Explore Out West - 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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We hiked this trail on the way to Andrews Creek campsite and it was awesome. We caught some nice sized rainbow trout that we cooked up for dinner. You need a permit if you are staying overnight and the campsites are by reservation only.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail. Lots of climbing on the way up, but it’s all worth it for the views at the top. Go early to avoid the crowds – it was already pretty busy at 7am and people were lined up inching along the narrow paths on on the way down. Free parking is available about 10 blocks away.

A great hike! 4 stars instead of 5 because the first ~2.8 miles of the route got a little boring with all the trees (which were pretty! Just the same view for a while), but the view at the top was gorgeous. If you’re comfortable with it, definitely climb up the rock peaks at the top to get an even better view.

It took us just under 2 hours to get to the top, and about 50 minutes to get back down. However, we normally walk fast, and passed many people both ways. There were some pretty steep parts, especially halfway through, but nothing too difficult or unsafe. If you’re regularly active and in good shape, you’ll find this trail to be moderate and not “hard.”

hiking
3 days ago

this was beautiful at the top but it's definitely HARD

hiking
3 days ago

Great morning hike! Took me 2 hours with a 15 min stop at peak.

3 days ago

Did this on 7/23. Parked at 3:00 AM and was only headlamp I could see on the trail above tree line. There were several cars in the lot and many Long’s Peak hikers. Very windy and steep then when trail splits to Chasm it gets much easier. Views were breathtaking and this is one of my favorite hikes of all time. Add this one to your list and do it. Sunrise on Long’s was worth it all.

This ended up being one of my favorite hikes of the trip. It was definitely a challenge for me and my friend, two Midwesterners who have never climbed a mountain or generally even faced high altitudes before. The elevation gain and rocky terrain are brutal at times but definitely manageable, I think having hiking poles would definitely have made it easier. It took us 3.5 hours to get to the top, going at a reasonable pace and making frequent stops to let our lungs adjust to the altitude. The views at the top are astounding, especially if you scramble up to one of the peaks to get the full panoramic view, but the first 3 miles of the hike itself isn't terribly exciting. You are surrounded by beautiful huge trees for most of it though, so it was peaceful, and when we began our hike around 8:30 AM we saw several elk right off the trail. All an all I would definitely recommend this hike if you're looking to summit a mountain but are an inexperienced hiker.

Certainly challenging, but nothing to lose sleep over. Expect to wait in line if you’re hoping to get decent pictures at the top.

hiking
4 days ago

Nice trail. Took me about three hours. Great views all the way throughout.

off road driving
4 days ago

I did it with stock new Silverado. it was brutal for this kind of car, though it has 4x4 low and all that crap, this trail is not for stock SUV like KIA sportage or so, because it is really rocky and you dont enjoy the drive.
I would recommend a jeep or something like Expedition for this.

other than that, lake is nice and all, but not breathtaking.

The hike up isn’t the most interesting, but the view at the top is definitely one of the best in the park. The trail gets pretty steep at a bunch of points, and the altitude can really get you if you are not used to it, but if you can, hike Twin Sisters.

hiking
4 days ago

This is definitely a “hard” trail, bust super proud when I finished! Practically all up hill on the way there but that means down hill on the way back! The views at the top are beautiful! I would recommend starting it sooner rather than later so the traffic is low and the sun isn’t too high!

hiking
4 days ago

We enjoyed this hike! It was definitely a high incline and rocky but it was worth it. It was a bit harder then expected the the views are beautiful and the arch is pretty neat. Bring lots of water, take stops and enjoy the outdoors! There are trees on a lot of the hike which gives some much needed shade every now and then.

hiking
4 days ago

Definitely a challenging trail. I’m in good shape but being from a lower elevation, I felt pretty winded at times. With breaks I still took about 4 hours with a half hour break at the peak. The view was worth it for sure. Highly recommend getting an early start since the trail is in the full sun at the beginning.

Thought we would start here on vacation to get used to the elevation before heading to RMNP but this was a tough hike for us. Arch bigger than expected and nice view of flatirons

on Green Mountain Loop

5 days ago

Great hike! Beautiful view at the top.

hiking
5 days ago

This was a very nice short first day hike for our CO vacation to get acclimated to walking at this altitude/weather. I would put the overall difficulty more towards moderate, but it’s a tough call as parts are easy, parts are moderate, and there are some steeper stretches that are more difficult. We went relatively early on a July weekday and the number of people going up was not bad at all, but we passed a ton of people going the other way as we can back down. Yes, bring water, wear good hiking shoes, sunscreen, etc and otherwise use common sense. Although short, the trail has more of the feel of a “hike” than a walk in the park.

Tough trail for someone who is not used to hiking but worth the view at the end!

This hike borders on moderate to hard. A fairly mild incline with a few steeper sections. We have run into a large bear on this trail so be alert and be prepared for what to do. We had to turn around the last time when the big guy would not back off and grant us passage.

Good one

hiking
6 days ago

Second time doing this hike. We got to trailhead at 6 am. Parking lots was full but I parked on the side along the entrance so didn’t have to park down the road. We got to lake at 9am. So took us 3 hrs to get there with minimal breaks. It was sunny and no clouds in the sky. Couldn’t hAve asked for a more perfect weather. There’s definitely an incline and last half mile requires scrambling up rocks but it’s so worth it!! One the best and moderate trails to do!

hiking
6 days ago

Hard but the views at the top and along the way are gorgeous! Saw my first snake on the trail which was a little spooky and there's plenty of signs up warning about mountain lion and bear spotting so keep your guard up!

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful views from the Royal Arch and worth the effort it takes to hike up! Would not recommend this trail for small children, elderly, or dogs that are not experienced hiking companions in high altitudes. Very steep, rocky, and mostly vertical climb. Several areas require scrambling. You’ll want a good pair of hiking/approach shoes. Do not take this trail if you have bad knees, hips, or ankles. Otherwise, enjoy!

hiking
7 days ago

Absolutely beautiful - one of the best, if not the best lake hike in Colorado!

We arrived 6am Wed. Parking lot was full. We parked 1/4 mile down the road from the trailhead.

The trail runs 8.4 miles roundtrip per Rocky Mtn Natl park website. It is a moderate hike, IMO (some will find it easy, some hard, depending on conditioning). The final climb to the lake is a steep rock scramble, under 0.2 miles. This portion of the trail is generally intuitive and partially marked by cairns. If you can't ascend, you'll miss the lake but still be treated to the majesty and splendor that lies before you.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE respect the mountain and weather. I saw one person who had no water or backpack, and people hiking in sandals and one in overalls. If the weather holds, you'll be ok. But cotton is the worst thing you can be wearing if you get wet. Rain means windy and temps in the 40s, or lower.

Be prepared, that includes but not limited to, hiking shoes, plenty of water, food, trail mix, energy bars, rain gear, sunscreen, jacket. Enjoy!

Almost 100% vertical. Take breaks, bring water. Go early on a weekday - my group went on a Sunday late morning, and it was super crowded. Trail is fairly narrow and rocky, which makes navigating the crowds fairly difficult.

hiking
7 days ago

Nice view of city and UOC Boulder from top. Great view of the flatirons. Steep toward the end. Arch is very impressive. Saw lots of raptor hawks. A hazy view of Denver in the distance.

This hike was lovely - truly the stereotypical mountain lake ideal view. It's as gorgeous as you'd imagine. :) Yes, if you hike it in the summer, it'll be well populated, but that's the case for most trails at any national park.
As I approached Mills Lake, I watched the water that would become Alberta Falls rush by, flowing heavily from MIlls Lake. After that, I crested a hill with large boulders around, that opened up to the spans of Mills Lake, flanked by idyllic rocky mountains.
As an Arizona hiker who visited in August, I layered my clothing: yoga tank under a long sleeved t, under a sweatshirt, under a waterproof windbreaker. I'm SOOOO glad I took all layers (I almost left the sweatshirt in the car), because in the 30ish minutes I sat by the lake, the weather went from full sun, dy, then thunder, rain and hail...and then sun again. ....and then rain. Mother Nature was verrry moody the day I hiked this trail, and judging from what the Park Rangers, guides and locals told me, this is common. So, be sure you're prepared!
This trail felt like a true hike, whereas Bear Lake was not at all. The hike to Mills Lake is rated moderate, but I believe it's somewhere between Easy and Moderate.
There aren't any steep grades, despite you ascending almost all the way. The grade is subtle.
Because you are walking on a trail with loose rock and stepping around larger rocks, I also recommend you wear grippy shoes/boots.
You'll love it.

Excellent hike! We did this on August 7, 2018.

Oh boy, we saw a black bear cub on the amphitheater trail. Luckily a trail runner came through and scared it off. Other than that the trail has its difficulties in terms of large steps going up to and after the peak. It also started raining on us so i’d prefer to try again on a sunny, bear free day.

8 days ago

This is definitely not a moderate trail. There's an extended area of narrow trail and you have to do some scrambling that's actually climbing. It's beautiful and challenging!

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