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This trail is about 16 miles, not sure how the description has 21. It contains a perfect amount of vertical ascent to make one suffer on the descent. There is enough scrambling and route finding to be challenging and keep you on your toes. Great destination run for experienced runners and mountaineering types. This route has class 3 and 4 scrambles. You should be skilled at rout-finding and mountain running. Finished in about 5:30 but I felt like I was moving pretty good with no stops. Others have finished in 4:15 (the big kids) or 15 hours if your VO2 is average. This is a pretty big day. Prepare accordingly. Oh yeah this route had 7,900 vertical ascent. Hope that helps. There could be slight variations depending on if you stay on the ridge or take the trail. The ridge is cooler. Take the free bus home or call a friend.

SO DIFFICULT. Took 3.5 hrs to get to Peak 1, starting at 5 am. Pretty much....wasn't prepared for the rest of this. Knew I wanted to do it, and was going to anyway. I have very little rock climbing experience. Peak 1-2 was about an hour traverse through a barley marked foot trail that proved to be fairly dangerous. Between 2-3 wasn't bad, but Peaks 3-4 took us 2 hours to get across. I was pretty tempted to call Life Rescue on this one because I was NOT prepared for all the climbing and scaling that took place. Lots of up and downs, rock slides, and sketchy AF areas where the trail was super questionable.
Once you get to Peak 4, it's smooth sailing till Peak 8. We made it down between peak 7 and 8 before my knees and hips were like "no". Kinda upset we didn't finish, but came down between 7 & 8 and ran into the Adventure park in Breck LMAO
After 11.5 hours of hiking, I'm disappointed I didn't accomplish this, but I'm super freaking proud for making it so far.
I'll try again in maybe a year or so lol but the views were TOTALLY worth it.
Good luck and pack lots of water and protein bars!

Get run to build your mountain legs
Watch the poison ivy at the start of the canyon
Got sprayed by a skunk on the approach this morning

Thought this trail was just ok compared to others in the park. You have to walk uphill the entire time with no views except a waterfall early and then the big payoff at the end being the lake. Otherwise just trees and more trees! Glad I did it so I can cross it off the list but probably won't do this one again.

Quintessential Boulder hike. Went clockwise today - I prefer to tackle the big “steps” on the ascent and come down through the valley. Always nice to have bathrooms (across the street from the trailhead.) Friendly faces and interesting terrain. A perennial favorite.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike! We were on the trailhead at 7:00. We saw a big bull elk and 1 deer. The hike had a lot of elevation change but was so worth it. The lake is beautiful, and filled with cutthroat trout. My husband and son spend several hours fly fishing. Amazing day and hike!

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.

hiking
2 days ago

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

2 days ago

Fun hike with beautiful views all the way up. It’s not too strenuous if you can get an early start and take a lot of breaks. Once you get to flattop you might as well make it to Hallett, it looks a lot worse than it is, only took about 30 minutes to scramble up (and by scramble it was just hopping on large rocks, no need to use your hands)

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.

on Ypsilon Lake Trail

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked Ypsilon today and my Fitbit said it was 10.03mi. Great Lake view, but make sure you don’t stop short at the little pond. I was quite shocked at the amount of people who were starting at 3pm in jeans with no water. Be smart, it’s not worth it.

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

"Stairmaster Sanitas" is a great place to get a very real workout in. We are in decent shape and climbed up Sanitas and went back around the valley loop trail within 2.5 hours. I would categorize this as "moderate to hard" given a few of the rocks you have to scramble over and how steep it is. While you can carry a child on a backpack up an down, it's not the greatest one to choose for that since you might have to shuffle a bit over rocks, etc.

Made this trip on 7/27 as the way down from Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. Was hard to pick a line to glissade down so spent the trip down the glacier slipping and sliding on foot and on my rear end. Took me about 7 hours round trip. Great trip but route down from the tarn was more rock climbing (descending) than hiking. Add this to your list and do it.

We used this as our exfil after traversing from Hallett Peak and glissading down Andrews Glacier. Makes about a 12 mile loop and it was amazing. Andrews Tarn is like an infinity pool.

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!

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.

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.

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

hiking
4 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.

I parked at Long TH at 10ish on a Tuesday. Someone was leaving. Decided I also wanted to hike up to Isabell Glacier. I think it added 3 ish miles to the trip. But finding snow for the pup to play in was worth it. Plus it was gorgeous. The hike up to the Continental divide was more difficult. The trail isn’t hard until the split from Isabell Glacier. They are doing a lot of work on the trail which is awesome. The scenery is prettier from below. Typical rocky above the tree line hike for the last 2 miles. If you are going to do it. Must make it to the sign!

Good one

hiking
6 days ago

My new most favorite place. Absolutely worth the hike. However it is 9 miles long, not 8 miles. I did the entire trail out and back in 3,5 hours time. (Including breaks.)
The lake is so beautiful! I did the hike in the afternoon and even though the parking lot was full, not many people went the entire way to the lake. I ended up having the lake all to myself. The beginning of the trail is pretty busy. Also beware of horses. There are horse tours going to the lake. There is enough shade as most of the hike is in the forest. Not a lot of views, except the first 1,5 miles. From then on it’s just forest until you reach the lake. The first little pond right before the lake is also very beautiful.

hiking
6 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!

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.

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.

I started up the Sanitas Valley Loop first. Beautiful views of urban Boulder and a smattering of homes in the hills. The moderate valley trail gives way to some steep inclines as it connects with the East Ridge trail. I was visiting from Atlanta so I had to catch my breath and steady my footing as the trail ascended. Had to get used to the change in altitude. Plan to take your time navigating the rocky, sometimes not well marked East Ridge trail if your new to it and out there alone. I got out early in the am and had a few hikers help me find the trail but I can see that this trail gets very well populated after mid morning. At the top of Ridge Trail I met some nice folks who directed me to Lion’s Lair trail just beyond the summit for a good trail run. This trail was pretty smooth and the decline makes for a steady tempo run. Don’t get too comfortable because the switchbacks will keep you on your game. Overall a fun trail to test your trail speed. The locals pointed directed me on how to go from the Lion’s Lair trail to a narrow barely there trail that runs parallel to Sunshine Canyon Dr. This trail led to me the Centennial Trailhead parking lot. Overall awesome experience for a trail runner who wants to mix it up with a hike and run.

Loved it !

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