Explore RMNP - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1 day ago

Spikes only needed on 3/17

Spikes are definitely needed, hiking sticks come in handy as well. Bundle/layer up for sure and enjoy the beauty that is Chasm lake, so worth the climb!!!

Hiked on 3/14. One of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done! The views are well worth the steepness battle after Loch Lake. Did it only using microspikes, and like someone before me I did not use the strap on the icy steep part, but instead crawled with my hands around the left side of the boulder that's there. Wind is pretty brutal at all of the lakes and the steepness after Loch is no joke, but well worth the efforts! Would highly recommend!

Hiked this yesterday with my daughter. It was awesome! Some tough climbs at the end with ice and snow pack but well worth it. Micro spikes are a must. A frozen Glass lake and ice fall made for some great pictures.

Wow! The description of this trail is on point, as well as everyone's reviews. We had hiked Emerald Lake the day before and wanted something more challenging... we got it! We wore microspikes and used trekking poles the whole way up. We were hit by a snow storm about halfway to Sky Pond and pushed through. The most difficult part is right before you hit the pond. The trail is barely hiked and therefore you sink pretty deep at such a steep incline. The part where the strap is is extremely icy and therefore I "Spidermaned" my way up the left side of the boulder instead of the right (not using the strap). The pond was gorgeous and frozen solid. *caution** heard a bear as we began our decent down the steep incline. You should bring : snow shoes, microspiked, snow pants, and trekking poles at the very least. *** Also, I dropped our little fox somewhere around Loch Lake, when the snow melts and if he is seen please feel free to contact me via Facebook, he's a precious part of our lives ;(***

3 days ago

this was a lovely hike! I just wore my hiking boots and tried to be careful in areas where it looked icy!

Microspikes were definitely helpful, but snowshoes are probably overkill now. We had no problem making it to the lake with just spikes. The snow was only not packed down right near the lake

4 days ago

March 14... micros spikes needed... snow shows suggested mainly for coming down in slushy snow... this hike was really good... not until hitting the tree line on the north slope does the wind pick up. My guess 70 miles per hour. Make sure and bring face coverage as the last half mile you are walking into the wind with complete exposure. View are amazing and getting to the top was not to hard.

Best views in RMNP in my opinion!

5 days ago

Snowshoed up to Black Lake. Trail was hard packed most of the way and switched to micro-spikes for return trip - but snowshoes were helpful for the steep parts of trail ascending to the lake. Round trip took about 5.5 hours with a stop for lunch on the frozen lake. Really beautiful with all of the awesome peaks that frame the basin in which the lake sits.

Hiked 3/12. Only used microspikes for the entire hike. Someone has bolted a strap by the only sketchy part of the hike. Slid most of the way down on my coat. Definitely recommend if you are in shape for it. If you’re questioning it at the lock its best to not go up. It only gets steeper from there. If you take snowshoes make sure to also bring spikes for the sheet of ice you have to climb before glass lake

7 days ago

The hike to Gem Lake is steep and difficult, but the views are worth the effort. Beyond the lake, the trail passes through fairly dense trees. Views are limited and it is extremely hot in the summer time. Also the trail was unclear in places causing us to question if we were on the right path. As others have mentioned, there were few people beyond the lake. We found balanced rock to be underwhelming. We would recommend stopping at the lake for a while then heading back down the trail.

It had snowed this morning so some of the trail was covered with maybe an inch. Watch out for those snow covered icy spots. Also, the last stretch to the falls is extremely icy! Watch your step and wear spikes!

Cloudy and snowy morning BUT a hike I’d love to do again. No snowshoes needed at all. I did throw on my Yak Tracks once passing Gem Lake. The light morning snow made the hardened ice on some parts of the trail difficult to see. Like others have noted, I had the trail to myself from Gem Lake to Balanced Rock - very peaceful. Heading back from Gem Lake to the TH the sun was already making quick work of the snow from the morning.

Hiked on 3/3 and it was spectacular! Minimal wind and plentiful sunshine. Not much need for snowshoes until you continue up in elevation. The ice on the falls made it difficult, so ditch your snowshoes and go with microspikes at that point. Make sure you download the map and have adequate GPS as the snow can often lead you astray from the main trail. I also misplaced my cell phone at the bottom of Glass Lake (Lake of Glass?) if anyone finds it in the snowmelt. :)

9 days ago

3/8-3/9 2018

You need traction from Bear Lake to Lake Helene. Trail is hard packed and slick for most of the way to the Flattop junction. After that I'd recommend snowshoes simply because if you step outside the narrow line of hard pack you are in for a surprise posthole. Winds and snow night of 3/8 scoured off many long stretches of visible signs of the trail past the banana bowl.

Grace Falls is absolutely massive this year. Did not venture down to Odessa. The gorge looked like a deathtrap.

10 days ago

Wonderful trail, definitely moderate especially with the snow pack on the trail. It's highly recommended to use ice cleats as the second half of the trail is all packed snow which turned to ice in many spots. Beautiful views along the way and at the top. Mostly an uphill hike on the way in.
Not enough fresh snow today for snowshoes so they would be cumbersome on the packed snow but would provide better traction than plain boots.

11 days ago

Did this in late June 2017. Incredible hike and not particularly strenuous, but the altitude is no joke if you are not acclimated. We spent about 5 days in Steamboat Springs before attempting Ida on the way back to Denver, and I was still getting winded. Get to the trailhead early, to get a parking spot, and so that you can be back down below the treeline by early afternoon, as thunderstorms can pop up unexpectedly. We lost the trail for a bit in the switchbacks because it was a little muddy and snow covered, but once you are above the trees it's easy to follow until you get near the summit. There you will be scrambling over boulders for a while. There are cairns all over the place and its hard to tell where the real trail is, but just keep heading up. We were lucky enough to be there in peak wildflower season, it was very colorful. Watch your pack at the top because there are a few very brave marmots up there. Wear layers and bring a hat as it gets very windy above the trees. We moved at a pretty good clip, spent about 20 minutes at the top, jogged for short stints on the way down and completed it in just over 4 hours, logging 9.6 miles total. Most people will just park and look at the lake by the trailhead, a few will hike a ways into the trees, but we only encountered 3 or 4 other small groups above the trees. Amazing views all along this route!

Hiked this a few months ago and was just as amazing as everyone says. Definitely a difficult hike and not for everyone. Getting above Timberline Falls was very sketchy and difficult with the ice and wind but is necessary to make it all the way. I can't wait to come back up here in Summer

Took a pack of flatlanders up for a morning hike and had an amazing time. Wind was brutal so make sure to bring a face mask and lots of layers. No snowshoes are needed but I would advise using boots this time of year at the bare minimum. Download the map to use offline as the trail splits in a few places that can be confusing. Amazing views, and a challenging but rewarding hike.

Started early in the morning to make sure I got a parking spot. Wore spikes and carried snowshoes. The trail was well traveled with hard pack/ice at times. No need for the snowshoes. The weather was absolutely perfect! Sun, blue skies and not much wind (relatively) at all. The Loch, Glass Lake and Sky Pond all ice with no/little snow cover. The climb up Timberline Falls not bad at all and someone placed a strap at the point where it there is ice. At the lakes, a lot of exposed rock, ground so easy to get around. On the way back, the snow was softer after the sun on it all day long. Hiked it in the summer and first in winter and both beautiful in their own ways.

Shits lit

Such a stunning hike! You can’t go wrong with hikes in Rocky Mountain but on this hike you pass so many other falls and lakes there is so much along the way. We had our trekking poles and spikes on. I don’t think we could have competed this hike without them. Very slushy in some areas and ice in others.

15 days ago

Fantastic hike/snowshoe! Beyond gorgeous day with no wind. Used yak traks up to the dream lake overlook, snowshoed down through tons of powder off trail. Highly recommend!!

19 days ago

beautiful place to go.

20 days ago

Tried to do this hike a week ago. The snow was not packed at all unlike many of the other reviews. Our feet sunk in 3 feet with every step on the way up and it was incredibly tiring. Once we broke the treeline, the wind was so strong that the trail disappeared and my gps unfortunately glitched out. We brought microspikes and trekking poles, but I imagine snowshoes would've made it a lot easier. We had to turn around past treeline due to the aforementioned things, but I still enjoyed it and will be trying again soon.

23 days ago

Attempted on 1/27/2018.
I used my Microspikes and found it very doable. Made it all of the way to the base of the lake after pushing through 50+ mph winds. Only to find that there was a giant snow field to pass. The guy in front of me had 2 ice axes and crampons and was not able to make it across. It was absolutely beautiful and will try again!

28 days ago

Nice winter hike. A good climb and beautiful views. For pics and more details: https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/01/02/roadtrip-to-the-rockies-deer-mountain-trail/

Amazing beginner winter hike with gorgeous views along the way. There were a few icy patches making trek poles or ice trekkers useful but not necessary. Other than that a great day hike trail.

Went on 2/16/18, the trail is covered in snow and large snow drifts. You can kind of tell where the trail should be, stay on it or you will post hole if you're not wearing snow shoes or skis. I downloaded the map and referred to the Alltrails app often to make sure I was on course, it was a huge help! I made it to the frozen lake, it was cold and windy so I didn't stay long.

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