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Kind of steep but beautiful

Beautiful trail but as previous reviewer mentioned, at some point near the end, the foot path in the snow deviates from the actual trail. I had a GPS with me so was able to figure this out (coupled with clues based on the trail just not seeming right). We never actually made it to the lakes but the hike was still beautiful. I would say if you don’t have a GPS, be careful as just following the footprints in the snow isn’t actually the trail & gets a bit sketchy.

Trail is all snow, most packed by skiers. Final ~1/4 mile to the lower lake is unpacked snow (unless we took a wrong turn, we were definitely off trail on deep snow following footprints).Great hike but with the current conditions if you don’t have snowshoes or skis you won’t make it all the way up.

hiking
12 days ago

Excellent trail that is to be experienced in the fall. We were a couple weeks late to do this. However, the snow in the path made it a bit difficult to traverse. Took us 3 hours from car to car including the breaks and photography. Would highly recommend this trail during the fall season.

Went in early October on a cloudy day and got some snow near the top. The lakes were incredible though. Lost the trail on the way to the furthest lake, and ended up doing some rock scrambling that we weren’t prepared for. Saw a moose alongside the road on the way to the trailhead! Def want to go back on a clear day.

hiking
15 days ago

We went off season which was October 26th. At this time there is no having to use the shuttle to get up. You need to pay at the entry of the park which is $10 per car. We went about 930a and now issues finding parking. When we got done with the hike around 1p the parking lot was pretty full. We wanted to do an easy hike as my friend just flew in the day before from Minnesota. We were planning to do the easy trail called Maroon Bells scenic trail. This was closed so other only option from that trail was Crater Lake. This was a little more challenging then we were expecting. But it was a great. Lots of rocks and boulders to climb over. There was some areas with snow and ice but not too bad. But all worth as once we got the lake it was huge (though the water was low). Enough room to go by ourselves to have a snack without being next to anyone. Would come back to do this in another season to see all the aspens.

Sweet 13er (I guess it counts as one?) Windy with plenty of snow/ice on the trail today. An easy summit overall, took under 2 hours total.

Did this trail when the scenic loop was closed. It was steep until the end and snowy and rocky in spots. But for those of us in our party who made it, it’s was great.
The lake was not very full, but the scenery was great and the local birds are friendly!
For the part of our party who couldn’t make it to the top there was an opening with a amazing Mountain View about .75 miles in. A great place to call good enough if u have to.

Very quite, would probably be more enjoyable to the eyes in spring. No one on trail after beginning and decent amount of snow, afternoon of 10/26, especially after junction with the GRT. Didn’t make it to the top of the pass but attempted it, decided to turn around after snow got deep and the sun had settled over the mountains. An eerie area

Beautiful!!! Hiked October 20th. Definitely need spikes toward the top. The lakes had two feet of snow! Easy hike. Spikes good P.S there is miss in the trees!!! Yes looks like Spanish moss. !!! Incredible

Beautiful hike, the lower lakes are all but frozen to the edges. There was a fair amount of snow/ice on the trail so yaktrax/microspikes definitely recommended. Also worth noting, there were bear tracks in several areas along the trail and around the perimeter of the south lower lake!

26 days ago

This trail was easy-to-moderate and peaceful. We did it in early October and had a picnic lunch by the second lake. I enjoyed it but I probably wouldn’t do it again.

Lovely little trail (more of a service road) with a variety of views and a reservoir at the bottom. Not too busy but most of the people on the trail were walking their dogs, some without leashes (which are required). There was some ice on the trail in the shaded areas so once winter is in full swing bring microspikes.

Great Hike with views of hundreds of peaks and down 3 individual valleys, about 3 steep accents which was a bit tricky in the snow/ice, but generally a fairly basic walk. Be prepared for the altitude as that can make you short breathed easily.

Difficulty: Medium

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

hiking
27 days ago

A fun trail, the beginning truly is a straight incline. Ankle deep snow at the worst today (October 20), a bit slick coming down. We definitely fell for the false summit so consult your map to ensure you make it to the top.

hiking
28 days ago

Easy trail to a really pretty waterfall. Hiked it on a Thursday (10/18) and only saw a handful of other people. Took about 3 1/2 hours but we stopped and took pictures several times and hiked down and ate lunch on the rocks right beside the waterfall. If you want to take a fairly easy walk, this is a good one. Not much elevation gain and trail was very easy to follow.

hiking
28 days ago

Muddy hike today, 10.19.18 due to precip last night. Takes awhile to get away from I70 noise. Good workout. Lakes are meh but views at top are nice. Was peaceful and that's what I'm after but probably would not do this again. Too many other better trails in the area.

10/19/18 Started at 11 back by 2 with plenty of rests. Snow on 90% of the trail. Microspikes and poles would’ve been helpful. Only saw a few people the whole way. Great views the whole hike. 1st mile is straight up but after that a bit easier and beautiful scenery.

Since last weeks Snow, we brought crampons and poles which made both the accent and decent so much more enjoyable There were people who had to turn around because they didn’t have enough traction.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is an excellent day hike. On October 12, my son and I ventured from Copper Mountain toward Wheeler Lakes. The first two-thirds is the steepest portion of the hike with the final third easier on the legs. Our journey included snow, which enhanced the beautiful scenery. I highly recommend this hike.

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
1 month ago

At points it feels like endless scrambling through small, loose rocks. We joked that it was like hiking on the moon! Still a fun trail with pretty views at the end (although the views would be better if there was water in the lake!).

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views! Hardly anyone on the trail once you get up the first steep incline. Our dog loved it!

Beautiful views! Went in early October and it was freezing. There was snow and ice on the trail which made it a little more difficult. In the end if you aren’t a master hiker, taking rest stops along the way to take in the sceneries will get you through it.

Awesome trip up! We are beginners and have only hiked the past two days and this was super challenging but well worth it. Views are incredible

Beautiful foliage! Definitely recommend the trail to crater Lake. I hiked with two dogs by myself and do not recommend hiking this narrow trail with two dogs. It was rainy, muddy, and slippery. At crater lake it was sleeting and cold. The lake was not dry as the post from last week said although it was cloudy and views of the mountains were not good..

Harder than we thought for kids, but we did it!

Beautiful trail, the Aspens were bright gold. Some of the trail was heavily trafficked but it was never a problem. I am not a very seasoned hiker but I would not rate this trail as Hard. The first two miles are nice wide paths with a slight incline. The last mile to the Crater Lakes is steep, but not difficult.

hiking
1 month ago

Maroon Bells is absolutely breathtaking with the aspen tree fall foliage. This was definitely a moderate hike, it was steep most the way up and very rocky. I recommend good hiking shoes with grip due too many loose and slippery rocks. I had to stop and take a quick breather about 3-4 times on the way up, however, I’m from sea level and have only been in Colorado for 2 months. Took just over an hour out and maybe 30 minutes back. Overall a good hike minus the heavy traffic on a narrow trail along with multiple people blasting music on their cell speakers along the way. If it’s solitude you’re looking for you won’t find it here. Just gorgeous scenery.

hiking
1 month ago

Great little jaunt for a last minute spontaneous hike. We got there around 1pm and there was hardly anyone there. There is actually parking much closer to where the trail turns into the mountain off 70 otherwise, you have to walk a little bit on the side of 70 before you turn in which I thought was actually pretty cool. Either way, you are pretty much right across from Copper Mt at the start. Good little easy hike for some exercise . Aspens along the trail pretty much have lost their leaves as of today.

Pros:
* Short easy hike. Slow, steady incline until you hit the lakes.
* Pretty, open space at the top where the lakes are. That's the best part.
* Trail head is easy to find, right of Rt 70 across from Copper
* Good choice for beginners or a last minute hike.
* Quiet at the top by the two lakes. Although the lakes are not the typical turquoise mountain lakes, still pretty to have lunch at. Very peaceful. We were there just appreciating the silence for an hour.
* Most of the hike has good cover from trees once you get past the first mile.

Cons:
* Not the pretties of hikes unless you hit it during peak aspen leaf changing. Your mostly in trees.
* Views until you get to the lakes are through the trees and are mostly of Copper Mountain if any views at all.

It is stunning scenic trail with the foliage. The lake is empty now but the scene does not disappoint

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