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hiking
18 days ago

Very well-marked trail even with snow cover, limited tracks and windy conditions. Virtually no need for a map or snow shoes, wore typical ankle-high boots and insulated hiking pants. Averaged 2-6” of icy-topped snow. Hike was not difficult and not moderate: it’s very much a “state park” designated difficulty, over inflated and catered to tourists rather than experienced hikers. Would peg it at “easy,” for those who generally hike 7-10+ miles on their runs with 2k+ gains. Saw some moose tracks as well, road closed before campsites for access only adds 0.2 miles. No one else on trail, but we hiked at the beginning of a storm in very high winds. Took a little over an hour with no breaks.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a nice hike in the fresh snow. The tracks from the previous reviewer were already almost completely covered, but navigation wasn't too difficult. One of the bindings on my snowshoes broke, so it made for an interesting time, but I managed to semi-repair. I also saw some moose tracks. This trail definitely doesn't deserve the hard designation. I'd put it at moderate.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Loved this trail, perfect for snowshoeing, especially in the fresh beautiful snow. I’d guess there was 6-7” of snow throughout the trail. Less under tree cover. We did the whole 3.1 mile loop in about 2 hours. The road was closed at Aspen Meadows road before the camp so it added a bit to the hike, but nothing we couldn’t handle. Felt like a moderate hike for my girlfriend and I, and my 10 year old dog. One person had previously tracked it out in the snow already which made it easier to find from the trailhead & route, the trail map in Pro version was also helpful for finding the trailhead. Otherwise, for an adventure seeker, I’m sure it’s not that hard to find. The tree canopy also probably helps provide some way-finding if you’re not sure which way to go. My girlfriend opted to leave her snowshoes in the car and said she didn’t miss them. She just had on waterproof winter knee-high boots. I wore snow shoes and ankle boots, forgot my gators, darn, but was also just fine. Thanks to my wool socks. Love it when there’s enough snow to finally wear my snow shoes, this is a place I will have to come back to! And we didn’t see another single sole on a snowy Veterans Day Sunday!

trail running
1 month ago

Took me 3 hours 48 min. I ran ~4 miles and hiked the rest. Good views at beginning and end. Middle chunk gets a little bland.

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

This trail freakin rocks! Awesome open areas and great trails! Highly recommend this trail!

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.

Hiked on 10/26. I had been there almost 20 years ago with my kids aged 1, 3, and 4 (a good fraction on my back as you can imagine). This was during the summer and we had a great time. This is why I wanted to take the opportunity of my visit in Boulder to return.
Some snow on the path, but not too much. The lowest part of the trail is somewhat icy, and some may want to use spikes (I did not). After the tree line, the snow is soft, so that the spikes are not useful. Today was very windy but clear. I left the winter parking lot at 7AM and was back at 1PM. There is no need for snow shoes, but good hiking shoes and protection (to avoid the snow to get in) are needed

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on 10/20. As others have said, the road into Brainard Lake is closed for the season, so you park in the lot before the fee station. I tracked the whole hike on my fitbit, and it's 2 miles to Brainard Lake, and another mile to the trailhead. All we wore were Yaktraks over our hiking shoes. It would have been nice to have snow boots or gaiters on, as you fall through the snow a LOT. Our feet were soaked for most of the hike.

Took us 7 hours, and we took a wrong turn on the way to the trailhead that added a mile. 14 miles round trip. There was no wind at all until the top, and even then it wasn't too bad. The snow made this hike TOUGH and made it take a lot longer than it should have for us, but the views are some of the most incredible I've seen. We only saw a few other people all day. Highly recommend if you love a challenging hike--though I wouldn't do it again in the snow.

Beautiful hike, lots of scenery and mountains all around you covered in snow. Parking lot (due to road closure) is 3.5 miles away from the lake Isabelle trailhead, entire hike ends up being 12.5 miles. Lake Isabelle is completely frozen over and looks immaculate. Expect a 5 and half hour hike. I would arrive early to get the best views and temperatures.

Loved it! Got to parking lot at Gateway at 6 am and biked the 2 plus miles to trailhead. The trail starts in trees and snow was packed on the trail with scattered ice. I wore micro spikes and knee gaiters—both were needed. Parts of the trail were nearly dry on a ridge about 3/4 of a mile up and before tree line. After tree line it’s consistently snowy. The trail above tree line is marked by rock piles and was easy to follow until a quarter mile from the summit. Lots of packed snow and many post holes from recent hikers breaking through the crust. The wind above tree line today was fierce. Three other hikers and I were all amazed at the wind speed, likely a constant 25 mph + with stronger gust? ( I had no gauge so let’s just say it was plenty strong and slowed my forward progress to a crawl at times.) But glorious views at the top! Well worth the effort. I hike about ten miles a week at elevation but I’m a slow hiker and took my time, stopped often and ate lunch near the summit. Got back to the Gateway parking lot at 4:45 even using a mountain bike. Highly recommend this trail, but with more snow I will pass on going again till summer. Snow shoes would have done no good today, if you’re going soon use knee gaiters and spikes.

This was a great hike! There are three lakes at the top, the third is a bit further up & is frozen over. The trail is completely snow covered and icy in some patches but passable the whole way. Spikes would be nice if you like to use them, but not necessary. It was a little windy at the third lake and we were occasionally stepping into knee deep snow. Great hike with the doggies. We saw a few other groups of people along the way. Absolutely gorgeous!

off road driving
1 month ago

Taco, 2.5” lift, 33s

This is not a difficult trail. I would rate it as a more standard “moderate” with few sections requiring much clearance. Most stock trucks and SUVs with moderate clearance should have no problem (Xterra, Taco, 4Runner, etc.), but it’s not built for your Subaru. Practically all features have an alternate path around. Air down or be prepared for a rough, bouncy ride as it’s a rocky trail. Expect some traffic on the trail.

*If you’re exploring the trail network and you are not driving a very capable vehicle, steer clear of Red Elephant. Super tricky trail.

Current conditions are snowy. From the top of the short descent to the lake itself, it’s almost entirely snow covered (4-8in). For this reason, bring a capable vehicle. You’ll need to climb a relatively steep pitch in snow on the way out. The lake itself is frozen right now, in case you’re looking for a view.

**there is a separate account for “winter” trail, but this is the first account most people go to** Beautiful hike the entire way. As someone else mentioned the road to Brainard Lake is closed. From parking and back we clocked a round trip of 12 miles to get to Lake Isabelle and back to parking lot. The trail had nice packed snow 90% of the way, the last part before the lake is a little slushy and muddy being exposed to sun which can cause it to be a little slick, so careful if you have some limitations. The lake was completely frozen on 10/20.

Did this on 10/20/18. THE GATES ARE CLOSED FOR THE SEASON. You must park at Gateway Trailhead and walk the 2-2.5ish miles to the Beaver Creek Trailhead- or anywhere else you want to go around Brainard. If you are at all worried about time or icy trails, just walk the road. Yak traks are necessary if you do not take the road but everything else is doable without them. Highly recommend tall snow boots and gaiters as you will spend a lot of time stepping in the snow to your knees... which I'm sure will only get more significant very soon. You should also allow more time than you think with the snow... it took me 6.5 hours having to walk from Gateway and I am an experienced hiker. BUT the hike is amazing, the snow capped mountains are gorgeous and you should do this hike!!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail late this morning. About 2” snow on 90% of the trail. Starting temp was 51 degrees but a front passed and dropped 10 degrees. Snow was soft and not icy. No slush and trail was yet to become muddy. Fresh moose tracks in the snow before the fishing hole and had a chickaree yelling at me. GGCSP only 3mi from home - can’t beat that!

Just a heads up the road to Brainard Lake is closed for the season as of 10/15 so you have to park at the winter lot and hike the 2.5ish miles to the trailhead.

This was a beautiful hike with varying difficulty in the trail throughout and lots of beautiful views along the way. we didn't make it to glacier lake but lake Isabelle was great!

I did this 13er with my wife when we were visiting from KY. It is very manageable, and has some great views.

We do a lot of hiking in Colorado, and for my entire family this is our favorite. It is extremely easy, and just shockingly beautiful the entire way. I can't think of a better place for a hike. We went on a Wednesday, arrived at the park about 7:05 in the morning, and there were only two parking places left. Arriving early and bug spray are both a must!

We were looking for a lake hike not far from our house and this looked like a good candidate. The Guanella pass road was still open so we took it, and then drove the Naylor Lake Road up to the upper parking lot, shaving about a mile off of the total distance of the trail. I'd highly recommend AWD or 4WD. We did it in our Jeep in 2WD but that road can get slick really quick. As we were driving through the Guanella pass road we realized that there was a light coating of snow at the top, and assumed that there would be a little snow up where we were headed, glad we packed warm. The hike was fairly easy, with a skim coat of ice on some of the areas where water came off the mountain and pooled in the low spots. We were glad that we had our trekking poles if only for a couple extra points of contact. About 2/3rds of the trail is above treeline and is exposed to the elements. The wind started to kick up fiercely as we made it to Silver Dollar lake and continued to Murray Reservoir. The views were obstructed somewhat from the low ceiling, but it was still worth the hike.

I'll have to come back sometime in the spring to check and see if there are any nice looking trout in those lakes!

Incredible views. Bring layers. Very windy by the lake

on Snowshoe Hare Trail

hiking
2 months ago

We did this trail with 4 adults (ranging in age and fitness levels) and one large dog. It was a beautiful early fall hike. The inclines were nice and made it feel like a workout but I’m with the others who have posted that maybe this hike shouldn’t be classified as difficult. Nice hike, though.

Great hike with beautiful views. If you have to park in the lower lot, plan on walking an extra mile or so RT. We arrived around 8:30 on a Sunday morning and the lot and path were pretty empty on the way up—not so much on the way down. Lots of friendly dogs, too!

Easy hike and busy on a Sat. Beautiful lake at the golden hour! Chilly at the top so bring layers.

So pretty the entire time!! Dog friendly & everyone had their dogs on a leash. Very appreciative of this.

Not much water, but easily one of my favorite hikes in Colorado. Keep hiking up to Isabelle Glacier if you’ve got it in ya

This was our first every high altitude hike and we loved it. We started around 9ish and took 3 hours to get all the way up. Weather was pretty crazy today with winds at 20 mph but the gusts felt to be even higher once we hit the plateau before the finial ascent to the summit. Once you make it to the finial bolder field to the summit the trail was hard to find and we ended up scrambling to find our way. All in all great hike and we are so glad we did it. Total time was 5.5 hours.

Very easy trail, a few steep-ish climbs right before the lake. A lot of bang for your effort with fantastic views at the end. The lake is currently low due to the drought, but still an amazing sight. Watch for moose, as a bull lives here with his family - I actually saw the bull chase away some idiots with their unleashed dog.

Nice hike accurately described. Great views once above tree line (about 2/3 of the trail, each way).

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