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Fun trail! Packed with snow but beautiful nonetheless. For some areas having trekking poles would make it easier.

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

Very enjoyable! Plenty of trails to pick from. There’s about a foot of snow right off the trail but much more if you go too far off. You see elk and wildlife here and there. Woods but if you go to perimeter trails then you see meadows. I used my basic spikes (smaller less heavy duty) over my hiking boots and it was a great hike!

Made it to the lower crater lakes. Started at 9am and was back at the parking lot by 12:30pm. The last mile is a good upwards climb. Snowshoes only needed up top when you're exploring the lakes. I had crampons on otherwise.

trail is snow covered but not icy! beautiful as can be!

Great hike and definitely doable and safe for children. I did see the same pit bull the lady below complained about today. It was super friendly and gentle. Unlike her I didn’t see a single pile of poop so not sure if she was looking in the trash or what lol.

Extremely unsafe trail to bring younger children due to lack of enforcement of off leash dog rules. There are literally hundreds of piles of dog excrement within a few short miles.
I can no longer bring my nephew here after we were rushed by an off leash pit bull. Of course the owner thought it was funny. Dog owners in Boulder County are the most entitled and ignorant bunch of people you will ever encounter.

Snowshoed 1/12/19. Tracks were easy to follow. Fairly gradual for the first couple of miles. The last mile is pretty steep so be prepared for a climb

Made it to the upper lake on snowshoes! Lots of people on skis up to the lower lakes, but I'm not sure it would be possible for most to make it to upper lake on skis - very steep! You'll need one or the other to make it to the first lakes, started postholing about half a mile from them.

Started around 8:30, got back to the car around 4, with lots of breaks and trail breaking and route finding slowing us down. Absolutely worth the effort! So beautiful.

Did this hike today. Was amazing! Definitely need snow shoes. hard to stay on trail since we were blazing the post snow trail but was beautiful.

Wow for sure the best snowshoe I've done so far in Colorado. This trail was magical in the snow! Even the drive there was delightful. It can be hard to tell which tracks to follow, but if you keep following the signs for the trail you'll get to the lake eventually! If you go up a little beyond the lake it is heckin steep but the views are stunning and majestic this trail was the best.

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
6 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.

12/8/2018 - A good amount of ice on the trail, so I would recommend spikes at minimum, but a fresh dusting of snow left the trail impassable with about 0.7M to the end (~1.5ft of snow, and I only had spikes on). Most of the snow on the first half of the road had melted, so not ideal for XC skiing or snowmobiling anymore I’d imagine. Only option for parking is illegal street parking.

hiking
8 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.

This is my favorite close by hike ❤️

We started at the Beaver Brook trail which is 3 miles downhill and back up the Chavez which was 2 miles uphill. We went 1/6/19 and there trail had some snow and ice in some areas. The trail is a mix of flat trail, rocks you need to hug or climb over and crossing streams. Just be mindful that the last 2 miles have quite an incline uphill and it’s not easy. I am looking forward to doing it again in summer as it is well shaded and I may be in better shape

Beautiful views by the reservoir

Amazing trail you have to try. Little bit everything on this hike. It was bit sketchy in some areas because of snow and ice over some rocks, but overall it’s a great trail and will be back.

snowshoed this trail 1/6/2019

beginning of trail needed just our micro spikes, transitioned to snowshoes a couple miles in. For a Sunday not busy at all..we arrived around 10am...plenty of parking. HIGHLY recommend some sort of GPS device...as you can follow 1 wrong set of snowshoe prints and add an extra mile (which made it waaaaay harder). we only went to the lower lakes as we were cold by that point. we plan on returning in the summer!

on Royal Arch Trail

hiking
10 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.

trail running
10 days ago

If you have bad knees, I would advise avoiding this trail. It is extremely rocky after the initial part. The elevation gain is about 1000 feet, and so it was slow going for me. Also, there were a lot of mountain bikers that I had to yield to. But this is a good challenge with the elevation and rockiness. I went about 3 miles in, so all of the Wapiti Trail and the west side of the loop up to the highest point before going back. There is decent shade after the initial rise, but not many good views.

trail in great shape for this time of year, no ice!

hiking
11 days ago

Great winter hike! Did this one today, and there is a ton of snow, but we managed with just spikes. There were a lot of people snowshoeing and cross-country skiing -- good trail for that as well. The lake is completely frozen over, but the views are amazing.

Beautiful hike that crossed over the creek several times. It was snowy/icy in several areas. Starts off downhill then the last mile and a half or so is uphill. Well maintained but could use better signage.

Good hiking trail. Beautiful view of Mt Evans from the Brothers Outlook. Trail had some snow pack on it but didn’t need micro-spikes to hike it today.

hiking
11 days ago

Hiked the trail 1/5/19 with spikes. All the way to the lake, the snow on the trail is packed down and snowshoes aren't really necessary unless you want to hike off trail or maybe you're hiking the day after a snowfall. We hiked a little of the Devils Thumb trail from the junction of the Kings Lake trail and snowshoes would be handy there.

Parking is along the side of the road up to and just below the junction of Hessie Road and the 4th of July Road (which are closed). On a weekend day, get there by 8 am or earlier to avoid crowds and parking. We were done around 10:30 am and from the beginning of signage for roadside parking to the junction it was lined with cars, with still more people coming up and trying to find a park spot.

Great hike with multiple creek crossings. Went right at the start of the loop and it was 85% downhill and flat, easy. Probably more on the moderate end the other way. Recommend going in the summer to see the awesome creek. It was frozen during my hike but still was a gorgeous hike! Moderate hikers and dogs.

Did this hike on 1/4/2019 and was beautiful. Great snow hike. My girlfriend and I just had YakTrax and boots but saw many others with cross-country skis and snowshoes.

For those with Two-Wheel Drive cars: I have a Toyota Celica and made it to the parking just fine but word of advice would be to park sooner rather than later. At the end of the trail is a hill to turn around. I couldn’t make it up this hill due to snow and ice so I had to reverse my way out. Once you see a parking spot, take it.

Overall great trail and friendly people. The snow made it more of a moderate-hard trail mainly due to the steep grades and slippery snow.

hiking
12 days ago

Completed this hike on New Years day. Started at the trail head and it was 4 degrees. There are a lot of snow mobile and back country skiers that utilize this trail head and trails associated. The first mile or so you only gain about 400ft of elevation only to leave about 1k ft to gain the second half of the trail. Snow shoes are your best bet this time of the year as the snow is quite deep in some areas even if it is packed down.
The views once you get up to the gulch are incredible. The snow really adds some amazing definition and depth to the range behind it. One of the best views in this area and probably along the 70 corridor.
Layers are your best friend on this hike as the sun does not get fully overhead this time of the year. The only time we got direct sunlight was at the end. Dress warm even though youll work up a sweat.

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