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Snow shoe or ski in. Otherwise you post hole. Busier than I wanted it yesterday morning. Trail condition is great. Mostly established main trails.. Packed snow on trails until you start climbing the last steep 1000 feet then it’s deep snow country and would be difficult without a reliable flotation devise (snowshoe or ski) The first lake we run into was frozen. To ski or snow doe? If you ski here you glide. You snowshoe? Hard work = great toned legs! :) either way this place is relatively close to DENVER and offers amazing views and tons of photo ops with other like minded humans. And its as cliche as the saying “it worth it”! Happy trails!

hiking
rocky
snow
15 hours ago

Great snow, great trail! Snowshoed up to the lower lake this morning. Started at about 9:30, done by 1:30. Definitely need snowshoes as we were breaking trail in tons of powder up by the lake. Also, snow is great all the way from the trailhead, so best to wear your snowshoes or skins/skis to keep the snow pack as smooth as possible for others.

If the parking lot is windy, don't worry. There is great tree cover all the way up to the lakes. The first mile is packed snow, but you can still wear your snowshoes. You will need them. The last mile is a steep climb up and traction is crucial. I continued to the upper lake and followed someone's else's tracks. Snow was knee deep - fun! Took me 3.25 hours RT.

snowshoeing
1 day ago

Beautiful! Fresh snow. Well marked trail. Perfect!

Good climb with camping at the base of the mountain.

6 days ago

Beautiful setting. This is set as Easy however parking is a bit tricky and it's a pretty steep climb to get to the glacier. Was pretty slick with all the snow, will go again in spring.

I just moved here and found this hike a little challenging because of the altitude. the trail is pretty packed down so I did it in tennis shoes with no problem. a lot of people brought sleds that looked fun! I took a lot of breaks but the view was great.

For someone not used to the altitude, this hike can be more challenging than most people have rated it. It’s short, but fairly rocky and steep. Combine that with the altitude, and some breaks may be necessary. Once you reach the top though, it’s worth the effort and you’ll probably want to hang out for a bit. Beautiful hike, but don’t underestimate it!

snowshoeing
7 days ago

First ones on the trail 1/13/18, for the most part followed skiers along the trail I was familiar with. We reached a point where the trail was lost and followed up a skiers way for a bit and turned back. We were about .5mi from the lake which was a bummer !!

Absolutely bring snow shoes and spikes. Views are just fabulous

Beautiful bluebird day! Snowshoes were very helpful with about a mile to go. The trail was clear and easy to follow. I highly recommend!

Hiked this trail with my wife and daughter on Monday. Bluebird day, very little wind, not too cold -- amazing. Microspikes were sufficient as long as you stay on the packed trail (especially for the descent). Very steep at times, but well worth the effort. One of our favorites hikes.

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.

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.

hiking
10 days ago

Went with just spikes and gaiters. Unavoidably deep at some parts. Waist deep about 0.3 miles from the end of the trail, which was a real bummer.

hiking
11 days ago

Snow packed, great trail to upper lake. Traction was ideal, snowshoes not necessary at all. Clocked 9.9m, 2100’.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike for the entire family! We battled 40+ mph winds and still had the best time! Can’t wait to do it again. We hiked on 1/4/18, completely snow-packed but made it even better. Kids slid back down the trail almost the entire way!

Want to test your new microspikes out? This is a great hike. Hard because it ends with an incline. Strava mapping wasn't as great at calculating the distance/elevation gain- was more than 2 miles off (said we hike 11.2 versus the listed 8.7). Enjoy!

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!

snowshoeing
14 days ago

Lovely conditions on 1/5/19 - snow covering 95% of trail to upper Chicago lake. Most of trail has packed snow, due to heavy use, but adequate to snowshoe, which we did for part, but using micro spikes was ideal due to rocky trail (particularly, the type that have crampons - I use Hillsound, rather than little yaktracks). I snowshoed on the lower reservoir lake surface, which looked to be solid ice. However, use caution...

snowshoeing
15 days ago

Great day to get out and explore. Honestly, the trail is so packed you don't need snowshoes. I put mine on about 1/2 miles before the lake, thinking I would need them, but I didn't. Micro spikes would've been fine. Also agree with the last comment...please pack out all of your trash and your dogs as well.

We did this trail end of July. Trail itself is rocky and steep but the reward is an amazing view of the lake and glacier. Hike up the glacier for more amazing views! People were sledding and skiing down the glacier!

hiking
15 days ago

Went to the top where it levels out today - used spikes for more sure footing but could be done without them. Such a beautiful, warm day!

snowshoeing
16 days ago

Great hike! Started mid-morning and the sun and incline kept us warm. Snowshoes definitely recommended for the second half closer to the lake. Personally had fun figuring out where i would less likely sink down ha
My friend had snowshoes which helped a lot

hiking
17 days ago

Completed this hike on New Years day. Started at the trail head and it was 4 degrees. There are a lot of snow mobile and back country skiers that utilize this trail head and trails associated. The first mile or so you only gain about 400ft of elevation only to leave about 1k ft to gain the second half of the trail. Snow shoes are your best bet this time of the year as the snow is quite deep in some areas even if it is packed down.
The views once you get up to the gulch are incredible. The snow really adds some amazing definition and depth to the range behind it. One of the best views in this area and probably along the 70 corridor.
Layers are your best friend on this hike as the sun does not get fully overhead this time of the year. The only time we got direct sunlight was at the end. Dress warm even though youll work up a sweat.

hiking
17 days ago

Gorgeous views throughout! We snowshoed today but probably could have gotten away with just microspikes as long as we didn’t step off the trail (we definitely saw evidence of postholing a couple feet deep just inches off the trail). Please pack out ALL trash as there are no trash pick ups here. In other words, please don’t leave bags of dog poop on the side of the trail or laying by the port-o-lets - take it home to throw away. Thank you for keeping the trails clean.

Great hike overall. Brought snowshoes in anticipation of a lot of snow but micro spikes worked well since the trail was packed snow. Definitely coming back this summer.

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful "gotta do" hike.

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