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Great, but challenging hike. We found another way up to escape majority of boulders by staying left of the trail next to bushes. Close to the top lonely goat joined us for a picture. It took us total 6h.

Took about three hours to complete, two out and one hour on the return trip. Took upper path on the accent, and descended via the lower trail. Great views almost the entire hike. Advise getting to the trail head pre 7am as parking is very limited on the Old Fall River Rd near the trail head.

Views from the top were amazing and there was only one other person at the summit on an August Sunday! Would rate this as difficult for sure and would definitely agree that you need to read other trip reports so you know the best way to get to the trailhead and how to get to the top of the mountain. The cairn located at 3.6 miles are a good start, going around the trees seems like whatever works for you, but once past the trees there is a faint trail and it worked well for me to follow the NPS fence posts.

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome trail and much less trafficked than Bierstadt. Recommend getting there early to get a spot in the lot before the Bierstadt hikers take them. On the way up the trail was indeed lightly trafficked, but by late morning I would say closer to moderate, especially between the trail head and the lakes.

Hiked yesterday from Second Creek Trail over to the cone above the Panoramic Lift at Mary Jane ski area then back over to the Twin Cones. Amazing views throughout the entire hike. One of my favorite in the area. Also try hiking southwest of the Second Creek Trail summit along the Mt. Nystrom Trail for even more amazing views!

Hiked this in July by myself. On a weekday I only saw 2 other people. Challenging boulderfield...especially if you get off trail. Start the field to the RIGHT of the large cairyn....if you start to the left you will be climbing straight up til you find the trail. Lots of goats and stunning views from the top. Summited in 2.5 hours...and I’m from Minnesota...so it’s doable...but challenging.

6 days ago

Not only was this a beautiful hike with incredible views but it will forever be memorable as I proposed to my girlfriend at the summit. It was so perfect!

hiking
7 days ago

Wow, what a hike! This was almost too much for someone slightly out of shape from Southeast Texas. I hiked Sky Pond the day before and didn't struggle too much, but this was on the next rung up. As difficult as it was for me though, the amazing vistas more than made up for it. The summit location in the center of the park basically allows you to see most of the big landmarks RMNP has to offer, from Long's Peak to the Mummy Range and the Never Summer Mountains. While the views from the summit are certainly the highlight, the entire hike offers constant breathtaking views, especially above the treeline. Make sure to start early not only due to this hike's gaining popularity, but also because of the thunderstorm risk since the majority of the hike is rather exposed. With the caveat that I was one of the slower hikers, I began at about 6:45 am, summited about 10:45, spend about 30 minutes at the summit, and was back at the trailhead at 2 pm. The skies were certainly starting to look angry as I was making my way back below treeline. Definitely my favorite hike thus far.

hiking
7 days ago

Our favorite hike in RMNP (so far). The Milner Pass trailhead lot was already full when we arrived at 8:15 AM on a Saturday morning, so we parked down the road a bit and walked in. The trail begins with fairly steep switchbacks through the woods before emerging above the treeline. The views of the Never Summer Wilderness were immediately spectacular, and so was the wildlife, including elk, mule deer, marmots, pikas, ptarmigans, and numerous raptors. The trail to Mt. Ida is almost completely exposed and quite windy, so layering clothes (and watching the weather) is definitely a good idea. The ascent itself is basically boulder scrambling with no clear path, but the views from the summit were more than worth it. All in all, a challenging but absolutely outstanding hike.

An awesome trail for working up to a 14er. Had an awesome time, perfect for dogs. During the weekends I would be there by 7:30. On the weekdays it doesn’t really fill up at all. However, the Bierstadt 14er parking lot fills up very early and might take over the Square Top parking lot. All in all, it’s a fantastic trail and I recommend it to anyone in shape looking for a warm up to a 14K.

wonderful trail!

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful but very challenging! Did this hike on Saturday. Got to the trailhead at 9am. Took the Greyrock Trail to the summit then did that to the top, backtracked and then took the Greyrock Meadow trail back down. Definitely a difficult trail—lots of vertical climbing and the rocks at the summit were tough! Plenty of loose rocks too. I was glad I wore my good boots. The views were gorgeous and despite the warnings I didn’t encounter a single rattlesnake. Completed the entire thing in 4 hours.

hiking
13 days ago

I had done this once before using the standard route, past Square Top Lakes. Today we went up the east ridge. The ridge itself was fun & good, but the willows that you have to fight at the start & end ruined the fun. There was a trail through the willows, but it was "closed" for some reason. I'd recommend the standard route, unless you can take the trail through the willows.

hiking
13 days ago

One of my favorite RMNP trail (the other is Chasm lake). Absolutely amazing trail along continental divide. We decided to do an early hike starting around sunrise. Saw a large family of elks while driving along Trail Ridge road and also a couple elks up close at the Milner pass trail head, including a young elk.
Got above tree line after about 1 mile and the view was just breath-taking (not to mention some of the steep inclines at 11-12,000 ft elevation). Saw lots of marmots and cute pikas. We were probably 1/2 mile from summit when we saw straight ahead at a distance a large animal with a skinny long tail leaping, probably at its prey (perhaps a poor marmot). Convinced that it was a mountain lion, we followed our survivor's instinct and turned around. It was still an amazing hike. This is one of our all time favorite hikes. Highly recommend even if you just made it above tree line and not all the way to the summit. Next time I will bring buff and gloves as it gets windy and cold.

hiking
13 days ago

Saw elk, a moose and a lot of other wildlife! A beautiful hike. Challenging and worth every minute. The peak of the hike was absolutely amazing.

hiking
15 days ago

I did this hike almost a year ago and went back yesterday with my boyfriend and our dogs. We camped about 3.2 miles up the trail, then did the rest and the decent on 7/31. There are a couple great camp sites at around 10500 ft, 0.8 miles from the fork onto the McCurdy Trail. Saw 3 people up there. Definitely less daunting of a distance and elevation gain when done in 2 days. I'm still shocked more people don't know about this place! Weather was perfect: got down to around 45 at night and 60 on the peak. It probably got to around 80 if you stayed in the sun on the way down when it starts to flatten out again, but otherwise wasn't hot.

Much more difficult than anticipated, but amazing summit. Those rock formations and views are top notch. 10/10 will be back. Limited parking but when I arrived at 7:30 am, there were still spots.

hiking
17 days ago

Started the trail at 05:45 and made summit at exactly 08:17, leave early and enjoy the views. Bring layers, most of the hike is wide open exposed mountain range. Hike wasn’t to hard, I will say toward the last mile pay attention to trail markers stacked.

Great hike and climb. Steeper and more talus than it looks. We basically just passed all the trees on the right side of the trail then headed up the ridge. About 2/3rds way up or so the rocks get very big and can be bypassed by sliding to the right a bit.

On the way down the social trail looks like it will take you on a shortcut through the trees, but it basically dies out at the trees and you need to snake back to the right a bit.

VERY windy but a great view. Thanks to all who contributed to the windbreak on the peak!

hiking
18 days ago

We loved this hike. Super chill and gorgeous the entire way up. I think we crossed paths with ten people tops. It's just across the street from Bierstadt and can be accessed from the upper parking area. We went relatively early and had no problems parking. The hike itself is easy for about two miles before you finally get to the mountain itself. And, yep, it's pretty much straight up from there. Nothing too crazy, but my wife and I were definitely stopping every now and then to catch our breath. Now, the fun part.

1.) There are three false summits. Just keep going until you cannot see any mountain above you. Trust me, it keeps going.
2.) Check the weather and be on top of it. We made it to the summit and the weather was intense to start with. The wind gusted at about 50+ MPH the entire time, and within ten minutes of our being up there, the sunshine turned to crazy clouds and it snowed (nearly in August) three different times. With the windchill, the temperature easily teetered in the 30s, so bring an extra layer or two just in case. People had winter coats on up top, but not this cowboy.

Overall, give it a shot. I found it a bit more difficult than Bierstadt as you have to carve your own path during the final third of the hike, both up and down. Hard to get lost, but people do some stupid things. Try your best to avoid going straight down on your descent as the slope gets pretty gnarly in some areas. For sure a hidden gem right at the foot of Bierstadt, so go and check it out.

Buffalo is a little bit of everything. A walk through the trees - the burn area right now is amazing to experience - a scramble through a challenging boulder field and a slow steady ascent to the summit. The views and the goats at the top are amazing. The journey down is rough on the knees and toes. Always a great hike.

Great trail. No major concerns as far as safety except lighting (and rolling and ankle). Go as early as you can to avoid storms. Crowds are minimal. I’d recommend trekking poles, did the hike without them but they would have been good to have. Bring lots of layers and expect to take on and off often. Wear real hiking boots with toe guards and ankle support. Loose gravel and rocks on path. If you can figure it out avoid the boulder path it’s not fun! Views are spectacular. Took us about 5 hours going slow and stoping at the top. If you’re not acclimated to the elevation take it easy. The majority of climb is in the first part of the hike. Enjoy!!

hiking
20 days ago

Loved this hike. We took our time and enjoyed the views. Parked at 6:20am, summit at 9:40am. Spent nearly an hour on the summit, was hard to leave! Route finding was challenging in spots during the last mile before the summit, but everyone just keeps heading up on any path you find. One of my favorite hikes in RMNP!

So far so good, on this trail now and it’s stunning even with the recent wild fires that raged through.

hiking
22 days ago

Might be my new fav RMNP hike!!! gorgeous yet windy AF. 5 hours car to cat including summit break. started at 7:30, took one of the last parking spots.

hiking
25 days ago

Great hike- lots of wild flowers, snow in upper elevation continues to melt so babbling brooks and small waterfalls along trail. Hiking to hut is moderately steep but slow elevation gain after passing hut to amazing panoramic views

Loved it! I was the only one there until I started back down. Beautiful views and flowers. Saw lots of marmots and some pika. The last push to the top isn’t clearly demarcated as a trail, more like bushwhacking but pretty easy to follow the ridge. The lakes would be an awesome place to stop on the way back down for lunch. This is only a couple hundred feet lower than Bierstadt which is across the road and NO CROWDS!!

The drive is nice, seeing Alan’s Park, the road to the taikhead had some potholes but our Impreza got up there fine. The stream was beautiful. It was lush and had amazing wildflowers along the whole trail. We did 3 miles up and turned around. The constant downhill coming back is a little rough on the knees. Side note; There’s a spot to camp at the trailhead just in case. I kept a lookout for backpacking spots but there didn’t seem any flat terrain on the hike really.

hiking
28 days ago

Mitchell and Blue lakes are gorgeous and the section of the trail extending that area is moderate and well maintained. This review isn’t regarding that section of the trail. Above Blue Lake the trail is almost immediately lost in a boulder field. The rocks are unstable and the picking through is very slow going. As far as I could tell the rocky terrain continues the rest of the way up Toll, but I had to turn around due to a previous wrist injury I was overusing among the boulders. Very few cairns were the only signs of use in the area.

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