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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.

on Super Betasso

1 day ago

Lots of intermittent shade. Good on a hot day. Bikes.

hiking
1 day 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!

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.

on Hells Hole Trail

hiking
2 days ago

Once you get to the top, the view is great but other than that, eh, there are way prettier hikes in Colorado.

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.

Beautiful half day trail. The end is worth the effort.

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.

This was a fantastic hike! We did this as a day hike and had lunch at the lake. Magnificent views. From the time you cross the stream and enter the Horn Fork basin until slightly before the turn off for the lake, the rate of climb is very manageable. The last bit before the turn off was steeper, but not all that long. I’m not sure that I would agree with the review below about most low clearance cars being able to make it to the trailhead, at least based on the condition of the road when we were there in July this year. We did make it using a garden variety small SUV, but I would have felt a lot better in something with more clearance and a stick, particularly coming down. That being said, there were a couple of low clearance passenger cars at the trailhead and one apparently disabled SUV being hauled off on a flatbed tow truck...

Very busy, however, well worth the trek.

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

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.

hiking
8 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!

Nice steady climb up and a beautiful view at the top.

Good views, well maintained, well trafficked but not crowded. Bicycle and hiking coexisting, runners and hikers, traverse s perimeters of hills rather than steep climbs. Often shaded/ tree lined trail. I plan to do this hike again. If lived closer it would be a staple.

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.

We got there early on a weekday and only saw six other people. The aspen groves were fantastic and we’re planning a trip to go back when the leaves are turning.

hiking
10 days ago

We did this hike this morning, which is a Saturday. Decent sized parking lot, and we got there about 9:15 and there were only four or five other cars in it. There is a bathroom at the trailhead, but it’s essentially a port-a-potty. The trail is quite steep for the first three miles (first mile especially) and then levels out a little the rest of the way. We didn’t see too many other people on the trail, so the whole thing was nice and quiet, especially once we got to the Hell’s Hole area. The trail is almost completely in the woods of Arapaho National Forest. Hike was a great workout, but I don’t think I’d want to do it again-once we finished at the “top” and headed back down, we were ready to be done. The trail is pretty straight the entire way, so you’re just plugging along and navigating the rocks. It took us 3 hours and 55 minutes to complete, and my tracking app said it was 8.77 miles total.

This was one of my favorite hikes since moving to Colorado. I got to the trailhead at 6am and had the lake to myself. If I had arrived any later, that would not have been the case. The first .75 miles kicks your butt, then the last .5 miles on the way up give you round two. But this hike offers both open meadows and then plenty of tree cover too. It was a perfect balance.

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