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Beautiful trail but as previous reviewer mentioned, at some point near the end, the foot path in the snow deviates from the actual trail. I had a GPS with me so was able to figure this out (coupled with clues based on the trail just not seeming right). We never actually made it to the lakes but the hike was still beautiful. I would say if you don’t have a GPS, be careful as just following the footprints in the snow isn’t actually the trail & gets a bit sketchy.

nature trips
1 day ago

Great views. Lovely wildflowers. Plenty of spots to stop for rest on the steeper parts. We were at Panorama Point for sunset (driving up) earlier this week and heard a mountain lion snarling!
Keep your dogs on a leash for sure! Also, if you’re going to bag the dog poo, take the bag with you! Leaving the bagged poo defeats the purpose of cleaning up after your pet!

Trail is all snow, most packed by skiers. Final ~1/4 mile to the lower lake is unpacked snow (unless we took a wrong turn, we were definitely off trail on deep snow following footprints).Great hike but with the current conditions if you don’t have snowshoes or skis you won’t make it all the way up.

Amazing! I agree to go clockwise like everyone else said. It was a pretty steep incline, but after that it was not bad at all. The views were absolutely stunning.

Good for a local front range trail.. some hard packed snow near panorama.

on Raccoon Trail

3 days ago

Gorgeous trail with a variety of different scenery along the way. Breathtaking landscapes, easy to follow, some decent hills to hike.

trail running
3 days ago

First time on this trail this afternoon. Nice trail, a few mildly interesting spots and a bit of a view right before the falls. Even without any mind blowing highlights, there is pretty complete immersion in nature. Was a bit icy in spots... I didn’t have any traction devices and my dog and I were just fine, but bring some kind of spikes if you aren’t comfortable on ice. There are still plenty of decent foot placements that aren’t solid ice if your eyes are open, but I’m sure many would appreciate spikes. I’m wondering how this’ll be in late winter/spring though... yikes!

Some mention they recorded the trail as longer than 6.3 miles, but my gps recorded it at 6.2 miles, 1440 ft of ascent, and it didn’t feel any longer than that to me.

Easy and fun hike with the kid and the dogs.

on Sandbeach Lake Trail

hiking
7 days ago

We broke the trail and encountered 4 other parties coming up as we were going down so the trail should be decently worn in now. Traction devices might be helpful -- as would snowshoes in the last mile or so, however we did the whole trail with boots and gaiters, which kept our pants nice and dry.

The snow made the hike more challenging, but nice nonetheless.

It had some nice views. We went at the end of October and it was pretty cold so bring jackets. Some snow was off the trail but not on the trail. Not very difficult hike.

8 days ago

Did this hike 8/22/18...for my friends 70 b’day challenge. Very enjoyable hike with wonderful views . We started st 5am to avoid afternoon showers. Trail well marked and thank goodness for the carens as we traversed the boulder field at the top. The donuts tasted soooo good when we reached the top... and yes, lots of people st the summit!

Went in early October on a cloudy day and got some snow near the top. The lakes were incredible though. Lost the trail on the way to the furthest lake, and ended up doing some rock scrambling that we weren’t prepared for. Saw a moose alongside the road on the way to the trailhead! Def want to go back on a clear day.

This is a beautiful very busy trail after a long ride on Dallas Creek Road parking can be extremely difficult.

hiking
13 days ago

Hiked today, 10/29/18. Take county road 7 (Dallas creek) literally until it ends. Its a bit further than the directions tell you-- but no worries you get there. I started my hike at 9:45am and reached the second lake in 3 hours. Just about 2 miles in (around the Mt. Sneffels wilderness sign) I stopped and put on my micro spikes and gaiters. Gaiters weren't needed until the VERY end and spikes were hit or miss but it definitely made it much easier to maneuver.

I made it easily to the lower lake and it was GORGEOUS. I continued on upwards to the second lake and the views of the lower lake were incredible. The snow drift was quite strong and foot prints started to get scarce and it also felt like I was being pelted with small ice from the winds on the back side of the mountain. I looked at the second lake and it was 70% frozen over so I decided to turn back as I was hiking alone. It is definitely worth traveling up there for the views of the lower lake though! If you go that high definitely spikes and gaiters this time of year!

Definitely beautiful. I only saw 2 other hikers all day which was amazing =)

low traffic, beautiful pines surround you, very peaceful, great for anyone

Hiked on 10/27. Doable for sure but lots of snow— wish I would have had spikes but can be carefully done without. If you have gaiters use them. My feet were soaked.

I was plenty warm with a long sleeve and puffy vest.

The directions lead you to trailhead accurately.

I went on past ice lake but could not make it to island lake as the tracks stop right now due to snow.

I’m 34 and in good shape and it took me about 2:45 to get to ice lake. I also drank near 5L of water. Totally epic views if you follow tracks up about another 500-800 feet of vert— about 1/2 mile distance.

hiking
15 days ago

Breath-taking in more ways than one and our favorite hike on our honeymoon. The 'difficult' rating is no joke for low-elevation folk like we are, but it was worth the sweat. Above the treeline it's like Tolkien county, a different world than our Minnesota. We hiked on a Sunday in late September; we started early - around 7:30 - and only ran into a few other hikers. It was much busier on the descent.

Beautiful but definitely a challenge. If you are visiting, bring water and be prepared for climbing up on rocks. Waterfall was lovely even though it’s not a lot of water. But considering it hasn’t rained, it was such a treat to hear any water. Loved it.

hiking
16 days ago

If you’re looking for a peaceful hike through a forest with some stunning views of peaks but don’t want to give up a lazy Saturday, this hike is perfect. Not too far from Denver and a good workout!

hiking
17 days ago

I agree with going clockwise so then you get the panoramic stopping point to have a snack close to the end.

Tough but beautiful!!! worth the work!!

Beautiful!!! Hiked October 20th. Definitely need spikes toward the top. The lakes had two feet of snow! Easy hike. Spikes good P.S there is miss in the trees!!! Yes looks like Spanish moss. !!! Incredible

Beautiful hike, the lower lakes are all but frozen to the edges. There was a fair amount of snow/ice on the trail so yaktrax/microspikes definitely recommended. Also worth noting, there were bear tracks in several areas along the trail and around the perimeter of the south lower lake!

Very well traveled with magnificent views

hiking
21 days ago

If you're looking for an easy hike, this isn't it. Almost the entire way to the falls is uphill & there are several parts of the trail that are narrow (1 person wide). It is doable for beginners, but it will be pretty difficult. Tread carefully & watch your step. Wear good hiking shoes if you plan on going to the top. Bring some snacks like Clif bars & plenty of water/Gatorade.

Beautiful views of nature throughout the hike (especially when you get higher up), and it wasn't overpopulated like a lot of touristy places are. You will be immersed in nature. We noticed a bunch of small Brook Trout swimming in the stream that leads up to the falls, which was the only sign of wildlife we saw on our trek. Once you get to St. Mary's Falls, there will be a waterfall on a steep slab rock. I wouldn't say it is "magnificent", but it's still quite pretty. There are some rock stairs that lead you up to a sitting area of log benches and a better position to look at the falls. Our group went in mid-October, so it was significantly colder when we reached the top. The temperature when we got to the parking lot was high 60's, but when we reached St. Mary's Falls there was snow on the ground! If you go later in the year, bring a sweatshirt or jacket. When the sun went down behind the mountains, it also got significantly cooler.

One thing we did notice is the trail is longer than 6.3 miles, which was mentioned by some other reviewers. There's a part on the trail with a sign that states the falls are 1.7 miles away, but it's actually closer to 2.4 miles away. We clocked the total hike (there & back) as over 7.5 miles. There might be some discrepancies between our mileage and other hikers' mileages, but regardless it's definitely longer than 6.3 miles.

Despite being in pain for a large portion of the hike, I enjoyed this hike overall & would do it again. (Next time I will bring better hiking shoes!)

This was a very nice trail with beautiful views at the top. We clocked it as closer to 6.7 to 6.9 miles. The last part is fairly steep. The water flow was low, but there was a bit of ice around the falls which made it very pretty. We did not encounter too many people on the actual trail up to the falls. Most turned off and went the Seven Bridges route.

hiking
22 days ago

Nice moderate hike with plenty of lakes and streams- although as a result probably not ideal during mud season... jasper lake was frozen but still beautiful.

hiking
23 days ago

Easy trail to a really pretty waterfall. Hiked it on a Thursday (10/18) and only saw a handful of other people. Took about 3 1/2 hours but we stopped and took pictures several times and hiked down and ate lunch on the rocks right beside the waterfall. If you want to take a fairly easy walk, this is a good one. Not much elevation gain and trail was very easy to follow.

hiking
23 days ago

We hadn’t expected the snow to not have melted (silly Kansan mistake) but the trail was great. We started at the trailhead and walked to panorama point had a snack and walked back. Well marked trail, beautiful views. Took us probably 2.5 hours but we stopped for 20-30 min at panorama point.

Trail is boot-packed snow and ice the entire way, so yaktrax were helpful. Helene and Odessa were both frozen over, but still well worth the views. Trail earns its moderate rating as you ascend back up to Helene after Odessa (I can see why people one-way this trail and include Fern Lake). This is definitely a less trafficked trail out of the Bear Lake area—didn’t see a soul for over two hours with a sunrise start.

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