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Free climbing on this hike (top of Sisters trail) was killer! Loved the view.

7 hours ago

Nice hike on a clear day. Not too many people.

Fun to walk/slide on the ice covered lakes and slide in the snow. We wore tennis shoes and made it just fine without fancy equipment. There were several spots where we slid down the hill on our rears—very fun! Be prepared to fall in the snow!

It was only 46° but the majority of the hike is in direct sunlight. For me it’s not a summer hike. Great views of the peaks. Definitely worth your while.

Short but challenging with great views.

One of my faves!

Hiked today 12/16 and the trail is still very, very icy. Definately recommend spikes.

2 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous trail. Don't let the 8 mile distance deceive you, steep elevation gain and constant winds make this hike a challenging and fun winter hike. Definitely recommend micro spikes and crampons. Snowshoes aren't really necessary.

The trail basically has 4 parts: the lake, the glacier, the tundra, and the peak. Immediately you start to gain elevation as you hike up to St. Mary's Lake, but nothing too difficult. The first steep climb is up St. Mary's Glacier where you begin to notice the constant wind. This is where I went from just micro spikes to crampons with patches of ice along the climb. Though there's not much elevation climb, the trek across the wide open tundra is made challenging by the constant wind. I stayed comfortable and warm by leaving no exposed skin, however I still had to work hard as I was facing a constant headwind. I didn't it make it all the way up to the peak, stopping at a rocky outcrop before turning around. If I wasn't by myself and my phone hadn't died, I would've pressed onward. Definitely a doable winter summit hike, just be prepared!

really lovely views. steep but fun hiking. took us about an hour to the top and a bit less coming down.

2 days ago

We went there in August of 2017. It was hot but you can get to enjoy the snow! Just amazing. My GPS was not working so I was not able to record my hike but it was totally worth hike. Enjoy!! x

Beautiful Packed snow trails. Micro spikes came in handy. Chicago lake was amazing

Great hike, definitely didnt feel like a 6 miler. Easy and fun, plus we saw birds and deer and climbed on the rocks for a while.

Now I know why this trail is so popular. Did this trail on 10/25. Beautiful day. Some icy patches, but did not need spikes. I want to go back and see this place again in winter, spring, and summer.

Snowshoed on 11/22. 8 mile dirt road to the trailhead was clear and I was able to slowly make it in a sedan but 4x4 would make it easier and quicker. Snow covered forest for the majority of the hike wad well packed and don't need snowshoes until you are about a mile or so out from the lake. I decided to make it up to the Continental divide trail but it was very slow going and frustrating to gain ground. can't recommend enough as the 360 view from the top had been one of my favorites. Push yourself that last mile up and you won't be disappointed. Even found some cell signal up there!

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes reccomended. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoeing out to black lake. The views from the frozen lakes are astounding. Mild crowding on the way out to mills, very few after that. I would highly reccomend this trail, be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoing out to black lake, deffinitelty exhausting. the views from the frozen lakes is amazing. I would reccomend this trail, just be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

Super fun trail. Beautiful panoramas at the top. Two peak hike - highest to the left with a fun rock scramble to the top. Packed snow the whole way up. I used spikes but others I saw (total of 6 people) did not even have them on. Took a total of 4 hours with a break at the top. Seems like more of a moderate hike to me.

8 days ago

First time hiking to Black Lake in winter. Trail from Bear Lake to Mills Lake was perfectly packed down, microspikes made it easy. The lake was frozen solid and it was so cool to walk straight across! Softer snow between Jewel Lake and Black -- changed to snowshoes about 20-30 min before reaching Black Lake after post-holing a few times. Luckily there were clear ski/snowshoe tracks to follow all the way. The distance between Jewel Lake and Black Lake always feels farther than it actually is. We walked around the shore of Black Lake to continue snowshoeing up to Blue Lake (used a GPS watch because we didn't see signs of a trail). SO worth it! The views from above the lake were stunning. Even better, Blue Lake was sheltered from wind making it a perfect spot for a snack break. Will definitely come back in the summer to find Green/Frozen and climb the Spearhead.
12.5 miles in 6.5 hours roundtrip

Definitely one of the more difficult trials I’ve climbed. The view was stunning and the workout was even better.

Perfect winter hike. Lots of cross country skiers and snow shoes. We hiked in our hiking boots, well packed snow. Wear lots of layers.

8 days ago

Awesome trail! Started a little too late and made it nearly a mile from the end and it was getting too late and we were too tired to go any faster. Right now only need mircospikes, snowshoes don't seem necessary if you stay on the hard packed trail. Trees blocked most of the wind. Definitely will be going again!

8 days 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.

9 days ago

Doable in regular hiking boots
Went on a Sunday at 11am and was moderately traveled
Lots of available parking

The trail was great yesterday! Partly snow covered but not difficult to manage at all. Views are killer. Wasn’t too busy either.

Completed hike on 12/8. Very rewarding view of Longs and the Mummys. Add at least a 1/4 mile from parking lot to the trail head. Began at 10:30 and was on the first summit by 1. Snow pack almost the entire way- much deeper at RMNP/National Forest boundary marker. Crampons definitely recommended. Can easily summit both "sisters" within an hour (plus lunch). We were lucky to have minimal wind at the summit, but it was cold- roughly 15 degrees and colder with wind chill. All around amazing, not too difficult of a hike even with the snow. Plan to be back in the parking lot by 4:30 (sunset).

9 days ago

Love this trail! Beautiful winter hike! Spikes are good to have for sure.

Great hike and view from the top spectacular!

10 days ago

Hiked 12/8

40-50mph sustained winds. Party of 3 with avalanche gear, rescue equip and all the layers. Glad we had it. We got about halfway through the long saddle before realizing we not only couldn’t visualize the destination by then, but also were getting some wicked frostbite on the covered areas of our faces. We made the right decision to turn back and do some rescue practice when...

Avalanche occurred on steep face of st Mary’s on our return. We spent some time on the NW side of the glacier practicing rescues and arrests. On our way down noticed a large rescue squad who mentioned an avalanche occurred minutes earlier. Visibility was 20-30ft so we didn’t believe them until we looked at the lake bed from a plateau....we knew the terrain and not to hike this area because of the risk, and boy are we glad.

Great place to practice, but even here you need to be aware. Forecast on avalanches were low-moderate risk, but the very strong winds this weekend created a cornice that when broken by a skier above, unleashed a sizable slide.

STAY TO THE RIGHT as you head up the glacial drainage, bring all the gear and make your decisions before it’s too late.

Without the wind destroying our little bit of exposed skin, it would have been a pleasant ~5 hour trek. It was a great shortened summit to the top of St. Mary’s and the two mountains on each side of the glacier. Difficult but not insane. Crampons, snowshoes, pole and maybe and axe recommended. 10-30” in most places.

Not for tourists visitors, but also not only for seasoned veterans. Somewhere in between with emphasis on basic mountain safety knowledge.

Today the view was spectacular. The trail to the summit was 1/2 dry and 1/2 covered with a light dusting of dry snow that was crunchy but not sloppy or icy at all. The snow was less than 1/2” deep.

10 days 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.

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