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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 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.

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.

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!

Hiked to Lake Dorothy up the Arapahoe pass on Sept 17, 2018. A beautiful day, we arrived at the trail head at 8:30 AM and were able to find a legal parking space just down the hill from the camping area. We only saw 5 other hikers the entire trip; one woman coming down, two college men who passed us on the way up and three people going up on our way down.
Very windy at the lake, The "shelter" at the the lake is little more than an organized pile of rocks that is too short to protect you from the wind. The Arapahoe trail was protected from the wind, and the sunny south exposure was very pleasant. Completed the 7.6 mile round trip in a little less than 4 hours with a lunch break at the lake.

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.

hiking
25 days ago

One of my favorite trails that I've hiked. Weather was perfect when we started our hike and turned into sleet and snow when we made it to the lake. Prepare of all conditions in the spring and fall. We saw moose, deer and lots of little critters. There was very few people one the trail when we went and very peaceful.

Awesome hike with stunning mountain views, wildflowers, and a beautiful lake. Perfect for a single day hike. Get there early for parking when the weather is nice.

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.

Stunning views of the peaks all around. Pretty lakes below. Perfect distance for a great day hike.

As of October 28, the road up was perfectly clear, and the route has some snow and ice on it, but doable, especially if you have trax or poles. The wind on the pass was crazy, probably 70 mph-- enough to knock you off your feet if you're not bracing yourself. That and the snow on the other side kept us from going any further than the pass, but it was well worth just being on top. Great hike.

Be sure to go to the third lake lakes two and three are above tree line. Camp near lake one. Lake one to top of my snedfles is 8.5 mile and can take 8-10 hour if you go over the ridge and down.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked up to the lower lake this past weekend. Microspikes were helpful. I wore gaiters, but my partner was fine with just waterproof pants. We continued on to the second lake with the goal of making it up the pass and encountered pretty deep snow. The trail was snowed over completely and there was a good amount of post-holing and route-navigation. A snowstorm began mid-way through our hike and continued for hours so I'd expect a lot more of the trail might be covered by now. Didn't see any other parties though.

I think the "Hard" rating is a bit generous unless you don't normally hike at this altitude and grade.

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.

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.

This is a beautiful very busy trail after a long ride on Dallas Creek Road parking can be extremely difficult.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked today, 10/29/18. Take county road 7 (Dallas creek) literally until it ends. Its a bit further than the directions tell you-- but no worries you get there. I started my hike at 9:45am and reached the second lake in 3 hours. Just about 2 miles in (around the Mt. Sneffels wilderness sign) I stopped and put on my micro spikes and gaiters. Gaiters weren't needed until the VERY end and spikes were hit or miss but it definitely made it much easier to maneuver.

I made it easily to the lower lake and it was GORGEOUS. I continued on upwards to the second lake and the views of the lower lake were incredible. The snow drift was quite strong and foot prints started to get scarce and it also felt like I was being pelted with small ice from the winds on the back side of the mountain. I looked at the second lake and it was 70% frozen over so I decided to turn back as I was hiking alone. It is definitely worth traveling up there for the views of the lower lake though! If you go that high definitely spikes and gaiters this time of year!

Definitely beautiful. I only saw 2 other hikers all day which was amazing =)

hiking
2 months ago

Great Hike - trails are snowpacked up high, there are steep trail sections that are snowpacked and icy. Bring your yaktrax. Almost made it to the lake by my partner forgot her sunglasses and didn't want to risk getting snow blind up high due to the wide open areas of snow we had to cross - bluebird day - high sun. Either way - great hike. Would do it again in fall. A lot of climbing right out of the lot, actually climbing all the way. Fun Hike - bring water and some snacks as you'll burn a ton of calories climbing

backpacking
2 months ago

Really steep beginning after that the steepness levels out somewhat. It’s definitely a trek with a pack. It’s a beautiful hike and great fishing in the lake. Many places to camp and there are other lakes nearby

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

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

hiking
2 months ago

This was my first day in town and I misjudged the time it would take to hike through snow and turned back at around 3,500 meters. I started late around 11 AM, and had enough time to make it but it would have had me with a potential return after sunset. The trail was still quite passable with poles (a couple of other groups made it up, albeit slowly). It was a great overall experience for me, even though I did not make the lake. First day I realized that I really enjoyed hiking in snow this season. Very much like a winter playground at the top. Will be back to the 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!

hiking
3 months ago

Very good hike with substantial natural variety along the way. Snow in the higher elevations (poles are handy). Still very accessible. Took me about 3 hours and 15 minutes. I lolligagged substantially at the start of the hike enjoying nature and was slowed down considerably right at the end due to snow (hard packed though and not bad to traverse). Round trip 11 AM to 5 PM, 6 hours. Third day in a row I have loved hiking in snow. Temperatures were very reasonable (had plenty of gear but hiked 100% in summer gear).

This is still one of my favorite hikes. Great views, waterfalls, forest, lake meadows and sweeping views at the pass. At this time there is lots of snow and ice and it is likely the trail will not be passable in the next couple of weeks with any additional snow. Forth of July road was rough but still passable with 4WD drive and decent clearance. No snow on the road at this time. It was very challenging to get to Lake Dorothy. Most people had stopped at the pass and in addition to being sandblasted with snow and ice from hurricane force winds, there was no path to the lake. We tried and got caught in thigh high snow from the drifts. Views at the top were spectacular if you could handle the wind. Great hike. Definitely one to add to the list.

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