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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.

snowshoeing
1 day ago

Loved this trail, perfect for snowshoeing, especially in the fresh beautiful snow. I’d guess there was 6-7” of snow throughout the trail. Less under tree cover. We did the whole 3.1 mile loop in about 2 hours. The road was closed at Aspen Meadows road before the camp so it added a bit to the hike, but nothing we couldn’t handle. Felt like a moderate hike for my girlfriend and I, and my 10 year old dog. One person had previously tracked it out in the snow already which made it easier to find from the trailhead & route, the trail map in Pro version was also helpful for finding the trailhead. Otherwise, for an adventure seeker, I’m sure it’s not that hard to find. The tree canopy also probably helps provide some way-finding if you’re not sure which way to go. My girlfriend opted to leave her snowshoes in the car and said she didn’t miss them. She just had on waterproof winter knee-high boots. I wore snow shoes and ankle boots, forgot my gators, darn, but was also just fine. Thanks to my wool socks. Love it when there’s enough snow to finally wear my snow shoes, this is a place I will have to come back to! And we didn’t see another single sole on a snowy Veterans Day Sunday!

Nice relatively easy hiking trail with several views that over look Golden.

Beautiful XC Ski!

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.

great hike! be sure to wear layers as it is extremely windy at the top by the lake. few patches of ice

hiking
4 days ago

Great there and back walk on a great path - was snowing on the way out, sunny and clear on the way back - great views. Starts at 9000ft above sea level but we were fine

trail running
4 days ago

First time on this trail this afternoon. Nice trail, a few mildly interesting spots and a bit of a view right before the falls. Even without any mind blowing highlights, there is pretty complete immersion in nature. Was a bit icy in spots... I didn’t have any traction devices and my dog and I were just fine, but bring some kind of spikes if you aren’t comfortable on ice. There are still plenty of decent foot placements that aren’t solid ice if your eyes are open, but I’m sure many would appreciate spikes. I’m wondering how this’ll be in late winter/spring though... yikes!

Some mention they recorded the trail as longer than 6.3 miles, but my gps recorded it at 6.2 miles, 1440 ft of ascent, and it didn’t feel any longer than that to me.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful but busy, go early

hiking
6 days ago

Great trail. My family and I hiked it in July. Still snow on the ground in places. Beautiful views. Bring a camera and a water bottle.

Easy and fun hike with the kid and the dogs.

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked this trail 10/26/18. If you’re looking for a nice, easy and scenic hike this is the place. Every corner you turn is picture worthy. At the time the lakes were partially frozen over. The closer you got to Emerald Lake the more slippery the trail got. I didn’t need crampons but I’m sure now you’ll need them. 10/10 hike it’s a must see.

Definitely a hike you should go on when you’re in the rocky! The views are amazing! The hike was not too difficult, but it will get crowded towards the day! Overall amazing place to explore!

Beautiful stroll through meadows while paralleling Cow Creek. This hike is more moderate- than a firm moderate but there are a few moments that will get your heart rate going. I didn’t get to the TH until 9:45am on a Saturday and there was only one other car, which based on other reviews seems rare. Parking is definitely limited though. I only saw 2 others on my way to the falls however, pasted 10-12 on the way back to my car. Most of the trail was wet dirt, then closer to the falls (on this day) you do get some snow (less than 2 inches). No need for micro spikes. The falls are still flowing and makes for a nice reward! RT was about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Hiked 11/2/18. Lots of snow and wind chill, but overall awesome hike. Hiked in my hiking shoes + poles without spikes and was just fine. All the lakes are frozen which makes for gorgeous photos!

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.

Hiked on 11/2, snow on parts of trail but made it to falls without using microspikes. Quiet trail now, doesn’t get steep until very last quarter or third of a mile.

I hiked to emerald lake on 11/1/18 and it was a snowy wonderland! I am glad I had micro spikes because it was slick in spots but with the spikes it was not a problem. I started hiking around 9:30 and only 4 couples were in front of me hiking. As I came down there were many more people. It was nice to have the Trail mostly to myself on the hike up so I could enjoy the views uninterrupted. I am not a hiker and came from sea-level the evening before and I could certainly tell my lungs were adjusting to the altitude. I did the the whole hike and 1x around bear lake in just under 2 hours.

Fun trail. Great views, scramble up the back side of gem wall of you're comfortable for a stunning 360 degree view.

low traffic, beautiful pines surround you, very peaceful, great for anyone

Really awesome trail that has a waterfall and many connecting trails BUT, as simple and short as it is you can get lost pretty easy so be careful. Saw one snake but not too crazy of wildlife beyond that. CLImBerS will love this place as it has many tie off points for ropes or you can free climb and boulder a bit. Descent amount of people but everyone was pretty chill and it was a good vibe all around

Trail was great for a nice afternoon stroll. Just enough to get the blood pumping. Not much of a waterfall right now; but hoping to do it in the spring again.

hiking
15 days ago

Amazing opportunity for incredible views with not that much effort. If you have time head to Lake Haiyaha. Its well worth it. (Review for Lake Haiyaha and Emerald Lake Trail). I got to Bear Lake trailhead at 8am Sunday. Very few cars. I had the whole trail to myself pretty much. I did Emerald Lake and then on the way back turned and headed to Lake Haiyaha. I'm glad I did because it was the best part. Its steeper and harder then Bear Lake trail. At the end there are a bunch of boulders to scramble over to get to the lake. Be careful, I fell, snow is deep and make sure you know how to get back to the trail. Its not as easy as it looks. Really incredible. Wear traction. Wear traction. When I came down the whole lot was full and there was a mile long line of cars trying to get in but they were routed to the visitor center.

Beautiful but definitely a challenge. If you are visiting, bring water and be prepared for climbing up on rocks. Waterfall was lovely even though it’s not a lot of water. But considering it hasn’t rained, it was such a treat to hear any water. Loved it.

Nice little hike. I would call this easy rather than moderate. A couple of sections to get your lungs working, but easy otherwise. Lots of people and pets around 11:00, but until then, we virtually had the place to ourselves, even on a Saturday. Not too far from town, so definitely one I'd do again!

Beautiful hike!! Rent shoe spikes and poles at a local hiking store in town or bring a walking stick at least. Parts of this trail are SLICK ice. I’d rate this trail as moderate. I could definitely feel the elevation climb! Well worth your time. We got there at 930 on Saturday with a few parking spots left. By the time we left at noon parking lot was full/closed.

This is one of the most popular trails in Colorado and for good reason! If you go on the weekend it will be tricky to find a parking spot. This is a moderate hike with huge rewards, stunning views!! If you only have time for one hike in CO do this one or st Mary’s Glacier.

hiking
17 days ago

Great hike with great views! Each lake was spectacular. There is ice/snow packed in certain spots. We rented spikes and poles from a shop in Estes Park for $9 for the day...I would definitely recommend it!

Beautiful views!!

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