Explore To do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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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!

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

hiking
9 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.

10 days ago

Honestly, really incredible views. Tough elevation climb and there’s a bit of uphill near the end on the way back which was especially challenging. We went in late October on a warm clear day and it was beautiful, challenging, and very fun. Enjoyed doing the labyrinth/maze on the side of the trail too, about half way up :)

hiking
12 days ago

I want on this hike on October 12th. It was definitely the end of prime hiking season. I’m glad I went with someone that was knowledgeable about the trail because the snow and wind made the trail disappear. But I was a beautiful hike. Not super challenging but beautiful views. If you hike this this time of year, prepare for all types of weather.

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

hiking
15 days ago

Amazing hike! incredible views the entire time! such a fun trail, will definitely be back! The trailhead road is pretty average, a little bumpy but it's not bad. The hike itself is pretty perfect. I would say its moderate, a few inclines but nothing extreme. Some snow at the top meow, it's beautiful.

Awesome trail. Moderately difficult with beautiful views and nature. Hiked 10/26/18 and the trail was good. Some snow but compressed. Absolutely need spikes due to ice. Did it with a four month old baby strapped to chest. A little dodgy at parts, especially ice near the end, but on a 55 degree day it was perfect.

Beautiful views!!

Beautiful views!!

21 days ago

off road driving
21 days ago

Stock Wrangler JLU up and down with ease in 4wd High at the end of summer. Fun trail with great rewards; more to explore in Jeep and on foot. Nonmotorized use allowed year round according to gate’s sign in the AllTrails photos, Sean D, but it also says no parking at the gate.

I loved this trail! We hiked it in late September and it was gorgeous. The second lake is magnificent - a beautiful blue and rimmed with rocks. We didn’t make it to the third lake but I will next time.

hiking
22 days ago

Challenging on the way up, but worth it. We hiked around 1pm and it took us 1.5 hours to get to the top. We encountered many other hikers. Unfortunately, this trail attracts a lot of people who don’t have respect for nature. It was hard to get a good picture with so many people around and it was even harder to enjoy with the amount of people talking around you. If I could do it again, i would go at 7 AM and avoid the crowds. This hidden little “lake” truly is a gem. Side note: it only took us 40 minutes to get back down.

22 days ago

There was just a patch of ice.... the rest was all dry.

Question - can you still hike to the lake with the gates officially closed?

off road driving
24 days ago

closed for the season as of Oct 18, 2018. disappointed. I took my stock Raptor up, zero issues... not even close to breaking a sweat. With a stock half ton truck, you will likely bottom out in a few spots, especially the first rut. Subarus won't make it without damage, end of story. looked promising but the gate was closed about 3/4 mile up. tight turn around.

Third time hiking this trail (first during winter and the second during summer). Despite it being mid-October, there was still a lot of snow on the upper two-thirds of the trail, so definitely bring appropriate gear and be prepared to stay out all day; it's a very long trek. Mirror Lake was frozen over but there are some nearby streams to get fresh water, if needed. Also, the gate to access Monarch Lake trailhead was open, but I know they close it as it gets closer to winter so double-check this before heading out, as it can add an extra 2 miles (round trip) to the hike. Otherwise, beautiful hike - one of my favorites in Colorado.

Steady climb. The views half-way up exceeded the actual lake view, but it was a nice hike with some icy stairs.

Enjoyable shortish day hike. Lake is SMALL. Views back over Estes Park and of RMNP and great!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike on October 8, 2018. First snow of the winter. It was magical, nobody after the first two miles. saw moose! The mountains and meadows we're gorgeous with a couple inches of snow.

This is a fantastic hike with a ton of water along the way. Beautiful waterfalls and a great lake at the top. My ten-year-old, seven-year-old, and dog are able to do this pretty well, but we live at 6000 feet. This is not the easiest hike with a lot of rocks and some steep climbs, but it is very worth it. We went on a Thursday and arrived at about 8 and parking was easy. By the time we got down about three and a half hours later the parking was a nightmare.

Great little hike! The drive up is rough gravel but there’s a Honda Accord that made it up here in dry conditions (early October).

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked the whole road, though most people opted to off-road in vehicles. Pretty and scenic; the waterfall at the lake was beautiful. It started snowing while I was there and the fall colors looked beautiful with it.

This is one of my favorite trail to date. Ample amounts of parking at trailhead, and beautiful scenery throughout. Very long hike close to 18 miles long, but we'll worth it. Didn't make it up to the top of the summit, due to rainstorms moving in. Would recommend.

I was here last year and some improvements to the trail have been made. However, it can still be difficult to stay on near the top because it is almost solid rock. I started at 8:30 this morning and had the lake to myself along with a mountain goat. Please be aware that although the lake is only 1.4 miles from the trailhead it is steep. Also, there is a .7 mile walk from the parking lot to the trailhead.

on Gore Lake

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful fall hike, low traffic, no bikes, plenty of breathtaking views! The full out-and-back loop is more like 14.4mi. The route to the lake is tough, and slow going, even for experienced hikers.

There are mountain goats up at the lake, please don’t feed them!!

Such a beautiful hike! It’s maybe on the more difficult side of moderate, but nothing too crazy. For the best experience, carry on past the waterfall to the lake at 11,900 ft! So serene, and we got to see our first mountain goat!

Wonderful trail. challenging in spots, beautiful and stunning. great moderate trail for hiking and birding

off road driving
1 month ago

Not sure why this is rated moderate. It's pretty easy for any 4x4. Did pretty much all of it in 2 wheel. Only need a little bit of clearance for the rocks. Great views, and only saw one other person on a Wednesday afternoon. 4/5

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