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hiking
1 day ago

Very rocky trail, too many people and a drained lake. It should be called a reservoir not a lake. People should be TOLD when getting a permit that the lake has been drained. Huge disappointment. (see pic of Jasper pond)

Beautiful trail - definitely spend some time by the lake if you can! I went in the afternoon on a weekday and it wasn't too busy.

This trail felt like walking through a fairy tail. Just too perfect. We arrived at 4:30, after the crowds were leaving; but the trail was still swamped with people. Completely worth the crowds. Just magical.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice varied trail. Nice lake destination at the end. I arrived at 8am and there were only a few cars in the parking lot. I had the lake all to myself for a half hour, and then only 6 other people were there for the next half hour. On the way down I did pass 50 people hiking up. So maybe get there early because it is pretty peaceful. I wish people didn’t leave their dog poop bags all over the trails though. Just why????????

Went Aug 12-13th and stayed at campsite 17. Absolutely a beautiful trail from start to finish. Ran into 2 small groups of hikers on the trail which was amazing. Made you feel like you were the only people on the trail. Plenty of alone time. The hot springs itself was crowded at night...kind of annoying, but the people were nice....the morning however was very quiet and peaceful. We only stayed one night and I don’t think that was enough. I would have liked a full day of relaxing at the hot springs instead of feeling rushed to do the 9 mile hike back to the car. Campsite 17 is about a 20 min hike up to the springs FYI. I heard some negative reviews about the hot springs being dirty and It wasn’t at all. I think the new permit system has really helped cut down on the over crowding. Please be respectful of this beautiful gem! Pack in and pack out!

This place is a hidden gem! The cattle were loitering at the trailhead, but beyond that I was completely alone. In all my hikes and parks, I’ve never had such a sense of solitude. There’s solitude and then there’s SOLITUDE. If you want to unplug for a couple of hours, each lunch on a butte (or at the picnic tables), and let your thoughts unwind come here.

The long dirt road there is like a preview of the solitude and view you’ll have.

hiking
1 day ago

Couldn't have asked for a better hike today. The weather was beautiful, we had to park at the Brainard Lake Lot after getting there at 9am. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had expected
Everyone we did come across was super nice and very quiet. If someone can tell me of a place that is this easy of a hike and even more beautiful please let me know. I'm not sure there is a place.

The hike up was more than I anticipated but definitely worth it. I hung out at the lake and made friends with a duck. It was a beautiful midweek day and passed less than ten other adults. Didn’t see anyone younger than a teenager. I wouldn’t bring kids on this hike if you’re doing it from the main trailhead. Too steep and narrow for kids in my opinion!

Nice hike, shade/sun mix.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice, somewhat crowded, trail that goes all the way around the lake. Kids really enjoyed it. Bathrooms are available at different points around the lake, making it user friendly for little ones, and big ones - ha,ha!

The hike is okay. The 'castle' ruins are really neat!

Wonderful views. The trail was great for the kids (ages 6 and 9). Bring your bug repellant of choice. Lots of mosquitos near the lake. Soo beautiful!

The trail was nice until the day's weather decided to turn on us and we were hailed off of the mountain. Fantastic thunderstorm. Will have to try to complete this trail again sometime. The kids enjoyed it before the thunder started rolling!

Even though the heavy weather was rolling in as we were headed back to the trailhead, people were still climbing the ridge! I am guessing that most of these folks were from out of town....people die every year in Rocky from lightening strikes. The weather, hiking etiquette and the 10 essentials need to be taken seriously.

Great trail! Make sure you do the sleepy lion trail up. When you hit Hull ranch do not go that way go to the right where you will find the summit of the trail and a gorgeous view of the lake. We almost missed it and went the Hull route. There’s not a lot of shade on the last 2 miles back so be prepared for that.

Loved this hike! Beautiful as the trail ascends through the forest. Two steep parts, one about1-2 miles in and the ascent to the lake. A small and bigger waterfall and a few stream crossings, love the water! I have two dogs and needed water in addition to my 3 liter camelback. The lake is beautiful and quiet. My dogs loved it too!

Gorgeous area. If going on the weekend, get there early, parking lot does fill up, and area from echo lake to the Idaho Springs reservoir can get quite busy. Well shaded, good distance, pretty lakes, creek, and reservoir. Also dog friendly, expect to see a few. Highly recommend this hike!

Hard but short hike up! Totally worth it a

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful scenery the entire walk and quite spectacular at the top. Considering the low mileage the solitude at the top was surprising.

Absolutely Incredible hike! Easily my favorite hike I’ve done in the 7 years I’ve lived in Colorado! Very challenging but worth every moment of struggle. The entire trail is filled with breathtaking views, each one better than the last!

Start early!! Limited parking if you don’t camp at the trailhead and a big majority of the hike is in the sun so it gets very hot very quickly. We started at 7:20am and were back at the car at 12:30pm (If doing it again I would start even earlier.) The 5 hours included water, snack, picture breaks and about a 25-30 min stop at Ice Lake soaking it all in. We went up to Ice Lake first and then over to Island Lake making the way back down a little more pleasant avoiding incredibly steep loose rock.

We saw a lot of overnight tents through the hike and a couple handfuls at Ice Lake itself. When we got up there just before 10am it was pretty busy and only getting busier by the minute. The hike to Island Lake is about 10 extra minutes and although not as blue still very pretty.

On our way back down we ran into packs and packs of people on their way up which got pretty obnoxious as part of the trail is single track and hard to step off and no one actually has their dogs on leash. So, again, start early and avoid the crowds.

hiking
2 days ago

a beautiful hike

Wonderful trail! Always busy, get there early..

The view was worth the hike!

Didn’t get up to area until 10:30am, on a Monday however no trouble parking at brainard lake parking. Beautiful lakes, meandering paths until you reach Mitchell lake then it is rocky path up to blue lake which is not difficult to navigate. Trails very well marked. Did not attempt little blue, however, it must be beautiful. I can only imagine. It must be a very steep rocky ascent. It wasn’t overly crowded however once at blue lake you certainly see and hear others. I can’t imagine it with more people. We did have a moose sighting which was a gift. This hike is now one of my must dos during my annual visit Home to Boulder

Really cool trail! Especially if you’re looking for a hike that isn’t going to take all day. The fire tower was amazing, the views were insane! My boyfriend discovered that he was terrified of heights but definitely worth the climb! Haha.

beautiful, moderate hike, very crowded on the weekends. recommend arriving at trailhead before 730am. diamond lake has plenty of space for the masses but is busy by 930am. recommended!

This was an absolutely amazing hike! I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 for the following reasons:
1. The hike is listed as easy which it definitely was not, I would say it is more moderate and that is due to the trail being super rocky, picture a river that dried up, that’s what the trail was. But if u can handle that than it is totally worth going, the views r just spectacular all around you! I highly recommend continuing past the lake to where the snow is, the views only get better and it was not hard to hike up there. 2. We got a lil lost on the way back because the trail is not clearly marked, good thing we had the map from this app and a friendly person to point us in the right direction.

hiking
2 days ago

I started this hike at 7:30 a.m. (second car in the otherwise empty parking lot) on a Monday and returned somewhere between 1:15-1:30 p.m. This hike was definitely challenging for me as a flatlander and I had to stop to take breaks quite often. I also spent quite a long time up at the lake *maybe 45 minutes or longer) and took another longer break during my return at the reservoir to soak my feet before making the final uphill climb. I think this hike is moderate for people who live at altitude and hike regularly, or who are otherwise very fit. If you're not much of a fitness enthusiast and don't workout very often, this is going to be a very challenging hike. If you're fit-ish to average on physical activity, this hike is challenging.

It really surprised me to see so many folks without adequate hydration and starting later. Do yourself a favor and start by 7:30 a.m. because there isn't much shade after you get passed 10:30 a.m. All of the regular rules apply: bring sunscreen and reapply once you're up at the lake, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring more water than you think necessary, and pack loads of snacks. I brought 64 ounces of water and drank about 3/4 of it. Didn't encounter too many bugs other than curious bees at the lake. The only wildlife I encountered were birds (saw an eagle at Echo Lake first thing) and chiding squirrels. Trail rules indicate dogs are required to be leashed but most were off-leash - doesn't bother me but it's something to consider if you don't like dogs.

Some additional navigation tips:
-Once you complete the initial descent and get closer to the water, look out for the primitive log bridge to cross
-Exiting the woods, take a left to follow the access road for about a mile; if you're early in the day, you'll pass the Idaho Springs Reservoir and see trout jumping out of the water to feed.
-Follow the access road past the cabins; the trailhead will be ahead on your right with a no-fee permit station. Fill out your permit and take the trail immediately in front of you, not the unmarked trial to your right.
-You'll pass a second sign indicating that you're entering the Mt. Evans Wilderness; don't worry, you're on the right trail.
-I tried finding the trail to the upper lake and was unsuccessful. I ended up following some of the unmarked trails that go around the lake and wound up in a boggy area just before the lake. Maybe avoid that and do more research on picking up the trail to the upper lake than I did.

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