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Went early Sunday morning (12/9). Microspikes would have been nice, but by no means did you NEED them. 90% of the hikers were wearing tennis shoes (including me). Just take it slow if you are nervous about slipping. Don’t let other reviews or Alltrails “HARD” status affect your decision.

on Royal Arch Trail

trail running
4 days ago

On a beautiful Sunday, it was relatively calm and I had the trail to myself for large portions of the trip although traffic increased toward late morning. Packed snow after the final creek crossing and used traction for most of the ascent. Removed for the downclimbing rock scramble 'cause the rocks were clear then put them back on for the last portion to the Arch. Repeated on the descent.

hiking
4 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.

snowshoeing
6 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.

hiking
11 days ago

Hiked 12/3. The hike from bear lake to dream lake is our favorite in the park, regardless of the season. Today was no exception. We took snowshoes with and used them the whole time. The hike from the parking lot to dream lake could be easily done with micro spikes. From there to lake Haiyaha will require snowshoes in its current state. Less traffic on this trail and recent snow makes it loose, narrow and uneven in a lot of places. You’ll have to stay tight and inside in a lot of places to keep from sinking a falling down the ridge.

With caution, it’s very doable. We are not super experienced in snowy mountains and managed just fine. It’s worth the trip.

been there twice last 2 weeks.
bring microspikes. it will make your hike safer and easier. by the end is windy, amazing views. few people hiking it in November.

hiking
17 days ago

Great hike! Yaktraxs are an absolute must as a majority of the trail is covered in ice. Make sure you take your time; we saw some people slip and fall and it’s easy to get hurt. Although they weren’t wearing spikes those that were were still using caution. It’s well worth it once you get to the top!

hiking
21 days 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!

hiking
21 days ago

Some mud but not problematic. A little past halfway we put on micro spikes for slush/ice/packed snow. After that, just before the arch, we came to a stretch where we stopped to take the spikes off. There were more hikers up there today, Thanksgiving, without spikes than with, but we were happy we brought them and others commented they wish they had them. It would have been a slower hike with lots of slipping especially on the steep parts.

Wasn’t hard to follow the trail but use the All Trails app to stay on track as there are some ambiguous forks.

Parking lot is crazy busy with fees required in summer months. Restrooms are at ranger station at the parking lot trailhead. Busy at the lower section, lots of dogs.

Arch is cool and worth the trek, wouldn’t rave about the view - just the front range with former Rocky Flats site at center stage. Views of Boulder are nice as you come back to parking lot.

hiking
22 days ago

Nice moderate hike. The snow on the trail is well packed, microspikes were nice but not needed. Any travel off of the main trail (even by 1 foot) will need snowshoes.

Very pretty. Slick in a lot of places. Was easier with spikes on.

hiking
24 days ago

Impossible without spikes. The trail is ice the entire way. On the plus side, the views are awesome, and we were the only people on what is a normally very busy trail.

snowshoeing
24 days 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

Hiked this trail on 11/17/18 to Elk Falls. The trail is broad and extremely easy to follow, and I would rate this is more of an easy rather than moderate hike. Saw several elk about a mile in, both hiking out and back. It’s mostly open/not heavily forested, and part of the trail follows along the service road for the park. The SR trail was largely bereft of snow; however, the BE and CR trails were covered, although not heavily. Had microspikes, but didn’t use them. The only somewhat challenging part was descending down to see the falls, and trekking poles would be nice for that, as well as for parts of the service road that are covered in snow.

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 !

hiking
27 days ago

A great short hike. A little icy in places after snow.

hiking
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

This is borderline easy-moderate. The majority of the trail was snow and ice covered on 11/10/2018. We had microspikes and didn't have any issues. Would definitely recommend microspikes or snow shoes in the near future as winter starts moving in. The streams are partially frozen but you can still see some water flow - makes for some neat ice formations! The lakes and ponds are all frozen but still very pretty

hiking
1 month ago

Tough trail for beginners. Definately a good workout. This is also a very popular trail.

We did it about a month ago! One of my favorites! Loved the colorful fall trees! Definitely a "MUST do" in fall.

hiking
1 month ago

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!

snowshoeing
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

Awesome hike. Not overwhelming hard but tough for moderately in-shape folks. Mostly climbing steps. Gorgeous view at the top.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

Trail was not super tough. I would highly recommend using spikes. I did not and was fine. Just watch where you’re stepping. Though my wife did use spikes and said she felt much more comfortable coming back down. There was an incident with a dislocated hip. Not sure if it was from a fall or whatnot, but it is better to be safe than sorry. As you get further up trail you run between dry land/rocks and icy areas. The end is def worth the hike up. Just be careful!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike. Leg burner for sure!

hiking
1 month 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.

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