Explore lake trail - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
snow
1 hour ago

Great trail, amazing views! We used snowshoes to the lower lake but they weren’t necessary (1/21).

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 shoe? 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‘s worth it”! Happy trails!

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.

Did this hike in the beginning of fall. Aspens were starting to peak and it was absolutely gorgeous!! Would do this hike again in any season, it’s awesome. Very dog friendly and the trail is thin so if your dog isn’t quite friendly, be wary of passing dogs. The only thing that turned me off was the amount of dog poop bags along the trail. Pick up your dogs poop!! It’s stupid to just pick up your dogs poop and leave it in a bag as trash, id rather you not even pick it up. Lastly, it’s off roading to get to the trail head and parking fills up fast, so get there early. Awesome hike!

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
12 days ago

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

12 days ago

12/8/2018 - A good amount of ice on the trail, so I would recommend spikes at minimum, but a fresh dusting of snow left the trail impassable with about 0.7M to the end (~1.5ft of snow, and I only had spikes on). Most of the snow on the first half of the road had melted, so not ideal for XC skiing or snowmobiling anymore I’d imagine. Only option for parking is illegal street parking.

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
15 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...

hiking
16 days ago

Great winter hike! Did this one today, and there is a ton of snow, but we managed with just spikes. There were a lot of people snowshoeing and cross-country skiing -- good trail for that as well. The lake is completely frozen over, but the views are amazing.

Went last week. Could not get all the way to the trailhead by car, parked .7 miles down the road. the Snow was good but the trail is hard to find after about 1.5 miles from the car, so we didn’t get very far past the trailhead. My trail finding skills might be novice, and I didn’t feel like getting lost in the winter. But, I look forward to trying again either this winter or in the summer!

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
20 days ago

Beautiful "gotta do" hike.

For being so close to Boulder, I was amazed that there were as few people on the trail as there were. Completed the hike on 12/30 and the snow was pretty good - it’s certainly possible to do this in spikes, but I switched out my spikes for snowshoes after about a quarter mile and had a much better experience that way. The views at the top are gorgeous and do not disappoint! Highly recommend.

Beautiful Packed snow trails. Micro spikes came in handy. Chicago lake was amazing

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail! Started a little too late and made it nearly a mile from the end and it was getting too late and we were too tired to go any faster. Right now only need mircospikes, snowshoes don't seem necessary if you stay on the hard packed trail. Trees blocked most of the wind. Definitely will be going again!

Beautiful hike! Easy! Great views!!!

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.

Extremely beautiful!!! Make sure once you hit the first lake, to keep going. Did this hike over the summer and was beautiful the whole way! Not sure what the blue bomber is speaking of! Peaceful and gorgeous.

hiking
2 months ago

11/16/18 - packed snow/ice all the way up to the lakes. Carried snowshoes but didn’t use them, only used microspikes but could’ve been done without. Very few people past TH, nothing spectacular until the views above treeline. Damn kids doing there vaping stuff around Echo Lake, hopefully the fruity chemical flavors they crave will end up killing them sooner than later so when we go out to get fresh air, we can breathe it instead of breathing their second hand vape smoke!!!

hiking
2 months ago

Incredible trail! The snow makes the trek a little difficult but the views are beyond rewarding! Went last weekend and left feeling changed. Hop over to @2_Summit_Up on Instagram to see great pictures of what you can expect to see on this trail

Great trail so close to Denver. Hiked a week ago and got into some snow near first lake. Can't wait to go back next summer or when I get some snow shoes!

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
2 months ago

Beautiful views! I brought my dog to hike and she loved it- we met several other people with dogs too who were all very friendly. I didn’t wish I had snow shoes until the end when I started sinking in waist deep snow and my dog started disappearing completely under the snow- it was moderately challenging but well worth it!

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.

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