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This hike is well worth the climb all the way to the top but be aware of the trail! Apparently the last half mile of trail is not the well trafficked dirt path winding straight up along the creek but is instead a poorly marked, if at all, less steep path along the lower right lake. Regardless, the hike was beautiful (wildflowers are our in full force right now) and a butt kicker but perfect. Highly recommend going early because the trail was packed by 10am. 7am was more my speed.

Lost trail a few times. Solid trail. Lots of campers. Not hard, very easy first two miles

Nice hike, steep and rocks are a little slippery, but really not bad. Gorgeous views and quiet at the lake. I don’t know who lost it, but we found it

hiking
16 hours ago

This was our first hike in the Mammoth Lakes area and we couldn’t be happier we started here. Beautiful trail leading to multiple stunning lakes. Other reviews give a great description of the trail - here’s what we found:
- Mosquitos were not bad at all (we were expecting much worse given the recent reviews) but somewhat active at beginning of trail.
- Barney Lake is worth the trail if that’s all you get to (and it’s a fairly easy hike to get there). If you go, hike past Barney and up the switchbacks a bit to get a view back onto the lake and the mountains.
- We took a right at Duck Lake and walked out about .25 miles - it was enough for us to get a sense of the lake. Round trip about 8 miles which was a perfect first day in the mountains.
- The trail is popular and includes runners - some were a bit rude and passed us without saying a word. Yes, it’s their trail too but we still found this way of sharing the mountains rude.
- We returned via the Emerald Trail Lake and highly recommend it. Emerald Lake was beautiful and the trail was a smooth downhill back to the parking lot.

Fabulous hike and highly recommended!

Such a beautiful hike! It has everything; nice little workout, forest, meadows, wild flowers, mountain views, and plenty of water features. Well worth the drive ;-)

Great hike ,was a bit challenging but worth it when we got to Duck Lake. Beautiful wildflowers and Thankfully no mosquitos !

hiked this trail today. loved all the waterfalls. great hike. will do it again.

Absolutely beautiful! A profusion of wildflowers! If you can, hike during the week; you’ll have stretches of the trail to yourself (and a parking spot).

I’d say this is one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. I did this on a Wednesday afternoon (began hike at 12:30pm) and it took me about 4 hours after spending 45 minutes at the peak. I only saw a few people total which was great. I’d consider this more of a moderate hike not hard, because it’s only about 6 or so miles. But, there are tons of boulders and a nice scramble towards the peak. The water was amazing at the Final lake and I spent 10 minutes soaking in the ice bath with my dog.

What a treat to see fields and fields of wildflowers on this hike, most definitely on the path to Middle Diamond Lake when you are next to a gorgeous stream! The trail to Middle Diamond Lake is well-established; there was some basic route-finding from there to Upper Diamond Lake but you can now follow this track.

What an amazing day. Arrived at TH 0730, got one of the last pkg spots. Surprised how busy the trail was for a Monday but once you start hiking you realize just how lucky we are to live near such a gorgeous place! Crowd thins as you hike past Isabelle Lake on way up to glacier. Becomes more challenging the further up the glacier you go but every bit is stunning. All Trails mileage: 10.8. We marked it at 9mi.

Great hike. Pretty easy but tons to see. Didn’t realize there were a few waterfalls as you hiked along the stream. Great place for a picnic at the lake. Plan to come back and snowshoe this one.

Dont stop when you reach the lake, the best park of this hike was exploring up behind the lake!

Awesome trail with great hikers. 0 trash found and overall well maintained. I brought and out of town relative here for an overnight. couldn't have asked for more. Camped at the lower lakes then hiked the upper before breaking down camp for the hike down. it's got fair traffic but overall does not take away from the experience. I will definitely do this again in day hike format.

fishing
4 days ago

Great trail if you want to fish away from the crowds. Incredible views from the ridge above duck lake. A long day hike but gradual inclines make it doable. Bugs weren’t that bad but wear the juice for sure. Not much shade so dress accordingly and bring 3 liters of water or a way to sterilize the creek water.

Definitely take the time to veer left towards the river and explore along the waterfalls. It’s beautiful.

I did this trail to warm up for the Dead and Company shows in Boulder the following weekend. This trail had everything, low traffic (in the morning), a challenging climb, loads of flowers, and spectacular peaks towering over you. I climbed up the south ridge of the Crater Lake saddle to get up to a beautiful view of the next valley and then climbed on up to the continental divide. Hike exceeded my high expectations of hike in the Rockies.

Enjoyed the hike. The wildflowers are out in full force. Not to be outdone by the flowers, at the first lake 3 good sized fish decided to feed right where we were standing and one was courteous enough to stop and pose for the camera (see pic)! And, so the fish and flowers weren't to get all the glory while walking back a Weidemeyer's Admiral butterfly landed on the trail and showed off for the camera as well (pic posted too). There were quite a few people on the trail and even at the uppermost lake - so bummer for that. But we had the third lake all to ourselves. We had never hiked up the rock path before - previously traveling up the path that follows more along the major waterflow between the 2nd and 3rd lakes. We decided will stick with our original path - much!!!! prettier!!!!!!

hiking
6 days ago

Hiked today 7/15, gorgeous cloudy day. Lots of wildflowers and water along the way. One of my top 10 favorite CO hikes for sure.

We stayed at the lower 2 Crater Lakes and oh my goodness it was busy! The lower lakes are ~4mi and 1500’ gain according to my GPS. We hiked to the upper lakes the next morning, another 700’ gain and 0.7miles. We had our full packs so it was a workout. The hiking poles for the descent were a must. There was quite a bit of talus to navigate.

Crater lakes is beautiful, the wildflowers are at peak right now. The campsite was nice, I was just in awe of how crowded it was (yes on a July weekend, should I be so surprised?!) All campers were respectful and tried to minimize impact. Everyone was using bear canisters or bear bags but with as many people and dogs were there that night, I didn’t think a bear would be wandering through.

Awesome camping area 2 miles from parking. Get there early as non 4wheel drive parking is limited. Easy trail to navigate if you pay attention. Several waterfalls on the way up if you open your ears. 9 campsites at the lake that are first come first serve basis. All are nice but some better than others. There are several cool trails above the lake that you can explore old mines and get an awesome view of devils thumb. Pack your fly pole as you can slay fish up there in the morning or evening. Permit not required as you are not in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Believe the hype - on the gorgeous hike, the dirt road to get there, and the amount of people. It’s all true!

Be sure to bring a high clearance vehicle, hiking boots, and layers. The road up is slow and bumpy and gets super sketch when vehicles are parked along side it and you’re forced to drive on the little space that remains regardless of its condition.

The hiking trail has lots of water features and rock fields so you’ll need proper footwear. It also gets windy and cooler at the top so bring layers.

Be prepared for an incredible variety of views, wildflowers, and bears, oh my! We felt like we saw it all. The trail was friendly with lots of dogs and even more hikers. It took us about 2 hours up (including a slight diversion where the trail splits at the pass - going right will lead you down to Caribou lake but it is called Arapahoe Pass trail so we took that. We should have followed the sign for Caribou Pass and gone left, up to Dorothy Lake which we eventually figured out). We saw a family of ptarmigan at the pass. The views of the mountains will take your breath away! It was 1 hour, 40 minutes to get back down. Only about 10 minutes from the trailhead we spotted a black bear cub grazing up the mountain. One of my favorite hikes yet.

short and sweet, if you follow the river instead of the main trail, you'll be treated to a old log cabin and beautiful waterfalls. The main trail is a twisted ankle waiting to happen. The lake is pretty but fairly non descript. Filled with little Brook trout.

7/14. if you wanna do this, start early. I reached by 7.30 in the morning and the parking space was full and cars were already lined up along the road for atleast half a mile. so better reach early.

And the hike, OMG it's just amazing. lots and lots of wild flowers along the entire hike. so if you are interested in photography flowers, it's for you. The trail is well marked. The view does not disappoint you. The spot where tree line ends is just spectacular.

overall it took 3.5 hours uphill and just 2.5 hours downhill. be prepared to spend a good 7 hours on the trails and lake overall.

Above the tree line it is there are some loose rocks, so be careful. The lake is greenish blue adds to the amusement. Just walk past the lake for an amazing Mountain panoramic view.

The initial part of the joint trail that serves a number of hikes is gentle although the quality of the trail can hit the feet in places!
The turn to the Crater lakes begins the fun/hurt, the gradient at times was a challenge for a 66 years young person who lives at sea level but for the young and locals the trip to the first lakes is moderate. Then you look up and see people trying to climb what seems like a vertical trail to the lakes beyond. That climb also includes scrambling over two areas of boulders, again easier for the younger hikers - overall a good trip especially if you manage the final climb - a great sense of achievement.

Great little hike with beautiful views! A waterfall gushes noisily by you once you’re halfway up, and wildflowers are abundant at this time of the year. It has a good amount of shade as well. The only disadvantage is parking at the trailhead. This is a VERY busy trail, and parking is a nightmare. We added a mile each way to our hike because of the parking situation. I would try and take a 4WD with high clearance to allow for parking closer to the trailhead - Basically you can go down a narrow rocky road (read the directions on other hikes in this app, that start at Hessie trail head - King Lake, Jasper Lake). If your car can make it through that path (which also has water year around, so you are driving through a small stream), your hike will be shorter. Else, your best bet with parking is somewhere in the town of Eldora. Good luck and enjoy the hike!

Best views with the most exciting hike to the top!

It was so beautiful my eyes could barely stand it. Definitely do the final lake. It takes a scramble but it’s more like a playground of rocks.

This trail was worth every minute of the 7 hours we spent on it! The views were phenomenal and nothing else compared to the beauty we saw here. The following day I went to Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow falls and found them to be less impressive because I went on this hike the day before. We took beautiful pictures at each of the stops we saw on the trail so if you plan on stopping to take in the sights, it will more than likely take you about 7 hours as well.

A word of warning, we went on 7/8/18 and the mosquitos were absolutely terrible even though we were using Off Deep Woods spray. Consider covering up more or using a bug repellent that’s more lotion based.

SO CROWDED/HEAVILY TRAFFICKED. Arrived at 8:30am on Friday 7.13. Upper lot was full and there were about 15 cars lined up along the road, so ~30 cars total. Once on the trail though, I was able to pass a few groups then was mostly alone. Definitely want to do this one in the AM because like others have said, coming down the volume of people had almost doubled.

Of course we're all there because the hike is amazing with lots of running brooks cutting across the trail, wildflowers, nice shade for the first half, and amazing views at the top. Was tough to trail run with so much loose granite towards the top, but I made due.

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