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Many of these reviews suggest going a clockwise route and I would whole-heartedly agree. Look up King Lake Trail to Devil's Thumb Trail Loop reviews to read why.

I discovered this loop while reading about the Devil's Thumb to King Lake route and would agree with many of those reviews that the clockwise route is a MUCH easier option. I did this route with my 10-year-old and we spent one night at King Lake and the next night at Jasper Lake. If the weather is poor, camping below King Lake would provide more wind shelter but we found an excellent spot (a large balanced rock on the north side of the lake marks a couple good locations) to set up a tent. A lot of people seem to camp at Devil's thumb since they go the counter-clockwise loop and they bypass Jasper Lake. On a beautiful clear July day, we were the ONLY ones camping there. There are some amazing spots here on the central western side of the lake.

Overall, the clockwise ascent is steady which makes it much easier than the up-down steeps on the counter-clockwise route. Going from Devil's Thumb counter-clockwise to the continental divide would have been a real challenge with a pack so my son and I were both thankful we did the route clockwise. All trails were easily marked (although even the Forest Service folks who sold us the backcountry pass told us we were doing it backwards and we would get lost :) This is definitely the route I would recommend to family and friends.

hiking
9 hours ago

Previous reviewer took the last parking spot Thursday which should have been mine, ha ha! Yes, get there early not only for a closer-in parking spot (I had to park about a mile away, but that was just fine), but also to catch lovely early-morning golden light if you’re a photographer. This hike is the most amazingly beautiful hike I’ve ever done! Wildflowers on steroids, waterfalls splashing down snow capped mountains, and MOOSE!! Doesn’t get any better. I want to go back next week and take a friend with me. Question: does anyone happen to know the date that the lake (reservoir) gets drained this summer?? (Some company drains it every year in late July-early August.)

hiking
1 day ago

Great views for an “easy” Colorado hike. Took our flatlander friend and she was fine. Most of the elevation gain is by Lake Isabelle but it’s minimal and worth every step. Gorgeous views of the area 13ers encircling the lake. Saw an elk, a marmot, and about 6 bull moose (moose were off the road getting to the trailhead). Wildflowers still look great and there’s a flowing creek most of the way, along with a waterfall near Lake Isabelle. Took the side trip around Long Lake on the way back, which made it 5.15mi. We got there at 6:55am today (a Thursday) and got the last parking spot at the Long Lake TH. Go super early; saw droves of people walking up the road from less convenient parking spots.

hiked this trail today. loved all the waterfalls. great hike. will do it again.

Start early to avoid the crowds and take bug repellent to avoid the mosquitoes. Good trail, amazing scenery. A great hike!

Absolutely beautiful! A profusion of wildflowers! If you can, hike during the week; you’ll have stretches of the trail to yourself (and a parking spot).

I’d say this is one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. I did this on a Wednesday afternoon (began hike at 12:30pm) and it took me about 4 hours after spending 45 minutes at the peak. I only saw a few people total which was great. I’d consider this more of a moderate hike not hard, because it’s only about 6 or so miles. But, there are tons of boulders and a nice scramble towards the peak. The water was amazing at the Final lake and I spent 10 minutes soaking in the ice bath with my dog.

What a treat to see fields and fields of wildflowers on this hike, most definitely on the path to Middle Diamond Lake when you are next to a gorgeous stream! The trail to Middle Diamond Lake is well-established; there was some basic route-finding from there to Upper Diamond Lake but you can now follow this track.

Like walking through screen savers. We went early am mid week and got to take in almost everything uninterrupted.

Hiked this last week. Only saw one other person on the way up until the trail met with the one coming from 4th of July trail head. This review is for the part of the trail starts at rainbow lakes TH- way less crowded but it does add 4 miles. The trail was well maintained. Long with pretty steady elevation gain. Mostly hiking above tree line with gorgeous views. Windy on the way up. Definitely recommend. We started at 7 and were down around 1. We did not do the scramble up north Arapahoe peak but did see plenty of people up there.

Great hike. Pretty easy but tons to see. Didn’t realize there were a few waterfalls as you hiked along the stream. Great place for a picnic at the lake. Plan to come back and snowshoe this one.

Dont stop when you reach the lake, the best park of this hike was exploring up behind the lake!

Awesome trail with great hikers. 0 trash found and overall well maintained. I brought and out of town relative here for an overnight. couldn't have asked for more. Camped at the lower lakes then hiked the upper before breaking down camp for the hike down. it's got fair traffic but overall does not take away from the experience. I will definitely do this again in day hike format.

There is another listing on AllTrails that has this trail listed as MODERATE. It is not moderate but HARD. Great hike that will leave you feeling tired/sore but like you accomplished something! Very rocky trail (feet were sore after hiking on so much rock). Its a long hike and weather changes quickly. Take rain gear. Beautiful day when we started then black clouds and thunder rolled in. We hiked at a very rapid pace back down to treeline trying to get cover from rain since it looked like it was heading our way. Wind changed directions at last minute and rain missed us. We were lucky! Very exposed trail above treeline, can get very windy. I loved the adventure of this trail. Definitely not boring!

hiking
3 days ago

Easy hike that is absolutely gorgeous. There are some hikes you do for exercise and there are some you do for the views. This is for the views. Take your time and look around. We added in the Long Lake loop as well. Our dog loved splashing in all the streams.

Parking filled up before 8 am. We just hiked to the hike from the free lot outside the gate. It added about 4 miles onto the trip.

Definitely take the time to veer left towards the river and explore along the waterfalls. It’s beautiful.

Amazing hike today to Lake Isabelle. All the recommendations and suggestions with regards to parking were very helpful from the past comments. We departed Denver at 530am arrived 715am. Obtained one of the last parking spaces. An easy trail with amazing views at every turn. As we arrived at location 7 moose were along side of road. This started our day on a fine note indeed!

I did this trail to warm up for the Dead and Company shows in Boulder the following weekend. This trail had everything, low traffic (in the morning), a challenging climb, loads of flowers, and spectacular peaks towering over you. I climbed up the south ridge of the Crater Lake saddle to get up to a beautiful view of the next valley and then climbed on up to the continental divide. Hike exceeded my high expectations of hike in the Rockies.

Get there early! Parking lot will fill up around 8AM. Got there around 9AM a few weeks ago and we waited in line at the pay station for over an hour. Worth the wait if you have the time!

Bring sunscreen and plenty of water. Pretty crowded tail. If you don’t want to add time to the hike try to park at Long Lake. I

Enjoyed the hike. The wildflowers are out in full force. Not to be outdone by the flowers, at the first lake 3 good sized fish decided to feed right where we were standing and one was courteous enough to stop and pose for the camera (see pic)! And, so the fish and flowers weren't to get all the glory while walking back a Weidemeyer's Admiral butterfly landed on the trail and showed off for the camera as well (pic posted too). There were quite a few people on the trail and even at the uppermost lake - so bummer for that. But we had the third lake all to ourselves. We had never hiked up the rock path before - previously traveling up the path that follows more along the major waterflow between the 2nd and 3rd lakes. We decided will stick with our original path - much!!!! prettier!!!!!!

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked today 7/15, gorgeous cloudy day. Lots of wildflowers and water along the way. One of my top 10 favorite CO hikes for sure.

We stayed at the lower 2 Crater Lakes and oh my goodness it was busy! The lower lakes are ~4mi and 1500’ gain according to my GPS. We hiked to the upper lakes the next morning, another 700’ gain and 0.7miles. We had our full packs so it was a workout. The hiking poles for the descent were a must. There was quite a bit of talus to navigate.

Crater lakes is beautiful, the wildflowers are at peak right now. The campsite was nice, I was just in awe of how crowded it was (yes on a July weekend, should I be so surprised?!) All campers were respectful and tried to minimize impact. Everyone was using bear canisters or bear bags but with as many people and dogs were there that night, I didn’t think a bear would be wandering through.

Awesome camping area 2 miles from parking. Get there early as non 4wheel drive parking is limited. Easy trail to navigate if you pay attention. Several waterfalls on the way up if you open your ears. 9 campsites at the lake that are first come first serve basis. All are nice but some better than others. There are several cool trails above the lake that you can explore old mines and get an awesome view of devils thumb. Pack your fly pole as you can slay fish up there in the morning or evening. Permit not required as you are not in Indian Peaks Wilderness

hiking
5 days ago

Lovely hike with great payoff. I have hiked this 3 times and done the 11-mile snowshoe to it when the access road was closed. Regarding the post for the hike on 6/29/18, you ***CAN*** use your RMNP annual pass, but you need to tell the people manning he Brainard Lake entry station that it is an "Access Pass" or "Interagency Pass". Any of the Federal annual or lifetime passes will work at Brainard. You just need to classify them as stated above because many of the people manning the entry booths only understand the passes when they are classified as above. I know this from experience and also received this exact info directly from the Boulder Ranger District.

Believe the hype - on the gorgeous hike, the dirt road to get there, and the amount of people. It’s all true!

Be sure to bring a high clearance vehicle, hiking boots, and layers. The road up is slow and bumpy and gets super sketch when vehicles are parked along side it and you’re forced to drive on the little space that remains regardless of its condition.

The hiking trail has lots of water features and rock fields so you’ll need proper footwear. It also gets windy and cooler at the top so bring layers.

Be prepared for an incredible variety of views, wildflowers, and bears, oh my! We felt like we saw it all. The trail was friendly with lots of dogs and even more hikers. It took us about 2 hours up (including a slight diversion where the trail splits at the pass - going right will lead you down to Caribou lake but it is called Arapahoe Pass trail so we took that. We should have followed the sign for Caribou Pass and gone left, up to Dorothy Lake which we eventually figured out). We saw a family of ptarmigan at the pass. The views of the mountains will take your breath away! It was 1 hour, 40 minutes to get back down. Only about 10 minutes from the trailhead we spotted a black bear cub grazing up the mountain. One of my favorite hikes yet.

short and sweet, if you follow the river instead of the main trail, you'll be treated to a old log cabin and beautiful waterfalls. The main trail is a twisted ankle waiting to happen. The lake is pretty but fairly non descript. Filled with little Brook trout.

7/14. if you wanna do this, start early. I reached by 7.30 in the morning and the parking space was full and cars were already lined up along the road for atleast half a mile. so better reach early.

And the hike, OMG it's just amazing. lots and lots of wild flowers along the entire hike. so if you are interested in photography flowers, it's for you. The trail is well marked. The view does not disappoint you. The spot where tree line ends is just spectacular.

overall it took 3.5 hours uphill and just 2.5 hours downhill. be prepared to spend a good 7 hours on the trails and lake overall.

Above the tree line it is there are some loose rocks, so be careful. The lake is greenish blue adds to the amusement. Just walk past the lake for an amazing Mountain panoramic view.

hiking
6 days ago

Hiked to the lakes again today. I love these lakes, especially the second one. I've hiked this trail at least 10 times (or more) over the last 5 years. Second bridge is closed, but I got by it- on the way up by taking off boots and socks and finding a safe place to cross the water. I have a big mountain dog who helps me across streams. On the way down, I went ahead and walked across the wood bridge. Be careful! Five stars for this trail due to the lakes, not the trail itself. Good hiking people! Enjoy.

The initial part of the joint trail that serves a number of hikes is gentle although the quality of the trail can hit the feet in places!
The turn to the Crater lakes begins the fun/hurt, the gradient at times was a challenge for a 66 years young person who lives at sea level but for the young and locals the trip to the first lakes is moderate. Then you look up and see people trying to climb what seems like a vertical trail to the lakes beyond. That climb also includes scrambling over two areas of boulders, again easier for the younger hikers - overall a good trip especially if you manage the final climb - a great sense of achievement.

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