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Ventana was fairly easy to follow, with several stream crossings and lots of water flowing. Had a bit of rain on the way up, nothing serious. The higher elevations were shrouded in fog and low-hanging clouds. The cloud cover somewhat abated near the Window, especially looking north. Then, more weather rolled in and we had a bit of sleet and snow. A lot of layer adjustments on this hike. The Esperero Trail was pretty overgrown and a bit hard to follow in spots. There were also remnants of snow in some of the shady areas making it a bit slippery. Poles helped. My recording showed 15.3 miles and 4,645 feet of elevation gain. We started a little after eight in the morning, and were in the Sabino Canyon parking lot by five.

I just hiked this yesterday (1-8-19). We recorded 14.7 miles of trail (more than All Trails lists). From the Window, the next mile or so of trail is REALLY overgrown and if I hadn’t had this map downloaded I’m not sure I would have been able to stay on the trail. There is also snow up top, from about 6500 feet to the peak, on both sides (Ventana and Esperero) of the peak, so it was slippery, even with my Yak Trax on. Great hike, although I probably won’t do the Esperero trail again - too overgrown and so much bush to push through. I was wearing long pants and long sleeves, so I’m ok, but a few other people I was with have scrapes all over them from the bushes/trees/yucca because they were either in shorts or short sleeves. I went through almost 4L of water and we did this on a relatively cool day (maybe a temp average in the 50s) as well as 2 sandwiches, 4 granola bars, and an apple. I also had flashlights with me, which was good because we hiked in the dark for a good while. Total hiking time was about 10 hours.

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing area, good first backpacking trip hike/ location!

This was done a while ago. We didn’t get to eagle cap because of thunder, but from our shelter we saw a cougar that had followed us for who knows how long. Will return

Attempted this trail 3 weeks ago and the snow was too much. Hip deep at points and the trail is covered. We made it to the top of the first rock scramble and turned back. Will complete this trail in the spring once the snow melts.

Wow! First weekend in November and a perfect day to Hike. Last Mile had about 5 or 6 big switchbacks and took a little longer getting up that part, but so worth the view.

Beautiful country. I've done this hike in segments, the latest being a hike into Farley Lake via Yellowbelly Lake and then a trail run the next day from Farley to Toxaway. Great weather in September and an ideal time to hike the Sawtooths. I also did a scramble off trail part way up Imogene Peak. I don't think it would have been too difficult, time permitting, to summit that one from Farley Lake. Earlier, I've gone from Alturas to Twin Lakes. The Sawtooths are a little slice of heaven on earth. Dogs are leashed during certain times of the year though not too many people follow those rules.

I hiked from Pettite Lake to Alice Lake on 06/28/2018. Almost July and the trail above Alice Lake was still snowed in. Woke up the next morning with ice on my tent fly. Two fast water crossings without logs or bridge.

By far one of my favorite trails in the area.

Flat for the first two miles and then a gradual elevation gain for the next mile or so. Then very steep toward the end and mostly a scramble up to the top with loose gravel and rock.

Fantastic hike completed in ten hours. First snow of the year with beautiful fall colors. Trail names (numbers not referenced) are well marked.

It is not lightly trafficked July, August

3 months ago

Amazing views. Friendly people on the trail.

Very little snow at the top, amazing lakes. This is one of my fav hikes I've ever done. Would make sure you bring waterproof hiking boots though since the trail was a little muddy and wet

backpacking
3 months ago

This is one of my all time favorite hikes in Stanley! I highly recommend heading down to Alpine Lake on the way to Sawtooth. It's a must see! The hike had great views after the 2nd mile or so and they just kept getting better. If you go in July make sure to bring mosquito spray! They definately do get pretty gnarly especially around the water or in the evenings. Other than the kamikaze mosquitos, he hike is beautiful. Highly reccomend!

We did this hike in three days in the last weekend in June. The weather was perfect and we would absolutely do this again. Like other reviewers, I also recommend hiking clockwise due to the hotter, dryer, final stretch back to Pettite (Pet-it). We stayed camped at Alice and Toxaway Lake and after doing the full hike, would definitely stay at those two lakes if we ever did this again.
Things to note: 1. You cross a river about 5/6 times. I strongly recommend having chocos or some other very secure, sturdy sandal to change in to when doing this. or at least be prepared to change socks or something.
2. Toxaway lake had approx. 500 Billion mosquitos- Deet is an absolute must.
3. There is snow at the top of this trail-I was SO grateful for my trekking poles at this point. Also pants.
4. There is a point on the way back to the car where the trail forks and there is the worst possible signage situation happening. It is towards the end, and you have the option to keep going straight or take a sharp right turn, as though your going back in the direction that you just came from, and you need to take that. You'll have some last minute up-hill action and then you'll drop back down towards pettit.

Please don't be the people that are leaving trash in the mountains. take out what you bring in. And have fun!

My husband and I just loved this hike! (Well I loved all of it...he loved the view at the top haha) You get to lay eyes on the majority of the lakes in the area with this loop and OMG the view at the top is completely breathtaking! Definitely a climb and the boulder fields were a nice challenge, but totally doable. I agree with others who posted...I would NOT take my dogs on this loop. The boulder scramble is too much for someone with no thumbs lol We did battle with a good bit of smoke from some fires in the area when we did this hike a week and a half ago.

Great views and a grind of hike! I made a video if anyone is interested in checking it out: https://practicalvagabonds.com/medicine-bow-wyoming/

excellent, challenging hike with amazing views. one of the best

Let me start out saying that this hike is absolutely beautiful and breath taking! Pictures do not do justice to how beautiful and blue Goat Lake really is. I would highly suggest taking your trekking poles and getting to the Iron Creek Trailhead early in the morning (the fog surrounding the mountains is beautiful). The hike starts out as a defined trail and is easy going with the trail getting more moderate as you climb in elevation with switch backs. When the trail runs out, it will bring you to disintegrated rock, when you reach that point, you need to climb up (look at pictures posted). Follow the disintegrated rock “trail” and it will take you in the right direction. You will cross the Iron Creek Waterfall (look for cairns) which will guide you over the waterfall via logs/beaver dam. This is the easier path rather than climbing the rocks on the right side of the Falls. Once you cross the water falls you will run into a defined path that will take you directly to Goat Lake. This is a stunning hike I would recommend to everyone! I would also recommend ready “Randy Clarke’s review as it is a great review that can offer some more helpful information. Hope this review helped!

Amazing hike. Did it as a very long day hike, took ~9 hours. Didn’t see any other hikers except for on the out-and back to the Causeway. Saw a couple friendly bow hunter groups on horseback. Amazing weather, mid-Sept is a great time of year to explore this area as the aspens have started to turn. A bit tricky to follow the trail along the Chinese wall, you’ll lose it and find it again if you stay in the general direction.

Stunning views all the way south into Colorado from the top of the peak. Start at a time where you know you will be able to get all the way up and started back down before noon. Storms pop up in a few minutes at this altitude.

Awesome Great Beautiful easy to moderate. Can’t ask for a better day hike

Hiked this on a clear day at the beginning of September and couldn't have been more perfect. Incredible views for relatively minor challenge.

The trail was all we hoped for and more. An easy well marked start but we did get turned around in the gravel field looking for the easier "steps" which we never found. The cairns were not very helpful as they were spread out. The locator was a godsend!!! At least we knew when we were wandering too far of trail and could wind back to where we should be. The first view of the falls it's a terrific reward! Very easy to lose the path here until we found the logjam crossing and then it was clear again all the way to the lake. We passed many smaller waterfalls and they were just beautiful. Goat Lake was absolutely breathtaking and worth the hike! We found a spot up on some rocks to sit and eat lunch with a view of the blue green lake below and the snow fields across the lake. We walked to the far side of the lake through the boulder field for another view before turning to head back down to Iron Creek campground. We took a long time to make the hike because we stop and take a lot of pictures and two snack breaks. So the trip up took is 3.5 hours and the trip down about 2. But we wander :)

4 months ago

This was our first hike in Idaho. While the trail can be done on a few hours, we opted to spend the entire day and took it slow. Definitely take the detour to Alpine Lake. Honestly, Sawtooth is bigger but Alpine was our solid favorite. We spent a good chunk of time here just enjoying the silence other than the sound of the water lapping the edge. We continued on up the switchbacks and hot another little lake (which we nicknamed decoy lake) and almost turned around did to a snow squall that moved in. But so glad we pushed on another few yards. Sawtooth Lake was gorgeous. We took the extra time to walk to the far side of the lake and followed the trail on through a boulder field for a spectacular view of some mountain lake in the distance. We stopped a few times for snacks, lunch, and just to experience the peace of the wilderness. We made our way back to Iron Creek trailhead for a total of 13+ miles and 8 hours exactly. As I said, it can be done in way less time, but we took deliberate time.

Pretty hike with good views pretty much the whole time! No bugs. Easy to get to.

This hike was one of the best hikes I’ve been on! The climb to the top is hard work but you are rewarded with amazing scenery! The walk along the lakes is also beautiful, especially in the fall when the foliage is changing!

So far in life, this is my all-time favorite hike. The views are breathtaking the entire time, with a wonderful mix of pine forest, alpine tundra, and mountain lakes. The view from the summit is awe inspiring. I sat up there for a good 45 minutes, and could've sat there longer. The hike is not easy, but even for someone who is in modest shape at best, and who flew to Denver a mere 24 hours earlier, I was able to do it, albeit slowly. But why rush it?

Okay...to describe the actual hike, it's not overly technical, with only a couple of basic rock scrambles. Even in mid July, there was still some snow, which can be slick (I did fall on my rear once lol), but the temperatures were mild (upper 50s/lower 60s Fahrenheit) during the day. I was staying in Laramie overnight where the overnight lows were in the 50s, so I'd imagine it is pretty chilly at the campgrounds at the base of Medicine Bow Peak at night, even in the summer. The hike starts out in pine forest, but gets above the tree line fairly quick. After that, you go through lots of alpine meadows (wildflowers were abound in mid July). I did the loop "clockwise", which puts the steepest part going down rather than going up, and that's how I'd recommend doing it, as you'll get plenty of workout as is. Take your time, enjoy the scenery.

This trail can be unforgiving as most of 'em can, but what a hike nonetheless. I took the lady up today for her first time. We hit the summit beneath an overcast sky, as it was raining on and off. A great day hike for anyone looking for a workout and amazing views, but beware if anyone has fear of heights. We brought all necessities for day-long alpine hiking--insulation, plenty of water and food, trekking poles, sturdy boots. We were out on trail from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m ., and my patience became shorter toward the end as we traversed the trail going from Mirror Lake to Marie Lake, at which point the trail dissipated as darkness fell. We ended up on a lightly used trail along the brim of Marie Lake opposite the mountain, which fortunately led to the asphalt walkway going to the parking area along WY 130.

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