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Did this hike last weekend and loved it. I'd say it's a moderate hike - hardest part is the length. The trail is covered for the most part which is nice in the summer. Start EARLY - I got on the trail ~9am and there was already little to no parking. Definitely worth it.

Great hike! Make sure you do the full loop. Beautiful views. The last couple miles of the trail follow along the river. Fairly easy incline.

Was a great trip

We did the loop that Sarah talks about in reviews below. Ended up being 10.5 miles as we had parked at ouzel falls trailhead and came out at Finch Lake trailhead. Beautiful views of Longs, Meeker and Pagoda. Lovely aspen groves on the way out. Of course afternoon rain showers so an early start a must.

We did four days in Rocky Mountain this spring - two nights at the Andrew's Creek site and a night at Glacier Gorge. I thought both regions of the park were incredible, but Andrew's really blew me away.

So much water everywhere. Not only will you be well hydrated, but you'll be spoiled with some of the best tasting water I've ever had.

The last leg of the hike up to the glacier is a tough one, especially in early June. Signage is lacking and the footprints of previous hikers led me to a dangerous scramble up the gash. Unless you're hiking in late summer, I'd suggest you either really study up or take your time with a topographic map and compass.

I shouldn't complain though, because the final destination was breathtaking - endless wildflowers and little critters surrounded the tarn and made for a perfect lunch break.

Highly recommended.

hiking
5 days ago

This was definitely not a 7.2 mile east hike. The sign at the beginning of the trail says 10 miles and it is uphill almost the entire time. I would've rated this as a moderate. The views are incredible the entire time. be sure to arrive early because we got stuck in a parking lot 2 miles away from the trail head. So our hike went from 7 miles to 14 in total.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike! We rolled into the parking lot at 8 am on a Wednesday, and there was plenty of parking available. The ascent up to Flattop was lovely and shaded until the last mile or so. If you can make it that far without feeling wiped out, you can absolutely make it to the top of Hallett, assuming you aren't nursing any injuries and the weather holds. You will be so happy you did when you see the incredible views from the top. The trail isn't hard to follow in good summer conditions if you're paying attention even a little. There are wind shelters at the peak, so we took some time to enjoy lunch before descending. Don't feed those adorable little fat pika of course, even when they come begging! I saw one walk right over a woman's shoe up there. We also took plenty of photo breaks an extra walk around Bear Lake, and enjoyed making a full day of it. Bring all the requisite supplies for spending a decent amount of time above treeline, and you'll have a great day!

This was by far the best hike I've done. It had gorgeous views and the difficulty was there but not impossible. The trail itself is very Rocky and you have to pay attention to your steps but it does force you to stop and take in nature. Trail wasn't too crowded at all, saw a majority of the people we passed when we were going back. Can't wait to hike more of the Rockies now.

Pretty easy hike as far as elevation climb goes.. it is mostly flat with only small inclines and declines. The burned trees don't make for the prettiest sight but the lake full of lily pads is beautiful! Probably not my favorite hike but seemed family friendly as we saw lots of families with very young kids hiking. The creek and boulders are also a neat part of this trail.

We started out early (7:30) and avoided most of the crowds. Headed out from the fern TH to make the finish easier - better to walk 1 mile on a dirt road when it’s cool and empty. We saw wild turkeys, elk, marmots. The lake is nice, but the pool is way better. Coming down along the Big Thompson river was crowded. Loved it. Done with an 11 and 13yo.

hiking
7 days ago

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.

hiking
8 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!

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.

8 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)

on Ypsilon Lake Trail

hiking
9 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.

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
12 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.

Liked it better than Flattop mtn, Hallett Peak, and even better than Emerald Lake. The least crowded hike in the Rockies so far with the best views going both ways on the trail. Amazing views at the lake. Wish we would have done the social trail to Helene Lake on the way back...next time.

Loved it !

hiking
14 days ago

Wonderful summit, with dramatic drop offs all around. About an hour to tree line and all gorgeous from that point on. Hallett summit push looks daunting from Flattop, but it’s actually less ferocious than it appears.

Beautiful views. Definitely a must see

Did this on the way back from Sky Pond on the morning of August 2. In contrast to that trail, we had the trip to Andrews completely to ourselves. This is by no means an easy hike -- the trail is poorly marked and eventually peters out, there's a ton of boulder scrambling, and the final approach to the base of the glacier is very steep -- but the adventure, the views, and the solitude were all outstanding. Would definitely recommend for serious hikers interested in a worthy challenge.

hiking
17 days ago

Hiked Saturday, 8/4- got there at 12 and there were a few open parking spots. Fairly strenuous, mostly uphill. I clocked it at closer to a little over 9 miles total. The lake is crystal clear and huge. Very cool to see the sand too. I give this 3 stars because, for me, it didn’t compare to many other hikes I’ve done in this area (especially for the effort). Glad I did it but don’t necessarily feel the need to repeat this one.

Definitely tough the first part because it is mostly uphill & about 2,600 feet of elevation but it is worth it. Lake is very nice.

hiking
18 days ago

Really cool hike! Did this on Friday, 8/3, and was able to summit Hallett despite the weather.

Some notes:
-From GAIA GPS: 9.94 miles, 4:19 hours (8:33 minutes stoppage time), 3202' ascent
-I parked at Bear Lake TH at 6am and was one of ~10 cars (weather was a factor). Saw two others on ascent (one runner turned at Flattop and one turned about a mile from Flattop due to weather). Saw ~10 on my descent in the treeline, ~25 between treeline and TH, and 100s around the TH.
-The prior reviews explain this hike well. A decent climb to Flattop Mountain with clear trail and added cairns near top. From Flattop it's a similar climb marked well by cairns (and a mostly dirt path).
-Weather was a big factor on my climb. Forecast called for rain and thunderstorms at 11:15am. I thought with early start I could beat the weather and avoid thunder/lightening while above treeline. Rain started at ~7am and grew increasingly worse with time and elevation. I was well prepared (over prepared is my default) and decided to keep heading to summit. Top was windy (!!), rainy, and down to about 15 yards visibility (so much for those views from the summit!).

Last thing...because it bears repeating. Please respect the mountain and weather! I saw lots of folks hiking who were very under prepared for the weather yet still hiking up. Don't be that guy. It puts yourself, others, and SAR teams in danger!

I gave this 5 stars not because of the lake (it was fine but a little disappointing since the trees block a lot of the view of Ypeilon mountain. I gave it 5 because of the offshoot trail to Specktacle lake about a half hour (straight up!) around the left side of Ypsilon mountain. Follow the waterfalls just west of where the Ypsilon lake trail ends. The combination of beautiful meadows, flowers everywhere, super fun rock scrambling, mountain streams, and awesome views made it one of the best hikes I've done in RMNP, and I've been hiking around here for decades. I'll give you a heads up that there's a big intimidating granite slab very near the top that is not for the faint of heart. Some of us stopped at that point. The hike is still worth it even if you stop there.

hiking
19 days ago

Great hike. Did this one yesterday with my roommate. Certainly difficult for us beginner/out-of-shape hikers, we wanted to turn around at Flattop but I'm tenacious and couldn't bear the thought of giving up then and I'm extremely happy we didn't. This is one of the more rocky trails I've been on, I rolled my ankles a lot even in sturdy hiking boots so, it's definitely not a tennis shoe type hike (even though I saw some guy do it in sandals). In terms of popularity, it's like any hike from Bear Peak Trailhead...really popular. We got there at 6am on a Wednesday, plenty of parking but the trail is busy, but if you're extremely slow like we are, you get the summit to yourself as we were the last people to summit though not recommended because of the afternoon storms. Overall, wonderful hike, spectacular views, and rather difficult.

hiking
21 days ago

My husband and I tried this one at a friend’s suggestion. The burned trees are sad to see, but the meadow is lush and there is a lot of healthy vegetation. The first couple of miles are a gradual incline, rocky in places, but manageable. The lake is a little over two miles in and it is gorgeous! It’s covered in lily pads. After the lake, the trail winds through some wooded areas and the Thompson River becomes visible. It’s also very pretty and there are multiple places to rest, have a snack, and dip your toes in the water. About a mile and a half before the end, there are several large, random boulders. We saw several people practicing their bouldering skills. All in all, a great hike with lots of photo ops.

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