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hiking
22 hours ago

A great hike, the weather is perfect now, just a little bit of icy patches at top. An excellent way to spend a couple of hours outdoors, Not too strenuous

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.

hiking
4 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

Fabulous! Parking spaces open when we arrived at 9 am. Spikes until the last mile and then it got deep and tricky. Super windy at the lake but lovely. Snow shoes necessary to get to the lake. Took us 3.5 hours to finish! Awesome day!

Beautiful winter trail! Did this trail today and the snow was perfect. Snowshoes were definitely helpful, but can easily be done using only spikes. This took us around 4 hours round trip with plenty of photo stops and a little break up top. A good moderate hike

hiking
7 days ago

Completed this hike (+ a little extra) with my girlfriend in late summer. We did not set out with a definitive plan...got a late start, around 10am. We attempted to reach Green Lake after Black Lake, but turned around halfway (around 11,150ft) due to approaching storm clouds, and wanting to be back before dark.

Hard is an accurate rating, especially the last half-mile to Black Lake, and the extra mile we did after. I'm in moderate shape, and my girlfriend was visiting from sea level (her first hike above 10,000 ft!). We took a fair number of breaks for snacks and pictures...our Fitbits said 12 miles, 36,000 steps, in ~9 hours. The hike itself was not daunting, but we were exhausted by the end, and sore for a few days after.

Top pros were that the views were spectacular, and that the trail was mostly well marked. The exceptions are that we never saw the turn to Shelf Lake and Solitude Lake. We also completely lost the trail in the bolderfield between Black Lake and Green Lake, which contributed to our decision to turn-around.

The biggest con, and reason for not giving it a 5th star, was the heavy traffic up to Mills Lake. We even got stuck behind a lady talking on her cellphone for awhile. We chose to skip a number of attractions (i.e. Alberta Falls) to avoid, and try and surpass, the crowds. Fortunately, most people stopped at, or before, Mills Lake. We saw less than two dozen people between Mills Lake and our turnaround.

Overall an excellent hike that we hope to do again, next time with an earlier start, a better plan, and hopefully in a little better shape!

It's a Moderate hike I'd say. the out houses were locked when we got there so that was kinda cruddy. Hike wasn't the most beautiful, in my opinion. Although, the closer you get to the falls, the more scenic the trail becomes and the waterfall itself was pretty stellar. Trail is a little narrow in some areas. Pretty rocky towards the top, so just be careful during the winter or simply when its wet.

Completed Black Lake 11/28. Traction was nice to Mills, not necessary. Flotation was necessary after Mills. Trail was not difficult to follow despite being faint from wind. Last .7m added a few tricky spots weaving through the creek. Not enough snow pack in some spots to keep from post holing, avoidable with attention. Skis would have been great.

Great hike summer or winter will need spikes for sure

Not to bad of a winter trail
Some ice

hiking
18 days ago

With the winter storm yesterday, I was met with knee-to-thigh-deep snow for the majority of the hike, so I definitely let out a few war cries on the ascent. It was still a great experience and gave me an insane workout. I recommend trekking poles, knee-high gaiters, water resistant clothing, and snow shoes or skis. Micro spikes were almost worthless due to the post-holing, but they'll be more applicable once the terrain hardens. If you're faced with similar weather (newly fallen, powdery snow), I'd roll out with snow shoes/gaiters at a minimum.

The trailhead parking lot was well-plowed, so those with sedans and non-AWD/4x4 should still be able to access the lot regardless of the trail condition.

Hiking Quandary Peak is challenging in the winter, but its doable and fulfilling if you start early. Also, it's one of the least likely 14ers to be affected by avalanches due to the ridge trail, so that's a plus.

Amazing trail. Amazing!!!

It’s so beautiful! We went in August later in the afternoon and it wasn’t terrible crowded. We had the final 2 lakes all to ourselves. The stairs heading up to the waterfall were the worst part. Beautiful hike!

Hiked in the snow. The views while limited on a cloudy day also was beautiful.

Beautiful hike. On Thanksgiving Day the trail to Mills Lake was well traveled, and because the snow was well packed I only wore microspikes and gaiters until about a mile before Black Lake at which point I put on the snowshoes to avoid postholing the rest of the way. I found the trail to be easy to follow past Mills Lake, but the ascent to Black Lake, while readily visible was not well broken, and felt like an awful lot of work for the distance covered. I did not continue on to Frozen Lake. While I found Mills Lake to be stunning, seeing the Black Lake cirque made me audibly gasp because of the immensity of it's beauty.

Gorgeous hike in late September. Colors abound, blue sky, no wind. Stopped at the Loch for a snack break and then onward and upward. Icy near the falls right before sky pond...and the falls were quite icy. Did not attempt to climb on up. Views from below the falls back towards Loch just outstanding. Decent days hike but if you take your time (especially if you are a flat lander in your late 50’s...) it can be done. Favorite hike yet in RMNP. May try going up during warmer weather next time.

Absolutely amazing in the snow! The trail to Mills Lake is very well marked, and it took us around 1.25 hours to get to Mills. The lake is frozen and fun to walk around on and is just stunning. Would definitely recommend! We did not go further than Mills Lake.

I’ve done this hike so many times now. It will probably always be my favorite! It’s great for those who are new to hiking, or haven’t in a long while getting back into it. It had a nice steady incline until you reach the last stretch of stairs. The views are amazing!

hiking
26 days ago

I did start on the class 3 side and do the entire loop it was well worth it if you don’t mind the danger and length. I would do it again just to camp at blue lake and then hike around. Just the popular trail took about 3 hours. It will take less than 5 for an average person I think just get there early for good parking on the weekend

28 days ago

Had a bluebird sky today and there were only two other people on the trail. We were almost there and lost the trail and never made it to the falls! Disappointed but the snow/no snow mix made things really unclear as to where to go and there are no markers. This is my third time and only time in the snow. Still a beautiful place to be.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful hike! There are still some patches of snow/ice/water, but not a problem with hiking boots. Ran into just a handful of hikers and runners.

hiking
1 month ago

Summited 11/13/2018. Gorgeous blue skies with intermittent cloud cover. Good snow pack through the trees. Above treeline was alternating solid pack and some post-holing. We mainly followed the “Old Quandary” trail, although with the snow it was difficult to be sure we were on trail most of the time. Wind came in semi-strong gusts at about 13k and up, but oddly stopped at the summit. Gear used and recommended for winter: Waterproof Boots, Gaiters, Microspikes, Trekking Poles, Heavy Jacket and Shell.

I made it to Sky Pond on 11/12 after about 6 inches of snow the night before. The trail all the way up to the Loch was well traveled and I was able to do it with good winter boots only, no traction devices needed although as the fresh snow goes away and turns into ice I would highly recommend Micro spikes. After the Loch snowshoes were essential and the climb up to Lake of Glass should only be attempted with crampons/ice axe it is almost entirely ice and rock at this point. Put your snowshoes back on for the last half mile to Sky Pond and enjoy, definitely one of the best destinations in the park.

hiking
1 month ago

I went sunday, 11/11/18. The final 0.6 miles of road was closed so the whole hike is about 9 miles round trip. It was absolutely gorgeous, it was snowing when I went, wasn't too bad till you get past Fern Falls, then it was about a foot of unpacked snow. If it's fresh snow, I'd recommend taking snowshoes, tho not completely necessary, I went in trailrunners and the whole thing was about 3 1/2 hours round trip, tho I may hike faster than average, I'd plan for probably 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Highly recommend it, especially in the snow, if possible, get the lodge at Fern Lake, that would be absolutely amazing to wake up to that!

Mills Lake is beautiful! Wanted to head as far as Black Lake but it was getting dark and the snow was high af, not really a visible trail once you reach the sign a ways after Mills Lake.

Super doke lake, one of the most beautiful someone I meet on the trail said. Once I arrived I was in agreement with him on several accounts.

Made it to Lake of Glass last week after a scale up glacier and snow. There wasn't really a trail so went off the cuff with my boy, snow was deep af. Was a lil past 3:30pm so didn't want to head full way to Sky Pond just to be stuck in the dark trying to make way back down cliff side. Such a sick ass trail and experience though.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked November 10. We started at about 8am. We didn’t summit and neither did anybody we passed (probably 15ish people total). We made it to about 13,000ft but the wind was too gnarly to make it the rest of the way.
We still had a blast, had a wonderful view, and were safe. If you’re planning on summiting bring some snow shoes and a good wind jacket and face protection! Hiking poles would probably be good too.
Definitely going to try again!

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this trail! Started at the fern lake trailhead, hiked to the pool and made the climb. Very snow covered and a few icy spots. But incredible views at the top prior to getting to the lake. We had the trail to ourselves. So diverse in what you see. It’s a must hike for RMNP!!

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