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hiked this trail in July. it's a steep hike with lots of hikers on the trail but the scenery was magnificent with an incredible little alpine lake waiting at the top. start early so you can summit the peak and really get to see everything. I can only imagine how amazing the view must be from the summit. but if you only make it to Cathedral Lake, like myself, it's still very much worth the hike. people on the trail or super friendly as well. highly recommended hike!

amazing views and easy to get to. pretty difficult if you're not acclimated to the elevation, but worth it if you are or not.

Hiked mid-October 2018 — Beautiful!! Had the trail to ourselves, but it was well traveled enough that we could follow the footprints in the snow. You need a high clearance, 4WD vehicle to get to the trail head. One of the Honda Civics in our party didn’t make it all the way to the trailhead. Definitely recommend gaitors and spikes too. No fee for parking.

hiking
21 days ago

Hiked 10/27/2018. Did not meet anyone else on the trail today. Snow on the road to the trailhead but still accessible via 4WD SUV (nothing dicey yet, but slow going). Just like the last post, I did not have spikes or snow shoes. Took one hour to the lake and almost as long on the return due to snow. Had poles which helped. Gorgeous area and great for a short dayhike.

hiking
27 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

This trail is dog friendly, filled with beautiful views, and a bit of a climb. You cross the river twice and walk up fairly steep inclines full of rocks with some snow melt running through the rocks, depending on the year. We hiked through the snow and it was still doable for two avid hikers and one amature one. a Chihuahua also made it to the lake! With a few breathing breaks, and a stop for lunch, we made it to the lake in a little over 2 1/2 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

Short day hike with incredible views! We saw three other people our entire time hiking, so if you're looking to get away from the crowds you'll definitely enjoy this hike!
The road to the trailhead may be inaccessible due to snow, so that's something to consider if you are planning on hiking this during the winter. If the road is inaccessible due to snow, it may tack on an extra 3-4 miles one way.
When we went, the road had a good bit of snow on it, but nothing a Subaru couldn't handle. The snow made the hike a lot harder than it normally is. We did the hike without YakTrax/Micro Spikes or Snow Shoes, but I'd definitely recommend them due to sections of steep rocky terrain that we found difficult to grip in snowy/icy conditions.

hiking
1 month ago

Short but sweet! A real gem!

on Penitente Canyon

hiking
1 month ago

We only hiked the Penitente Canyon Loop, a pleasant 2-mile hike. The map/track for this hike is misleading regarding the southern leg. If you follow it, you leave the main trail to head east down a little canyon and about halfway down you have to scramble around a drop in the canyon floor. (The track does, too.) If you stay on the main trail heading southeast and bear left at each intersection, you go past Point 10 and soon end up on the Blue Loop. Within 100 yards, the marked Penitente Canyon Loop trail heads north and down toward the main parking lot, coming into the little canyon, now more a shallow valley, below the dicey spot. (Point 10 and Blue Loop are shown on the map displays and map handout available at the trailhead and along the route. Sorry I did not make a track.)

hiking
1 month ago

Easy with nice little ups and downs to keep you somewhat interested. Hardly any views of the canyon that we wanted or expected (from the name).

A BEAUTIFUL hike. The trees and views are beyond stunning along the entire path and it’s an amazing lake. Pretty populated in the early afternoons but the lake is big enough to have some alone time at the top.

It was a strenuous hike due to its length and the steep incline at the end, but great for anyone looking for that “We made it!!!” feeling. I recommend taking the time to hike around the lake to see the flowers, plants and wildlife.

Great for those wanting a wholesome Colorado nature experience.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike even though I didn't make it to the top. I started too late in the day and didn't feel comfortable hiking back in the dark. The trailhead is tough to find from the highway. The 2.3 miles from Monarch Lodge is accurate though and there is a sign for Monarch Sled Dog Rides right at the upper end of the parking area. The trail starts at the downhill end of the parking area.
It is a steep trail for a mid-westerner like myself but a good challenge.

We loved this trail!! We are not used to doing trails like this because we are from Oklahoma, but loved the length and it was a great workout!

We started after Noon and decided to hike only up to the bridge over a beautiful, chatty stream where we also sat on the moss in the sun and ate our lunch. I’m very curious about the rest of the hike up to Mount Hope and I’m sure that it is beautiful, but we found many gorgeous photo opportunities in the first 2 miles up.

Absolutely stunning due to all the aspen trees. So incredible! Trail is well paved, not too rocky. Certain parts are a bit rocky and the switch backs get steep at the end. All worth it! Enjoy!

Rocky covered with scree a d talus. Trailhead at about 12000, well above treeline. Easily accessible from hwy 285 just south of Fairplay north on County Road 18. Travel on this dirt road until a closed gate parking along the road in front of the gate where ever available. Parking is suitable for a weekend crowd. The dirt road is flanked by a healthy forest of limber and bristle cone pines. There is a short trail called Limber Pine Trail along the way that flanks a creek filled with willows. Great for possible moose sightings. The hike from the closed gate to the summit of Mt. Sherman is about 2.5 miles and about 2100 feet elevation gain. There is a very short area of exposure along the ridge near the top as well as strong winds.There are two false summits as well. Like any alpine peak, the view from the summit dismisses all experiences of wind rocks and fatigue. Great hike for a first 14er. It was considerably easier than most of the other alpine hikes I did this past summer. Sadly, I missed the wildflowers on this peak due to the lateness of the season.

lovely and quiet hike. challenging. great drive up...lots to see en route.

Roommate and I completed the trail in ~4.5 hrs, which we feel pretty good about considering how out of shape we are. No snow yet, but a lot of the trail is loose gravel/scree, and by the end I was wishing for my knee brace. It was extremely windy up on the ridge but calm at the summit. My little '07 Honda Fit made it all the way up to the trail head just fine -- can't say I'd recommend it, but if your only option is a low-clearance vehicle, it's doable.

Beautiful views, great for hiking in off-season (late fall/winter). Not anything gnarly like other 14ers, but it’s a great first one.

We hiked the Iowa Gulch side coming in from Leadville. The instructions on this that include Fairplay aren’t correct. Drive all the way up county road 2b from Leadville and there is plenty of parking right at the trailhead. You cross a creek bed with willows which can be wet and muddy but isn’t bad. You start up across rock and talus but it isn’t bad. Once you round the corner and start up the southwest side of Sherman, it is very steep and not many footholds. Our concern of going back down were confirmed as we pretty much slid down parts of it. You encounter some switchbacks in the saddle of Sherman and Sheridan which help. Once you merge with the trail from Fairplay, it is straight up on a lot of rock. The wind starts to pick up and really hits you when you get to the ridge and slight saddleback. I agree with what the others have posted. The wind really discourages you but push through as the wind dies down once you summit. The summit is flat and quite roomy. We enjoyed a sandwich at the top before we went back down.

I live in Hawaii. The way to the top was not easy for my little sea level legs and because I have no tolerance to the cold, I was a bit chilly. The view from the top was worth every step. Aspens were all yellow and I saw a happy little rat thing that was dope. He looked so happy.

Absolutely perfect day for the hike. Hiked on 9/23 spots throughout the hike were pretty windy but once you get to the top extremely calm. Make sure you have some layers as the temperature changes throughout and something for your ears.
Views were spectacular!

My husband and I and our Pup hiked this trail today and loved it. Such beautiful scenery and not too difficult. We did the Overlook Loop and part of Canyon Rim Trail. It was getting pretty hot so we didn't finish it because we weren't sure how far it went. I wish we knew the length of it. We'll definitely be back on a cooler day to find out.

9/22 - Not a cloud in the sky, pretty windy but otherwise perfect conditions. Large, flat summit with amazing views! Easy for a 14er, just some pretty loose rock so be careful. The road to the trailhead can be a bit rough, but it’s far better than the Grays/Torrey’s Road. Would recommend highly as a first 14er or just a plain beautiful hike.

hiking
1 month ago

My new favorite fall hike! Challenging but not too difficult. Stunning with the aspens and the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Steep, but pretty fall colors and lovely lake! Pics and more details here: https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/09/20/road-trip-to-the-rockies-a-weekend-in-aspen/

The dirt road was kind of a bumpy ride. But the trees are all yellow! It was a sight for me being from Houston. This was my first 14er and I had to take a lot of breaks. I took my time drank lots of water. My bandana helped a lot by breathing into it. It was hard but not imposible. The trail is soooo rocky, there was times when I couldn’t help but slide down. Watch your step. Don’t reinstall an ankle. I think I finished in 5 something hours. I run a lot in Houston so I think that helped me a lot. I felt really sick on the drive down. Could have been car sickness mixed with dehydration. I drank a lot of water and got really good sleep and felt brand new the next morning.

trail running
2 months ago

No better time of year than now. Stunning scenery with aspens turning and perfect weather.

hiking
2 months ago

We really enjoyed this hike today! Quite a workout for us with the elevation gain but was worth it. We did have a 4wd vehicle so we were able to get almost all the way to the trailhead. If not it would take a lot of the enjoyment out. We only saw two other couples all day. One couple was on their way down from the summit of Massive. Yes there is a trail to the summit that breaks off about halfway up and has a sign. Saw a few mountain goats and deer and the scenery at the 1st Lake is enjoyable.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail gets hard to follow after it meets with the blue loop. Enjoyed the mix of sun and shade. Little bit of rock climbing to get to the top, but the view is great. Enjoyed watching some rock climbers along the way.

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