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Colorado

john  Colo  Map
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hiking
1 day ago

On a whim I was looking for something relatively short with some elevation gain since I just moved to Denver and hunting season will soon be upon us. Driving there was pretty easy as the road looks like it was just graded this spring or early summer. don't get going too fast or your tail end will try to come around! There's a five mile dirt road approach that looks highly seasonal, but is fine for all but the lowest cars if you're careful and avoid the potholes and go slowly over washboarding.

The hike itself is nice and relatively gentle elevation gain. I'd recommend some trekking poles for the rocky path you have to take, or perhaps just some sturdy ankle support wielding boots. I'd absolutely come back here, it looks like the trail goes further than the last lake but I didn't have a GPS and it began to look like a goat path. For another day then.

on Raccoon Trail

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike. Lots of shade and nice views. This would be a great hike in the fall as well with all of the aspen! Lovely wildflowers!

backpacking
4 days ago

Lot was full by 10am but we squeezed on the road. We read there wasn’t many backpacking spots - and I found maybe 3, but were too close to water or the trail. We found if you go past (between) the final lakes and keep going (careful, the trails spur and we got turned around), you follow a stream on your right after 1/2 mi to approx 3 sites spread by a few hundred feet. It was a good first backpacking trip for my 7yo. There was plenty of water, moderate temps, and while we saw a bunch of bugs, only really got one or two bites. We encountered a cow moose about 30 feet off the trail about half way up!

I think technically this is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and you need a permit in summer, but, sorry, it is ridiculous to print a form and mail a $5 check or to go to the office. Let me do it online. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recarea/?recid=80803

Overall it's not a trail I'd be super excited to get back to or take anyone to, but it was a nice short hike with shade most of the way. The final lakes/ponds are pretty with some views of the surrounding ridges. The lakes are small with quite a few people crowded around fishing or lounging. The first lake you pass is mosquito heaven and pretty yucky.

Didn’t love the road noise. Trail was broken up and went through town. Had to cross the river to find any real trail, but then I wasn’t near the river.

I liked that this trail had variety of sceneries. Many shaded area as well as some meadows and rocky terrains. Great for dogs since there is a creek running by, and the lakes to get to. Wild flowers are beautiful in August. I saw a coyote (I think) and moose!

Scenic and forested. The last 3/4 of the hike got hard and had me wondering if I was ever going to make it, but it was worth the effort to get to beautiful mountain lakes.

Most of the hike in the trees. Better view on the hike than panoramic view (which you are can drive to).

If you are staying at the campground (which we were) the trail is worth the hike. Not sure I would make the drive just for this hike with so many other options in the area.

hiking
8 days ago

Wonderful little hike. I went with my 20 y.o. daughter and our 2 dogs. It took us about 1. Hour 40 minutes to do the loop. The old dog did fine, we had to give them water 1/2 way through. Loved the trees, flowers and a couple of pretty viewpoints.
Moderate family traffic on a Thursday.

Nice to walk by the creek and around lakes— you can add more loops to make the hike longer if you want. Pretty prairie area with flowers and birds

Cool hike and views from the upper lake. Many, many people due to the parking lot being so big. I would rate the TH to the two lakes has a moderate hike and if you choose to go up that last .5 mile is hard. There are two trails up, the one in view from standing between the lakes is a scramble up and then down 150 ft to the lake. The trail to the east is steep too but drops you at the lake shore.

overall, nice hike with tons of people.

on Raccoon Trail

hiking
11 days ago

This is a lovely hike! We started from Reverend’s Ridge campsite but ended up returning from Panorama Point the same way we had gone! It was a bit confusing.

my favorite trail

Lakes r theraputic. If I hike this again Ill either camp at the base and do rogers pass the following day or camp at the middle of the trail at the lower lakes n trout fish. Def wish I knew it was such a great camping area w so many alike enthusiast to share the adventure with. The hiker companionship is strong w this trail.

13 days ago

Beautiful hike! Pretty easy. We had some great views and so manybpretty wild flowers. It would be great in the fall too with so many aspen trees.

13 days ago

Great outing, easy access from Denver.

Agree with everyone that the upper lake is a must do. It is a long, gradual climb to the lower lakes, some rocky and rooty segments from the parking lot. We saw quite a bit of traffic on a Saturday morning but so it goes these days in Colorado.

Upper lake is steep, but the trail is obvious from the lower lakes and it's beautiful. Since you're almost there, keep going! There is a bit of rock scrambling at the top but look for the cairns and you'll be fine.

Wildflowers are about done for this year but still plenty of stragglers along the way.

Very nice loop near the Colorado School of Mines campus. Would highly recommend to students looking for a walk to do in between classes.

hiking
16 days ago

This trail is 3.5 miles when you do the loop from Panorama Point (though the directions here will take you to the campground). I did it on a mid-July weekday and it wasn't too crowded and it was shaded throughout. There are a couple of uphills, but my older dog could handle it without trouble. The wildflowers are gorgeous right now, including the prettiest Columbines I've ever seen. The spectacular views and aspens would make this a worthy trail for your out-of-town guests.

Started hiking around 6:45AM, with the parking lot nearly empty except for people who parked their car and were camping. The trail is well defined up to the first 2 lakes but when you start up to the top lake, the path is hard to follow. I followed a path that was not what AllTrails had marked up to the top which included a lot of scrambling. I looked for the trail AllTrails has marked on their route to go down and couldn’t find it, so I made my way down the way I came up. Other than that, the hike is beautiful, with a lot of wildflowers on the way to the top lake. Highly recommend going in the morning because when I got back to the parking lot it was nearly full.

I have yet to find a hike better than this. The views are gorgeous. I definitely recommend hiking to the top lakes, it’s worth it. There is currently no mud or issues with the trail, but there is some lose gravel and scrambling involved in this hike. Expect heavy breathing, as the incline gets steeper in the last mile. Overall it takes about two hours to get up from the parking lot to the top crater lake.

Great hike with breathtaking views. We are from New Orleans and not used to high altitude or big mountains, and we did just fine. the trail was full of wildflowers. The first lakes are beautiful. I recommend making the journey of the extra mile to the top lake as well because it’s gorgeous and you can see the Continental advice. it’s steep on the way up to the second lake (we took the direct route straight up from the Crater Lakes) and not well-marked on the way back (or maybe we just missed it). We ended up having to make our own trail back from the lake and scrambling around like idiots, but I think more experienced hikers with more sense than us won’t have that problem. Overall, highly recommend! .

Wonderful views counter clockwise. Incline at the beginning and at the end easy in the middle. Our dogs loved it.

Beautiful hike first to the lower lakes and then up to the top lake. The hike up to the top lake is very steep, but only 1 mile, and the destination is definitely worth it. Generally well-marked paths. Moderate traffic when we were there from around 9:30am. Ample parking spaces.

Beautiful, fun, moderately difficult trail. Very heavily trafficked below the lower lakes. Lots of places to camp. The upper lakes are worth the extra mile!

one of my favorites. great views. relaxing

Beautiful trail, wildflowers everywhere! About 7 miles total. Got there mid afternoon and there was plenty of parking.

Beautiful hike! Ended up being closer to 7 round trip if you get up to the top lake (which is a MUST). It’s. A steady uphill climb through beautiful woods. The only hard part is the last hike up the last lake which is steep, but you’re surrounded by sweeping views and wild flowers (and a few marmots

AWESOME hike. Wildflowers are in full bloom. Up took 2 hrs. But, this included extra steps because of parking. I went at 1:30 p.m. and there were alot of parking spots near the trailhead.

This hike is well worth the climb all the way to the top but be aware of the trail! Apparently the last half mile of trail is not the well trafficked dirt path winding straight up along the creek but is instead a poorly marked, if at all, less steep path along the lower right lake. Regardless, the hike was beautiful (wildflowers are our in full force right now) and a butt kicker but perfect. Highly recommend going early because the trail was packed by 10am. 7am was more my speed.

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