Explore Summer 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2018 Map
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hiking
2 days ago

Absolutely beautiful lake and hike! make sure you go when the weather is clear so you can see the amazing views.

Absolutely stunning end view! A great place to have a little bite to eat and head back down!

Stunning views. It's rated moderate, and had it not been for the snow and ice, it might have been. Us noob hikers didn't anticipate the conditions well (it had snowed lightly a few days prior), and it was difficult. With that said, it was worth the effort and we were afforded a view that you wouldn't get during the summer. Would love to do it again sans snow.

First 14 for us. It was a beautiful day but there was a lot of snow on the ground. It was slippery on the way down. We got an early start and beat the crowds. The trail was well marked and easy to follow. The trail starts out very easy and starting before sunrise was great. The elevation was a factor for us near the top, but it’s a great hike.

Great 14er with some amazing views. Best as a sunrise summit.

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
5 days ago

At points it feels like endless scrambling through small, loose rocks. We joked that it was like hiking on the moon! Still a fun trail with pretty views at the end (although the views would be better if there was water in the lake!).

Great climb. Went up 10/10/18, 3-6” of snow on the trail for the first 1.25miles. 1’ - 3’ feet! snow drifts from there on to the saddle. We were unable to make the peak due to conditions. Feet were soaked on the way down. 2hrs 50 mins up, 2hrs 10 mins down. Be smart. Be careful. We were the only car in the parking lot. Only ones out there.

Beautiful views! Went in early October and it was freezing. There was snow and ice on the trail which made it a little more difficult. In the end if you aren’t a master hiker, taking rest stops along the way to take in the sceneries will get you through it.

hiking
10 days ago

Most beautiful hike I've even been on. The reward at the top is unbelieveable. I've never seen anything like it. The wildflowers were blooming like crazy when we went in the end of August. It was very difficult for us being from Nebraska due to the elevation but I would do it again!

Beautiful foliage! Definitely recommend the trail to crater Lake. I hiked with two dogs by myself and do not recommend hiking this narrow trail with two dogs. It was rainy, muddy, and slippery. At crater lake it was sleeting and cold. The lake was not dry as the post from last week said although it was cloudy and views of the mountains were not good..

My first 14er today at Mt.Bierstadt. It starts out not too bad, but I agree with these other comments, the elevation totally got to me and I felt like I had to stop constantly towards the steep part of the trail. Still feels like a great accomplishment! No mountain goats or any wildlife that we saw. Super windy at the top, so we did not stay long up there! With windchill I believe it was close to 15 degrees.

I went last week. Weather was perfect. If you don’t have 4WD, turnoff the highway and go down the hill. Park after the bridge and hike up to the trail (~1 mike).

Trail is steep for the first 2 - 2.5 miles once you get to the trail head. First 2 miles are a series of switch backs and then you climb uphill after that. Once you reach the top of the hill, you descend a bit and it flattens off until you reach the lake where there is a slight uphill.

The lake is gorgeous! It’s much bigger and less populated than Ice Lake.

Careful going down. The trail is steep and covered in loose rock. I had hiking poles and went slow but still managed to totally wipe out a couple of times.

The hike was great but the scenery leading up to the lake was okay (Ice Lake was better). The lake is surrounded by mountains so you also don’t get a view of the mountains like Ice Lake.

10 miles if you park after the bridge and 8 if you start at the trail head.

hiking
16 days ago

Nice trail with beautiful sight lines especially at the loch. Easy to the falls then moderate seems right, lots of rocks after the falls and 1200+ ft of gradual elevation. Didn't see any 5 yr olds in crocs lol. Go early as the nearby parking fills up fast and bring a second layer as it's noticeably cooler at the loch. .

hiking
17 days ago

Lots of variety. Spectacular lake.

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.

EPIC!!!! There is really nothing I can say, nor are there pictures I can show that will accurately describe this hike. You just have to go and see it for yourself. Such an amazing lake, even more beautiful than Ice Lakes. There are plenty of peaks all around Columbine Lake to summit and you will see other lakes as well as gorgeous mountain ranges that seem to go on forever.

As others have mentioned, be prepared for a grueling first 2 miles. The switchbacks are steep and feel like they keep going, and then when you get out of the trees you will see how steep and high of a mountain you have to climb, basically straight up. After that, it’s nice and easy hills with spectacular views before you hit the last little incline that takes you to the lake. Get through those 2 miles and you will be rewarded with an experience that is unrivaled.

Went on 9/29/18 and the weather was gorgeous. Bring layers. Gets hot on the hike up and can get a little windy at times. Never needed a jacket, just one long sleeve to go over my short sleeve when it was windy up top. Mostly just had hiking pants and a short sleeve tee on.

This hike was truly incredible. Went on 9/28/18. Amazing views, so much to do, waterfalls to climb while on you’re way up, etc. Weather was perfect!!Getting to see that beautiful blue water was so worth all the effort to get up there. Pictures can’t show how clear and blue it really is. I highly recommend hiking the summit peak directly behind Ice Lakes. You will have a great birds eye view of the lake, you can see the other side of the mountain, and I got LTE up there to make a FaceTime call!

Take plenty of water and snacks. The hardest part is the very end of the hike as it becomes really steep before you hit the ice lake. I will definitely be back!

As beautiful as this lake was, I say Columbine Lake was even more beautiful and there was more to explore and do. We went on back to back days and I highly recommend both!

hiking
17 days ago

Maroon Bells is absolutely breathtaking with the aspen tree fall foliage. This was definitely a moderate hike, it was steep most the way up and very rocky. I recommend good hiking shoes with grip due too many loose and slippery rocks. I had to stop and take a quick breather about 3-4 times on the way up, however, I’m from sea level and have only been in Colorado for 2 months. Took just over an hour out and maybe 30 minutes back. Overall a good hike minus the heavy traffic on a narrow trail along with multiple people blasting music on their cell speakers along the way. If it’s solitude you’re looking for you won’t find it here. Just gorgeous scenery.

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 did this hike today and it wasn’t too bad. it was pretty easy as far as the trail goes, but then the elevation was kind of an issue when you got asthma. nothing a puff can’t fix tho jaja.

the wind was wicked at the summit so we didn’t spend a lot of time there. the views were worth the work and dealing with so many people.

It is stunning scenic trail with the foliage. The lake is empty now but the scene does not disappoint

hiking
18 days ago

The best hike I have ever done - and I've been on many hikes throughout the US. The bluest blue I have ever seen in a lake - rivals Crater Lake in Oregon. Definitely worth the lack of oxygen... Took us around five and a half hours round trip with many many stops to catch our breath and take in the scenery. We are in our early 30's, pretty good physical shape, but we're flat landers from below sea level so the elevation change really tired us out... bring plenty of water (we ran out of 2L before the end of the hike) and snacks.. best to come early so that you can take your time and stop as often as needed. Listen to your body especially if you are from below sea level. Saw many dogs and a few kids doing the trail as well. The first lake is within 2.25 miles of the start and the 2nd lake (Ice lake) is another mile after that at around 3.5. My app calculated 7.20 miles round trip. There is another lake after Ice lake but we didn't have time nor energy to get there.

My 1st 14er definitely tough the views were amazing throughout. the winds were super chilly at the top. definitely layer, coming down we saw a couple of people with minimal clothing. Don't underestimate this hike and be prepared.

hiking
18 days ago

My fiancée and I took on this trail. I did it a couple years ago in September and loved it so I wanted to share it with her. She had never really hiked before, so with a lot of perseverance we made it to the lower lake. She said the trail was challenging but satisfying, the lake was worth the hike and the people were exceedingly friendly. She was glad we got her some high quality hiking boots and socks. Being from Missouri, we sucked a lot of air, but we used a neat little portable oxygen tank we found at the store and made it without too much trouble. I would highly recommend these to those without experience hiking at altitude. It made a big difference. The aspens were beautiful. The vistas were outstanding. We saw marmots, a couple cow elk, a grouse, a trout in the lake and countless songbirds.

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!

hiking
19 days ago

So beautiful. We started at 10:30am and it took us about 6 hours. We had a little one on our backs so we took lots of snack/picnic breaks. Quite windy at the top so I recommend you dress accordingly.

Beautiful hike with color around every turn. The only reason to go past the first lake is to see it from above, absolutely awesome, the other two lakes are major waste of your time and energy

hiking
19 days ago

Amazing! Recommend to anyone. Be prepared and start early, met many hikers that did not bring enough water and food.

backpacking
20 days ago

One of the most beautiful hikes that I’ve ever gone! Prime color season so it was amazing.

Made it to the trail pretty early, so there weren’t too many people. Beautiful lake! Continued on to Timberline Falls afterwards, but did not make it to Sky Pond unfortunately. I definitely recommend dressing in layers.

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