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Wonderful trail! Always busy, get there early..

Great views and a well maintained trail. We drive our Outback up to the trailhead parking lot no problem. Few spots where good driving was needed due to drainage ditches. Wouldn't want to take anything with lower clearance than an outback though. Started hiking at 0830 and saw only a handful of hikers. By the time we were done, the lot was full and the trail was quite a bit more populated. Totally worth the hike though!

I give this hike 3 stars in the summer and 5 stars in the winter. It's a great location, just over an hour from Denver and you get to go through Georgetown and past Idaho Springs which both have fun food/drinking options for post-hike. For summer, the hike is easy/moderate and isn't terribly exciting - ranging from 4 or 6 mi round trip depending on if you're able to take the AWD road or not. People mention wildflowers, but compared to most other hikes in CO, there were next to none. This is a lovely quick hike if you just want to get outside and move for a bit, but isn't particularly photogenic if that's what you're looking for. However, in winter it's spectacular for snowshoeing. We came on a Saturday in April and didn't see another soul til we got to the car. It's more strenuous on snowshoes, so that makes it a little more entertaining. The trees are beautiful in winter and you can't beat walking on a frozen lake.

hiking
2 days ago

It's past peak wildflower season, but there were still some pretty blooms up near the top. Please be mindful that this trail is quite steep and rocky for the first mile and the last mile, so if you're bringing dogs or kids, make sure they have proper footwear (yes-- PLEASE put shoes on your dogs to protect their paws!!). View from the trail just before you hit the lake is gorgeous. Go early to avoid the crowds, we arrived at the TH just after 8:00 AM and snagged one of the last parking spaces. It was windy and chilly up at Herman Lake so bring layers!

This hike packs a lot in 4 miles, forest, meadow, great views throughout and three beautiful alpine lakes. Of course this also make it very popular. While there is not a lot of elevation gain it is over a fairly short distance so the trail is steep and rocky in a few spots. The last push to the top lake is short and up. Keep in mind you will be above tree line most of the hike so be prepared for whatever weather. This is a great hike for those who want a lot of beauty without a lot of mileage.

Wildflowers, snow pack, Alpine lakes! Awesome hike! It is a very busy trail that at times is hard to pass other hikers so come with patience. The road to the upper lot is very rough. AWD for sure with good clearance, but there was a Mercury Milan in the upper lot so maybe a regular car could make it carefully. Bring bug spray and sunscreen!

hiking
2 days ago

Went hiking on 8/11 and it was great! Got there early around 6:30 and their was plenty of parking. Definitely recommend getting there early to beat the crowds and have the lake and trails to yourself. Coming down it was starting to get overly crowded. Last half mile was a little tough but well worth the views.

The view is amazing! Someone was also kayaking in the Silver Dollar Lake.

Don’t be scared off by the incline at the beginning. Great views throughout the entire trip, very wooded in some areas and not in others. We clocked about 7.5 miles round trip.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike, some steep parts, but I really noticed the incline more on the way down due to the trail being a bit loose. Great views though, lots of wild flowers, pretty lake at the end. Parking g lot fills up real fast, got there at 8am and it was already overflowing to side streets.

Beautiful hike, great views and perfect weather!

Got there at 8am (Saturday), parked at bottom lot after questioning driving up the dirt road (on my way out there was a crew filling in the holes with dirt to make it more accessible). Only ran into a handful of hikers on my way up (I also try to hike at a faster pace). Could have made it up faster, but the views were too beautiful and I kept stopping to take pictures. On my way down is when I really started to run into hikers with their dogs. Also saw families with young kids and a trail runner. Round-trip took me 3 hours, but I didn't stop and have lunch at the top - only took in the views for a bit, took pictures and then headed back down. The higher you get the trail narrows in a few areas, but wasn't bad - still clearly marked.

If you park at the bottom lot it is a bit more challenging, but I enjoyed the challenge (for me it wasn't too bad). By the time I left both the top lot and bottom lot was full. I was the 2nd person in the bottom lot when I arrived. Within 15min it started to fill up. Agree with previous comments - stop in Georgetown to use a bathroom before you get to the trail - there are no bathrooms or trash cans. Also saw the issue with left dog poop. It was chilly when I started, but by the time I made it to the actual trail head I was fine and the day continued to warm up!

Tough ascent in the beginning but worth it. First hike only see from a view. Once out of the tree then nice view, stream crossing, snow crossing.

Silver dollar is nice but if you went this far then go to Murray. Some other guys made it to silver dollar and turned around (didn't think Murray lake would be better)

On the way to Murray, mostly uphill but here is where all the flowers are!! Making it up, it would have been great to be able to explore but we had rain concerns (caught in rain, hail on the way back).

Did this hike with wife and 2 and 5 year old with child carriers for both. 5 yr hiked once we got above tree line on way up. On my way down she was carried , as we were trying to get out of the rain.

6 days ago

Not only was this a beautiful hike with incredible views but it will forever be memorable as I proposed to my girlfriend at the summit. It was so perfect!

My 15 yr old son and I walked this approximately 10mi hike in 5.5 hrs with time to enjoy the views and rest stops along the way. It was a great hike, just challenging enough for us both. It had rained and the trail was muddy and slippery. There are a few streams to cross and a lot of scrambling on steep rocks near the top. The elevation gains were doable, slow and steady increase to the top. We lost the trail a few times in the second half too but our phone GPS worked up there and helped us out. There were very few people on the trail, and we accidentally disturbed a great horned owl. I highly recommend this hike.

hiking
6 days ago

Wow, what a hike! This was almost too much for someone slightly out of shape from Southeast Texas. I hiked Sky Pond the day before and didn't struggle too much, but this was on the next rung up. As difficult as it was for me though, the amazing vistas more than made up for it. The summit location in the center of the park basically allows you to see most of the big landmarks RMNP has to offer, from Long's Peak to the Mummy Range and the Never Summer Mountains. While the views from the summit are certainly the highlight, the entire hike offers constant breathtaking views, especially above the treeline. Make sure to start early not only due to this hike's gaining popularity, but also because of the thunderstorm risk since the majority of the hike is rather exposed. With the caveat that I was one of the slower hikers, I began at about 6:45 am, summited about 10:45, spend about 30 minutes at the summit, and was back at the trailhead at 2 pm. The skies were certainly starting to look angry as I was making my way back below treeline. Definitely my favorite hike thus far.

hiking
7 days ago

Our favorite hike in RMNP (so far). The Milner Pass trailhead lot was already full when we arrived at 8:15 AM on a Saturday morning, so we parked down the road a bit and walked in. The trail begins with fairly steep switchbacks through the woods before emerging above the treeline. The views of the Never Summer Wilderness were immediately spectacular, and so was the wildlife, including elk, mule deer, marmots, pikas, ptarmigans, and numerous raptors. The trail to Mt. Ida is almost completely exposed and quite windy, so layering clothes (and watching the weather) is definitely a good idea. The ascent itself is basically boulder scrambling with no clear path, but the views from the summit were more than worth it. All in all, a challenging but absolutely outstanding hike.

Very busy, however, well worth the trek.

Minus the 12 bags of dog poop on the way up. Was a good time.

This hike was lovely - truly the stereotypical mountain lake ideal view. It's as gorgeous as you'd imagine. :) Yes, if you hike it in the summer, it'll be well populated, but that's the case for most trails at any national park.
As I approached Mills Lake, I watched the water that would become Alberta Falls rush by, flowing heavily from MIlls Lake. After that, I crested a hill with large boulders around, that opened up to the spans of Mills Lake, flanked by idyllic rocky mountains.
As an Arizona hiker who visited in August, I layered my clothing: yoga tank under a long sleeved t, under a sweatshirt, under a waterproof windbreaker. I'm SOOOO glad I took all layers (I almost left the sweatshirt in the car), because in the 30ish minutes I sat by the lake, the weather went from full sun, dy, then thunder, rain and hail...and then sun again. ....and then rain. Mother Nature was verrry moody the day I hiked this trail, and judging from what the Park Rangers, guides and locals told me, this is common. So, be sure you're prepared!
This trail felt like a true hike, whereas Bear Lake was not at all. The hike to Mills Lake is rated moderate, but I believe it's somewhere between Easy and Moderate.
There aren't any steep grades, despite you ascending almost all the way. The grade is subtle.
Because you are walking on a trail with loose rock and stepping around larger rocks, I also recommend you wear grippy shoes/boots.
You'll love it.

Very nice day hike. **Would absolutely recommend driving up the dirt road to the actual trailhead if you can. Our hike up that road was exhausting. For context, even a Prius made it up that road.**
We are from Nashville, TN and are of average fitness (we were accompanied by my parents who are in their mid-60s). The hike from the bottom of the road to the second lake and back I measured at 7.5 miles. This was a very challenging hike for my parents and we took many breaks. We started at 10am and got back to our car at 3pm. The hike into the lakes is completely uphill but is very beautiful. First mile and a half is in the forest and then the rest is above treeline. There were lots of wildflowers and great views. Foot traffic on a weekday was very light. Trail was very well marked. We enjoyed this hike but was more strenuous than we anticipated.

Beautiful hike to Mills Lake. It was challenging but well worth the effort. Only drawback was too many people on the trail.

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful trail. Steady incline but extremely enjoyable because of the meadows and flowing streams. We did get caught in a hail storm on our way back It was scary but memorable ! Carry a jacket just incase.

Great hike! In two miles you get to see 3 alpine lakes with moderate incline! The wildflowers and blooming and I even jumped in for a quick swim. Would recommend to all since the trail is well marked and trailhead is easy to get to as well!

What an awesome day hike within a day's drive from Denver! Parking is free and easy, I think most cars could make it up the bumpy dirt road to the trail head. The dirt road is just past Guanella pass campground. Trail is easy to follow aside from one switchback in the forest, which we missed and another hiker. It is within the first half mile of the trail.

be sure to go all the way past the second lake. You will see a lake down below, but that is not Murray lake or silver dollar. Keep going past the second lake you see to the third, it is well worth the steep incline once you are able to view the mountains and two lakes below. The trail was not too crowded, lots of dogs. All total for us, it was about 5 miles, not 3.9. It took us 2.5 hours with a large break at the very top lake. We were the only people at the top and had the whole place to ourselves! I would def go again since it was a short drive, free, and not crowded! I'm going to check out some more hikes on Guanella pass this year.

great little hike, I would agree with the moderate rating (I'm not particularly fit), but we did see a trail runner, and a handful of young children. there are NO bathrooms in the parking areas, use the bathroom at Guanella Pass campground, or pee in the forest. the first 1/4 of the trail is in the forest, then you're out in the open. it was beautiful: streams, wildflowers, the lakes. definitely will do this one again!

Hiked this with my cousin who was visiting from Boston on 7/30/18. It is definitely longer than 6 miles, but we also chose to wander down the path to the left once we got to the lake at the top, so that added on mileage. Beautiful hike (minus the traffic noise the first mile and last mile). Great having access to streams for dogs. View from the top is very pretty and well worth it. 2nd half of hike is fully exposed, so make sure to bring layers and sunscreen, bugs weren’t bad. Not a difficult climb, just long, well worth it! Took us about 3 hours total, give or take, stopped for lots of pictures and lunch at top. Didn’t start hike until 9:45 and we were fine w parking and weather, but it was also a Monday.

Hiked today, 8/5/18, from the lower trailhead (off main/paved road) up to Murray Lake. Arrived about 9am to clouds/fog, lower lot across road still had plenty of Parking spaces. It was raining so we didn’t start hiking until about 930. Took us about 3 hrs and 20 minutes total, which included several stops for pics, snacks and playing doggies. We never stopped too long, but long enough. Recommend to all levels, as long as you are ready for the incline in the beginning or drive up to the actual trailhead to cut off a lot of time/energy. Beautiful flowers, views, lakes and streams. As others had mentioned, several dogs off leash, but all were great with making sure dogs got along just fine. No garbage cans or toilets, FYI, when packing out.

Hiked up to Black Lake a week ago. Quite a few folks between Alberta Falls and Mills. But beyond Mills we found only the committed. We had Black Lake all to ourselves until the weather chased us down. Hike from Mills to Black is beautiful and serene. Loved the waterfall below Black. Take the time to relax at Black. It is worth the time and effort.

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