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This is an incredible trail -- but in the winter, it was TOUGH! We went today (12/18/18), and the entire trail was covered with snow. The first 2 miles, which we had parked at the entrance to Quandary Trail and had to walk to the Gulch trail, was fairly easy and very flat. Then, to the lower falls, was 1 mile, and it was extremely hard. We had hiking boots, but the snow was about 3-4 feet deep. Thankfully, it was pretty compacted down, but we kept sinking in every other step. The views were spectacular, which is why it's absolutely worth 5 stars. I would not otherwise recommend in the winter, unless you don't mind sinking in to the level of your knee!! Wish we could have gone to see the waterfalls, but sadly, the trail was so covered with snow that I wasn't able to continue.

Attempted this over the weekend at the height of the snowfall. Did not complete the hike as the split in the trail to head to Crater Lakes was completely covered in snow. We followed some "fresh" prints but soon realized that even with GPS and a big ego/pride, it could not be completed with the current conditions. I do not think that this can be completed with confidence with new snowfall or even existing trail conditions. Beautiful otherwise with amazing views of the Moffat Tunnel and surrounding areas. Still giving it 5 stars as I know the end result is amazing but nature didnt allow for views this weekend.

*Use extra caution during snow storms when entering/leaving the road on the trail. The snow gets high enough to not visibility to the edges of the road. I lost control of my vehicle and luckily, it took some digging and persistence to get out. Just be extra careful during the winter months even if you have good tires and all wheel drive.

Climbed on Thursday 11/15. Did Quandary the day prior. Sherman was much more of an adventure. Only had microspikes; no snowshoes. The forecast called for sunny skies, a high of 19F degrees and 10 mph winds (the saddle and summit ridge were a different story). The road was plowed until approximately 11,200 ft. We had an AWD vehicle and didn't have much trouble getting up to that point. I don't believe anyone had been on the mountain in a while as we did not see any footprints (old or new) the entire day, with the exception of some snowshoe prints on the way back to the car at the end of the day. The snow was about 8-12 inches deep leading up to the gate. Nothing too bad. However once past the Dauntless Mine (12,300), the snow was much deeper. In some places I tried submerging my trekking poles into the snow and could not make contact with the ground. We eventually made our way to the Hilltop Mine and then post-holed our way up to the saddle between Sheridan and Sherman. As soon we crested the saddle, we were greeted by the strong winds Sherman is notorious for, probably anywhere between 20-40 mph, most of the way up to the summit. The hike up the southwest ridge wasn't too bad though. Very windy but the views were breathtaking. I did see some animal footprints around 13,400 ft. I decided to turn around prior to most difficult section on the ridge (my highest gps reading was at 13,697 ft). It was getting late in the day and my buddy, who was moving much faster than me, had already summited. I decided to wait for him by the notch at 13,600 ft. He said the section past 13,700 was very wind and extremely cold. However, the summit was calm and enjoyable. The descent was a lot of fun as we slid down from the saddle. We saw some snowshoe tracks on our way back to car. I believe they made it up to the Hilltop Mine and decided to turn back but not sure since we didn't run into a single person all day on the mountain. All in all, the climb was a lot of fun, especially compared to the relatively straightforward climb of Quandary the day prior. No one had been on the mountain since the last major storm and it was amazing being out there in those conditions. Can't wait to go back and bag that summit!

Did this hike at the end of September. Loved the waterfalls! The views on both sides of the trail were stunning. On the North side we could see white mountain goats grazing along the ridge. So many views on this trail.

Wonderful hike to the top with my 8and 4 year old children 6/4/16. Great views of the water falls!!

Wonderful hike to the top with my 8and 4 year old children 6/4/16. Great views of the water falls!!

Wonderful hike to the top with my 8 and 4 year old children.

Beautiful trail but as previous reviewer mentioned, at some point near the end, the foot path in the snow deviates from the actual trail. I had a GPS with me so was able to figure this out (coupled with clues based on the trail just not seeming right). We never actually made it to the lakes but the hike was still beautiful. I would say if you don’t have a GPS, be careful as just following the footprints in the snow isn’t actually the trail & gets a bit sketchy.

hiking
1 month ago

Yak tracks were required to make to the falls. This was my first time doing this trail in the winter. The change in the season threw me off and the waterfall snuck up on me. I may have missed it had I not been there in the summer. Waterfall is totally frozen over, but you know its there from the huge slot canyon. If you are hiking passed the falls to the lake you will need snow shoes.

Trail is all snow, most packed by skiers. Final ~1/4 mile to the lower lake is unpacked snow (unless we took a wrong turn, we were definitely off trail on deep snow following footprints).Great hike but with the current conditions if you don’t have snowshoes or skis you won’t make it all the way up.

Went in early October on a cloudy day and got some snow near the top. The lakes were incredible though. Lost the trail on the way to the furthest lake, and ended up doing some rock scrambling that we weren’t prepared for. Saw a moose alongside the road on the way to the trailhead! Def want to go back on a clear day.

hiking
1 month ago

I want on this hike on October 12th. It was definitely the end of prime hiking season. I’m glad I went with someone that was knowledgeable about the trail because the snow and wind made the trail disappear. But I was a beautiful hike. Not super challenging but beautiful views. If you hike this this time of year, prepare for all types of weather.

Awesome trail. Moderately difficult with beautiful views and nature. Hiked 10/26/18 and the trail was good. Some snow but compressed. Absolutely need spikes due to ice. Did it with a four month old baby strapped to chest. A little dodgy at parts, especially ice near the end, but on a 55 degree day it was perfect.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 10/27/2018. Did not meet anyone else on the trail today. Snow on the road to the trailhead but still accessible via 4WD SUV (nothing dicey yet, but slow going). Just like the last post, I did not have spikes or snow shoes. Took one hour to the lake and almost as long on the return due to snow. Had poles which helped. Gorgeous area and great for a short dayhike.

hiking
1 month ago

This place was absolutely amazing when the aspens were out (see pictures). Like walking in a sea of yellow! Second time I've hiked this, and it's pretty easy. The trail doesn't really have a definite ending, so once you see the waterfall, you're there!

Very quite, would probably be more enjoyable to the eyes in spring. No one on trail after beginning and decent amount of snow, afternoon of 10/26, especially after junction with the GRT. Didn’t make it to the top of the pass but attempted it, decided to turn around after snow got deep and the sun had settled over the mountains. An eerie area

Beautiful!!! Hiked October 20th. Definitely need spikes toward the top. The lakes had two feet of snow! Easy hike. Spikes good P.S there is miss in the trees!!! Yes looks like Spanish moss. !!! Incredible

Beautiful hike, the lower lakes are all but frozen to the edges. There was a fair amount of snow/ice on the trail so yaktrax/microspikes definitely recommended. Also worth noting, there were bear tracks in several areas along the trail and around the perimeter of the south lower lake!

I loved this trail! We hiked it in late September and it was gorgeous. The second lake is magnificent - a beautiful blue and rimmed with rocks. We didn’t make it to the third lake but I will next time.

Since last weeks Snow, we brought crampons and poles which made both the accent and decent so much more enjoyable There were people who had to turn around because they didn’t have enough traction.

Good hike. Little disappointed trail went only to top of falls. Aspen leaves pretty much all gone. But interesting snow/ice in stream bed just above falls. I am 65 and over 240 lbs but in decent shape and very used to CO hiking so found it to be moderate difficulty. Went with adult niece & nephew who are not acclimated but they did fine. Took our time so spent about 4hrs altogether. Recommend this hike and if we started earlier would have definitely gone on well beyond Falls. By the way I think backpacking is allowed here.

hiking
2 months ago

Short day hike with incredible views! We saw three other people our entire time hiking, so if you're looking to get away from the crowds you'll definitely enjoy this hike!
The road to the trailhead may be inaccessible due to snow, so that's something to consider if you are planning on hiking this during the winter. If the road is inaccessible due to snow, it may tack on an extra 3-4 miles one way.
When we went, the road had a good bit of snow on it, but nothing a Subaru couldn't handle. The snow made the hike a lot harder than it normally is. We did the hike without YakTrax/Micro Spikes or Snow Shoes, but I'd definitely recommend them due to sections of steep rocky terrain that we found difficult to grip in snowy/icy conditions.

A beautiful hike. Top of the falls is a great lunch spot. We didn’t scramble around enough (in the snow) to get a good view of the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful, fun trail.

This is a fantastic hike with a ton of water along the way. Beautiful waterfalls and a great lake at the top. My ten-year-old, seven-year-old, and dog are able to do this pretty well, but we live at 6000 feet. This is not the easiest hike with a lot of rocks and some steep climbs, but it is very worth it. We went on a Thursday and arrived at about 8 and parking was easy. By the time we got down about three and a half hours later the parking was a nightmare.

hiking
2 months ago

Short but sweet! A real gem!

hiking
2 months ago

Short and steep - poles are handy, especially in the rain. I saw lots of visitors from sea-level who were struggling with this trail. I wouldn't recommend it for flat-landers unless they are already acclimated and/or in excellent shape! At the very least, come prepared for Colorado's changing weather. Falls are pretty and there were still pockets of golden aspens even though most of Vail Valley is past peak.

I was here last year and some improvements to the trail have been made. However, it can still be difficult to stay on near the top because it is almost solid rock. I started at 8:30 this morning and had the lake to myself along with a mountain goat. Please be aware that although the lake is only 1.4 miles from the trailhead it is steep. Also, there is a .7 mile walk from the parking lot to the trailhead.

Such a beautiful hike! It’s maybe on the more difficult side of moderate, but nothing too crazy. For the best experience, carry on past the waterfall to the lake at 11,900 ft! So serene, and we got to see our first mountain goat!

Wonderful trail. challenging in spots, beautiful and stunning. great moderate trail for hiking and birding

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