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You have a decent amount of ascent through trees until you get to the breath-taking views but they are SO worth it! It gets snowier and icier the higher you get (until you pass the tree line then the snow was scattered, lots of open ground). You could do it sans extra traction but YakTraks/micro spikes would definitely come in handy! I will say the actual trail is hard to find once you start to pass the tree line, mostly you're just following other people's tracks or making your own way (the vegetation does seem fragile so I wouldn't recommend stomping around all over up there!) If you can make it high enough though the views of the surrounding mountains are stunning! You hear the creek for a while which is nice and there's a pretty large parking area at the trailhead, it was really empty when I went around noon on Saturday 3/17. This trail was a bit of a workout since you're going up the whole time but with lots of water and some breaks you'll definitely be rewarded for the hard work!

Started in the park on the Morrison trail and went all the way around going on Dakota ridge trail. This is a good somewhat difficult hike. going up Dakota ridge was the hardest part. the rest of the hike was fairly easy. I took just over two hours to do the whole loop.

17 hours ago

Beautiful walk through the woods and gorgeous views once you’re above tree line. I definitely recommend spikes. It is almost all uphill for the first half of the hike.

Hiked this today 3/15. It was still extremely muddy and icy in some spots. Micro spikes weren’t necessary but there were a few spots around the 3/4 mark part of the trail that were kind of sketchy and slippery. Also my activity tracker said this loop was closer to 5.6 miles instead of the listed 4.8 here. If you go from
Beaver to Chavez it is mostly downhill the first 2 miles, then some ups and downs the next 1-2 with some steep, rocky sections and winding ledges with steep drop offs, the last section is a lot of uphill which is tough after being spent energy-wise on the first part. Overall I enjoyed this trail but feel it’s probably better in summer. I will wait until then to return.

PS I took my two small older (almost 10 yo) dogs on this trail and they loved it. Had no problems. I think they would love this in the summer when they can cool off in the little creeks!

2 days ago

Windy Saddle has 15 or so parking spots. I hiked full loop including small hike from Windy Saddle to Beaver Brook Trail Head Start (12 miles total) on 3/12/2018.
Ice in spots, and some mud and lots of walking on pine needles.
The first two miles have the best topography of a trail, with a small boulder field to climbing close to large rocks and small drop offs.
After that long winding trail until you get to the end and there can continue up to the top of the peak there. Great Views. I did not have spikes, but was glad to have hiking poles.

4 days ago

Snowshoed up to Black Lake. Trail was hard packed most of the way and switched to micro-spikes for return trip - but snowshoes were helpful for the steep parts of trail ascending to the lake. Round trip took about 5.5 hours with a stop for lunch on the frozen lake. Really beautiful with all of the awesome peaks that frame the basin in which the lake sits.

Very nice hike:). We hiked this trail in mid March and experienced very comfortable weather. A lot of elevation change which was gradual and consistent.

I hiked this trail 3/11/18. There are trail markers every half mile, I went to the 3 mile marker, which actually read 3.9 miles in on my Alltrails tracker. I wore my microspikes the whole way, it's patchy ice/dry but frequent enough ice I just left them on. This is a beautiful hike, only difficulty is parking, the lot is tiny so if you're meeting up with friends I would definitely carpool because it's very likely you won't both be able to park. The first mile has a boulder field and then navigating through some boulders, after that it's just walking a trail that meanders along the hillsides through sun and shade. At the end of the day going to the 3 mile marker and back tracked as 7.5 miles and took me almost 4 hours.

3/10/18. This was a fun but challenging hike. It begins off of the main rd. Under the pipes and to the right. There’s no signage. Then it continues to the slight left up a rocky incline. Trekking poles would be so helpful. Especially when descending. There was lots of soft dirt and loose rock. The trail was really easy to follow until you get near the top, but every time I was unsure there was a cairn left by a friendly hiker, so keep your eyes out for cairns. The way back was tricky. I was off path for a while which can be treacherous since it is very steep in parts. I had phone reception (ATT) luckily, so I could reference the map to see how far off I was. When coming down, it seemed easiest to follow to the left but I still got lost. It’s also very exposed and sunny. Beautiful views.

Very nice trail with fair elevation changes. Trail was a bit muddy, but that’s to be expected this time of year. I would definitely recommend this trail to others

I did the Dakota ridge section of this loop. Very great hike— challenging with beautiful views. I probably wouldn’t do this on a nice weekend as it is full of mountain bikers that often just come barreling through without notice.

The path is extremely icey right now! I expected better scenery through the hike- I think this would be a much better hike for spring/summer.

13 days ago

I did this trail along with White Ranch Loop. It was nothing but muddy trails (60% of the trails were covered with mud!!) even 10 days past after the last snow and it has been warm days(Today was 57F). If you enjoy mud run/hike, do it!

It was a very warm and sunny day for a hike (61 degrees March 4th!) so we warm the whole time! You are on the ridgeline the entire time so if you burn easily, I recommend sunscreen. The trail towards the summit starts right in between the two big pipes that run over your head on the Waterton Canyon Trail. It is very steep in some sections so I recommend going hands free at those times due to the incline! It was a great workout! The views were not particularly stellar, but still a great time spent outdoors! Happy hiking!

13 days ago

Beautiful views of the high country, Boulder, and the foothills. Trail 98% dry on 3/4.

My wife, and dog went yesterday. Lots of ice and snow on this trail, but it is only March. Was very slippery in spots. Did the whole trail in about 3.5 hours, but we were taking our time, stopped to eat, etc. Foot traffic wasn't too bad. Not a very scenic trail this time of year, but still very fun. Most of the creeks were frozen over.

Went yesterday. Pretty icy in spots and most of trail snow packed, but the sun was melting it quickly. Be careful if you go down Chavez as it is steep with much ice. I wore yak tracks and it was fine. Beautiful day hardly anyone else—on a Tuesday.

19 days ago

Great hike today. Be careful in the middle. Snow/ice covering some steep rocks. I didn’t put my traction on but probably should have for a bit at least. False summits are great. And there are several. Trail can be tough to follow in spots. Find the cans at the top then you’re there. I came out at 7.6 miles 2580’ elevation from the parking lot. Pretty interesting in spots. Was the only person on it. Did see the sheep on the way down.

on Goat Mountain Trail

22 days ago

I agree there were a lot of false summits. If you follow the cairns left by others, you will find your way. Three quarters of the way to the end you encounter a lot of snow. Wish I brought gloves. I got to a point where the cairns seemed to lead over a snow covered ledge. I saw no footprints and the way wasn’t clear, so I turned around. I’ll attempt again in warmer weather. Lots of loose rock and gravel made the hike down more treacherous than the climb up.

26 days ago

Nice trail'; not very rocky, which explains all the runners. It was busy but not too crowded on a 70 degree Sunday in February. No ice at that time. When we got to the top of Sanitas, there were a TON of people and dogs!

Great trail!! Did it in about 5 hours including lunch on the trail. Was very crowded once you get on the red rocks trail but wasn’t too bad. Really have to look out for the mountain bikes though cause there were a lot. Overall great trail during the winter and not much mud or snow.

27 days ago

Highly recommend snowshoes and poles right now

27 days ago

No dogs allowed on this trail is probably what made it much less busy than the rest of the trails. We hardly saw anyone until the trail got to the top of Sanitas, then it was packed. Muddy and icy in some spots.

Current conditions: sections of ice and packed snow, but our group of 6 (youngest being 10) did it without spikes or snow shoes.

Fantastic hike down to Beaver Brook with an exciting climb back up

Liked that it was gradual up and down for most of it.

1 month ago

Nice hike up to Mt Sanitas

Bring micro spikes! Windy ledges but just be smart about it

2.10.18 - stunning scenery during light snowfall. traction advised for the next few days as the path gets really narrow with a steep drop off to one side. great gains and altitude peak of over 7100 ft.

1 month ago

Went Feb 9th. The trail has some slick snow/ice spots but it’s still very manageable. Lots of animal tracks and having the trail along the stream was very zen. We were lucky enough to run into two Great Pyrenees dogs who walked the entire time with us. We started fairly late in the day so we only made it about 1/2 the way up until we had to turn around. Wife and I both loved it.

Beautiful valley hike. Clear path. Get there early this weekend, it’ll be full of trail runners.

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