacks but then you get to cruise and enjoy the views so the hard part is worth it. As of March 11 there were a few areas that still had some hard-packed snow and/or ice but overall not very much and I didn’t have any trouble with it in just boots. There were a good number of people hiking and biking on a Sunday afternoon but it didn’t feel crowded to me on the trail. You do need to keep an eye out for bikers- we always had plenty of time to step to the side though. Great trail!

Great hike, moderate incline, lots of gorgeous views and pretty long. Feels like a workout, but just keep going! If you reach the picnic benches, you are almost to the ruins!! Still some ice in the shadier places, but mostly dry and warm in the sun.

5 days ago

We completed this trail today. Snowshoes were not needed for the first two thirds of this trail, but were very helpful for the top third. That’s how my wife did it, I didn’t take my snowshoes and still did fine. A lot more snow than last weeks pics.

Awesome! Hard packed snow the whole way. No need for snowshoes and I only threw on my Yak Tracks on the decent from The Loch which is the steepest part of the hike. Very beautiful surroundings and views. If you still have some gas after reaching The Loch, swing by Mills Lake on the way back to the TH, you will not be disappointed with the extra stop! I’ll definitely be back in the Spring/Summer.

Great steady incline with beautiful views. I was just expecting a little more at the top.

Fantastic trail. We hiked up Turkey Trot (no bikes) and down Castle Trail (bikes on it). We didn't go all the way to the end of the Castle Trail. We turned around at the pavilion with picnic tables.

We did the hike between 11am-1:30pm on a Saturday, and while the parking lot was packed (and cars were parked up the road a 200 yards) the trail didn't feel that crowded. Everyone was super friendly. There were a lot of dogs on the trail but all were on leash and the trail was wide enough so plenty of room to pass.

The trails were very dry...just a few short patches of slush/snow but easy to navigate and no risk of slippage.

Used snowshoes on a well-packed trail to Naylor Lake. The trail to Silver Dollar is rocky and right near avalanche possibilities (that was our opinion, however, the amount of snow up on the mountains is not significant due to high winds.) It's a short hike up but with the help of alltrails.com, we were able to trek in the deep stuff off trail on the way down. We just had fun and meandered in the 3 ft. of snow off-trail. Thanks AllTrails! We didn't stray too far from the trail either but you don't want to get lost out there!

A little slick today, but my footwear was comprised only of Mukluks - nothing with much grip. Conditions have been so variable this year that it pays to keep an eye to the west almost daily to really grasp the spacial variability in the Front Range this season.

Bring water, layers, cheese and why the hell not throw your yak tracks in your bag as well. They don’t take up much space and you’ll be happy you’ve got ‘em at least once.

Happy trails!

10 days ago

Was a good trail with some good views at the top. The hike up had a decent amount of ice and some snow. I made it without micro spikes but they would have helped after the first 1.5 miles or so.

Gorgeous views all along this heavily trafficked trail. Lots of people, even for a Monday morning. Some icy/snowy spots - spikes would be handy but not necessary. Overall good hike, I will be back!

loved the trail for it's amazing views! Bring a buddy and another car if you don't want to hike up the mountain. you can just hike down. go on a weekday if you hate people. for the reviewers who are bummed out about unleashed dogs - how is the opportunity to pet a friendly pupper a bad thing?

Beautiful hike and the loop is perfect for a a hike you can just fit into your weekday or weekend morning

12 days ago

I hit the trail at about 9:30 am. Made it on the packed area...straight up to the lake...without traction assistance, but definitely needed my snowshoes to bound around up by the lake. I saw three people on the way up (all within the first half mile) and about ten—on their way up—in the last mile of the descent. :) Windy but great!

12 days ago

Hiked up without snowshoes, just spikes, deep in spots, but was able to make it all the way up to the lake. Trail was pretty packed down.

12 days ago

Beautiful trial along the creek side. The end gets a bit more difficult with rock scrambling but worth it! Trail was pretty iced over but still passable. Very enjoyable with the dogs!

One of my favorite hikes of all time, but difficult to navigate due to snow unless you go in July or August. Absolutely gorgeous. The little lake at the top is quite a climb but worth it.

Gorgeous. You absolutely need snowshoes. The road to the trailhead is closed so tack in another 6 miles rt. Awesome trail. Nobody- other than us and a skier out there.

Good trail but pretty muddy and icy in patches and lots of hikers and dogs.

It was snowed out, only snowshoers and skiers were on it.

14 days ago

Did this hike on 03/01/18, snow packed. The summer trail is very skinny and can be slippery. I did the trail in only hiking boots but had micro spikes and snowshoes as back up. The views were tremendous and the trail wasn’t busy at all. Took the winter path down which was even better, you can slide down or strap on snow shoes and trek your way down. One of my favorite hikes all year round.

Beautiful views but you need to earn them. I hiked this trail in late February and definitely recommend snowshoes / spikes. The snow was fairly deep and we had to turn around eventually.

No signage to this trail. Totally missed where it started and went up to St. Mary's falls instead. Still a great hike but man, why don't these parks make it clear where the trail heads are??

19 days ago

Hiked on 2/18/18. Snowshoes were useful in a few sections just before and after The Loch, but micro spikes would have been sufficient for most of the trail. Beautiful and windy day. There is now an annual National Parks pass hiding somewhere around the Bear Lake parking lot, good through December 2018. We quickly learned not to open doors on both sides of the car.

20 days ago

Hiked up to this trail this past Monday before the big snow hit and it was beautiful. The trail begins as a wide road and there was considerable accumulation of snow, although it was packed down pretty nicely and made for pleasant travel. The road continues past a few barriers to prevent motor traffic and then thins out. The snow makes the official trail difficult to find towards the top, but there is no danger of getting lost as the remainder is mostly above tree line, making the route to the lake obvious. I would recommend snowshoes for the final bit. It seems that the lake could just the start of some great exploration, but the snow at the top here fairly deep.

Great snow-shoeing trail!!

Beautiful short hike....falls are the perfect place for a picnic..

23 days ago

Hike date: 2/18/18. Such an awesome experience! I would suggest snowshoes! We hiked in hiking boots and still made it all the way to the lake- but were a little slow and parts got a little difficult. A lot more snow than expected! Dress very warm, wear waterproof pants. Towards the end of the hike before you get to the loche, there is a steep incline- for about maybe 20-30ft. On the way back- we sat on our jackets and slid down like a slide! Also, get there early for parking on weekends! We arrived at 10am on Sunday and had to wait 30min for a spot. Over all such a beautiful and unreal hike- even in winter time! Definitely would do again- make sure to make it to the lake! It was frozen rock solid and we were able to walk across the ice and stand and take photos from the center island!

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