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This hike was amazing! My 7 and 9 yr old said it was the best part of our vacation. The lake and waterfall at the top are so worth the effort, I highly recommend this trail!

tricky hike. some parts very steep and rocky. went with kids (4 and 7) and they were capable - but we took several stops on the way up.
the payoff is the lake at the top and spouting rock. very beautiful.
as others mentioned, lots of people on the hike. this isn't so bad as most are friendly, but if you are looking for a serene hike this is not it. the real problem are the hikers who bring their dogs (not allowed) and cut the switchbacks (not allowed) etc.

Amazing!!! And worth the hike up!! ❤️ Spouting Rock was spectacular as well!!

Awesome hike, but very steep at times. If hiking with younger children, be prepared to take frequent rests, water breaks and snacks. The view is worth the effort. Make note due to popularity, they will limit daily access to 615 people starting May 2019.

I realize that this is a relatively short hike, but I am still surprised that this isn't listed as "hard." The climb up to the lake is super steep with no switchbacks - you just follow the path of the creek the entire way up. The lake is, of course, pretty amazing. Deep turquoise water with trickling falls feeding it from the other side. Mossy rock faces and rugged canyon walls on either side of the valley.

Worthy of its reputation, for sure.

Definitely a moderate hike, I was a little out of shape when we went but it was a blast. We went at 6:30am and there was plenty of parking and it was a beautiful trail!

This hike is beautiful and it is steep. The hike is not that far of a distance, but with the elevation gain it takes a lot longer than a normal 3 mile hike. The views are amazing and the lake at the top is magical. My favorite part is actually just before the lake where there is a wonderful look out of the steep, chiseled canyon. Not too many other places in the US where you can see something like that!
The drive through Glenwood canyon to get here in the first place is pretty spectacular, as the highway follows the river through the canyon. This hike follows another narrower side canyon. There were lots of people on the trail when we went on a Wednesday in August around lunch time. Parking was tight and we had to circle the lot a couple times before getting lucky and getting someone's spot as they left. Unfortunately there's nowhere else to park further away as the road only takes you right back to the highway entrance.
I would definitely recommend this hike for some great views and a beautiful blue lake, but be prepared to fight for parking and climb some elevation. Its definitely worth it!

Amazing!!!!!

Hard but short hike up! Totally worth it a

The view was worth the hike!

It was a little longer than a mile, honestly wasn’t worth it. It was beautiful, don’t get me wrong but it’s so small and the fact you can’t swim in it anymore makes it out for a little disappointing. Other than that the trail has 7 bridges you cross before you get to the end, was super rocky and the scenic views were gorgeous.

Guys, DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH SEVEN FALLS! For one, this is free. Also, I had much more fun here.
Keep going up the mountain/road after Helen Hunt falls and you will see a huge parking lot. Go west through the gated dirt road and then after 0.7 mi (according to GPS/Fitbit) you will see the 622 post. My husband and I had fun taking pictures at every bridge we hit. I really enjoyed this hike. From the parking lot to the end of bridge 7 and back, my Fitbit clocked 3.47 mi.
There seems to be paths everywhere, but remember the whole path is along the creek. If you think you’re getting too far away from the creek, you probably are.

Challenging (moderate/difficult) to Surprise Lake and a more moderate second half to Upper Cataract Lake. We left the TH at 6:30am, arrived at Upper Cataract shortly after 9:00am. We fished with small spinners and spoons and caught four brook trout. Great hike, we will be back to camp at Surprise Lake!

excellent hike. beautiful

hiking
5 days ago

make sure to get there early! also we had some trouble finding the signs haha but it overall was absolutely gorgeous and very nice.

I consider this trail to be strenuous, and I typically only seek out strenous trail. 2nd time to Parika Lake on a day hike, and since I had my head lamp with decided to do the whole trail instead of walk the same trail. Past Parika Lake is some pretty heavy exposure to me. Your essentially hiking a narrow ridge with dramatic vertical dropoffs and the wind along those ridges is steady and huge. Glad I made it down safely because I didn't expect the trail to keep climbing like that. Like another hiker said two continental divide crossing past Parika Lake. Cake walk down hill after that. My legs were just noodles. I wouldn't want to hike it clockwise, because I feel going downhill,on those exposed areas would be shady. I rate it strenuous.

My first solo trip. Weather was perfect and the trail lived up to all my expectations. CLockwise and glad I did!

Really awesome hike - short but steep and worth it. Saw a snake around 1 pm today. Definitely got lucky with parking!

Beautiful waterfalls.

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

Arrived at the trailhead around 4:45PM on Friday. Easy climb With most traffic coming down as we were going up. Only another 6 people at the lake at the same time. Still pretty, but looking rough. Since I was there in 2013 the lake is not as clean with trash was floating on the surface and foam covering the water up to about 10’ from shore. Disappointed and don’t expect to be back.

Love the coolness of the trails through the forest. The bridges are pretty well maintained. The views are amazing.

Bunch of knobs on the trail

Pretty. Parking not an issue before 7am on a Saturday, and a lot less people to contend with. I have to say one of the best things about this is that no dogs are allowed on the trail. So rare to hike a mile without seeing a single poop bag or someone's special exception running around off leash.

Hiking back down around 9 there was a steady flow of people making their way to the top and the rangers were only allowing one car in when another car would leave.

The lake is amazing......such an unexpected "tropical" wonder in the mountains!!! Parking was very tough and the trail was a bit crowded- but well worth it!!!

Great hike! The views were amazing! Totally worth the climb.

We arrived to start the loop on Saturday morning at 5:30 am. Were greeted with overnight lot full sign. There were two parking spots in the overflow area just before the overnight lot. When we walked thru the overnight lot, there was one open spot. When we returned on Tuesday both of those parking areas were full. You might have to check out the other overflow parking area to find a parking spot.
We did the loop CW to West Maroon pass first. We did this because one hiker was not acclimated, and this direction is not as steep. The valley was crowded with hikers and runners up to the pass. The camp sites between West Maroon and Frigid Air are about 1/4 mile off the trail in the trees. There is a stream for water between the trail and campsites.
Thunderstorm started at 6 pm and rained and sleeted for a couple of hours. Intermittent rain thru the night. Only about 800 ft elevation change from camp to Frigid Air pass, a 100 yard section was steep and slick from the rain, so it was a relatively easy morning hike. 2100 ft elevation change downhill into the next valley.
We camped just after the intersection with the Geneva lake trail. Several nice camp sites in the area and water is close at the river.
Third day was a tough one. First 2170 ft elevation change up to Trail Rider pass. 1700 ft elevation change down into the Snowmass lake area. Then 800 ft elevation change up to our next campsite. The area was dry due to the summer conditions, so a lot of streams were dried up. There is water in Snowmass lake but we didn't need water at the time. We didn't really want to pull water out of the swamp, though the beaver dam was busted and it was flowing. At the campsites halfway up to Buckskin pass, there were two good streams for water.
Fourth day another roughly 800 ft elevation change to Buckskin pass, then close to 3000 ft downhill to the parking lot.
Outside of the main valley the trail was not crowded. Beautiful flowers, lakes and mountain scenery. Lots of animals, pikas, marmots, deer and a mountain goat guarding Buckskin pass.
Doing the trail in the CW direction was right of us, so the unacclimated hiker was able to make it. But it does make the last half of the hike the hard section. If you are a flatlander and live at low elevation like me, I do recommend spending a 3 or 4 days to acclimate before doing high altitude hiking.

hiking
8 days ago

Really beautiful hike. A nice short warm up for an easy 14’er. We finished at 10 am and the park rangers were already blocking off the parking lot. Lots of people and kids for a Friday, We started out around 7:30 a.m., but stopped a few times for pic’s and a snack. Glad we got this one checked off before the restrictions are enforced next year...

hiking
8 days ago

I completed this hike during the week in mid August 2018. The trail had a few people on it. I had heard that it was often crowded on the weekends. I hiked well past the seventh bridge staying within site of the creek. After I hiked across several steep sandy parts void of trees, I was in the trees again. I could see what I thought was the summit. The weather rolled in, it started to rain so I turned around and headed out. I will return to this trail again.

hiking
8 days ago

The Lake and Spouting Rock (don’t miss this) are some of the most beautiful rewards at the end of any Colorado hike we’ve done. Just beautiful. The hike itself is pretty short, but it is challenging. We started at 8am and it was crowded throughout. Total time was 1:45 with a generous break at the top. Be aware there is a sign that says they are going to reduce access starting in 2019.

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