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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.

21 days ago

Hiked 10/29/18. This is probably one of the most beautiful trails I’ve done. But it is definitely hard! I would say this is probably one of the last good days to do the trail. There was 2+ ft of snow in some areas, winds were 30+ mph at the top, and after the glacier, it isn’t well traveled enough to follow a trail easily especially with snow on the ground.. - if you plan on doing this in the near future, *definitely* pack gaiters, spikes, and a GPS/AllTrails Pro. Oh and $5 cash or check to pay for parking.

Its a little slushy and slippery out there lately, best if you have high boots and yak tracks. As always, a lovely hike!

My husband and I, along with our dog, Breezy, did this hike this morning. We arrived at the first parking lot at 8 am. We didn't think we could make it up the road to the TH so we decided to just hike it. It was a pretty good workout on the way up and I was really thankful for my spikes. Once above the tree line, I was glad I had lots of layers on. The wind almost blew us over at times. It was gorgeous up there! We went to all 3 lakes and only the highest one was frozen over. Beautiful views and not too much snow. I would love to come back in the summer to do this hike again. My Fitbit clocked 7miles RT including the hike up the road to the TH.

This was a great hike! There are three lakes at the top, the third is a bit further up & is frozen over. The trail is completely snow covered and icy in some patches but passable the whole way. Spikes would be nice if you like to use them, but not necessary. It was a little windy at the third lake and we were occasionally stepping into knee deep snow. Great hike with the doggies. We saw a few other groups of people along the way. Absolutely gorgeous!

My two sisters and I headed out on this trail because it was recommended to us as a good horse trail. No way would I call this a good horse trail . It is so rocky and the beginning is steep, narrow and rocky. on the second half , you run in to these bench rock steps that are as high as two feet. It was tolerable going up, but going down is a bear! We aren't wimps but this trail was just not fun. Anyone who called this trail easy is nuts!

Beautiful !

off road driving
1 month ago

4wd and some clearance needed. Truck or SUV recommended. Short trail, great views!

off road driving
1 month ago

Super easy trail. A Subaru Outback could run it. Great views of the continental divide. Dispersed camping is a plus. As of November 2018 it's probably covered in a few feet of snow.


#XJCREW

We were looking for a lake hike not far from our house and this looked like a good candidate. The Guanella pass road was still open so we took it, and then drove the Naylor Lake Road up to the upper parking lot, shaving about a mile off of the total distance of the trail. I'd highly recommend AWD or 4WD. We did it in our Jeep in 2WD but that road can get slick really quick. As we were driving through the Guanella pass road we realized that there was a light coating of snow at the top, and assumed that there would be a little snow up where we were headed, glad we packed warm. The hike was fairly easy, with a skim coat of ice on some of the areas where water came off the mountain and pooled in the low spots. We were glad that we had our trekking poles if only for a couple extra points of contact. About 2/3rds of the trail is above treeline and is exposed to the elements. The wind started to kick up fiercely as we made it to Silver Dollar lake and continued to Murray Reservoir. The views were obstructed somewhat from the low ceiling, but it was still worth the hike.

I'll have to come back sometime in the spring to check and see if there are any nice looking trout in those lakes!

off road driving
1 month ago

Nothing difficult about this trail, suitable for most 4wd vehicles with only a handful of areas that require ground clearance. It’s short and easy enough to be perfect for someone getting familiar with off-roading or just looking for something quick to explore. The views at the lake are very nice and worth the trip. Would make a great place to pitch a tent for a night or two but you would definitely have company.

Almost stock 1995 Jeep YJ
2” lift, 31” tires

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike and great views. Finding a path up past the glacier was a little hard in the dark, but after getting through that part, the trail is well worn and easy to follow.

great hike! we beat the crowds and hit the trail by 6am. The 'glacier' was really crowded when we got down around 11 am. Also, I lost a unigear microspike near the summit. If found please contact garethdickin@gmail.com!!

Great hike with beautiful views. If you have to park in the lower lot, plan on walking an extra mile or so RT. We arrived around 8:30 on a Sunday morning and the lot and path were pretty empty on the way up—not so much on the way down. Lots of friendly dogs, too!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful Hike, I started at Rainbow Trailhead and hiked too and around the reservoir in the counterclockwise direction. Lots of aspens changing colors for the fall! (29 Sep 2018) I started at sunrise and didn't run into anyone for the 1st several hours of the hike. The reservoir was very low, but, the hike is still very enjoyable and not very difficult, aside from the distance.

Nice hike accurately described. Great views once above tree line (about 2/3 of the trail, each way).

Loved it! We missed the trail to the glacier while coming back down through the flat tundra area. And my phone died. Of course. We found a different way down and it was a super fun and gorgeous day!!
I found this peak quite easy and a pleasant workout aside from locating the glacier trail in the flats lol.
Views are stunning!

Got pushed off Hessie this week due to parking space, so came back to brainard area. Always solid hiking. Completed the Waldrop, long lake, brainard winter loop circuit with the usual team. Great weather and trails are usually free from crowding regardless of number of cars in the lot. Will return to do other loops at other times

hiking
1 month ago

This was one of the most fun hikes we've been on. It was a perfect out and back with beautiful views, and lakes to stop and enjoy.
at the third lake we took off our boots, and waded out into the cold water. Their were quite a few people on the trail, but it wasn't over crowded by any means.
we will definitely do this hike again in the spring.

1 month ago

GORGEOUS. no one is after the glacier. great hike!

Amazing hike and just the right amount of distance to keep the rest of the day open for more adventures!
Got to the upper lot around 630am and there were about 4 other cars there from folks backpacking and also starting early. The first quarter of the drive from the lower to upper lots is the worst of the entire part but it is nothing compared to how bad Grays and Torreys road is. Just take it slow on the bad parts. Even though the lower lots were jammed up, there were a few spots at the top when we finished around 10am.
Great colors with the fall foliage change on the bushes as well as the trees. Silver Dollar Lake(middle lake) was amazing and Murray Lake was about 300ft of elevation gain from there. Dont skip the third lake! There is a rock formation on one side that can be hiked from the backside which will give you a great topside view of the landscape.
As most hiking at this time, start as early as you can! The next few weeks will be jam packed with folks looking at the changing trees. This trail would be incredible with a little snow on the ground.

off road driving
2 months ago

Very pretty drive in forested area. The lakes were very low, but it looked like very decent camping. Nothing spectacular.

Great place!

My car doesn't have AWD so I parked at the lower lot. When I arrived at 7:45am on Saturday there was still plenting of parking spaces. This trail packs a lot of great views in its short length. I found this trail easy except for the short but steep climb to the third lake, which is worth it for the views from the top. I recommend coming early to this hike, when I left at 10:30am the trail and the parking lots had become very crowded.

We went on this hike Saturday. We started from the Allenspark trialhead, you can by pass the parking fees at RMNP. The first 1.8 miles is a steady climb with a couple of steep inclines, the forest is lush and dense and not a lot of scenery. At the junction you can go to the Wild Basin Station, Calypso Falls or continue onto to Finch and Pear lake. We continued into Finch Lake, the trail does level out in some places and in others you will have more steep inclines. The final push to Finch Lake will have you dropping several hundred feet before you reach the lake and then nestled in the trees is the lake, so peaceful and serene. There were only a handle of people at the lake and we had most of trail to ourselves.
It was a beautiful day with no clouds in the sky we just sat back and listened to the sounds of nature. We didn't allow time to attempt Pear Lake, that will be next time.

Nice relaxing hike with beautiful scenery, scenic overlooks and wildflowers. The second half of the hike is above the tree line.

Make sure you go all the way to the third lake.

hiking
2 months ago

wasn't sure where Jones Pass started so we walked up where the cars were coming. I had my dogs off leash so we ended up taking Butch trail because we didn't know where Jones started and there were too many cars going up and down the road. it's nice and quiet. Please pick up your dog's poop before you ruin it for everyone.

Great views in route and at summit. The trail presented is not accurate at 4wd road crossing. There are only wilderness signs on west side of road, no trail today. We took the 4wd road north to an established trail that goes west and merges to a summit trail. Another trail descends from simmit towards Alice. We explored that route and haf to tske with an unmarked and closed 4wd trail that goes east towards st marys and the illustrated trail. We eventually went off trail to go east and find the trail to st marys. The all trails presentation might be a snowshoe route or an older route before wilderness designation closed a trail.

Silver Dollar Lake was beautiful and definitely tested my lungs! Be careful because there are a few spots where the trail becomes slightly unclear, but thanks to this app, we did not get lost! You will realize it very quickly if you start veering off course anyways. There was a river at a few different points and three lakes along the way to the top! When you get to the second lake, you have the option to continue onto the third, and it is totally worth it if you are willing to exert your lungs! (I have asthma, so it was challenging, but definitely do-able!) This third lake offers a great spot to hang out for a bit and eat lunch! On our way down, we saw 4 wood peckers! I got some great up close shots of them that I will upload later. There are not a ton of aspens on this hike, but there are on the drive to the trail head. The hike also does include lots of bushes that have changed to an orange color which provide great fall color!

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