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Just a heads up the road to Brainard Lake is closed for the season as of 10/15 so you have to park at the winter lot and hike the 2.5ish miles to the trailhead.

As of 10/16 the gate was closed before the fee station which adds about 5 miles RT to any hike you plan to do. The road has some snow/ice but also has large dry stretches. Once you get near the Mitchell Lake TH you will be on snow the whole time. The trail is packed down for most of the way. I brought microspikes and snowshoes. Never put the spikes on, but snowshoes were very helpful once I got about 1/4 mile below Blue Lake. Was glad to have gaiters and waterproof boots. Beautiful hike.

Incredible experience! Dress warm and wear shoes for winter conditions. $11 FEE. This hike is full of captivating views of towering mountains and frozen lakes. 4.9/5!

Hop over to here2summitup.wordpress.com for a detailed description with pictures and videos of this hike! Follow @2_Summit_Up on Instagram to see this hike and more adventures.

Well it was super icy today but it sure was easy if you have spikes on your shoes! Slippery for sure but if you’ve done it before you know to just keep pushing. If you haven’t done it before.. well, keep pushing! Beautiful fun tough work out. I always take the 1st and 2nd loop, i even took my parents from Texas in today and we finished it in 4 hours... beautiful in the snow if you ever wanna get it :)

Great hike. More challenging than I thought especially attempting it immediately upon arriving from the east coast. Well worth it once you get to the arch.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike, but beware that it is very slippery and icy with the recent snow. I underestimated how slippery it would be on the way down and I fell several times. Definitely come prepared and watch the weather before you go!

hiking
3 days ago

This trail is an excellent day hike. On October 12, my son and I ventured from Copper Mountain toward Wheeler Lakes. The first two-thirds is the steepest portion of the hike with the final third easier on the legs. Our journey included snow, which enhanced the beautiful scenery. I highly recommend this hike.

hiking
3 days ago

The trail had spectacular views of Estes and looking at the entrance for the national park. I didn’t like how soft the trail itself was. I sunk down into the sand with every step. It was quite the challenge there and back with good elevation gain. The views made up for the little faults it has.

$11 day use fee, there are better places in the area with no fee and less crowded. The sign said something ambiguous about there being no fee during winter, so I watched a few others drive in without paying and assumed it must be winter. Trail was icy, used yaktrax. Snow was deep past Isabelle lake. I think you can park back a couple miles from the long lake TH and walk in for free.

hiking
3 days ago

good hike and good views. foliage was past its peak, but not the trail's fault!

well blazed and we'll kept

Fun trail. Nice views and follows creek most of the way up.

hiking
3 days ago

There are many routes to the top! be aware when you finish the switch backs that run doing the creek there is a false summit. Go past the trail marker and you'll have to head down for a little bit before a short climb back up to reach the Arch.

Fabulous views as you go up, and it's definitely worth it to scramble up to the top. The trail had heavy traffic though, making it not as peaceful as I would have liked. With snow on the trail, the traffic really packed it in, making it fairly slick.

The reward at the end of this hike is so worth it. You get a 360 degree view! Breathtaking! The hike is moderate but if your not use to the altitude there are small spots that can be difficult. Rest take your time, enjoy the quiet and beauty along the way.

This is our go to hike for visitors. It is easy enough for children and the views are exquisite.

Challenging for a recreational hiker & worth it - beautiful views, the arch did not disappoint!

Arrived around 9:30am Saturday morning and parking wasn't more than 5 cars although once we got back to the car around 11:30 there was a line of cars and more people. There was snow most of the trail and icy towards the last portion of the trail, but was an awesome hike and fantastic views!

You’ll definitely want to bring traction and poles for this one. It looks dry at the trailhead, but there’s a lot of packed snow on ice pretty soon after you start climbing.

You could probably even get away with having your snowshoes handy toward the top.

Moderate to easy hike, Blue lake is gorgeous! Snow and ice on much of the trail now. Cold and windy at top, but worth the work.

Great easy trail to bring sea level guests who enjoy walking and wildlife.

This was a beautiful hike with varying difficulty in the trail throughout and lots of beautiful views along the way. we didn't make it to glacier lake but lake Isabelle was great!

Beautiful hike! I hiked in a considerable amount of snow; about 4-6 inches around mile 2 and increasing to a foot or more around mile 3.5-4! The trail through the snow stopped short of the pass and I didn't have the gear to break new snow trail, so didn't make it to the pass. The highway noise fades away after the first mile and then it was silent!

awesome views

hiking
5 days ago

Really beautiful hike with flowers and an amazing view, very well worth it. make sure to bring lots of water!!

Solid hike, not too hard and great views.

great views

We started the loop at panorama point and went clockwise. We skipped going to the campground and Endomondo clocked us at 2.60 miles. Once you come around the loop it gets fairly steep out if no where, so we may try going counterclockwise next time to have a more gradual incline. The trail is marked really well and maintained. The aspen are really starting to look great right now so come while you can.

Awesome short hike with an amazing view! The view at the top is worth it. As of 10/12/18 there is a couple inches of snow and the top by the ridge is SO windy so be prepared.
Limited parking, we were the second car there at 9am and when we were back at 11am the whole side of the road was packed.

Super packed, but the lake is incredible.

We hiked Saint Mary’s Glacier a few weeks ago. It’s a short, rocky climb, but the reward is breathtaking. The alpine lake, glacier and surrounding foliage is beautiful! We’re definitely making a return trip!

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