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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snowshoeing
2 days ago

First ones on the trail 1/13/18, for the most part followed skiers along the trail I was familiar with. We reached a point where the trail was lost and followed up a skiers way for a bit and turned back. We were about .5mi from the lake which was a bummer !!

Absolutely bring snow shoes and spikes. Views are just fabulous

Beautiful bluebird day! Snowshoes were very helpful with about a mile to go. The trail was clear and easy to follow. I highly recommend!

hiking
6 days ago

Went with just spikes and gaiters. Unavoidably deep at some parts. Waist deep about 0.3 miles from the end of the trail, which was a real bummer.

snowshoeing
11 days ago

Great day to get out and explore. Honestly, the trail is so packed you don't need snowshoes. I put mine on about 1/2 miles before the lake, thinking I would need them, but I didn't. Micro spikes would've been fine. Also agree with the last comment...please pack out all of your trash and your dogs as well.

snowshoeing
12 days ago

Great hike! Started mid-morning and the sun and incline kept us warm. Snowshoes definitely recommended for the second half closer to the lake. Personally had fun figuring out where i would less likely sink down ha
My friend had snowshoes which helped a lot

hiking
12 days ago

Completed this hike on New Years day. Started at the trail head and it was 4 degrees. There are a lot of snow mobile and back country skiers that utilize this trail head and trails associated. The first mile or so you only gain about 400ft of elevation only to leave about 1k ft to gain the second half of the trail. Snow shoes are your best bet this time of the year as the snow is quite deep in some areas even if it is packed down.
The views once you get up to the gulch are incredible. The snow really adds some amazing definition and depth to the range behind it. One of the best views in this area and probably along the 70 corridor.
Layers are your best friend on this hike as the sun does not get fully overhead this time of the year. The only time we got direct sunlight was at the end. Dress warm even though youll work up a sweat.

hiking
12 days ago

Gorgeous views throughout! We snowshoed today but probably could have gotten away with just microspikes as long as we didn’t step off the trail (we definitely saw evidence of postholing a couple feet deep just inches off the trail). Please pack out ALL trash as there are no trash pick ups here. In other words, please don’t leave bags of dog poop on the side of the trail or laying by the port-o-lets - take it home to throw away. Thank you for keeping the trails clean.

One of my favorite hikes. IPW is fantastic.

hiking
15 days ago

Steeper than you think, but views at the top are spectacular. Leave some extra time to hang out / explore around the lake. Wildflowers are fantastic in season.

snowshoeing
19 days ago

We went snowshoeing a day ago and it was great conditions and views, especially after a fresh snowfall. Snowshoes are definitely required at this time. Poles were also helpful to have.

snowshoeing
25 days ago

Nice climb, good snow, lots of skiers. Need snowshoes at about 1.5 miles. Spikes or traction a must before that. beautiful in the snow.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful day, perfect for a winter hike. Plenty of fresh snow, animal tracks, and evergreens. First mile and a half or so is well packed and I did just fine with microspikes, but snowshoes would be better for the rest.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

I did not finish the hike due to the last half-mile out being past your knees. It was beautiful but at times I was too hot or too cold with how I was dressed. I passed two dummies that were walking around in Boots and jeans and were covered in snow up to their hips essentially punching holes in the ground with their feet and ruining the blazed trail. Please do not do this. this ruins the trail for everyone who actually planned ahead and knew when it snowed you should bring snowshoes.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

This is a fabulous trail in any season Today's early morning snow shoeing found packed snow at start of trail with much deeper snow as elevation increased. I turned around once I entered the alpine terrain above tree line. There was only one other person on the trail this morning, so I basically had the trail to myself (and my dog).

hiking
1 month ago

11/18/18. Always a great trail! I read recent reviews so we packed our snowshoes and wore micro spikes. Trail was totally packed down up to mile 2.6 and then we needed the snowshoes. Gorgeous day!

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Awesome trail. Spikes worked fine for the first couple miles then you probably want snowshoes beyond that. The trail diverges at one point but youll get there one way or the other

Gorgeous any time of year ! I have done this hike in the summer and winter . Petingell peak beyond Herman lake is a great hike also ! Not much trail past the lake . I snowshoed this hike today . Definitely a packed trail until the second clearing , beyond that we ditched the microspikes and put on snow shoes . There is a pretty good trench however, it gets off trail and actually takes you to the end of the gulch below Citadel peak rather than to the lake. Take a GPS if you want to get to the lake ! Lots of snow. Beautiful hike !

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Beautiful views and great hike. Was debating whether it’d be a hike or a snowshoe. I brought my snowshoes and am glad I did. Starts hard pack and hikable but turns to postholing after a mile or so. Trail disappeared so I broke the last half mile using my GPS for guidance. Poles came in handy. So easy to get to from Denver.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Plenty of snow already! The first mile or so of trail is pretty packed and easily hiked without spikes. But you’ll need snowshoes after that (unless you enjoy battling knee high snow). The trail was barely visible after two miles, but managed to sleuth it to the junction. Be safe out there!

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Simply beautiful, and plenty of fresh powder!! There were folks doing this hike with microspikes but snowshoes really came in handy as the powder was knee deep halfway into the hike and above treeline.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, but a ton of snow now. Yaktrax from the TH are recommended. Skis/snowshoes are probably a good choice, too. I was falling in to snow about knee-height around 2 miles in, and turned back. What a beautiful hike though.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the best hikes you can do located within an hour of Denver. Heart pumping hike with a beautiful mix of mountain vistas, wooded trails and open valleys. Plenty of snow on the ground now so YakTrax are highly recommended. Plentiful parking at the trailhead as well. A must do for serious hikers.

Super easy hike. Gorgeous views!

Worthwhile! Great lunch spot followed by a rewarding and short walk. We didn’t make it to the end- just did the loop and still lots to see.

Did this hike yesterday 10/24 somewhat snowy and icey during the middle and end due to the tree coverage and altitude. May be best to bring poles, I didn’t have any and had to avoid the icier parts of the trail by walking in somewhat deep snow. Lakes completely frozen at this point but still a gorgeous hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Completed today, 10/21/2018 in 65F fall weather. It was warm at first, but it gets cooler and cooler and bam, freezing by the lake. You'll need to wear waterproof shoes and bring poles to support yourself, it gets icy. Big parking lot, but still recommend getting there early especially if it's a warm day. There are a couple of porta potty at the trailhead but bring hand sanitizer ;)

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.

hiking
3 months ago

Did this trail after some snow, beautiful on the way up and at the top! Gets pretty steep and challenging towards the tree line, be prepared to stop and catch your breath. Because of the snow, I was not able to make it all the way to the top (did not have the right equipment) but above tree line the views are still amazing. Definitely doing this again later with the right equipment to reach the top! I can easily say this is my favorite spot now in Colorado.

on The Grottos Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Really unique area to explore! Not a real hike but definitely still worth a stop.

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