Explore Rocky Mountain (Denver) - 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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Very icy near the top. A bit of a scramble too, most dogs wont make it the last .4

Rangers recommmended that I did not go up the royal arch without micro spikes! Flat irons loop was icy and snowy as it is!

Icy and snowy on trails! Need micro spikes or at the very least hiking shoes!

Hiked 1/12/2019. Lots of snow, microspikes are helpful. Trail is easy to find. Started at 8:30am, only passed a few people coming up, but trail was busy on our descent.

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful trail, outside of RMNP gates. First visit 1/13/19 - snow on most of the trail, well packed and well traveled. Sunny skies and warm rocks to relax on. I left my snowshoes in the car - a few slippery spots where crampons would be helpful but not bad. Lake frozen solid. Well maintained trail allowed for trail running on the way down.

on Emerald Lake Trail

4 days ago

I tried to go there today but the road is closed during government shutdown

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike with beautiful views along the way. Steady increase the entire way up. There were all ages and levels of experience doing this hike. As others have mentioned, a few slick spots but I was able to get up and down easily without microspikes.

hiking
5 days ago

We were there on 1/9. The trail had some slick spots but we were able to conquer it without microspikes and they probably aren’t needed since most of the trail was dry. The lake was frozen over and absolutely beautiful. Due to the government shut down, the garbage cans at the trailhead had a bag taped over them. The bathrooms were also closed. There is an outhouse near the top, be sure to bring some toilet paper with you!

This used to be called Harney Peak. We did it several times with children and my recollection is that there were many scenic vistas on the way up. Once on top, you know it. A great place to have lunch and enjoy the 360 view. The best hike in the Black Hills.

a challenging hike especially if you’re not used to the elevation. Incline right away and pretty much the whole time, but definitely worth it.

hiking
8 days ago

Definetly the hardest hike I’ve been on, bring lots of water and a small snack. If you’re from the Midwest like myself be prepared for the elevation difference, lots of yawns.

Awesome day hike. Pretty easy with amazing views. Plus my pup loved it. Can’t go wrong with this hike.

hiking
9 days ago

We saw 20-30 other groups out on this trail during our 3 hour hike today. Gorgeous views. No snow on the trail, but icy in spots as was mentioned a few days ago.

Hiked this trail in mid-September. Probably my most favorite trail ever. Well worth the scramble up the waterfall. Spectacular lakes set in a backdrop of towering mountains. And the colors were amazing. Definitely worth the effort to get there. Make sure to take the time to stop and enjoy the many views.

nice hike, mostly dry on 1/6.

hiking
12 days ago

This is currently open but the parking lot bathrooms are closed due to the government shutdown. There is an outhouse 3/4's the way up. It's uphill the entire way to the lake, there were all ages and abilities making it to the top. Most of the trail was dry/dirt but there were sections that had snow and crampons/spikes were not needed up or the way down. Made it the top in an hour.

on Royal Arch Trail

hiking
12 days ago

I hiked this with a group in the fall. Outstanding hike and view at the arch. Hoping to trail run up to the "false summit" in the near future.

Great trail with great views, but lake was almost completely dried up during August 2018. Other than that it was great!

Nice short hike, rather steep, cool arch. Currently icy in spots, microspikes very helpful.

snowshoeing
16 days ago

The snow on the trail is packed so it is easily visible although completely covered. Trail is not overly difficult and the views along the way are spectacular.

Absolutely loved this trail! It was difficult and beautiful with an amazing arch worth hiking to. We hiked in Arches NP previously and this arch rivals many there, in fact, we were able to get directly under this one and were impressed with its size. The trail was well marked, offered varied terrain, and excellent views. The elevation, icy surfaces, steep inclines, and rock scrambles provided a nice challenge for us, but may make it challenging for some. Many parts of the trail had a thin layer of snow over solid ice, so consider wearing shoes with good traction.

Hiked trail 9 from the Sylvan Lake parking lot New Year’s Eve night, we were the first to Summit Black Elk Peak in 2019!! Had a blast! Snow was really deep in some areas along the trail. Always love this hike and the view! Cheers to 2019!

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful hike. Went this morning 12/30/18 and it was perfect. A couple ice patches towards the top (I just wore hiking boots no spikes or snowshoes) and stronger winds but totally worth it!!

Spikes required in winter, but the trail has plenty of traffic that snowshoes are probably overkill. Lovely even in winter. Arrive super early, the line for parking when we left was outrageous.

Hiked 12/22/18--the day of the shutdown. The Loch Lake Trail was absolutely stunning. I arrived super early the morning that Rocky shut down, unaware of the government shutdown, so, fortunately, I was able to drive directly to the trailhead. I love snowshoeing and it was a gorgeous powder day and I got to break trail first, solo. It was cold, one of the coldest hikes I've done yet but I was fully geared up. Though I was first on the trail I could tell where the trail was as it wove around trees. About a mile and a half into the hike, two men passed me who were going ice climbing around Mills Lake. They were in hiking boots only. If you don't have snowshoes, you can't possibly walk in this deep snow. Be prepared. Have shoes, poles AND spikes. When I finally got to the lake, I literally ran the last 100 steps, I was so thrilled that I had made it, solo, and other than those two men, no one had passed me. It was very, very cold and windy at the lake. The lake appeared 100% frozen but given that I was solo, I was not going to walk on it. It was too cold to eat so I headed back down and tucked into the trees and ate very quickly and then started heading back down. I kept my snowshoes on, although usually I would have switched into spikes. I passed two other couples coming up the trail and then a few others and that was it. So, the trail wasn't packed down enough to wear spikes and the shoes worked great. It was about a 6.5-mile hike and I headed out of Rocky at 12:30pm and that's when I saw the rangers turning everyone away. I'm thrilled I was able to make this hike; the waterfalls and running water were absolutely gorgeous.

I did this fantastic hike with my husband and two young children who were 2 and 3 at the time. We carried them with our Boba carriers the majority of the way. They were both able to hike for portions of this adventure, but they liked getting to hitch a ride as well (they napped in the carriers on the way down). The hike is a lot longer than it seems. On our way back we were asked by many people if they were close and I wouldn't tell them because I didn't want to discourage anyone, but they were only 1/4 or 1/2 way to the peak. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, keep a steady pace, take breaks, and you will have no problem. The view at the top is spectacular! You feel like you are on top of the world and you kind of are. At 7242 feet, Black Elk Peak is the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Awesome!

hiking
19 days ago

Packed snow the last half mile. If I brought my spikes, I'd would have put them on, although most people go without traction and are fine. Lots of people on the trail.

hiking
19 days ago

Hiked it during snowfall which was beautiful. Got to walk on the lake as it was frozen solid

hiking
19 days ago

Nice and strenuous hike. Uphill all the way to a frozen lake on 12/29. We (me, my wife and kids 12 and 6) started around noon. There were a lot of people hiking. I expected much less considering it was winter. Some areas had snow and were icy but it was a breeze with good snow boots with traction device attached. Expect strong winds throughout and maybe an elk sighting. We were lucky to see one.

hiking
19 days ago

Snow and Ice patches towards the top - use caution. Great hike, many gorgeous views along the way. Parking was available around 1:30 PM on a Friday. Somewhat strenuous - it's all uphill to the lake.

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