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hiking
1 day ago

Great hike with several places with amazing views before getting to the summit. Last .2 miles can be a little tough if you have breathing problems at altitude, like me, but going slow is just fine since there is enough room to move out of the way for faster people.

You do need some sort of traction as you get deeper into the shady areas since there was a fair amount of snow.

Definitely would do this hike again since the views are incredible.

Super fun trail. Beautiful panoramas at the top. Two peak hike - highest to the left with a fun rock scramble to the top. Packed snow the whole way up. I used spikes but others I saw (total of 6 people) did not even have them on. Took a total of 4 hours with a break at the top. Seems like more of a moderate hike to me.

Love this hike! Took off 12/9 at about 930a. I had spikes with me in case but never took them out of my pack. Wind was down and sun out so a thermal undershirt and fleece jacket was enough to keep the cold off. I had gloves and ski cap and took both off at points during hike as well. Few icy patches but lots of exposed ground in the non shady spots. Always see wildlife around the big open field before heading into trees. Some good inclines but the switchbacks keep the elevation manageable. Great views of the Fall River side of park.

Completed hike on 12/8. Very rewarding view of Longs and the Mummys. Add at least a 1/4 mile from parking lot to the trail head. Began at 10:30 and was on the first summit by 1. Snow pack almost the entire way- much deeper at RMNP/National Forest boundary marker. Crampons definitely recommended. Can easily summit both "sisters" within an hour (plus lunch). We were lucky to have minimal wind at the summit, but it was cold- roughly 15 degrees and colder with wind chill. All around amazing, not too difficult of a hike even with the snow. Plan to be back in the parking lot by 4:30 (sunset).

this was a fun and challenging hike for a flat lander. the snow added an extrsma challenge. I took off at about 10 AM so it was still cold. I didnt have much of a problem with footing. I only had hiking boots on, no spikes. it was ok going up, but on the way down, about 1 PM it there were some slick spots which just meant I had to slow down. the views at the summit were worth the hike. there is a great view of longs peak, the only 14er in RMNP.

Great hike and view from the top spectacular!

Fabulous! Parking spaces open when we arrived at 9 am. Spikes until the last mile and then it got deep and tricky. Super windy at the lake but lovely. Snow shoes necessary to get to the lake. Took us 3.5 hours to finish! Awesome day!

Beautiful winter trail! Did this trail today and the snow was perfect. Snowshoes were definitely helpful, but can easily be done using only spikes. This took us around 4 hours round trip with plenty of photo stops and a little break up top. A good moderate hike

Super easy and super beautiful.

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.

Ok trail nice when you get to the lake
Easy trail

Nice pit stop on the way to black lake

Little cold and windy today. The trail was pretty well packed with occasional snow drifts but nothing crazy. Able to make it to both peaks. I was fine with spikes and gaiters. The road is closed maybe half mile from the actual trailhead but if you park in the little lot by the gate I don't think it adds more than a mile round trip.

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!

hiking
18 days ago

Challenging climb, but you’re rewarded with a stunning lake at the end. Listen for the hikers cheering while conquering Longs Peak above. Enjoy!

Hiked in the snow. The views while limited on a cloudy day also was beautiful.

Significantly longer than the official 7.5 miles due to the winter road closure at the parking lot just off Hwy 7. You’ll walk up a snow covered road a long way before getting to the trailhead and starting the actual hike. Micro spikes got the job done, though there were some deep spots above tree line, approaching the summit. Amazing views of EP, parts of RMNP and out to the plains.

hiking
20 days ago

Nice Thanksgiving Day hike! As others have said, parts are icy and snowy particularly the last third or so. Since we didn’t have poles or yaktrax, we just had to slow down. Great views of Estes!

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.

Particularly good on a post snow winters day. The view is worth it

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.

21 days ago

Nice, well maintained trail very close to Estes Park. Nov 20 there were many slick icy spots, but nothing too treacherous. After the single water crossing (frozen), the steps get steeper, but not terrible. Gem Lake itself is unimpressive, but turn around to get a great view of Estes Park and the scenery beyond. Worth the hike!

hiking
22 days ago

Always a great trail! Made it to chasm/longs peak split late in the day. Choose your own adventure above tree line. Spikes/yaktrax and snowpants are a must. Only ran into one other couple on the trail. They called the hike down to chasm spicy and said ice axe/trekking poles were def needed to break the trail.

hiking
22 days ago

We hiked all the way to Chasm lake today. After tree line there are several tracks that diverge and we didn’t find the main trail for a while on the way up and down. After Chasm Junction, we had to break trail. This section was a little spicy and I wouldn’t recommend doing it without micro spikes and an ice axe. My husband had his crampons and I had microspikes. We both had ice axes and were happy to have the gear. There’s plenty of opportunity for postholing and I’d recommend gaiters also. However, it was a gorgeous day and we had fun.

23 days ago

Lots of snow drifts! The cairns mentioned below were covered coming up the mountain, but visible on the way down. That being said, the crossing was a bit of a “choose your own adventure” situation: forget the trail and try to stay out of the drifts as you make your way towards the pass. Snowshoes would be helpful but bring a map, poles, microspikes and gaiters/snowpants at the minimum. Great views and lots of fun

Great view, really easy loop.

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.

snowshoeing
24 days ago

Great beginning trail for snowshoeing! We went from the Bear Lake trailhead to make the trip a little longer, and it was beautiful and peaceful!

hiking
25 days ago

Beautiful hike! Snowing the day I did it, microspikes came in handy.

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