Explore plan b - 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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Beautiful hike! Easy! Great views!!!

hiking
1 month ago

How fun to find this trail so close to town. Loved running to the upper fall and letting the crowd at the bottom thin out. Once back at the bottom I was able to bask in the beauty of the fall.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent trail that is to be experienced in the fall. We were a couple weeks late to do this. However, the snow in the path made it a bit difficult to traverse. Took us 3 hours from car to car including the breaks and photography. Would highly recommend this trail during the fall season.

hiking
1 month ago

We went off season which was October 26th. At this time there is no having to use the shuttle to get up. You need to pay at the entry of the park which is $10 per car. We went about 930a and now issues finding parking. When we got done with the hike around 1p the parking lot was pretty full. We wanted to do an easy hike as my friend just flew in the day before from Minnesota. We were planning to do the easy trail called Maroon Bells scenic trail. This was closed so other only option from that trail was Crater Lake. This was a little more challenging then we were expecting. But it was a great. Lots of rocks and boulders to climb over. There was some areas with snow and ice but not too bad. But all worth as once we got the lake it was huge (though the water was low). Enough room to go by ourselves to have a snack without being next to anyone. Would come back to do this in another season to see all the aspens.

hiking
1 month ago

Good workout going up to the upper falls. The trail is a little rough and rocky at times, but the views are stunning and well worth the effort. It started snowing at the upper falls, so we didn't continue on to the lake. Maybe next time.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! incredible views the entire time! such a fun trail, will definitely be back! The trailhead road is pretty average, a little bumpy but it's not bad. The hike itself is pretty perfect. I would say its moderate, a few inclines but nothing extreme. Some snow at the top meow, it's beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail yesterday 10-27-18. Very snowy like the previous poster said. After the first lake it got really deep and we had to turn around. It was also pretty slick after everyone had compacted the snow and melting then refreezing at night. I would be cautious, there were a few parts that were a little touch and go. On the other hand, beautiful beautiful hike!!

Did this trail when the scenic loop was closed. It was steep until the end and snowy and rocky in spots. But for those of us in our party who made it, it’s was great.
The lake was not very full, but the scenery was great and the local birds are friendly!
For the part of our party who couldn’t make it to the top there was an opening with a amazing Mountain View about .75 miles in. A great place to call good enough if u have to.

I hiked this trail on 10/21/18. Very beautiful area. However, this 7.2 mile out and back turned into 10.5 miles due to the snow. 80% of the trail had between 2 inches - 2.5 feet of snow. The snow and ice made the hike very difficult. Unless you’re experienced with snow hiking and snowshoes, I would not advise the hike until the snow melts. In the end, the snow got so deep, we couldn’t even make it the last 400 meters to grand lake.

One note though is that the first mile of the hike is easy (if no snow) and takes you to a beautiful small waterfall and small lake.

Beautiful hike. We first did the overlook of the first falls, which was just a stroll and would be perfect for a walk with children or those who want the views without the hike ;)
The second falls hike was a great workout and had a spot in the middle where we got some relief from the incline. It was technical and rocky at parts, and some parts had some snow/ice - spikes probably would have been helpful but we didn't use them.
Would have loved to continue on to Long Lake if we had started a little earlier in the day!

Hiked Sunday 10/14/18. Absolutely beautiful hike! It snowed the whole time! It does get windy and chilly at the top. Some of us did wear spikes and others didn’t, no one slipped! I would say it’s a moderate hike/nice workout if your an experienced hiker! Picture ops around every corner!

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
1 month ago

At points it feels like endless scrambling through small, loose rocks. We joked that it was like hiking on the moon! Still a fun trail with pretty views at the end (although the views would be better if there was water in the lake!).

Really beautiful hike. It had snowed the night before and all the trees were heavy w powder, which was coming down in chunks as the sun came out. There is a rocky traverse near the upper falls, which other than some snow and ice falling off the sides, was fine and easy. No crampons needed. Gaiters are recommended but not necessary.

Beautiful views! Went in early October and it was freezing. There was snow and ice on the trail which made it a little more difficult. In the end if you aren’t a master hiker, taking rest stops along the way to take in the sceneries will get you through it.

Beautiful foliage! Definitely recommend the trail to crater Lake. I hiked with two dogs by myself and do not recommend hiking this narrow trail with two dogs. It was rainy, muddy, and slippery. At crater lake it was sleeting and cold. The lake was not dry as the post from last week said although it was cloudy and views of the mountains were not good..

on Thomas Lakes Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Nice drive to the trail head, great scenery all the way through.
trail is nice but gets a lil difficult in certain areas...(inclines) but if u tread through and make it to the top it is exactly what u expect pure awesomeness.... Enjoyed every min of the 2.5 hr trex up.

easy hike appropriate for all ages. Enjoyed the drive to the trail more than the trail itself.

trail running
2 months ago

Amazing trail, the lakes and creeks are gorgeous.

hiking
2 months ago

Maroon Bells is absolutely breathtaking with the aspen tree fall foliage. This was definitely a moderate hike, it was steep most the way up and very rocky. I recommend good hiking shoes with grip due too many loose and slippery rocks. I had to stop and take a quick breather about 3-4 times on the way up, however, I’m from sea level and have only been in Colorado for 2 months. Took just over an hour out and maybe 30 minutes back. Overall a good hike minus the heavy traffic on a narrow trail along with multiple people blasting music on their cell speakers along the way. If it’s solitude you’re looking for you won’t find it here. Just gorgeous scenery.

I'd rate the trail between moderate and hard, some parts pretty steep, others a little rocky, but definitely doable with a little experience. Both the upper and lower falls were nice, albeit pretty tame after seeing St. Francis falls in Glacier last month. Hiked about a mile above the 2nd falls: fantastic views and great color.

hiking
2 months ago

Although. The falls are nice, compared to other walks in Colorado, this one is 3/5

It is stunning scenic trail with the foliage. The lake is empty now but the scene does not disappoint

August 2009. Amazing beautiful trail

Great trail with mixed terrains. Both waterfalls are pretty low on water, and so are all the lakes by Steamboat. We went to the upper Falls, you can add miles to the hike by going to Longs Lake.
I would rate this upper moderate rather than “hard”.
Overall beautiful hike in fall colors!

$5 entrance fee per car.

Nice hike only went to lower falls , trail was paved all the way . Will try upper falls soon.

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely recommend continuing the hike beyond Maroon Lake for additional sights. It is a rocky trail with some steeper inclines, and, I will admit, at one point I did get turned around on the trail. The trail is more heavily trafficked once the shuttles start dropping people off at 8:00AM. Even though Crater Lake was dry when I went, the autumn colors were fantastic!

camping
2 months ago

It is difficult getting up there and easy coming back. The Lake is dry currently.

Nice easy hike up to Crater Lake. The lake is dry but amazing colors of the Aspens all the way up.

hiking
2 months ago

I did this hike a week ago with my friend and our two dogs, a Lab and a Sheppard. We got started shortly after the sun came upon the Bells, mostly to start the hike before the trail got too crowded (it was a Monday) it was so beautiful with most of the aspens in full color. Our dogs did fine on the terrain and yes, some parts were very rocky but wasn’t an issue for any of us. We got to Crater Lake which we knew was dry, but it was a nice spot to sit for a bit and have some snacks before heading back. We encountered ALOT more people coming up the trail, especially as we were almost at the end. Good move on our part to start early. Would have given 5 stars if the lake wasn’t dry

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike on Saturday, 9/22. Very few people on trail. Sunny, clear day, sea level friend joined us and did fine! The first lake you come to is just as beautiful as Lower Missouri Lake, which is just up a bit. We didn’t do the loop to connect up to Fancy Lake Trail bec two in our party were tired. Will try that next time.

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