Explore Need To Try - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
42 minutes ago

1-20-19 . Was super windy when we got there and barely stayed. Beautiful hike though and roads getting there were not too bad. Favorite Colorado hike

Road to trail is closed roughly 3 miles from trailhead.

Spiked and snowshoed today 1/20/19 and enjoyed lots of snow, ice and sunshine. I love seeing happy hikers with their children and dogs. Only disappoinment today was all the dog poop on the trail!

Snow shoe or ski in. Otherwise you post hole. Busier than I wanted it yesterday morning. Trail condition is great. Mostly established main trails.. Packed snow on trails until you start climbing the last steep 1000 feet then it’s deep snow country and would be difficult without a reliable flotation devise (snowshoe or ski) The first lake we run into was frozen. To ski or snow doe? If you ski here you glide. You snowshoe? Hard work = great toned legs! :) either way this place is relatively close to DENVER and offers amazing views and tons of photo ops with other like minded humans. And its as cliche as the saying “it worth it”! Happy trails!

hiking
18 hours ago

1.20.19: beautiful, we made it all the way without snowshoes just fine (did have spikes on our boots). It was PAINFULLY windy and cold both at Dream Lake and Emerald Lake (felt like North of the Wall on Game of Thrones) - highly recommend some kind of Buff Neckwear to pull over your face and either ski goggles or at least sunglasses for eye protection.

Great snow, great trail! Snowshoed up to the lower lake this morning. Started at about 9:30, done by 1:30. Definitely need snowshoes as we were breaking trail in tons of powder up by the lake. Also, snow is great all the way from the trailhead, so best to wear your snowshoes or skins/skis to keep the snow pack as smooth as possible for others.

snowshoeing
snow
1 day ago

50/50 with loose and firm packed trails. Very pretty. Good snow and fun.

hiking
1 day ago

This an easy loop trail. Did this in about two hours with my grandkids.

snowshoeing
snow
1 day ago

Nice, easy snowshoeing hike. We took our time and it was about 2 hours. If you're in a rush and in shape, 1 hour is definitely possible.

There were a few people out there, but most were in Meetups and condensed to a few large groups that easily separated and allowed for some private hiking. There is a slight elevation change but doable for people of almost any fitness level and skill.

60% of the hike did not need snowshoes, about 2 days after 6" fell. Trail was pretty condensed. 40% of it, though, I was glad to have shoes. You can get away with spikes for the whole thing.

Lots of dogs on leash.

Note: The parking fills up early. We arrived at 8:45 and it was half full. When we finished by 11:00 there were cars circling waiting for spots to open up.

Garmin: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3317309643

If the parking lot is windy, don't worry. There is great tree cover all the way up to the lakes. The first mile is packed snow, but you can still wear your snowshoes. You will need them. The last mile is a steep climb up and traction is crucial. I continued to the upper lake and followed someone's else's tracks. Snow was knee deep - fun! Took me 3.25 hours RT.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
2 days ago

Great hike but the winds were almost insurmountable. 50-60 mph gusts with biting wind and blowing snow. Not for the faint of heart. Got within visual distance of chasm lake but couldn't proceed without ice picks/axes. No trail, blown over and potentially very treacherous. Be careful!

snowshoeing
snow
2 days ago

Great trail, started around 9:30, had the entire place to ourselves!

hiking
2 days ago

Opened the park a few days ago after shuffling around some money. We made it to Dream Lake w/o snow shoes. It was incredibly windy there and everyone we saw turned back - definitely need snow shoes to go from Dream to Emerald. Great hike up to Dream, though.

hiking
5 days ago

Great weather yesterday at Chasm Lake! micro spikes from trailhead to lake and I was glad to have my ice axe for the last half mile. Be careful and enjoy!

walking
5 days ago

Nice couple mile loop. Walkway onto the lake. Lucky enough to see a Bald Eagle there today. However, people who walk their dogs there need to,be responsible owners and pick up their dog's mess..

beautiful trail and perfect weather on 1/14. 6-8 inches of snow on each side of the trail, moderately packed snow on the trail itself. used micro spikes pretty much all the way.

Today we did the Canyon Loop. It had quite a bit of snow but it was well packed so no need for snowshoes. There were some muddy spots. This was an easier hike.

Awesome hike! Went up in November 2018, trail was pretty icy / snowy but could hike it in sneakers (did a lot of butt slides on the way down). The fire tower is well worth the hike and then the climb when you reach it.

Getting to the trail head was very very bumpy and slow moving in some spots.

Great views. Did trail clockwise so went up the stairs which felt safer. Trail was snow covered and deep in places. No ice but should wear micro spikes

hiking
7 days ago

Broke a new trail past the ridge to the lake after the most recent snow. Definitely slick and exposed, but manageable with microspikes. Beautiful winter hike!

on Emerald Lake Trail

7 days ago

I tried to go there today but the road is closed during government shutdown

Made it to the lower crater lakes. Started at 9am and was back at the parking lot by 12:30pm. The last mile is a good upwards climb. Snowshoes only needed up top when you're exploring the lakes. I had crampons on otherwise.

Beautiful views - we went the day after a fresh snow and it was perfect! Spikes were helpful but not required if your shoes have traction. Great overlook spots.

Snowshoed 1/12/19. Tracks were easy to follow. Fairly gradual for the first couple of miles. The last mile is pretty steep so be prepared for a climb

Made it to the upper lake on snowshoes! Lots of people on skis up to the lower lakes, but I'm not sure it would be possible for most to make it to upper lake on skis - very steep! You'll need one or the other to make it to the first lakes, started postholing about half a mile from them.

Started around 8:30, got back to the car around 4, with lots of breaks and trail breaking and route finding slowing us down. Absolutely worth the effort! So beautiful.

Directions were accurate to TH. Starts in the burn area but quickly drop int the woods along Goose Creek. Good trail conditions all the way to the historic buildings. Just as much up and down coming and going, good training trail. Links up with other trails in the wilderness.

Wow for sure the best snowshoe I've done so far in Colorado. This trail was magical in the snow! Even the drive there was delightful. It can be hard to tell which tracks to follow, but if you keep following the signs for the trail you'll get to the lake eventually! If you go up a little beyond the lake it is heckin steep but the views are stunning and majestic this trail was the best.

snowshoeing
8 days ago

This is a great snowshoe hike!! It’s so gorgeous thru the rolling hills with great views of fluffy snow covered trees and mountains in the distance. Lots of animal tracks, possibly moose or Elk - some were giant! My dog enjoyed sniffing them out! First time ever trekking out a trail on my own through the fresh powder. Gators and snowshoes were a must! The first 3/8 of a mile was pretty easy to find the trail (since the powder lays smoother over it), but we most definitely got lost and had to watch the All trails map live to figure out how close we were. But it made it all that much more fun. I apologize to anyone following our trail anytime soon! You will get lost too! We only made it like a mile in before we turned around, but if we had more time would have loved to keep exploring! We parked across the highway as there didn’t appear to be a great public place near the trailhead. But it’s just a short walk over. Maybe it’s more obvious when it’s dry.

11 days ago

A must do

One of my favorite trails! So beautiful. We did the loop counter clockwise, it seems like it could have been a little easier to do it clockwise though.

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