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Hiked in Sept 2015. The memories are still so vivid because it’s one of the most beautiful, breathtaking hikes I’ve ever done.

hiking
2 days ago

1/21/19 Snowshoe hike up Waltrous Gulch. Trail fades after about 1.5 miles due to fresh snow. Keep your head up to the West slope, you are traveling in avalanche terrain.

Also a general comment, we hike at this TH quite bit and have helped several cars dig out and get out of the snow. If you have 2WD/all seasons, you’re going to get stuck. Pack a shovel and some chains. You need snow tires and AWD, even though it’s a short drive to the TH from I70, it’s deceiving.

snowshoeing
9 days ago

First ones on the trail 1/13/18, for the most part followed skiers along the trail I was familiar with. We reached a point where the trail was lost and followed up a skiers way for a bit and turned back. We were about .5mi from the lake which was a bummer !!

Absolutely bring snow shoes and spikes. Views are just fabulous

Beautiful bluebird day! Snowshoes were very helpful with about a mile to go. The trail was clear and easy to follow. I highly recommend!

hiking
12 days ago

Went with just spikes and gaiters. Unavoidably deep at some parts. Waist deep about 0.3 miles from the end of the trail, which was a real bummer.

snowshoeing
17 days ago

Great day to get out and explore. Honestly, the trail is so packed you don't need snowshoes. I put mine on about 1/2 miles before the lake, thinking I would need them, but I didn't. Micro spikes would've been fine. Also agree with the last comment...please pack out all of your trash and your dogs as well.

snowshoeing
19 days ago

Great hike! Started mid-morning and the sun and incline kept us warm. Snowshoes definitely recommended for the second half closer to the lake. Personally had fun figuring out where i would less likely sink down ha
My friend had snowshoes which helped a lot

hiking
19 days ago

Gorgeous views throughout! We snowshoed today but probably could have gotten away with just microspikes as long as we didn’t step off the trail (we definitely saw evidence of postholing a couple feet deep just inches off the trail). Please pack out ALL trash as there are no trash pick ups here. In other words, please don’t leave bags of dog poop on the side of the trail or laying by the port-o-lets - take it home to throw away. Thank you for keeping the trails clean.

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!

hiking
21 days ago

Steeper than you think, but views at the top are spectacular. Leave some extra time to hang out / explore around the lake. Wildflowers are fantastic in season.

snowshoeing
26 days ago

We went snowshoeing a day ago and it was great conditions and views, especially after a fresh snowfall. Snowshoes are definitely required at this time. Poles were also helpful to have.

One of my faves!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful day, perfect for a winter hike. Plenty of fresh snow, animal tracks, and evergreens. First mile and a half or so is well packed and I did just fine with microspikes, but snowshoes would be better for the rest.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

I did not finish the hike due to the last half-mile out being past your knees. It was beautiful but at times I was too hot or too cold with how I was dressed. I passed two dummies that were walking around in Boots and jeans and were covered in snow up to their hips essentially punching holes in the ground with their feet and ruining the blazed trail. Please do not do this. this ruins the trail for everyone who actually planned ahead and knew when it snowed you should bring snowshoes.

Completed Black Lake 11/28. Traction was nice to Mills, not necessary. Flotation was necessary after Mills. Trail was not difficult to follow despite being faint from wind. Last .7m added a few tricky spots weaving through the creek. Not enough snow pack in some spots to keep from post holing, avoidable with attention. Skis would have been great.

hiking
2 months ago

11/18/18. Always a great trail! I read recent reviews so we packed our snowshoes and wore micro spikes. Trail was totally packed down up to mile 2.6 and then we needed the snowshoes. Gorgeous day!

Beautiful hike. On Thanksgiving Day the trail to Mills Lake was well traveled, and because the snow was well packed I only wore microspikes and gaiters until about a mile before Black Lake at which point I put on the snowshoes to avoid postholing the rest of the way. I found the trail to be easy to follow past Mills Lake, but the ascent to Black Lake, while readily visible was not well broken, and felt like an awful lot of work for the distance covered. I did not continue on to Frozen Lake. While I found Mills Lake to be stunning, seeing the Black Lake cirque made me audibly gasp because of the immensity of it's beauty.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Awesome trail. Spikes worked fine for the first couple miles then you probably want snowshoes beyond that. The trail diverges at one point but youll get there one way or the other

Absolutely amazing in the snow! The trail to Mills Lake is very well marked, and it took us around 1.25 hours to get to Mills. The lake is frozen and fun to walk around on and is just stunning. Would definitely recommend! We did not go further than Mills Lake.

Gorgeous any time of year ! I have done this hike in the summer and winter . Petingell peak beyond Herman lake is a great hike also ! Not much trail past the lake . I snowshoed this hike today . Definitely a packed trail until the second clearing , beyond that we ditched the microspikes and put on snow shoes . There is a pretty good trench however, it gets off trail and actually takes you to the end of the gulch below Citadel peak rather than to the lake. Take a GPS if you want to get to the lake ! Lots of snow. Beautiful hike !

hiking
2 months ago

My favorite trail on the west side of the Rockies. Vista views the entire way and amazing 360° view at the top including Long's Peak and Grand Lake.

Mills Lake is beautiful! Wanted to head as far as Black Lake but it was getting dark and the snow was high af, not really a visible trail once you reach the sign a ways after Mills Lake.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Beautiful views and great hike. Was debating whether it’d be a hike or a snowshoe. I brought my snowshoes and am glad I did. Starts hard pack and hikable but turns to postholing after a mile or so. Trail disappeared so I broke the last half mile using my GPS for guidance. Poles came in handy. So easy to get to from Denver.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Plenty of snow already! The first mile or so of trail is pretty packed and easily hiked without spikes. But you’ll need snowshoes after that (unless you enjoy battling knee high snow). The trail was barely visible after two miles, but managed to sleuth it to the junction. Be safe out there!

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Simply beautiful, and plenty of fresh powder!! There were folks doing this hike with microspikes but snowshoes really came in handy as the powder was knee deep halfway into the hike and above treeline.

Did Mills Lake 11/4. Fair amount of snow and the trial is hard packed with some icy spots. My micro spikes were definitely helpful. Super windy but most of the trail is in tree cover so not too bad. Beautiful views!! One of my favorite hikes.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, but a ton of snow now. Yaktrax from the TH are recommended. Skis/snowshoes are probably a good choice, too. I was falling in to snow about knee-height around 2 miles in, and turned back. What a beautiful hike though.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the best hikes you can do located within an hour of Denver. Heart pumping hike with a beautiful mix of mountain vistas, wooded trails and open valleys. Plenty of snow on the ground now so YakTrax are highly recommended. Plentiful parking at the trailhead as well. A must do for serious hikers.

Its a little slushy and slippery out there lately, best if you have high boots and yak tracks. As always, a lovely hike!

My husband and I, along with our dog, Breezy, did this hike this morning. We arrived at the first parking lot at 8 am. We didn't think we could make it up the road to the TH so we decided to just hike it. It was a pretty good workout on the way up and I was really thankful for my spikes. Once above the tree line, I was glad I had lots of layers on. The wind almost blew us over at times. It was gorgeous up there! We went to all 3 lakes and only the highest one was frozen over. Beautiful views and not too much snow. I would love to come back in the summer to do this hike again. My Fitbit clocked 7miles RT including the hike up the road to the TH.

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