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Hiked this trail on 11/17/18 to Elk Falls. The trail is broad and extremely easy to follow, and I would rate this is more of an easy rather than moderate hike. Saw several elk about a mile in, both hiking out and back. It’s mostly open/not heavily forested, and part of the trail follows along the service road for the park. The SR trail was largely bereft of snow; however, the BE and CR trails were covered, although not heavily. Had microspikes, but didn’t use them. The only somewhat challenging part was descending down to see the falls, and trekking poles would be nice for that, as well as for parts of the service road that are covered in snow.

Nice views and good elevation change, great mix of snow, slush, ice, mud and dirt.. definitely kept us on our toes!

snowshoeing
5 days ago

Today the trail was packed, didn't need snowshoes until that last 1/2 mile after turnoff for Lost Lake. Most of the hike was shielded from wind before getting to the lake. Super gusty today so not a fun afternoon to linger at Lost lake, but saw a few pretty views while there. It's a fun and easy to moderate level snowshoe trail.

Loved this hike! We went 11/12 and it was super snowy! A lot of people had snow shoes but our spikes worked just fine. Saw 3 large moose on the trail! You have to hike about a mile from your car to the trail head, so factor that in! Also, there was a frozen stream you could hike, however with our spikes it was a little sketchy. If you don’t want to hike the stream there is a trail to the right of the stream that goes through the woods in order to get you to the trailhead.

A fun hike with Kalina Miller today on this easy to find trail with some excellent views. The inclines are not so steep really and there are some nice level sections and a few short downhills. Enjoy the scenery and take lots of pics.

Such a fun little trail! Small bit of scrambling to the rocks at the top. Spikes were useful but probably not required today. Lovely views. Port-o-let at the trailhead. (I always find it useful know!)

snowshoeing
9 days ago

This was a beautiful hike that had a ton of snow today. It was a gorgeous day out and I cannot wait to do this hike again. Heads up, the road to the trailhead was snowed in and we had to walk the rest of the way.

Beautiful trail but as previous reviewer mentioned, at some point near the end, the foot path in the snow deviates from the actual trail. I had a GPS with me so was able to figure this out (coupled with clues based on the trail just not seeming right). We never actually made it to the lakes but the hike was still beautiful. I would say if you don’t have a GPS, be careful as just following the footprints in the snow isn’t actually the trail & gets a bit sketchy.

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful views! I brought my dog to hike and she loved it- we met several other people with dogs too who were all very friendly. I didn’t wish I had snow shoes until the end when I started sinking in waist deep snow and my dog started disappearing completely under the snow- it was moderately challenging but well worth it!

It's a short one, but great for a morning away. Had the trail to myself and didn't see anyone til I got back to the parking lot. No snow yet, but the incline is real! Views are amazing at the top (minus the mansions built into the mountainsides).

Trail is all snow, most packed by skiers. Final ~1/4 mile to the lower lake is unpacked snow (unless we took a wrong turn, we were definitely off trail on deep snow following footprints).Great hike but with the current conditions if you don’t have snowshoes or skis you won’t make it all the way up.

Yaktracks and layers made this possible and as wonderful as well. Will be back !

This is a great trail to couple with the Squaw mountain. I would suggest doing this one first. This one is still an easy trail, but is slightly more difficult than Squaw. The incline a little more steep. My opinion is this is better because it’s more in the woods and the trail is more fun. The views at the top are stunning as well.
You will be able to identify the parking on the side of the road but the trailhead is easy to miss. It’s on the other side of the road and is a small entry.

As of 11/10/2018 the trail is covered in snow but I didn’t need shoe traction at all and the trail is still being used enough that the path is obvious. A great, short hike with unbelievable views at the top. Download the PeakFinder app for some fun after summiting.

I love this hike, I have done it in a variety of seasons. There is a beautiful waterfall during the spring run off. Make sure you walk around the lake and look back towards the trail when you get there for the best views. Lots of snow on the trail today !! Knee deep drifts in spots the last half mile to the lake . Only used spikes today , no snow shoes although they would have been handy in a few places. We blazed the trail, should be a decent trench until the next big dump ! Also we had to park on the road near the intersection for the Fourth of July TH . I don’t recommend driving any further down the road unless you have some serious clearance.

hiking
17 days ago

Easy trail, gets a bit steep at the end. Very quiet and peaceful. Trail is mostly a dirt road in the woods, then opens up to a small meadow. Would be good for snowshoeing.

Awesome view at peak great trail for fall hike.

hiking
18 days ago

We really enjoyed this hike. We encountered only one other trail user. We used winter hiking boots with crampons. This was sufficient to make it all of the way to the end of the trail. No need for snowshoes or backcountry skis today. It snowed throughout our hike and was windy, especially when nearing the lake at the end. There's a waterfall flowing into the lake which isn't frozen over yet. A thin layer of ice currently coats most of the lake. A standard car with good all season tires can make it to the foot of the trailhead.

A new favorite. Short but a great workout with how steep it gets in spots. Nice at the top to sit and hang out, will definitely be back!

Loved the hike and the variety of scenery. With the recent snow, the trail was a bit muddy in places,, but completely hikeable in tennis shoes.

Went in early October on a cloudy day and got some snow near the top. The lakes were incredible though. Lost the trail on the way to the furthest lake, and ended up doing some rock scrambling that we weren’t prepared for. Saw a moose alongside the road on the way to the trailhead! Def want to go back on a clear day.

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike! We went last Friday and it was a beautiful day. The trail was icy and snow packed in some areas and even more so the closer we got to the lake.

Bring spikes! Great mini hike with incredible views.

A great short hike. The steep incline provides just enough of a challenge. Great views at the top. Ideal for bringing a dog.

hiking
24 days ago

Wear micro spikes.
2 miles straight up but views so worth it.
Incredible

walking
24 days ago

Easy trail with great 360 views. Requires crampons in fall due to packed ice and inclines

Hiked 10.27.18

Majority of trail is free of snow and the snow that exists at the beginning is packed down. Beautiful views along the first mile, road at end is not the most fun, and I highly recommend heading further to Chicago Lakes--they're one of my favorite places in CO.

What a perfect trail for beginners, out of towners, and people who want a short day. Easy trailhead to get to. Easy, well-maintained trail, and a great destination. Beautiful drive up and view from the top of Chief Mountain.

This has quickly become one of our favorite hikes. The elevation gain is serious, but there are only a few spots that get challenging. The lake is peaceful, and we had it to ourselves today. It does get snowy and icy, so wear your spikes or bring your poles.

Great simple hike. The trail is in and out of light snow. I had micro spikes on but they were not necessary. The trail was half wet/muddy, half dry. Some deeper drifts, avoidable if you skip the upper lake but as long as it's cold, post holing would be unlikely. Snow is still shallow and sparse enough to summit Square Top Mountain as well.

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