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Went clockwise at sun up. First 1/2 was in the shade. Second 1/2 headed to gem lake from bridal veil falls was pretty warm @ 80 degs today. Still a great hike with lots of fall colors. Saw elk, turkeys and a bobcat. We think the bobcat was sneaking in on the turkeys.

One of our most favorite hikes. Started at Bear Lake, sun just rising and the Aspen were “on fire.” We’re flat landers from Ohio and seniors, so took our time and enjoyed it immensely. The only tricky part for us was the last mile down to the lake. Pretty steep with lots of loose rocks. The lake is pristine. Enjoyed our lunch on the shore and headed back the way we came. AllTrails said 8.6 miles and took us just under 5 hours. Lots of rest breaks and photos. Highly recommended.

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

lots of fun rock scrambling options open the top above the late. super fun little hike.

incredible views from the summit if you manage to stay on the trail

hiking
8 days ago

This hike was ok, not my favorite. The entire hike is in dense dry pine forest, I guess I prefer more lush scenery. And the only panoramic view is at the summit, and you still have to scramble to the top of the highest pile of boulders to see it. The last mile to the summit is also very steep and rocky, hard on the knees. I don’t recommend it for kids. I hiked it in September and was hoping for some views of the changing aspens, there were a few trees along the trail that had changed but other then that not good for aspen viewing.

We started at 830am and got back to the trailhead at about 530pm on 9/4/18, but we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls as well as Gem Lake for a generous amount of time. Did the loop counterclockwise. We are experienced but not advanced hikers, wore hiking shoes and brought a day pack for water/snacks/layers. Nothing fancy.

This is a really gorgeous hike that takes you through at least four different habitats around and on the mountains. The second half of the hike goes through a lot of open fields/meadows but is very close to shaded areas at the base of the mountain. This could be frustrating but luckily we had some thunderstorms that kept us cool. Bring LOTS of water!!!! There is no water to refill with on the trail unless you filter from Gem Lake or a stream. We had five water bottles and were still very thirsty by the end.

As other reviews state, the steepest part of the hike is the first chunk right before Gem Lake. After that it is pretty steady and a good mixture of up and down before Bridal Veil Falls, which were pretty steep. Some people said they were disappointed in the falls, but make sure you climb up the side to see the falls from above! The creek and the view from up there are well worth it, just be careful of slippery wet rocks.

We didn't get the chance to see any elk, but... we did see A BEAR! During those thunderstorms we managed to walk right up on one before we could hear each other... holy crap was that a rush! Like other reviews said, this probably only happened because we saw so few people. In all those hours hiking we probably passed 20 people total- and we didn't see anybody on the back half of the loop on Black canyon trail.

Passing through the private land on the back of the loop was interesting. At first we were nervous, but since it's part of the MacGregor Ranch it is technically still a part of the national park and the land is open and full of pines and boulders. Just stay on the trail and you're good.

Overall an amazing experience! Perfect all-day hike without the intensity of hiking 7 miles to a summit.

xoxo
Ryan & Christie

We did this loop on the Labor Day holiday weekend.. trip from Bear Lake to Dream and Emerald was very heavily travelled. From there much less populated. Haiyaha was our favorite and an easy jaunt off the main trail. Don’t miss this one. We went down to thru Alberta Falls then took the bus back to Bear Lake from Glacier Gorge trailhead. Watch all the little add on’s as we still ended up at just over 8.5 miles..

Did this hike starting at the Fern Lake trail head at Moraine Park entrance. It was a beautiful sunny day. About a mile in from the trail head saw a black bear about 50 ft off of the trail. It was special to see this bear and it's only interest was to forage for food. I continued to The Pool which was a good photo point. I continued to Fern lake were I had a snack and spent some leisure time taking in the mountains and the lake as well as plenty of Cutthroat Trout as well as the Greenback Cutthroat which is beautiful and the only trout native to Colorado. Yes you can fish but only catch and release. Than on to Odessa Lake with fantastic views of the green tinged lake and the Little Matterhorn. The climb up to Odessa lake and then beyond is a pretty stout climb and you will reach an altitude of about 10,600 ft. At the apex of the hike you will level out for a few miles and than descend to Bear Lake. The trail from Odessa lake is quite rocky so watch were you are putting feet. The hike is about 12 miles long and worth the effort for the beauty along the way. Possible to see Moose on the way down toward Bear Lake .

Hard hike but worth the view!!

The loop is great! Totally recommend the hike! You start with the steepest part “Gem Lake” - best option, only a few miles through big boulders and steep walls. After that is a great decent to the valley, and you would be lucky to find anyone on the trail (apart from bulk deers and elks)... you reach this easy hike to the base of the waterfall (last mile is tough). From there you will following and decent uphill (way easier than the other way around) to the best pastures ever!
It is a hard hike, long and non technical but totally great!
Deers are abundant, elks will be there!
We started at 11:30 an finished around 18...

Beautiful area of Colorado and worth a trip! I recommend backpacking to truly experience it but you could definitely do a day hike (leave early in the AM!). We did 3 days/2 nights and it took about 4.5 hours up (total) and 3.5 hours back with our heavy packs. Our first night camping was in the Cascade zone and second night was in the Crater Lake zone. There's 12 designated backpacking sites in Crater Lake zone - 3 of them about half a mile below the lakes, 2 at Mirror Lake, and the remaining 7 at Crater Lake. Unfortunately we were hit with pouring rain for most of our visit, which isn't particularly fun when you're backpacking (we were damp and a little grumpy on the way back). We plan to come back to take more advantage of the area with better visibility and less rain-soaked gear :)

Did this hike last weekend and loved it. I'd say it's a moderate hike - hardest part is the length. The trail is covered for the most part which is nice in the summer. Start EARLY - I got on the trail ~9am and there was already little to no parking. Definitely worth it.

This is challenging. We started at Bear Lake and hiked to Fern Lake and back. My mileage showed 11.6 miles on my iOS app, but my bf had 10.6 on his android app so I guess it’s somewhere in between there. There’s a lot of uphill initially, but it’s not too bad as you approach the summit. There’s a cool lookout area to the right of the trail at the top and as you proceed a bit, there’s a trail off to the left to Lake Helene.

The trail then proceeds downhill a few miles. It’s pretty rocky and exposed, so be sure to be prepared for sun and/or rain. There’s a trail off to Odessa Lake which is very flat and not too long. Worth the short walk and there’s a small bridge.

The trail continues downhill a decent distance to Fern Lake. We didn’t realize there was a trailhead off of there (we ended up on it after taking the Cub Lake trail loop) so we headed back from whence we came. It was definitely challenging, probably one of the more difficult “moderate” hikes we’ve taken, but well worth it. If you liked Lawn/Crystal Lake, you’ll likely enjoy this as well. Did not see any wildlife beyond ducks, birds, chipmunks, etc on this trail.

Absolutely phenomenal hike! Arguably my favorite hike ever, for sure in Colorado. I refuse to come here for less than 2 nights because there is just an overwhelming amount to do. Beautiful walk around the lake, tons of wildflowers (late June), creeks and waterfalls, meadows if you get off the beaten path, an absolutely limitless of beauty. You do need a permit to camp here which can be difficult to get. I always hike in from the Granby side which is gorgeous and less strenuous than hiking over Pawnee Pass.

We did four days in Rocky Mountain this spring - two nights at the Andrew's Creek site and a night at Glacier Gorge. I thought both regions of the park were incredible, but Andrew's really blew me away.

So much water everywhere. Not only will you be well hydrated, but you'll be spoiled with some of the best tasting water I've ever had.

The last leg of the hike up to the glacier is a tough one, especially in early June. Signage is lacking and the footprints of previous hikers led me to a dangerous scramble up the gash. Unless you're hiking in late summer, I'd suggest you either really study up or take your time with a topographic map and compass.

I shouldn't complain though, because the final destination was breathtaking - endless wildflowers and little critters surrounded the tarn and made for a perfect lunch break.

Highly recommended.

Hiked only to the falls. Great hike.

This was by far the best hike I've done. It had gorgeous views and the difficulty was there but not impossible. The trail itself is very Rocky and you have to pay attention to your steps but it does force you to stop and take in nature. Trail wasn't too crowded at all, saw a majority of the people we passed when we were going back. Can't wait to hike more of the Rockies now.

Did a one-nighter here. Absolutely gorgeous. Hiked in about 4 miles and set camp and then did the rest of the ascent without packs — definitely more enjoyable than camping at mirror lake itself (bugs were awful).

on Estes Cone Trail

1 month ago

If you’re not parked in the parking lot (which fills up really early), be VERY careful where you park as they tow cars parked on the side of the road on the side of the yellow curvy road sign that is closer to the trail. As per an officer, you’re ok if you’re not parked after that sign (on the way up), not in front of a no parking sign, and have both wheels completely off the road, i.e. to the side of the white line.

Made this trip on 7/27 as the way down from Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. Was hard to pick a line to glissade down so spent the trip down the glacier slipping and sliding on foot and on my rear end. Took me about 7 hours round trip. Great trip but route down from the tarn was more rock climbing (descending) than hiking. Add this to your list and do it.

We used this as our exfil after traversing from Hallett Peak and glissading down Andrews Glacier. Makes about a 12 mile loop and it was amazing. Andrews Tarn is like an infinity pool.

My friends and I spent 3 days, 2 nights on the trail for our first time backpacking. This was definitely a hard hike with our packs, but we also packed a little too much. This is doable for a one day hike, our last day we covered 8.4 miles in about 5 hours with our backpacks. Great hike with numerous stops for great scenery

Liked it better than Flattop mtn, Hallett Peak, and even better than Emerald Lake. The least crowded hike in the Rockies so far with the best views going both ways on the trail. Amazing views at the lake. Wish we would have done the social trail to Helene Lake on the way back...next time.

We did Nymph, Dream, Emerald and Haiyaha (doing Loch on the way to Sky Pond). Emerald and Haiyaha were the best. Emerald lake reminded us of Lake Agnes in Banff. Saw a herd of Elk at Dream Lake. Start as early as possible to avoid the crowds of people.

Beautiful views. Definitely a must see

Did this on the way back from Sky Pond on the morning of August 2. In contrast to that trail, we had the trip to Andrews completely to ourselves. This is by no means an easy hike -- the trail is poorly marked and eventually peters out, there's a ton of boulder scrambling, and the final approach to the base of the glacier is very steep -- but the adventure, the views, and the solitude were all outstanding. Would definitely recommend for serious hikers interested in a worthy challenge.

August 6th 2018: We are a fairly fit family (runners and cyclists) that hiked to Crater lake and back covering 15 miles in about 8 hrs. This included time for stopping to take in and photo the amazing sights along the way and stopping for lunch for about an hour at Crater lake. For a hike it really doesn’t get much better than this. This trail throws the most amazing smorgasbord of scenery at you with of course the reward of the spectacular views of Lone Eagle Peak at the top.

My husband and I along with our dog Breezy, hiked as far as Cascade Falls yesterday. We were in a time crunch otherwise it would’ve been great to keep going. The trail and views were beautiful! There was quite a few others on the trail but started to thin out once we went further. We had some thunder and light rain, but nothing too crazy. I hope to come back and complete the rest of the trail eventually!

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