Explore Rado trails - 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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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.

Third time hiking this trail (first during winter and the second during summer). Despite it being mid-October, there was still a lot of snow on the upper two-thirds of the trail, so definitely bring appropriate gear and be prepared to stay out all day; it's a very long trek. Mirror Lake was frozen over but there are some nearby streams to get fresh water, if needed. Also, the gate to access Monarch Lake trailhead was open, but I know they close it as it gets closer to winter so double-check this before heading out, as it can add an extra 2 miles (round trip) to the hike. Otherwise, beautiful hike - one of my favorites in Colorado.

A bunch of moose, a bunch of lakes

I did this trail and tracked it on my Fitbit, I knew my Fitbit would track the distance a little less than what the distance really is from my experience but it was a little more than six miles one way to Lake Verna from the East trailhead. It was totally worth it but I’m not sure what everyone is smoking to think it’s 12.9 round trip. I was tracking at least 15 Miles total. The sign at the trailhead can not be accurate unless it’s tracking the river that comes from the lake, before you actually get to the huge lake. We didn’t see any wild life and we were the only ones on the trail for a few hours. We started around 8:30am and arrived at 1:30pm. We headed back at 2:00pm and got to the parking lot around 5:30pm. It was beautiful but don’t underestimate the distance and the amount of hills that are required to climb to get to the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful! Nice fall hike featuring some golden aspens and a couple waterfalls. In the early morning it was a misty hike through a cloud, which I thought made the whole experience even cooler.

Comfortable slope up to wilderness boundary where two other trails branch off to access canyons to the north and east. Huge wide valley filled with the yellow and orange fall brilliance of aspens.

Pretty easy hike for a 14er until you get to the saddle, then it gets a little technical. We went really slow with this one for a total of 10 hours. Started at 630 and was off the mountain still in plenty of time. If you get a nice weather day in the fall I would highly recommend, the Aspen trees were some of the most beautiful I've seen. Of the 12 14ers I have hiked, this was one is up there as far as a good hike and beautiful views. Enjoy!

Probably one of the best hikes I’ve done in CO. Like others have said, makes for a LONG day hike - still so worth it. Wish I had 2 or 3 nights to explore the surrounding Crater Lakes area.

There are 12 designated camping spots around crater lake. On a Saturday the place was packed with campers. The ranger must’ve given out at least a dozen citations. Even though permits are not required at this time of year, got to get up there early to claim a spot.

Will definitely be bringing the pack for next time!

Ah, this was a great hike. I went with my dog last Saturday and we had a blast. Arrived at the trailhead around 7am. It was pretty busy but still over 10 spots available. I started on Hessie Trail and went to Lost Lake. After Lost Lake, I hiked on Devils Thumb for a few miles. We turned around about 2miles from Jasper Lake because we were short on time. Wish I could’ve made it to the lake because the weather was perfect. My Fitbit said we went 12miles. Not sure how accurate it is though. We got back to my car around 11ish. Lots of cars waiting for parking and crowds of people on the trail. Again, so glad we got there early and hope to go back to hike to the lake soon.

If you want to go to Crater Lake I would definitely suggest doing an overnight backpacking trip. Its too far for one day. I think its also longer than listed. I saw a lot of HUGE moose. Bring tons of water. Don’t do it alone like I did.

Amazing trail with spectacular views. There is a spectacular glacial lake not on the map, but you have to climb to above 12,000 feet before you get a look at it. It was frozen when we got there. This trail is extremely difficult and mostly over large boulders. You must have excellent footwear, excellent balance, and ample cold weather clothing. If you're unsure if you can tackle this trail, take the easy hike to Lake Isabelle and make your decision once you're there. It took us 8 hours round trip from the long lake parking lot. Don't let the reasonable distance fool you! Watch for cairns, as most of this trail is across boulder fields.

Also be very careful about altitude sickness and understand the signs. I live at 1000 ft and was able to climb to the end of the trail, but had symptoms of altitude sickness into the next day.

There is a bull moose, cow, and a calf living just above the lake. We had the good fortune to see all three from a safe distance. Watch out, as both the bull and cow are known to chase and attack!

There are also ample Pika (endangered) and marmots living in the boulder fields. Keep your eyes open!

This was an awesome trail, be ready to climb. With an almost nonstop gain in elevation until you reach the lake this is definitely an awesome workout with views that make up for every step you climb. Check out my IG for pictures from the hike @alvarado_dan_

Amazing hike. Did it as a very long day hike, took ~9 hours. Didn’t see any other hikers except for on the out-and back to the Causeway. Saw a couple friendly bow hunter groups on horseback. Amazing weather, mid-Sept is a great time of year to explore this area as the aspens have started to turn. A bit tricky to follow the trail along the Chinese wall, you’ll lose it and find it again if you stay in the general direction.

Such a beautiful and fun hike! So many water features on the way up and beautiful foliage. Love every mile!

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail. The last half mile before the lake is quite steep and difficult. The lake is beautiful and well worth the effort.

Amazing trail with fantastic view at the end! Not a full 8 miles around the lake, we did the full thing and it came out to under 7 with a lot of exploring. Absolutely breathtaking views at the end. The trail is pretty flat, with maybe max of 0.5 miles uphill. Great for out of towners. Parking fills up early, be prepared to walk extra mileage if you’re after 9 even on a weekday.
Lots of moose in the area, spotted two at the lake on the way in.

If you have a vehicle that will make it up the 4WD road, I’d 100% recommend this route! The trail is beautiful, with amazing views over Twin Lakes, and of course the summit views were also great. We even saw a wedding ceremony being performed at the top! There were some other hikers on the trail, but it didn’t look nearly as busy as the north route, which you could see at parts from this east ridge trail. Long but not technical at all, I would absolutely recommend hiking poles for the descent for people with bad knees like me, they were lifesavers. Took us about 6.5 hours RT. Hiked 7/21/18

backpacking
2 months ago

Gorgeous trail! So many different types of terrain. Loved the open meadow entering into Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. We got a permit and camped overnight at Jasper Lake - it was rainy and windy, but campsite 3 is pretty protected. Used our bear canister as recommended - didn't run into any wildlife other than squirrels and chipmunks. The lake is rather low, but the views were still pretty and the aspens are chainging for a beautiful, colorful site.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked about 3.5 miles up-for a round trip of 7 miles-on August 29. Gorgeous trail. Some aspen groves up on the mountain and on the trail starting to go golden. Saw one person starting ahead of us and one person on our way down. Puppy dog loved all the smells. Creek crossings easy.

on Jasper Lake Trail

2 months ago

Great hike. Parking is kind of terrible but so is every other hike in CO. They do have a shuttle if you don’t feel like walking to the trail head (but you are there to hike??) we hiked from our parking spot on the road up to jasper lake and then probably another half a mile or so up to a waterfall. Really pretty. Highly recommend hiking up to the waterfall. For us it ended up being about 13 miles and 4,000 feet incline (according to the recording that all trails records)

This walk is great. Some good views back to Grand Lake and beautiful forest. We saw a moose and calf near Lake Verna but they can be hard to spot, settled in the shrub vegetation. Take plenty of water- the two of us drank 5 litres. They are camping sights on route. This track does go on further to Spirit Lake. Highly recommend.

Beautiful trail and stunning lakes.

backpacking
2 months ago

Awesome dispersed camping spot in an aspen grove about ~4 miles into the trail on the left marked by a post if you’re headed to the lake.

hiking
2 months ago

Hit the Trailhead by 6:30 AM, parking had just begun to overflow. Beautiful day, heavier foot traffic as the afternoon stretched on. I’d recommend this hike during the week when crowds would be thinner. A great way to enjoy Colorado. Saw several moose, a couple deer, and a handful of marmots.

backpacking
2 months ago

If you’re staying overnight at one of the campsites, GO TO FIFTH LAKE! It’s very worth it. The echos are super cool up there. Trail kinda disappears near fifth lake but its kinda obvious where it would be.

Great trail hike, beautiful views. Trail is perfect and well maintained. Good easy hike straight up. I drove up the 4wd upper trail head road in my Subaru outback with no issues. Starting at the upper trail head I still recorded 10.5 miles up and back so prepare for a long hike, but it is worth it!

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful trip for my first time backpacking, only passed a few people and largely had the whole trail to myself! Some really nice camping spots set up for disperse camping, there were some raspberry bushes along the trail close the lake and the lake itself was gorgeous!

So I would say this is probably one of the technically easiest hikes I have done. But don't let that fool you its a long day hike and the elevation will challenge you if you're not used to it. We drove up as far as we could go in our civic up the 4 wheel drive route (about 1.2 miles). Don't do this if you're scared about scraping a little here and there. We also made sure to navigate the road during daylight the evening before to be sure I could make it. Anyway, we left the lodge at 5am and drove up the 4 wheel road and parked at the spot I picked out the day before. Got to the 4 wheel parking lot on foot around 6am (trail head). Reached the peak at 12ish (us low landers were sucking wind). We saw a few people turn back on the way up but most made it up. we got back to the car around 6pm. Again, technically easy, but still a tough day hike. Not the nicest views when you get up there but still really cool to say you've been to the highest peak in Colorado.

This is a beautiful hike. 4 hrs up and 2.5 hrs back, but we were still feeling the altitude (huff and puff) even though we are fit. Take plenty of water. Nice streams, waterfalls and lakes on route. We saw deer, moose and several birds, plus cheeky chipmunks and squirrels. This is a great hike after doing some peaks. It can be busy but we saw very few people, especially when we got further in. Campsites along the way and being used. Rangers are there to meet and greet as you set off.

I don’t know if the mileage All Trails has is correct. The U.S.Forest Service lists this as an 8.2 mile hike. Regardless, it’s gorgeous! I went on a Wednesday morning and had Isabelle Lake and Isabelle Glacier’s tarn all to myself. I didn’t do the scramble past the tarn to the official glacier. I had my dogs and lost the trail a little, plus it was very foggy and I didn’t want to get lost. Honestly, just the views as you hike up from the lake to the glacier are all you need. Also, hiking to the tarn (or the third lake) is good enough... don’t really need to see a snowbank. Be careful as the trail can be muddy and hard to follow after the lake (clearly gets much less traffic) and make sure you feel comfortable with the final scramble to the glacier. The Indian Peaks are gorgeous and this is officially one of my top 5 Colorado hikes!

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