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1 month ago

Did this hike 8/22/18...for my friends 70 b’day challenge. Very enjoyable hike with wonderful views . We started st 5am to avoid afternoon showers. Trail well marked and thank goodness for the carens as we traversed the boulder field at the top. The donuts tasted soooo good when we reached the top... and yes, lots of people st the summit!

Its snowshoe season!

Tough but beautiful!!! worth the work!!

The best in Colorado

Awesome trail! Couple of inches of snow on the trail this morning! Time to start whipping out cross country skiis and snow shoes!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike. The hike is pretty steep from the very beginning and doesn't let up much. There is some snow from about 12,000 ft onward, but you can still find the trail as of this posting. The saddle between Belford and Oxford was crazy windy today! We spent a lot of energy leaning into in hopes of staying on the mountain (not that we really would have been blown off).

My first 14er. It felt pretty moderate to me, no section of the trail felt hard. Beautiful views from the summit and good colors on the aspens down low. 9-30-18

2 months ago

This is a steep hike, but definitely worth it. Stunning at the top, but really gorgeous the entire way up to the top.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trek, did a version of this last summer. You can read the full story here:
http://thousandtreks.com/2018/09/22/hiking-maroon-bells.html

Beautiful trail in the fall, even if you just go to Independence Lake.

We did this trail in early August with great weather. The trailhead is up the road about a half mile on the left and is easy to miss. There's a great variety of views a long the way, streams, valleys and a beautiful forest below the tree line. A lot of bouldering above the tree line, there's plenty of cairns but it's easy to lose the trail. Amazing but very difficult hike. It took us nearly as long to get down as it did to get up because of how steep it is. Poles highly recommended!

hiking
2 months ago

Did this one in August, beautiful views. Long hike with a steady incline but not incredibly difficult. Bring lots of water and be prepared for the summit to be buzzing... with people who drove up : |.

Beautiful scenery, very diverse (meadows, forest, open space above tree line with amazing views, stunning lake), trail well maintained. Would highly recommend and would do it again! One thing I would like to add is that the mileage seems a bit off. I measured about 8 miles out and back.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this hike. Started at Lost Msbn TH and walked up to what might be described as the head of the valley about halfway before turning back. Pity this 'loop' trail doesn't end back at he same spot. A real walkers hike rather than a climb at least for the part I did. Super views and open all the way. Saw one person on the way back in the afternoon, a hunter looking for deer. Hope he didn't find any.

hiking
3 months ago

It took 20 hours of climbing over two days to reach the summit. Climbed 8/1/18-8/2/18 with great weather. It was my 5th 14er and the most technical. I would not have made it without a guide. I used Nate from Aspen Expeditions. I’m going to pick something easier next year.

on American Lakes Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked today and was impressed with the views...then we saw the moose on the trail. Incredible! Just hike up to Snow Lake...you won’t regret it. Maybe 15-20 people in the 10 miles we hiked.

hiking
3 months ago

Outstanding! Ideal for backpacking in to camp at the end of the trail before it gives way to trails to Thunder Pass and Snow Lake. Could hike to Thunder Pass one day and Snow Lake another, or crush them both in one day!

hiking
3 months ago

Stunning the whole way!

Important: the trailhead is up the road a short distance, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 mi on the LEFT next to the green gate (right past it). There are small cairns but easy to miss- look for a sign that says “Attention...” This hike seemed much longer than 8-9 mi, I was with a group of 3 and we all had ~13 mi on our devices. There’s a large boulder field and good deal of scree, which makes the last 2-3 mi pretty grueling. There are also a couple of false summits, so watch for the trail continuing on. I’ve done Huron, Belford, Oxford, and Missouri and this one was the hardest for me. I call this one the beast- such a beautiful beast, though!

One of the best 14ers and trails that I’ve done. Beautiful start through the aspens - the leaves are just starting to change color. There’s a lot of hiking above tree line but you’re on the proper side of the ridge to avoid a lot of the wind until near the summit. A couple of false summits may trick you but the second is almost level with the final summit. A tiny bit of scrambling may be required but the views are well worth it.

3:30AM start on Saturday. Chilly with some frozen precipitation. Summit at 7:20. Warmed up a bit on the way down. No flashlight needed above treeline with a 2/3 moon overhead.

hiking
3 months ago

What a great hike! 6 Moose and some deer along the trail. Lots of wild flowers and enough of a distance and elevation gain for a good workout. The lakes at the top were amazing. Quite a few campers staying over night by the lakes. Trail is very rocky in several places, but easy to follow with so many different views from thick forest, open meadows to hill top scenery.

One of the easier class 2s in the Collegiate Peaks, just like most there is a good amount of scree to hike on toward the summit. Made it fun to trail run down after summiting at 8:30Am Aug.31.18, outstanding views of the many surrounding lakes and tallest 14ers in CO. (Massive, Harvard, Elbert) this was my 46th 14er summit as well, thought I should add that as I’ve seen in the past comments it was the hardest one they’ve done..as far as class 2s go I would rank as Moderate. Basically no exposure, and no intense boulder fields just scree piles. Similar climb as compared to Mt. Massive, personally I think Harvard and Columbia are a little more difficult due to the length of the trip. Bring wind gear!

the absolute hardest hike I have ever done. wanted to do a 14er with an incredible view and 14ers.com reiterated the amazing view from La Plata Peak. the hike itself is intense! once you pass the tree line you are basically hiking very steeply on loose dirt and jumping rock to rock. the wind the day we went was about 50-60 mph too (definitely had some thoughts about turning around but we were so close to the top). we started the hike late, around 945 AM and got back to the car around 4 PM so all in all it was 4 hours up and 2 hours down. this hike is not for the faint of heart, it was a mental and physical battle the entire way but the moment you step foot on the summit is one of the most satisfying and breathtaking moments.

Really enjoyed this trail. It was pretty easy going. We took our three dogs along and it wasn’t too difficult for them. They loved playing in the lake at the end. We did not hike up to snow lake or thunder pass. According to my Fitbit, the distance was closer to 8 Miles. Saw three moose on the way out of the parking lot. Would have been a great trail for backpacking.

My new favorite hike! The first section starts off with a steady uphill, but it levels off with lots of switchbacks with views around every corner. We saw a bull moose resting under a tree and a baby moose snacking in the trees. We didn't see mama, but we know she was near. Michigan lake is absolutely stunning especially if you make the hike to Snow Lake. Snow Lake was pretty, but the view of Michigan Lake from there was breathtaking.

3 months ago

Great hike but very challenging for someone in moderate shape. Not my first 14er, but arguably the hardest one I've done to date. difficult switch backs at the beginning, moderate uphill in the middle, followed by more difficult switchbacks at the top. opted for the longer but more forgiving Missouri Gulch route on the way down. Started at 7 a.m. and summited at 11:30. wanted to continue on to Oxford what was completely gassed at the top of Belford.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a spectacular day to climb my second 14er! The weather was partly cloudy with mild temperatures. Since it was a Saturday, there were a fair number of people gathering at the trail head and lots of cars filling the parking lot and lining the road. For the most part, this hike was all about the ascent-from beginning to end there were many steep grades and innumerable switchbacks all the way up. It was definitely more challenging then Pikes Peak via the Barr Trail. On the decent back to Missouri Gulch Trail Head, It was a longer return for a more varied terrain with beautiful valley views and less steep grades. The ascent took about 3 1/2 hours. Afterword, my legs were seriously spent with aching in my knees from the nearly 4 miles to the trailhead.

First couple of miles are easy. Really tough from 2.75 to about 3.75. The next two miles are the easiest of the hike, before the final ascent up some class two scrambling. I’d say the steep rocks are more like half a mile.

The most difficult I ever done. Started with my wife at 5.50 AM . After a pleasant way in the forest, the trail steep immediately. The real challenge is the last 1.5 mile, with talus scrambling and continues loosing the trail. Same thing going down. The view from the top was excellent. We stay about 30' on the top. The descent took more then the climb, because slippery small rocks. We reached the car at 15.00 PM. Very hard and challenging hike, but it worth. Not recommended for beginners and need some training before to go. Me too recommend to pay attention at the location of the start of the trail, especially in the dark. I think a little more info should be posted at this place.

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