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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.

amazing hiking, even in the winter!

snowshoeing
21 hours ago

Today the trail was packed, didn't need snowshoes until that last 1/2 mile after turnoff for Lost Lake. Most of the hike was shielded from wind before getting to the lake. Super gusty today so not a fun afternoon to linger at Lost lake, but saw a few pretty views while there. It's a fun and easy to moderate level snowshoe trail.

Loved this hike! We went 11/12 and it was super snowy! A lot of people had snow shoes but our spikes worked just fine. Saw 3 large moose on the trail! You have to hike about a mile from your car to the trail head, so factor that in! Also, there was a frozen stream you could hike, however with our spikes it was a little sketchy. If you don’t want to hike the stream there is a trail to the right of the stream that goes through the woods in order to get you to the trailhead.

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

hiking
3 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.

Great trail!

This was our second time hiking this trail. We were here this same week (second in Nov) last year. This was a huge difference because this year was colder and there was a lot of snow. As mentioned by many the first leg, the incline, is hard on the lungs. Especially for those of us who are “flat landers”. Once you get past that, it is less difficult. Snow does make it more challenging as well but it is worth the hike. We continued for about 30 minutes past Eagles nest and turned around. We could tell it was not traveled as much. It was not crowded but when we encountered anyone it was usually dog owners with very friendly dogs. Happy hiking!

snowshoeing
4 days ago

This was a beautiful hike that had a ton of snow today. It was a gorgeous day out and I cannot wait to do this hike again. Heads up, the road to the trailhead was snowed in and we had to walk the rest of the way.

Beautiful trail but as previous reviewer mentioned, at some point near the end, the foot path in the snow deviates from the actual trail. I had a GPS with me so was able to figure this out (coupled with clues based on the trail just not seeming right). We never actually made it to the lakes but the hike was still beautiful. I would say if you don’t have a GPS, be careful as just following the footprints in the snow isn’t actually the trail & gets a bit sketchy.

Parking lot is excellent. It is large and well tended. Just make sure you're taking the trail you intend to. Its easy to mistakenly take Spruce Creek Road instead Spruce Creek Road. We hiked with crampons. Probably a poor choice because the snow is deep enough to require a snowshoes or backcountry skis. We were able to make it to Lower Mohawk Lakes with boots/crampons, but we unable to hike to Mohawk Lake because the snow was waist high. We saw 10 people total on this hike.

Well worth the trip. It was a big snow day which made it almost the perfect day to do this. We backcountry skied. Snowshoes would also be doable. It would be impossible to use only hiking boots and crampons on this trail today as the snow was too deep and powdery. We were on the trail 4 hours and made it 5 miles total (2.5 miles out then back). Did not make it all the way to finch lake. Even though we were unable to complete the out and back, there was still plenty of beautiful forest to see. Not many views, but plenty of evergreens. There was not any other people on this trail today. The parking lot was filled with snow. A full sized SUV would be needed to park there. I have a small SUV and was able to get it into the driveway of the lot and pulled it off to the side. I recommend that you drive to this trailhead in a 4-wheel drive vehicle with snow tires.
Overall, this is a good workout for a backcountry skier. The trail is easy to follow and it would be difficult to get lost. The elevation gain makes it somewhat challenging but not overly burdensome. There are a significant number of rocks/small boulders on the trail. This did not become a problem, but does requires that skiers beware.

Beautiful short hike although it does get crowded. Everything was frozen over and we walked across the lake. You can get some beautiful photos up here! Hiked in November and microspikes were definitely helpful.

Trail is all snow, most packed by skiers. Final ~1/4 mile to the lower lake is unpacked snow (unless we took a wrong turn, we were definitely off trail on deep snow following footprints).Great hike but with the current conditions if you don’t have snowshoes or skis you won’t make it all the way up.

hiking
8 days ago

Great there and back walk on a great path - was snowing on the way out, sunny and clear on the way back - great views. Starts at 9000ft above sea level but we were fine

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail. My family and I hiked it in July. Still snow on the ground in places. Beautiful views. Bring a camera and a water bottle.

I love this hike, I have done it in a variety of seasons. There is a beautiful waterfall during the spring run off. Make sure you walk around the lake and look back towards the trail when you get there for the best views. Lots of snow on the trail today !! Knee deep drifts in spots the last half mile to the lake . Only used spikes today , no snow shoes although they would have been handy in a few places. We blazed the trail, should be a decent trench until the next big dump ! Also we had to park on the road near the intersection for the Fourth of July TH . I don’t recommend driving any further down the road unless you have some serious clearance.

hiking
11 days ago

Hiked this trail 10/26/18. If you’re looking for a nice, easy and scenic hike this is the place. Every corner you turn is picture worthy. At the time the lakes were partially frozen over. The closer you got to Emerald Lake the more slippery the trail got. I didn’t need crampons but I’m sure now you’ll need them. 10/10 hike it’s a must see.

Good trail for all age groups. However, it’s a bit rocky but that should be fine. Took us 2-2.5 hours from car to car including breaks. The views at the top are pretty good and picturesque. Would highly recommend during fall season.

Definitely a hike you should go on when you’re in the rocky! The views are amazing! The hike was not too difficult, but it will get crowded towards the day! Overall amazing place to explore!

Fairly easy trail, even in heavy snow. Views and hike start to get more interesting once you pass into White River Natl Forest.

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful hike!

Hiked 11/2/18. Lots of snow and wind chill, but overall awesome hike. Hiked in my hiking shoes + poles without spikes and was just fine. All the lakes are frozen which makes for gorgeous photos!

Went in early October on a cloudy day and got some snow near the top. The lakes were incredible though. Lost the trail on the way to the furthest lake, and ended up doing some rock scrambling that we weren’t prepared for. Saw a moose alongside the road on the way to the trailhead! Def want to go back on a clear day.

I hiked to emerald lake on 11/1/18 and it was a snowy wonderland! I am glad I had micro spikes because it was slick in spots but with the spikes it was not a problem. I started hiking around 9:30 and only 4 couples were in front of me hiking. As I came down there were many more people. It was nice to have the Trail mostly to myself on the hike up so I could enjoy the views uninterrupted. I am not a hiker and came from sea-level the evening before and I could certainly tell my lungs were adjusting to the altitude. I did the the whole hike and 1x around bear lake in just under 2 hours.

hiking
15 days ago

hiked this on Saturday 10/27 with a friend and puppy. we are in shape, but took our time. 3.5 miles round trip in an hour and 45 minutes. great views at start and end along with shadowy fields of pine trees. limited parking at wildernest start on a weekend.

hiking
15 days ago

The views were incredible, but the trail itself was not very well marked (except for the trailhead). We were essentially just following footprints in the snow, and at one point reached a fork in the footprints. We decided to follow a set of footprints that ended up taking us off the trail, and into very deep snow drifts. Microspikes aren’t necessarily required, but waterproof snow boots and multiple layers are essential. It gets very windy up there!

Hiked this on 10/22. Parking is limited, but pretty sure the trail is accessible from another (Bear Lake) lot further down the road. We had a limited amount of time so this was perfect. I would consider this more of an out and back trail, than a loop. The first mile zig zags immediately UP a dirt path. There is zero tree cover, so you might want a hat. You are rewarded with stunning views looking out towards Longs Peak during the entire ascent. It’s not too difficult, but we did see a woman turn back because of her knees. It’s a good quick workout that leads you quite suddenly into a dense forest at the top — for a short trek to the lake. Overall, two different experiences on one trail. We probably missed the best views because we didn’t go around the lake (the loop part of the trail.) So I’d recommend doing that. But as mentioned, exquisite views the whole way up and down! (See photos) I’d definitely do this again, and allow more time to explore the lake and connecting trails! (I might add that a few in our group did this successfully in gym shoes, but there was ice in the woods and lots of snow around the lake.)

trail running
18 days ago

10/28/18 Went out first thing in the morning. Gorgeous views on the climb up to the lake. Couldn’t really run the first portion due to the climb but no biggie since the elevation and incline alone is a great workout.

great hike, beautiful views, and a frozen lake.

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