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Snowshoed within a .25 mile of Hartenstein Lake today. The Denny Creek Trailhead is OPEN. There is a good trench all the way. There is good boot pack until the Mt Yale trail, After that snowshoes are needed to avoid postholing. The snow above 11000 feet is deep.

hiking
19 days ago

Well-maintained trail with great views of the canyon. Some parts of the trail are icy - wear YakTraks if you have them and your trek will be much more enjoyable. Dog poop on the trail both in and out of bags. There is an $8 fee to enter the park.

Tried to hike this today and it was covered in ice. Decided to turn back shortly after we started. Definitely recommend spikes at this point in the season, especially with the high winds we have had recently.

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike, I would agree with another poster that it’s moreso easy rather than moderate. There were a few icy spots, but we were fine without our spikes. Beautiful views, well maintained trail—I would come back.

love this hike! have completed it a couple times. great to take out of towners who want to see our beautiful canyons, feel accomplished, but not terribly difficult. lots of areas to stop and enjoy the views. fun seeing the rock climbers throughout the canyon. interesting history with the hotel ruins.

hiking
29 days ago

I love this trail. I completed it last month before the snow. The nature and views are beautiful. I loved watching the train pass in the distance. I am a Colorado native so I never really feel inclined to go back to most trails but I will definitely hike this trail again. There is an $8 fee to get into Eldorado State Park, or $5 to park outside the park and walk in, but you can tell the state park puts the money to good use. This has to be one of the cleanest trails I’ve seen. There aren’t too many tactical areas. I went counter clockwise at the loop, so going down the incline back to the trailhead was rather rocky and steep. I almost fell at one point, but it was only for a short stretch.

There are rattlesnakes so be careful, but don't miss out! This is a great workout for people looking to improve beginner hiking skills. Lots of great views, really cool area for rock climbers, and a little history hidden on the trail.

I would have liked to pick up the pace to get a better workout in, but the trail was pretty crowded (granted, it was midday on a Saturday.) Overall it was a nice trail, great views at the top, and fun to watch climbers on the opposite rock face. My friends and I maintained regular conversation without much huffing and puffing and there were plenty of kids on the trail, so I’m not sure if deserves a “moderate” categorization, but it was a great outing for sure. Saw some cool birds, too!

got there at 10 a.m. yesterday only a couple of cars in the lot. though there's not a lot of spaces. well maintained trail. nice steady incline for first couple of miles. the view at the top was beautiful! bring layers! started off needing 2 jackets a hat and gloves went down to just day clothes as we got going.

Hiked this my first day in Denver so getting used to the elevation was a little rough for me. But overall I thought it was a great hike! The overlook was incredibly beautiful and while the trail was a bit rocky in places, it was mostly flat and wide with a slight constant incline to the top. I am not an avid hiker and a bit out of shape so I thought it was the perfect combination of a challenge, scenery, and length.

Awesome little trail with a nice overlook. some snow was melting from a dusting earlier in the week, so the trail was a bit muddy, but otherwise good.

I had a few free hours in the afternoon and live about 30 minutes away from here, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Nice trail. Well maintained. Great scenery. Gentle elevation gain.

Certainly not one of Colorado's greatest hikes, but a good couple hour loop.

It can be a little crowded, and parking can be hard to come by.

Always love this trail. ..

WOW! This was a GREAT hike! Super impressed.

PROS: Bathroom - YES... very nice! Just down at a lower parking lot than the higher lots. But still nice, clean and accessible. There are pit toilets, but they are inside a nice room and have bathroom stalls.

TERRAIN: ROCKY, as previously mentioned by others. My dog (a Dachshund) could handle the terrain, but it was sharp and big rocks in alot of places. When you get to the Crags Hotel site, it smoothes out temporarily. But, it stays "craggly" for awhile.

FEATURES: The views were amazing! Continental Divide, general views of the mountains! One of the prettier hikes that I've been to in my years of hiking for sure! The Crags Hotel was AWESOME to see the ruins... it had a fireplace, it had the fountain and some of the hotel foundation. Super cool! I love history, so it was an amazing thing to see. The railroad tracks and tunnel was also awesome to see too. The train came within minutes of us leaving the area.

BOTTOM LINE: Great bathrooms, steep hike up (def moderate or slightly higher) Wear layers! The weather changed alot up on the way up the hill... keep a lookout for snakes, although I didn't see any.
DEFINITELY get there early to get a parking space (we got there at 8:30am) and it was great!

Beautiful views

Mt. Yale was my first 14'er. I am from the midwest, so not use to seeing or hiking this type of terrain (mainly the elevation). It is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. But I was in OK shape from running and decided to give it a go.

The river is the first thing you notice at the start of the trailhead. It's refreshing to hear the water rushing down as part of the snow melt. The trail is wide and easy to follow for the first several miles. There was a little ice and snow to deal with below the treeline. I was able to move at 2-4 mph for the first several miles before I decided that I should slow down and conserve energy. Later on, I would realize that was a wise decision.

Getting above the treeline was exciting and you really begin to see the beauty of this trail and climb. The initial part above the treeline is steeper but it "flattens out" for a ways (meaning the elevation gain is not too difficult). The most difficult part that day above the treeline was trying to navigate the trail with large swaths of snow. I lost the trail a few times due to the snow (it wasn't deep and I was up early enough that it was still in the shade, so no post holing). Once you get to the last 1/2 mile or so going up, it moves into a switchback that I couldn't find due to the snow. So, I could see where the false summit was, so I just decided that I was going to start heading up vertical...I did that for ~900' of vertical gain! The most challenging part here was the loose terrain and the fear in the back of my head that I wouldn't make it home to my wife and 3 kids :-) However, I took it slow to make sure I stayed safe.

Once I got to the false summit, it was another 200' up (vertical) having to hop and jump around large boulders. It was also VERY windy. The wind made this part very challenging. But the view up at the summit, seeing so many snow capped peaks, was breath taking. I ate my lunch up there, took it in for about 30 mins, and then headed back down.

One thing I will say, you feel so small when you are on top of a mountain. Great perspective on life from up there. I feel so important most days, but it was a very different feeling up there. Humbling and good for the soul.

The trek down was most difficult for me...didn't realized how much that would pound on my thighs. I had hoped to run down, but decided against it to stay safe. My legs were spent by the time I got down. I took a 3 hour nap that felt like 5 mins!

I'd highly recommend this route...the beauty of the trail is worth all the effort. The view from the top is breath taking. Have a blast!

trail running
1 month ago

This is a great short run. The roaring creek at the bottom added to the experience. The switchbacks are long and climb ever so higher for the first 1.75 miles. The views are stunning. I arrived at 8:30am and only met 3 hikers going up and another 3 or 4 on my way back down. There were lots of rock climbers preparing for their climb as I left the park. Knocked this one out in 53 minutes.

Took Jacob and Garrett. Beautiful views!

Awesome hike great views along the way and is challenging hike. Steady elevation to the top. Reward on the way down,plus you can view the Continental divide view! Highly recommended this one!

easy and beautiful

Would do this again.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail - moderately difficult. A lot of small rocks, so be sure to wear good shoes. Conditions today were very foggy so couldn't see the continental divide. The switchbacks were nice because you could see where you started from with each level. One section that wasn't very well marked was around the wooden bridge. Be sure to take the bridge and don't go towards the left which puts you under some metal bunker looking object and then into a very rocky section.

No rattlesnakes seen today, was probably way too cold / no sun for them.

The views made it all worth it! A steady climb from the beginning to a rocky last 45 minutes of the hike.

A nice start in the woods. Trail was clearly marked. Beautiful vistas!

Haley P nailed that synopsis below, incredible! Hiked under the full moon and started right outside of Winfield (the lower trailhead; Winfield is super cool, old little mining town you can explore) - tons of dispersed camping along the road to the upper trailhead. Great little dispersed spot right outside of Winfield as well. Definitely a great beginner 14'er! The trail is wonderfully defined the entire route and tough to get off track. #27 & definitely one of my favorites! Views at the summit were all-time. Enjoy!

Incredible! This was my first 14er and I’m hooked - a great first one to try if you haven’t hiked one yet. Some tips for folks to help you gauge time, distance, etc.

Everyone says to “start early” but that doesn’t really explain much. I found that you should be off the peak and below the tree line before noon on account of afternoon lightning storms. We started at 5:30 am (1.5 hours before sunrise) to give us ample time. The trail was super easy to follow, even in the dark. We made it almost half way up (to the plateau) in 1.5 hours. The last half took us another 1.5 hours, so 3 hours total to make it to the peak. We are regular hikers, but were not rushing it. We’re not a fan of blitzing a hike. We spent an hour at the top before descending in about 3 hours. Down by around 1 pm. Tons of people were ascending at that time - not sure if they planned to do the whole thing or not.

We drove in the Friday night before and car camped at the 4x4 trailhead. There were still plenty of places to park and camp, although we got there at 10 pm. You do need a 4x4 car or truck with at least 8-10 inches of clearance. A Toyota suv was hitting bottom in front of us on the way up.

Bring water, snacks, and layers! We saw some people hiking in a long-sleeved shirts and shorts and carrying one water bottle. I can’t advise against that enough. Maybe I’m just paranoid being a WFR, but honestly, I’m the one who will have to help when you get hurt, so please bring some supplies! Better to be prepared at 14,000 ft than to skimp on a little bit of extra weight.

Do it, you’ll love it!! 

Fun hike, lots of people though.

2 months ago

Easy hike. Terrific overlooks. The feel of this Canyon is impressive. Weekends are packed. Arrive early or go during the week.

Excellent fall hike. Actually, it’s great anytime. Enough elevation gain to feel like you got a little workout. Pretty views back toward the divide. The hotel ruins and railroad are interesting as well.

off road driving
2 months ago

this is a fun trail. the aspens were changing colors. beautiful views and only ran into 1 other vehicle on a weekday. a high clearance 4x4 is necessary to get to the top. i drove a 97 land cruiser with a 2 inch lift and had no issues. lakes are beautiful! sadly the trail is closed to motor vehicles before you even reach the first lake.

on Rattlesnake Gulch Trail

2 months ago

Awesome park

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