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Showed up at 10am on Friday to an insanely packed trailhead. The trail is beautiful itself and wooded most of the way, and the views at the lake and grassy areas made the destination worth hanging out for awhile. Saw at least 15 groups of backpackers headed in to camp/do the Missouri/Fancy Lake though. Great hike overall, only 4 stars because it was verrry crowded.

As someone from Michigan, this hike was a little difficult for me. There were some flatter areas but overall it was an incline. Took me about 3 hours to get up to the lake and 2.5 to get back down. However, it is pretty rough on the knees going down. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks/lunch for the lake.

hiking
1 day ago

My wife and I did this yesterday. Nice trail with wildflowers and great scenery. It is a combination of open fields of wildflowers and areas with large shady aspens. There were also some wild raspberries and blueberries (or possibly huckleberries) along the trail of which I munched on here and there. I would recommend hiking shoes as the trail can be rocky in places although I did see many folks in tennis shoes along the trail. There were several steep places where a trekking pole came in handy. I'm 63 and about 220 lbs and I find a single trekking pole helps balance and knees on the steps. My wife and I made it to the falls in 1 and 1/2 hours. I'm from a southern low land area but we've been here about 5 days to get somewhat acclimated to the elevation. While getting a bit winded at times, it wasn't that bad. Would do this again.

We were told by the bus driver that Crater Lake was a lot more dried up this year, and that was completely obvious once we saw the lake. I’m sure it would have been a lot more attractive if the water were higher. But pretty views throughout the hike! Saw a ton of families, so should be doable for most kiddos. And if you have a dog, they’ll probably enjoy cooling off in the lake at the top.

I’m physically active so I thought the trail itself was mostly easy, but we flew in from GA ~18 hours before the hike and I definitely felt some negative affects of the altitude adjustment. If you’re not used to high altitudes, bring plenty of water and remember to take deep breaths.

It tricked my watch! Shorter than the app posted!

Tough and beautiful - worth every step!

hiking
3 days ago

Hike and mountain scenery is pleasant however the 10 mile long forest road filed with Rental Vehicles driving like pricks and the Denver crowd flocking to the trail with Bluetooth Speakers and trash everywhere make for an overall unpleasant experience.

hiking
3 days ago

What a great way to get away into the mountains fast! We drove from Carbondale in the morning on a Wednesday in late August. The 3 of us had the full spectrum of hiking experience, so we hiked to the pace of our slowest friend—and we had a great hike! We parked at the hairpin turn (the upper trailhead) that you encounter before Independence Pass—plenty of parking there and it’s a paved surface. So we did the hike counter-clockwise and reached Independence Lake after 2 hours of very slow hiking. My friend has a heart condition, so we’re happy she could come so far! We hiked to the saddle above the lake and stopped for a half hour as we watched a herd of mountain goats approach and pass us on the trail. We decided to turn back to the car so our friend could rest but my athletic husband decided to trail run the rest of the loop (so he continued on past Lost Man Lake). So we split up and by the time I reached the parking lot for the Lost Man Lake Campground, he was already there (albeit very sweaty). I’m posting this long narrative hoping it shows just how awesome of a trail this is—a short morning hike, a trail run loop, a picnic spot, wildlife viewing, wildflowers even in late August, a camping option, clearly marked trail, and easy access.

hiking
3 days ago

Says Hard but I don't think its hard. Beautiful trial.

I am in Vail for a 9 week post-surgery checkup for my hip. I had a personal goal to do some hiking while in Vail. This trail was steep but had enough shade and flat surfaces that I was able to complete it! The hardest part, for me, is getting used to the elevation. Make sure to pack plenty of water and healthy snacks. I found a walking stick, which was very helpful. We took alot of breaks and completed the trail in and out in 5 1/2 hours. Great scenery and plenty of friendly, encouraging hikers along the way.

The 2K feet of gain was pretty gradual and easy on this hike. I agree that the better view is before you start descending to the lake than at the lake itself. Fun easy jaunt, took about 3 hours with a 15 min break at the lake!

The hike is great, lake is underwhelming. Views along the hike are awesome.

Awsome !

For those of us not used to the altitude (we are from GA) this was a pretty difficult hike on the way to Crater Lake. Mostly uphill and very rocky. Took about an hour hike to get to Crater Lake but the view was gorgeous! Plan on packing a lunch or snacks and taking in the view—and a short rest! Definitely want to get there early as it gets very crowded on the narrow, rocky trail as the day progresses. We got to Highlands at about 8:15 to take the bus up to Maroon Bells. Go early—very popular destination! Bring lots of water too.

Nice hike! A good bit of the first part is along I-70, and the sound of traffic is annoying. Once you get beyond that, it is a nice, moderate incline to the lakes at the top. We will do this one again!

Amazing views along the way with lots of wildflowers. There are parts that are steep but manageable. There are plenty of places to rest on the way up that are shaded. Enjoy the gorgeous views of the falls at the top!

This trail was amazing. I went two nights 8/6-7. I suggest going two nights. Spending a whole day just relaxing is worth it.

I went up solo. It took Me quite a while to make it up. Start early and take breaks as needed. It’s not a race. The altitude was pretty rough for me. The trail is pretty rocky so bring solid foot wear. Also many parts of the trail are through thick brush. Long sleeves will save some scratches. On the way back down by the ponds past the creek ford I encountered moose. But I came up on the with no coverage or protection. The bull was chill enough that I could back off slowly and not spook it, but easily could have been bad. Be mindful out there.

The people up there were all great. Just a group of strangers all there to relax and enjoy the hot springs. Everyone was there for a great time. Don’t be uptight cause there will be drinking, probably nudity and a few were smoking pot.

I would suggest bringing foot wear you can wear in the spring. It’s great but the bottom and edges are super rocky. It’s very painful getting in and out. Sunscreen and bug spray cause flys and mosquitoes were all over me. Also don’t skimp on cold weather stuff. The days were very nice, but even early August as soon as the sun sets behind the mountains it got VERY cold.

on Ute Trail

6 days ago

Tourist trap. Comparable to Boulder’s Sanitas but with a looser and more narrow trail, heavier crowds, less shade, essentially nothing worth hiking to/seeing unless you just want a killer calf workout. Easily the worst hike I’ve done in Colorado.

This trail is rather difficult, I got to the end in about and hour and a half and in total stayed for about 3 hours. It is very touching to see all the memorials for the firefighters that tragically lost their lives.

I recommend doing this hike very early in the morning. I started at about 4:30 am, this way you avoid all the heat during the day.

overall a great hike.

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
7 days ago

I found the low level of the lake and the dirty water to be a little underwhelming. The view of the surrounding mountains is very nice, as is the aspen forest on the way in.

Excellent hike! It took us 2:.5 hours to reach the lake at a good pace....and then a nice dip in the lake!!

on Lost Man Trail

hiking
7 days ago

My favorite hike! Majestic views with lovely lakeside picnic spots. Makes for a wonderful day in the mountains. Two-car
shuttle is perfect with starting point at Linkin Lake/Lost Man TH and second car awaiting at Lost Man Campground/TH below:)

Not too bad of a hike. Just a scramble towards the end. The views up top are spectacular!

Absolutely beautiful hike! Flowers/colors are amazing! We hiked in on 8/3 for 1 night.
Took us about 5 hours to get to the first camp site #19 and at least 30 minutes more to get to site #4 (our site). The hike from #19 to #4 may have been the most difficult part of the hike. We saw 3 moose, a few deer and a far off bear sunning itself in a rock near silver dollar lake! Rangers stopped us on our way and asked to see our permit, ID and bear canister. The springs were spectacular and surprisingly uncrowded. Took us 3.5 hours to hike out.

9 days ago

Great hike. I found it tough but glad I did it.

Probably the most beautiful hike in Colorado. Waterfalls, wildflowers, about 10 lakes, fabulous views and incredible rock formations. By the times you hike around the lakes you’ll probably hike around 12 to 13 miles. I recommend taking trekking sticks as there are some steeper rocks to climb over.

hiking
9 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. It’s fairly moderate and rolling for the first two thirds, then an uphill climb. If you reach what seems like a fork, take the trial that leads away from the river. It’s quiet, somewhat shaded, and so peaceful. Would definitely do again. Trail ends at the bridge.

9 days ago

A great hike, incredible views and very strenuous. I thought I was doing well till a dog with 3 legs passed me up.....made it to the top & took gondola down.... best option.

hiking
10 days ago

Go early to beat the crowds and dress in layers.

hiking
10 days ago

Can’t say a lot about the trail. I loved what I saw , but after a mile in , in the drizzling rain it started lightning!! So , this will have to wait until a better day!

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