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on Sandbeach Lake Trail

hiking
10 days ago

We broke the trail and encountered 4 other parties coming up as we were going down so the trail should be decently worn in now. Traction devices might be helpful -- as would snowshoes in the last mile or so, however we did the whole trail with boots and gaiters, which kept our pants nice and dry.

The snow made the hike more challenging, but nice nonetheless.

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!

Though it was nice, after a few miles of 4x4 road its more like walking on a wide trail. Where the map shows the end of the trail, you can cut left and go up a ways toward Torreys peak

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!

hiking
1 month ago

The views were great, the trail is REALLY easy. But I wouldn’t call the loop kid-friendly due to the fact that the second half of the “loop” is literally along the “scenic highway”. Code for you’re walking on the side of the road with your child. If I did this hike again I would have to do it as an out and back, and that really would take away from the beautiful views of the lake from the roadside. Probably great for someone hiking solo though.

We are from Houston TX and this was our first 14ner . I thoroughly enjoyed the experience . The views along the way are out of this world . The trail only gets more and more difficult. I experienced headache and nausea only on my way down. The ascent is very doable but please take as many water breaks as u need. I recommend taking your time with plenty of water and high energy snacks. I also recommend training yourself physically a few weeks before the hike so it is more of an enjoyable experience.

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!

Great little nature trail, except for where you have to walk along the highway. Pretty views.

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

9/22/18 - Wonderful views everywhere! Most of hike is above tree line. Trail somewhat marked mixed with trail searching/finding.

The drive to the trailhead is as challenging as others described. Got there at 7am and was able to find parking in the upper lot but it was close to full. The first mile is deceptive and once you get to the rocky part in mile 2, it’s definitely challenging. This was my first 14’er and it took me 7 hours but the views from the summit made it all worth it.

Absolutely gorgeous lake! I agree with others stating this trail is more moderate than “hard”. I’d say the first 3.5 miles is moderate and the last push to the lake is moderate+. You spend the majority of the hike on a tree lined trail but there are a few moments where you get a great view of Wild Basin. The trail is OK (for RMNP), the lake is worth the trek though! Also, aspens are almost done so get up here quick!

On a whim after landing in Denver I decided I needed to see the Rockies. Drove up to Summit Lake (fun drive!) and decided to hike up the trail there. Only learned after that this is the Mt. Spalding trail. Anyhow, being from Boston I definitely felt the altitude but the trail was beautiful and the view was worth the shortness of breath. Also saw long horn sheep and a mountain goat, so that was cool. Trail is listed as hard which I think is less about the trail itself and more about the altitude.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike. It was my first hike in Colorado, so I definitely thought it was 'hard'. The ending at Sandbeach lake is beautiful and the hike along the way takes you through beautiful terrain. Highly recommend - especially coming from Denver.

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.

I loved this trail. I Had my kids with me and they thought it was great.

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.

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.

walking
2 months ago

Great views for out of town guests who don’t have the time or desire to go for a hike.

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!

hiking
2 months ago

The lake is set in an absolutely gorgeous area of the mountains. The walk through the forest is great with lots of small wildlife everywhere. The only disappointing part of the hike was the latter half walking along the scenic byway. Views were great but who wants their kids on the street...

Did this trail today 9/8/18. It is dry with only a slight breeze at the lake. Trail is a steady uphill trek. Some rocky areas and some flat gravel areas. The aspen trees are quickly changing all along the route. The far south side of the lake gives great views of Mount Meeker, Longs Peak and Chiefs Head. Very few people on the trail or at the lake which is why I like this trail.

If you have a vehicle that will make it up the 4WD road, I’d 100% recommend this route! The trail is beautiful, with amazing views over Twin Lakes, and of course the summit views were also great. We even saw a wedding ceremony being performed at the top! There were some other hikers on the trail, but it didn’t look nearly as busy as the north route, which you could see at parts from this east ridge trail. Long but not technical at all, I would absolutely recommend hiking poles for the descent for people with bad knees like me, they were lifesavers. Took us about 6.5 hours RT. Hiked 7/21/18

2018-0910 started this hike at around 9:15 AM thinking 8.6 miles or so of hiking round trip won't be bad. it is a beautiful hike and the leaves are just changing color. I would rate this as a moderate to strenuous hike mostly because of the gradual elevation change which isn't that bad. One just has to take it slow going up, which I did and took a lot of breaks. My GPS measured the distance as ~ 12+ miles round trip. The sign that says 3.1 miles to Sandbeach is incorrect. it is more like 4.5 miles from that sign. I did not see anyone on the trail going up but on the way down I met 2 people. Going up you pass 5 camp sites the last one being next to Sandbeach. On the return, I did it non-stop except for stopping to comment to the 2 hikers going up that it was a challenging hike.
The Sandbeach is beautiful and I stayed to eat lunch. 3 other hikers showed up to have lunch near the beach too. They appeared to come from one of the distant campsites.
I am glad I did this hike today as the weather was perfect, clear skies and light breeze along with the changing colors of the leaves

Gorgeous fall colors! I couldnt stop taking photos.
I parked at the lower parking lot and its probably 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to the trailhead, not 1/4 like the description says.
The hardest part is from the second to third lake but its short so definitely do it so you can say you made the whole hike!

Great hike but had some steep sections that takes the wind out of you. Walking across the rock fields was a lot of fun. Great views from the top.

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