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snowshoeing
3 days ago

This was a beautiful hike that had a ton of snow today. It was a gorgeous day out and I cannot wait to do this hike again. Heads up, the road to the trailhead was snowed in and we had to walk the rest of the way.

A few weeks ago I and three buddies I go to college with hiked the Conundrum Creek Trail to the Conundrum Hot Springs and camped overnight. A permit is required for overnight stays. The second day we hiked back in the late afternoon. It is a 17-mile hike round trip. There was clear sunny weather both days. The trail is in pretty good shape. It was a bit muddy in a few areas. A good pair of hiking shoes is essential. There were few others at the campsite overnight. We had the hot springs to ourselves that night. The second day we hiked a bit further south and then returned to hit the hot springs again before descending. The only people we ran into that day were an older couple on the trail passing by while we were in the hot springs and a guy and his two teenage sons who joined us in the hot springs.

I read a review that talks about people being "inconsiderate" because they were naked in the hot springs. Please note: These hot springs have traditionally been a place where people are naked. There is nothing inherently inconsiderate about this. My friends and I enjoyed being naked in the hot springs on our trip. Nothing more. Nothing less. The older couple passing by seemed shocked and shook their heads at us. The wife muttered under her breath that we could cover up when people pass by. By contrast, the father and his sons decided to join us naked in the springs and everyone had a pleasant time hanging out. Clearly the main difference between the two groups of people we met while we were in the hot springs had to do with their differing attitudes towards nudity. Please, either respect the right of others to enjoy being naked in nature or avoid the hot springs, however, do not expect others to stop enjoying this traditionally nude area because you have a problem with simple nudity!

I love this hike, I have done it in a variety of seasons. There is a beautiful waterfall during the spring run off. Make sure you walk around the lake and look back towards the trail when you get there for the best views. Lots of snow on the trail today !! Knee deep drifts in spots the last half mile to the lake . Only used spikes today , no snow shoes although they would have been handy in a few places. We blazed the trail, should be a decent trench until the next big dump ! Also we had to park on the road near the intersection for the Fourth of July TH . I don’t recommend driving any further down the road unless you have some serious clearance.

Hiked this today 10-25-18. Easy parking at 11am on A Thursday but I could see how it would be tough on a weekend.

Very rocky overall and not a ton of views until the lake. Still very pretty. Micro spikes are a must for the last mile or so the lake. It’s entirely snow and ice. Most people we saw did not have them and really struggled. Overall an easy pretty hike, that was dog friendly with a nice lake payoff.

Very pretty moderate hike. Would recommend

Hiked this a few days ago on 10/20. The hike was really fun and pretty and we enjoyed it a lot. It also wasn’t too difficult of a hike. Get there early if you want to park by the trailhead. The parking was full when we arrived around 11, so we had to park on the street in town, which added a couple extra miles to our hike. There was quite a bit of snow on the top half when we were there. Poles or yaktrax probably would have been helpful. Overall, very nice.

The popularity of this trail has completely destroyed the area, there's poop everywhere along the trail & around the campsites. This place has transformed into a rocky mountain national park or emerald bay of tahoe lake situation. Aholes that don't respect anything go & pollute so the forest service now requires reservations to camp in the middle of the wilderness. Thanks people!! Crappy fake casual outdoors people ruined it for absolutely everyone, great job!!!!

Great little hike, plenty of kids managing it well. Was a little icy in spots, especially right before the lake, microspikes would have been handy.

This is a fun, easy going hike, with a couple of waterfalls on the way to the lake. There was plenty of snow but the weather was perfect. We were glad to have yak tracks - many people didn't look like they were having a good time on the way down because it was quite slippery.

10/20/18 Hiked up to lost lake. Awesome trail. The trail up to the lake was mostly snow and ice.

What an adventure! This trail was 9.6 miles to and from the hot springs so 19.2 miles round trip according to my iPhone health app. It was very muddy and there was lots of snow especially the higher up you go so make sure to bring reliable warming and waterproof gear. The trail was really easy to follow and the bridges were fun to cross (3 bridges total) but the altitude is something to watch out for going up. It’s true what everyone say the hike down is a cake walk. It took us 6-7 hours to get up and 4 hours to get down.

Get there early for parking unless you feel like adding some extra steps your hike. Along the street parking in designated areas.

Definitely need some YakTracks for most of the hike as of 10/13 (especially coming down.)

Mostly uphill until you get to the lake. Bring some snacks and extra jackets for the wind. Beautiful hike!

Third time hiking this trail (first during winter and the second during summer). Despite it being mid-October, there was still a lot of snow on the upper two-thirds of the trail, so definitely bring appropriate gear and be prepared to stay out all day; it's a very long trek. Mirror Lake was frozen over but there are some nearby streams to get fresh water, if needed. Also, the gate to access Monarch Lake trailhead was open, but I know they close it as it gets closer to winter so double-check this before heading out, as it can add an extra 2 miles (round trip) to the hike. Otherwise, beautiful hike - one of my favorites in Colorado.

Beautiful hike with small waterfalls along the way. Make sure to bundle up and wear spikes if you’ have them. The lake is picturesque. Pack a lunch and stay awhile...you’ll be glad you did!

Microspikes are pretty much necessary as of 10/13/18. Fun trail and beautiful lake!

I did this trail and tracked it on my Fitbit, I knew my Fitbit would track the distance a little less than what the distance really is from my experience but it was a little more than six miles one way to Lake Verna from the East trailhead. It was totally worth it but I’m not sure what everyone is smoking to think it’s 12.9 round trip. I was tracking at least 15 Miles total. The sign at the trailhead can not be accurate unless it’s tracking the river that comes from the lake, before you actually get to the huge lake. We didn’t see any wild life and we were the only ones on the trail for a few hours. We started around 8:30am and arrived at 1:30pm. We headed back at 2:00pm and got to the parking lot around 5:30pm. It was beautiful but don’t underestimate the distance and the amount of hills that are required to climb to get to the lake.

Trail is not closed, I did a solo over night hike here 10/6/18 -10/7/18. Hiked 8.5 mimes in from brookside/ Payne Creek trailhead. A couple miles in there is a junction, go left (Payne Gulch). Pretty trail. Not too difficult. Found a spot to hike alongside the Creek. Only saw two other guys on the trail. I just moved here from St. Louis MO, with no real hiking/back packing experience and did fine.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail can get crowded on weekends, but if you're able to get up here on a weekday it's easily a 5/5 hike.

Beautiful hike! The hike was actually 18.5 miles round trip from the parking lot to the springs. One of the most breathtaking hikes I’ve been on. People aren’t very considerate of others presence; we had a large group of 5 men and 1 woman all get completely naked and get in the springs while there were others in it. Do everyone a favor and pack a swimsuit and towel, because no one wants to see you naked in the springs while trying to relax. Only thing that put a damper on this otherwise beautiful hike!

Absolutely stunning and worth every step! Took us 4 hours to get up with our packs and 3 hours to get down. The springs were beautiful and the sunrise was amazing! Definitely possible to do it as a day hike but do yourself a favor and reserve a campsite!

Short off road ride to the mouth of the trail. Was a nice sneaky road to the trail. We took our stock Jeep Wrangler to the mouth of the trail with no problem.

Probably one of the best hikes I’ve done in CO. Like others have said, makes for a LONG day hike - still so worth it. Wish I had 2 or 3 nights to explore the surrounding Crater Lakes area.

There are 12 designated camping spots around crater lake. On a Saturday the place was packed with campers. The ranger must’ve given out at least a dozen citations. Even though permits are not required at this time of year, got to get up there early to claim a spot.

Will definitely be bringing the pack for next time!

If you want to go to Crater Lake I would definitely suggest doing an overnight backpacking trip. Its too far for one day. I think its also longer than listed. I saw a lot of HUGE moose. Bring tons of water. Don’t do it alone like I did.

The spring and scenery are worth the challenging climb. I was surprised that I finished it, coming from New Orleans at sea level. Make sure to bring extremely warm clothes, because we did freeze our butts off at night (late September)

Went yesterday & today. I camped at Lost Lake last night. About 2 miles in from where you park. Woke up this morning to about 22 degrees. And it had rained just a bit last night. Ran into a bunch of people on the trail as I was heading to set up camp who saw moose.

So I went clockwise. This was the right choice for me as the climb is more gradual (and I just got off a plane from Florida yesterday :)

Was gonna camp one more night (tonight) at Jasper Lake but....it was gonna be 20. And was only 5.3 miles to the car at that point. So I humped all 15 today w my 25lb pack.

And - I’m sitting at the noodle restaurant now haha. Yes, delicious.

If you are planning to complete the loop in a day , I would recommend start early. If you are not acclimated to the high altitude then it is a lot harder then it seems. Take plenty of breaks and drink a lot of water.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike the Aspens were great on the way up Rich Creek and on the way down Tumble Creek. As always the meadow is a stunning view.

there were some good views. once I got to the lake, that was the best. the trail itself felt more like walking along a 4x4 road. very busy and parking was scarce by 0700. for a quick easy 4 mile hike it wasnt bad but I won't do it again. many better trails in Indian Peaks to go back to.

Such a nice, smooth trail up, over and along the Divide. Always love this one!

backpacking
1 month ago

WARNING - DO NOT DEPEND ON WAG BAGS AT TRAILHEAD - BRING A SHOVEL!! We were expecting to find the advertised free WAG bags at the trailhead, but the box was empty. From the number of day trip permits piled up in the box, it had been a while since a ranger had been up. Luckily we always carry a shovel anyway, but it would have sucked to be digging an 8-inch hole with a stick up there in the rocky soil.

This was an amazing trail. My daughter and I have been backpacking together since she was 9, and 12 years later this trip was definitely the most incredible one so far. Our campsite was clean, our fellow campers/soakers were sweet and considerate (no late loud parties in the pool), and the views were mind blowingly beautiful. We spent 2 nights, which gave us a nice lazy day of hot springs time before heading back down.

It took us 6 hours to hike up, but the second half of that hike was in steady cold rain (the trail gets slippery). On a clear day it would have easily been 5 hours. We took a leisurely 4 hours to hike down, could’ve done it in 3 if we’d been motivated.

If you’re thinking about it, just get the permit and do it. You won’t be disappointed!

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