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snowshoeing
4 hours ago

Beautiful
Doable in regular hiking boots
Went on a Sunday at 11am and was moderately traveled
Lots of available parking

hiking
1 day ago

I always love this hike! Today was probably the most windy day I've had there thus far, at the lakes, but still beautiful! I started out around 9:40am, plenty of parking in the lot. I used my crimp-ons until just after nymph lake, then switched over to the snowshoes. There were quite a few people making it to Emerald lake with just the crimp-ons. That said there was a lot of post holing as well! I would recommend having your snowshoes with you. And to Arizona ( just moved here from AZ) have fun playing this winter! and maybe I'll see you snowshoeing next time;)!

Great hike. Wore spikes to nymph lake then switched to snowshoes for rest of way. Trail was fairly well packed but a step off the trail and you quickly realize how deep the snow is. Got to dream lake and some hikers were ice skating. Walked across frozen lake and pressed to emerald.. some elevations getting to dream and emerald but nothing too long. Wind was down which made for a nice walk in the woods.

hiking
2 days ago

Completed this hike (+ a little extra) with my girlfriend in late summer. We did not set out with a definitive plan...got a late start, around 10am. We attempted to reach Green Lake after Black Lake, but turned around halfway (around 11,150ft) due to approaching storm clouds, and wanting to be back before dark.

Hard is an accurate rating, especially the last half-mile to Black Lake, and the extra mile we did after. I'm in moderate shape, and my girlfriend was visiting from sea level (her first hike above 10,000 ft!). We took a fair number of breaks for snacks and pictures...our Fitbits said 12 miles, 36,000 steps, in ~9 hours. The hike itself was not daunting, but we were exhausted by the end, and sore for a few days after.

Top pros were that the views were spectacular, and that the trail was mostly well marked. The exceptions are that we never saw the turn to Shelf Lake and Solitude Lake. We also completely lost the trail in the bolderfield between Black Lake and Green Lake, which contributed to our decision to turn-around.

The biggest con, and reason for not giving it a 5th star, was the heavy traffic up to Mills Lake. We even got stuck behind a lady talking on her cellphone for awhile. We chose to skip a number of attractions (i.e. Alberta Falls) to avoid, and try and surpass, the crowds. Fortunately, most people stopped at, or before, Mills Lake. We saw less than two dozen people between Mills Lake and our turnaround.

Overall an excellent hike that we hope to do again, next time with an earlier start, a better plan, and hopefully in a little better shape!

hiking
5 days ago

Just up there today, winds out of the west with gusts that had to be 60 mph. Hike out past nymph lake was calm, but approaching dream lake winds really picked up.. high drifting past dream lake, without snow shoes you can’t get beyond the last hundred yards or so to emerald lake. Still a beautiful and awesome hike despite the winds. Only got up to 9F, gear held up nicely

Beautiful hike for all skill levels.

snowshoeing
8 days ago

Nice show shoe, plenty of snow now.

Wind was intense once we reached Dream Lake! Got out of the wind by staying along the bank in the trees, but would've been much more difficult if we didn't have snowshoes.

Decent views. Cold around the lakes so don't quit. Snow shoes make it easier after dream lake. Emerald lake is gorgeous

Completed Black Lake 11/28. Traction was nice to Mills, not necessary. Flotation was necessary after Mills. Trail was not difficult to follow despite being faint from wind. Last .7m added a few tricky spots weaving through the creek. Not enough snow pack in some spots to keep from post holing, avoidable with attention. Skis would have been great.

Great hike summer or winter will need spikes for sure

All right trail nice views at times

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful and Cold with a straight west wind. All three lakes are frozen solid but remain breathtaking. Trail is hard packed up to Dream Lake, but leg up to Emerald is looser. Can be done with micro spikes, but changed over to my snowshoes and going was much easier.

snowshoeing
12 days ago

Went on 11/26 and there was great snow! We used crampon spikes with 2/3” spikes and could only get to Dream Lake. The snow got knee deep after that so we had to turn around but snowshoers continued. Beginning of the trail had wide, packed snow but got progressively looser and more narrow as the trail went on. Beautiful views and great fun!

snowshoeing
12 days ago

Beautiful trail, great views, definitely needed the crampons/snow shoes to finish the full 3!

Hiked in August and it was super crowded but still beautiful! We saw all age ranges and abilities on this hike. Awesome views.

It’s so beautiful! We went in August later in the afternoon and it wasn’t terrible crowded. We had the final 2 lakes all to ourselves. The stairs heading up to the waterfall were the worst part. Beautiful hike!

Beautiful hike. On Thanksgiving Day the trail to Mills Lake was well traveled, and because the snow was well packed I only wore microspikes and gaiters until about a mile before Black Lake at which point I put on the snowshoes to avoid postholing the rest of the way. I found the trail to be easy to follow past Mills Lake, but the ascent to Black Lake, while readily visible was not well broken, and felt like an awful lot of work for the distance covered. I did not continue on to Frozen Lake. While I found Mills Lake to be stunning, seeing the Black Lake cirque made me audibly gasp because of the immensity of it's beauty.

Gorgeous hike in late September. Colors abound, blue sky, no wind. Stopped at the Loch for a snack break and then onward and upward. Icy near the falls right before sky pond...and the falls were quite icy. Did not attempt to climb on up. Views from below the falls back towards Loch just outstanding. Decent days hike but if you take your time (especially if you are a flat lander in your late 50’s...) it can be done. Favorite hike yet in RMNP. May try going up during warmer weather next time.

Cold and windy late Sept hike. But the fall colors were just gorgeous.

hiking
19 days ago

Lots of snow on trail but was easy to walk. Beautiful day yesterday!

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful easy trail, but very popular among tourists so get there early!

LOVED this trail. snowy, icy, and absolutely beautiful! not much effort.

hiking
20 days ago

Amazingly beautiful on a quiet Wednesday. The trail was icy in many spots, especially between Dream Lake and Emerald Lake. We had crampons that made the hike a lot easier!

Absolutely amazing in the snow! The trail to Mills Lake is very well marked, and it took us around 1.25 hours to get to Mills. The lake is frozen and fun to walk around on and is just stunning. Would definitely recommend! We did not go further than Mills Lake.

Beautiful hike with gorgeous views. Be sure to bring layers-- the wind can kick up!

snowshoeing
21 days ago

The snow was amazing. Not a long hike, really easy and the scenery was beautiful. We had fun thrashing fresh powder since we wore our snowshoes. There was a lot of traffic but some parking was still available.

We went Nov 3, 2018 and the trail was snowy but doable without spikes. We were visiting for the weekend and it was very easy and had no issues with the altitude difference.

Great hike and view that you won’t regret trekking too

hiking
25 days ago

I've done this trail many times, but most recently hiked yesterday (11/7/18). It was all snow covered but packed down marking a clear path. Many people went without spikes, but it did make it easier having them from Dream to Emerald where it got a little steeper. The road up to Bear Lake is icy/snow covered but doable in a 2 wheel drive if you go slow.

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