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Just a heads up the road to Brainard Lake is closed for the season as of 10/15 so you have to park at the winter lot and hike the 2.5ish miles to the trailhead.

As of 10/16 the gate was closed before the fee station which adds about 5 miles RT to any hike you plan to do. The road has some snow/ice but also has large dry stretches. Once you get near the Mitchell Lake TH you will be on snow the whole time. The trail is packed down for most of the way. I brought microspikes and snowshoes. Never put the spikes on, but snowshoes were very helpful once I got about 1/4 mile below Blue Lake. Was glad to have gaiters and waterproof boots. Beautiful hike.

Incredible experience! Dress warm and wear shoes for winter conditions. $11 FEE. This hike is full of captivating views of towering mountains and frozen lakes. 4.9/5!

Hop over to here2summitup.wordpress.com for a detailed description with pictures and videos of this hike! Follow @2_Summit_Up on Instagram to see this hike and more adventures.

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!

Fabulous views as you go up, and it's definitely worth it to scramble up to the top. The trail had heavy traffic though, making it not as peaceful as I would have liked. With snow on the trail, the traffic really packed it in, making it fairly slick.

Possibly my favorite short hike in Colorado. Please stay on the trail and out of the water so we can keep this trail open.

hiking
3 days ago

Hanging Lake was stunning today! Rather steep and rocky but definitely worth the views all the way up. I am not super fit or out of shape (somewhere in the middle) and I was able to do it without too much difficulty. Bring water and snacks!
Also, be sure to see Spouting Rock! It’s a quick trail right before you reach the top of Hanging Lake. It’s a gorgeous waterfall you won’t want to miss!

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

Arrived around 9:30am Saturday morning and parking wasn't more than 5 cars although once we got back to the car around 11:30 there was a line of cars and more people. There was snow most of the trail and icy towards the last portion of the trail, but was an awesome hike and fantastic views!

You’ll definitely want to bring traction and poles for this one. It looks dry at the trailhead, but there’s a lot of packed snow on ice pretty soon after you start climbing.

You could probably even get away with having your snowshoes handy toward the top.

Moderate to easy hike, Blue lake is gorgeous! Snow and ice on much of the trail now. Cold and windy at top, but worth the work.

This was a beautiful hike with varying difficulty in the trail throughout and lots of beautiful views along the way. we didn't make it to glacier lake but lake Isabelle was great!

Solid hike, not too hard and great views.

Awesome short hike with an amazing view! The view at the top is worth it. As of 10/12/18 there is a couple inches of snow and the top by the ridge is SO windy so be prepared.
Limited parking, we were the second car there at 9am and when we were back at 11am the whole side of the road was packed.

hiking
6 days 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.

The slope was very steep but the lake was amazing!

hiking
8 days ago

Did this hike on October 8, 2018. First snow of the winter. It was magical, nobody after the first two miles. saw moose! The mountains and meadows we're gorgeous with a couple inches of snow.

It’s a great hike for families. With a moderate gain and only 1.5 miles long you get some great views.

hiking
8 days ago

We do a lot of hiking in Colorado, and for my entire family this is our favorite. It is extremely easy, and just shockingly beautiful the entire way. I can't think of a better place for a hike. We went on a Wednesday, arrived at the park about 7:05 in the morning, and there were only two parking places left. Arriving early and bug spray are both a must!

hiking
9 days ago

Another classic Rocky Mountain hike. Great diversity with forest, meadows, snow caps all around, a couple of stream crossings and a nice lake at the end. The first half mile and the last 3/4 mile are pretty steep so be prepared for some climbing. Got lucky today with only six other cars in the parking lot. However, I am guessing this trail is very crowded in peak season. Go now before the trail is covered in snow.

hiking
9 days ago

Really gorgeous hike. The last mile up there is already a decent amount of snow and at the top, close to 6 inches. Definitely wear waterproof hiking boots.

We were looking for a lake hike not far from our house and this looked like a good candidate. The Guanella pass road was still open so we took it, and then drove the Naylor Lake Road up to the upper parking lot, shaving about a mile off of the total distance of the trail. I'd highly recommend AWD or 4WD. We did it in our Jeep in 2WD but that road can get slick really quick. As we were driving through the Guanella pass road we realized that there was a light coating of snow at the top, and assumed that there would be a little snow up where we were headed, glad we packed warm. The hike was fairly easy, with a skim coat of ice on some of the areas where water came off the mountain and pooled in the low spots. We were glad that we had our trekking poles if only for a couple extra points of contact. About 2/3rds of the trail is above treeline and is exposed to the elements. The wind started to kick up fiercely as we made it to Silver Dollar lake and continued to Murray Reservoir. The views were obstructed somewhat from the low ceiling, but it was still worth the hike.

I'll have to come back sometime in the spring to check and see if there are any nice looking trout in those lakes!

Butt kicker

This was a great hike!
I tried to reach little blue lake but I could not find the trail for the life of me. After about 1mile of pushing on towards little blue lake I gave up, my dog was not happy with all the small boulders and snow causing us to fall a lot.
Otherwise I would do it again in the spring when everything is green

Pretty easy and amazing views, even on an overcast day at lower elevations. Would recommend to visitors to the area because of the huge reward for little effort.

This hike was incredible! Did it on 10/6. Road going up is a little wild, but not too terrible. Lots of snow at the top, still enough that you can walk on top. But I didn’t have hiking boots and my feet got pretty wet. Stunning stunning views!! You park at the Fourth of July trailhead.

hiking
10 days ago

Scenery: 4.5
Views: 3
Difficulty: 3.5
Crowds: 4
Shade: 4

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

Me and my two dogs hiked this today. We started at 8 AM and it took 2 1/2 hours to get up there. The hike was so beautiful I kept stopping to take pictures. This might have been the prettiest hike I’ve ever been on! I highly recommend this hike

hiking
10 days ago

The hike was about 3 hours start to finish. Great path up to the peak. It was foggy when I arrived but the sun peeked through and I got some great views of the golden aspens. Would definitely hike again.

This is one of my favorite trail to date. Ample amounts of parking at trailhead, and beautiful scenery throughout. Very long hike close to 18 miles long, but we'll worth it. Didn't make it up to the top of the summit, due to rainstorms moving in. Would recommend.

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