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hiking
19 hours ago

It is bountiful lake and trail

hiking
1 day ago

Nice trail. Quite a few flowers. We encountered a bit of snow, but manageable.

camping
1 day ago

It was a great hike. Trail was clear in the way in, but wind knocked down some trees and the trail was obstructed on the way back. Camp close to the hot springs so the walk back wet is short. Amazing views! The only wildlife we saw was snakes. The hot spring on the other side of the river is the warmest.

Absolutely phenomenal hike! Arguably my favorite hike ever, for sure in Colorado. I refuse to come here for less than 2 nights because there is just an overwhelming amount to do. Beautiful walk around the lake, tons of wildflowers (late June), creeks and waterfalls, meadows if you get off the beaten path, an absolutely limitless of beauty. You do need a permit to camp here which can be difficult to get. I always hike in from the Granby side which is gorgeous and less strenuous than hiking over Pawnee Pass.

very well maintained trail. Great camp spots just down from the old miner buildings with great water supply. I hiked in another few miles and was able to use a small creek in a very secluded area. some spectacular views when you hiked off trail and onto rock. a little hot last week.

Hiked only to the falls. Great hike.

definitely worth making the extra miles!

Over 7 miles to first camp site.
Springs not marked

Did a one-nighter here. Absolutely gorgeous. Hiked in about 4 miles and set camp and then did the rest of the ascent without packs — definitely more enjoyable than camping at mirror lake itself (bugs were awful).

Great trail. Lots of scenery, wild flowers and birds. Quiet.

Great hike with beautiful views! Worth it to go to the upper lake. Left at 7:30am on a Sunday morning and on the way up only ran into a few people. On the way back, once you get closer to Beaver Lake, lots more traffic. Took us about 6.5 hours starting from Beaver Creek / Five Senses Trail. Out and back was about 16 miles. Trail is easy to follow.

This was not difficult. We did Baldy Peak the day before and that was difficult. I’d put this in he moderate side. This trail spends a lot of time on a Jeep road with decently packed rocks. I always forget we can drive up much higher to the Trail head than getting caught with all the traffic at spruce lake to Mohawk Trail Heads.

Crystal lakes gives you jeep roads, thru the forest, above tree line to the truly crystal clear lakes. Now I understand how they get their names. They are beautiful lakes. We went up to the second lake. Once at the first lake, take the trail to the right to go tot the second lake. Don’t be fooled by the trails you can see on your top left, it’s just a turn around.

Going up to the second lake took 46-51 minutes more. We had our 11 and 12 year old with us. There was one part up to the second lake where we slowed bc of elevation. But you’re soon there and it well worth it.

10 days ago

Nice hike! A good bit of the first part is along I-70, and the sound of traffic is annoying. Once you get beyond that, it is a nice, moderate incline to the lakes at the top. We will do this one again!

My friends and I spent 3 days, 2 nights on the trail for our first time backpacking. This was definitely a hard hike with our packs, but we also packed a little too much. This is doable for a one day hike, our last day we covered 8.4 miles in about 5 hours with our backpacks. Great hike with numerous stops for great scenery

The views down by the lakes were incredible. The beginning of the hike is not as scenic, but was worth the wait.

I and a coworker hiked up on a day off.

As previous reviews have stated, the most technically demanding portion of the hike is getting to beaver lake. The beaver lake portion is heavily trafficked, and while nice, it in no way compares to the second portion of the hike.

Once you pass Beaver lake the tourist traffic dies down immensely. It’s very serene, much less physically taxing and overall a much more enjoyable hike.
It’s another 4-5 miles to get to turquoise lakes but you cover ground much quicker and believe me, the payoff is SOOOOO worth it.
I highly recommend continuing on to the second lake as it’s very close and it sits directly under the mountain.

This next portion I highly discourage without previous experience with scrambling loose terrain, but I still want to tell about it.

I (being the adrenaline junkie I am) decided to climb straight up to the ridge-line of the mountain and the payoff was a magnificent view of the next mountain range over as well as access to the summit of Mount Jackson.
But once again, I highly discourage this unless you have experience ascending steep loose terrain as the route up needs to be carefully picked.

August 6th 2018: We are a fairly fit family (runners and cyclists) that hiked to Crater lake and back covering 15 miles in about 8 hrs. This included time for stopping to take in and photo the amazing sights along the way and stopping for lunch for about an hour at Crater lake. For a hike it really doesn’t get much better than this. This trail throws the most amazing smorgasbord of scenery at you with of course the reward of the spectacular views of Lone Eagle Peak at the top.

Backpacked 5 miles into the trail. The first mile or so is burn scar, but after that is exquisite. I've never seen more beautiful scenery anywhere. Plenty of good campgrounds and water sources.

My husband and I along with our dog Breezy, hiked as far as Cascade Falls yesterday. We were in a time crunch otherwise it would’ve been great to keep going. The trail and views were beautiful! There was quite a few others on the trail but started to thin out once we went further. We had some thunder and light rain, but nothing too crazy. I hope to come back and complete the rest of the trail eventually!

July 23-26: We stayed in the cascade zone all three nights. Then day packed to the lake. In the cascade creek zone you can disperse camp which is really cool. There are only 8 permits given but 11 designated camp sites for crater lake zone so you should reserve early. It was a long hike, but it was never boring. We enjoyed wildlife like Moose and deer every night at camp. The last night we did have a mountain lion sighting but he did not seem interested in us whatsoever. The waterfalls are amazing the entire way. It’s definitely a hike we will return to in the future. Next time we will have a permit for cascade creek the first night, crater lake permit for two nights, then another permit at cascade creek to hike out. The trail is so amazing you can break it up into days and still have so much to look forward to. Definitely go and definitely camp!

Stunning. Nice moderate hike; I ended up exploring around the lake, and it was worth the hike past initial views!

Did this in a day! It’s definitely not hard with the elevation gain so spread out. At the end of the hike our GPS told us 17miles instead of 14. Unfortunately it rained the whole time and the low clouds hid Lone Eagle Peak from us so we’ll be back next summer! Amazing hike even without the reward up top!

This was absolutely beautiful! We were supposed to go to Gourd Lake, however, my friends and I were enjoying ourselves, didn’t pay attention to the sign that said Buchanan Trail (whoops) and ended up at Crater Lake which was absolutely gorgeous! Such a fun hike either way though

hiking
19 days ago

What a fabulous trail so close to the Springs! We were the only people on the trail and it was wonderful. Felt like we were in the middle of no where and were only 1.5 miles from the parking area. Some open areas, some shaded areas. I will definitely be adding this one as at least a monthly hike for my hiking group. Yes, the trail is simply a dirt foot path. Yes, there are overgrown sections. But it felt so wonderful not to be on a sidewalk or some wide bike path. You literally feel like you are out in the woods getting lost somewhere. Several areas require a bit of looking around to find the other side of the trail on the dry riverbed crossings. When you get to the top of the "loop", the side excursion up to the "lookout" is totally worth the extra 10 minutes!! Such beautiful 360 views. I honestly feel like we stumbled upon a hidden treasure that not many people know about. During the weekends I could see it being a pain to walk the single track if constantly encountering people coming the other way and having to move off trail as there is a LOT of cactus around. During the week, there was no one and it was a great treat. Started hiking around 4:30, back to the cars by 6:30 with the side trip up to the look out and simply leisurely walking along on the trail. Lots of little lizards and birds, no rattlers today.

I mean, yeah, this trail sucks. You don't want to hike here.

Amazing spot if you’re willing to put the work in! I just went day hiking with a buddy, but next time we’ll probably backpack in. Starts out relatively flat and easy and then gets quite a bit tougher as you go deeper. The hardest part by far is the distance. It took us about 5 hours to get up (with breaks as needed) and 3 to get back down. Make sure to buy a parking pass at the as soon as you turn onto road 6, the trail head is about 10 miles from there and the ranger isn’t always on sight.

hiking
20 days ago

What an amazing trail. We followed a river the whole time... my dog had a blast. No bikers, very few people - the falls at the top: beautiful

This trail is wonderful! It follows the creek most of the way, so water is almost always available. You pass through beautiful meadows with followers, multiple water falls and the trail ends at Mirror Lake. We spent the night (don’t forget your back country permit!) and would do the same if we were to hike this again. We saw two moose, multiple deer and a mountain goat. I would definitely recommend this as a begging backpack excursion.

This is an excellent trail as long as you are capable of 15-16 miles in a day or an overnight. The lakes, waterfalls, and mountains are spectacular. We did not have a designated camping spot in the Crater Lake zone so we got one for the cascade area around it. We thankfully found a small meadow about 150 feet to the right of the trail right before the Crater Lake zone. You can’t see it from the trail, and it wouldn’t be good if a lot of rain is expected, but it was an excellent spot that was just a mile from the lakes. There were also lots of raspberries the first couple of miles which was a nice treat.

Just awful.
1. TH starts in residential area
2. No views until 5 miles in..
3. Until you’re 5 miles in, you’re walking over debris and dead trees..
4. Steady incline with no promise of a view at the top took the fun out of it

So this trail is difficult. I ended with four blisters and an achy body. With that said, it was probably the most hidden paradise that I have ever been to. The views were great, the wildlife was present (We even had to stop because a moose was on the trail), and the hike was challenging. I like to be challenged. We ended up hiking about 16 miles in all, and it is just sooooo long. Make sure to go on a day that is clear with a ton of sun, because it get chilly at the top. Also it almost stormed while we were there which would have been terrible if it did, so watch the forecast. The water is refreshing and freezing, but its worth the experience. Just remember, this is an all day hike and not an easy one. Still 10/10 would recommend.

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