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Did an overnight trip and camped at the lake. This was such a great experience and it was my first backpacking trip. I would recommend and will be back!

Nice loop that will get your blood pumping. Not too strenuous though. Great views of red rocks

Nice and fun! Close to Denver! It’s connected to a bunch of other trials too! Pretty easy and relaxed and you seem some bikers.

Pretty chill with good views and some nice terrain variations. Relaxed and quick trip outside Denver.

Nice steep incline to start and great views! Not crazy packed and met nice people along the way! I’ll be back because it’s only 27minutes from where I live in Denver!

Trail and hike are generally good, but lots of construction along first 0.5-1 mile from parking lot. Hiked all the way up today, but wind was howling. Wind-breaker and warm hat a MUST, and you’ll want gloves too!

hiking
14 days ago

Nice inclined to get the blood
Pumping! Completed in just over an hour at a nice pace. Dogs loved it!

Beautiful trail!! Love the atmosphere there! Last mile is the hardest but as soon as you get to the top makes the whole struggle worth it!!! It is very windy and cold at the top so bundle up.

Easy hike cool that it’s close to red rocks can hear a little bit of music if something is going on there

Easy trail. With beautiful views of the red rocks. Passed a few mountain bikes and fellow hikers but overall not too busy for a Friday.

Very good trail for beginners, 2,5h while going really slow. Perfecr workout, nice views on red rocks.

Close to the city. Short distance.

amazing views of the flatlands and mountains. gorgeous hike for so close to Denver. loved the history!

The historical ruins are very cool! Took a visiting family member from out of state and it seemed like a good fit for her while still adjusting to the altitude. Pretty crowded with lots of familes and dogs. No amazing vistas, but some decent overlooks and views to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It's nice how all the little side trails connect so you can add or minus mileage as you like. Found the historical information and ruins to be the coolest part of the day.

Trails are decent. Climb is challenging. Views are breathtaking. A must for anyone hiking/backpacking in Taos area

Lots of variety.

It's pretty much a reverse version of Dakota Ridge and Red Rocks Trail. First mile or so was boring, but once it gets closer to Red Rocks, the view gets better. Good and fun trail for beginner hikers. Have fun!

AMAZING AMAZING HIKE...but the miles are off for this trail. I agree with Doug Hess below, my Apple Watch showed 17.8 miles round trip for this hike! We were not expecting to go twice the number of miles for this hike but it was well worth it. The trail is hard to find (especially on the saddle) I’m guessing we meandered off and ended up off trail for better views of the lakes. I went with 2 other fit college students and we made our way out and back in around 7 hours with breaks and food.
Bring warm clothes, sunscreen and lots of food
It’s a long way up there. The switchbacks in the midsection are brutal on the way up and down I highly recommend poles and hiking shoes that don’t squish toes on the way down.
This hike is hard on the knees, and it’s exhausting. Worth the views!!

Shaded soft trail is great for running. Lots of lovely sounds from the creek and wildlife. Dog loved wading in the water.

I would give it a five because the views at top are amazing, but kind of want to give the trail itself a 3 since many parts are in bad condition.

An enchanted forest! Evergreens, lots of shade simply beautiful and good workout.

I stayed at Mt. Elbert Lodge and used Black Cloud Trail all the way to the summit. I also think the mileage reported is a little short of what the hike really is. We started at 4:45 AM and ended around 2:30 to 3:00 PM. Some of us were in shape, some from Colorado, and a few of us from Indiana. It was everyone's first 14er aside from one person. The first portion of the hike is pretty brutal, as we started off like we were in the smoky mountains and could just push. We slowed pretty quick. The views were fantastic the whole way. The false summits can wear you down mentally if you aren't prepared. I took 3 liters of water and plenty of high protein snacks. Force yourself to eat and drink if you're a flatlander. I'll never do it again just because there are so many other new peaks to experience, but I recommend this if you want a challenge and sense of accomplishment. Very few people on this trail, also. Lastly, Mt. Elbert Lodge is awesome, the Twin Lakes Inn for dinner was really good, and the city of Leadville was pretty cool. Can't wait to plan my next 14er in this wonderful state.

Very nice hike.

hiking
1 month ago

A bit crowded on a Saturday, and most of the trail is totally exposed so got pretty hot even in the mid-morning. No incredible vistas but decent views throughout. Ruins were neat.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice historical hike.

completed this a number of times, latest was today after a 4 year hiatus due to injuries. terrific above tree line views. The climb as always is relentless, even considering the new switchbacks put in a few years ago. Be prepared for rapid changes in weather, especially in monsoon season.
The lower Williams Lake section has been rerouted to accommodate mountain development, in my estimation it has not disturbed the major portion of this section.

Great hike, start early!

hiking
1 month ago

We did the Turkey Trot loop.
Great way to get your heart pumping for us seniors who are starting out and we loved the views. Today was cloudy and cooler so it wasn't a bad day for the climb but the trail was very busy, probably due to the holiday.

trail running
1 month ago

Was there on 8-31-18, took Castle Trl up and Turkey Trot down. Great views, nice weather. I went early enough that I didn't need to bring water with me but I can see where if it were any hotter then it's needed. Saw lots of rabbits but no snakes as another post mentioned.

hiking
1 month ago

One my favorite trails in the Denver area, wife and I went today! It’s a workout but a great hike!

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