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Love this trail! Fairly easy hike with a great view. We always take visitors from out of state here. They’re always happy with the views!!

Really scenic trail. I didn’t use spikes or snowshoes though spikes would have been helpful. The trail is pretty packed down and easy to follow, but if you get off the trail you’ll know right away when you end up in waist deep snow.

This trail was spectacular. We parked at the Brainard lot because the road was closed. Three miles to the trailhead, but pretty and easy. Once we hit the trailhead we slapped on our snowshoes and were on our way. Nobody other than a cross country skier was out there. The trail wasn’t overly difficult but we felt the hills. We’re doing it again end of March. Beautiful trail for snowshoeing.

This trail has incredible views throughout! It starts of with a lot of up via several switchbacks but then you get to cruise and enjoy the views so the hard part is worth it. As of March 11 there were a few areas that still had some hard-packed snow and/or ice but overall not very much and I didn’t have any trouble with it in just boots. There were a good number of people hiking and biking on a Sunday afternoon but it didn’t feel crowded to me on the trail. You do need to keep an eye out for bikers- we always had plenty of time to step to the side though. Great trail!

Did the trail counterclockwise on 3/10/18. Great trail, not too strenuous but you definitely work. The scenery is varied and gorgeous. Aside from the steps, which had a lot of slush on them, there were no issues with snow or ice.

Great hike, moderate incline, lots of gorgeous views and pretty long. Feels like a workout, but just keep going! If you reach the picnic benches, you are almost to the ruins!! Still some ice in the shadier places, but mostly dry and warm in the sun.

Trail was beautiful and offered a variety of scenery. It is not marked well, though! There are a number of intersecting paths that are not marked and can be very confusing. We ended up doing a lot of extra miles because of this - which was a great workout but a tad stressful. I would still recommend this trail, though. Very pretty!

Great steady incline with beautiful views. I was just expecting a little more at the top.

Lots of snow. Need microspikes and snowshoes. It is a great workout as it is steep.

Fantastic trail. We hiked up Turkey Trot (no bikes) and down Castle Trail (bikes on it). We didn't go all the way to the end of the Castle Trail. We turned around at the pavilion with picnic tables.

We did the hike between 11am-1:30pm on a Saturday, and while the parking lot was packed (and cars were parked up the road a 200 yards) the trail didn't feel that crowded. Everyone was super friendly. There were a lot of dogs on the trail but all were on leash and the trail was wide enough so plenty of room to pass.

The trails were very dry...just a few short patches of slush/snow but easy to navigate and no risk of slippage.

7 days ago

Summited on 3-9 and the trail was good with micro spikes. There was an area at the timberline where people go off trail and post hole up. If they just kept going straight instead of turning up hill, the trail continues packed

It was a gorgeous 55 degree day, a little windy and only a handful of other people on the trail. I did the trail counterclockwise, the changing landscape from the mountains to the river were beautiful! Traction was very helpful (I used my coiled walking yaks, crampons were not needed) in the shadier areas especially going down the very steep stairs.

Gorgeous views all along this heavily trafficked trail. Lots of people, even for a Monday morning. Some icy/snowy spots - spikes would be handy but not necessary. Overall good hike, I will be back!

loved the trail for it's amazing views! Bring a buddy and another car if you don't want to hike up the mountain. you can just hike down. go on a weekday if you hate people. for the reviewers who are bummed out about unleashed dogs - how is the opportunity to pet a friendly pupper a bad thing?

Beautiful hike and the loop is perfect for a a hike you can just fit into your weekday or weekend morning

Awesome day! Didn’t make it to heart lake because deep, soft snow led to postholing. Perhaps if we got an earlier start the snow would’ve been a bit better.. Decided to call it a day and turn around. Packed snow for the majority of the trail - micro spikes came in handy! All around great hike - will be back.

One of my favorite hikes of all time, but difficult to navigate due to snow unless you go in July or August. Absolutely gorgeous. The little lake at the top is quite a climb but worth it.

Spikes were sufficient until about a mile before the lakes

Gorgeous. You absolutely need snowshoes. The road to the trailhead is closed so tack in another 6 miles rt. Awesome trail. Nobody- other than us and a skier out there.

Good trail but pretty muddy and icy in patches and lots of hikers and dogs.

Walked to the trailhead and got so muddy just doing that... we got less than 0.1 into the hike and went back. Girl in front of me said she fell almost 4 times and it wasn’t worth it.


Very difficult if you go clockwise. Whole loop took me 4 hours (with lunch break). Slipped at the bottom of the stairs so be careful! Other than that it is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done! Also didn’t see a soul while hiking mid week.

Very snowy and scenic! We managed with walking shoes poles but if there was much more snow would have needed snow shoes. It’s deceptively downhill at the start, so quite a work out coming back up! ( we decided to double back rather then go through the woods as they were in the shade and likely cold ). Overall a great work out for a few hours, saw deer and enjoyed the gorgeous space!

21 days ago

Summited on 1/24/2018.
Could have used snow shoes at the base, but I was able to push through with just Microspikes. I only saw two other people and was the only one at the top when I summited. Awesome views and defiantly worth the effort.

24 days ago

This was a great hike top do in the winter, as it can get very crowded the rest of the year. Today was snowy and cold (8F) and we did not see another sole on the trail. This is a nice hike mostly through wooded areas with a couple of nice stretches along Boulder Creek. Not too strenuous. There is a steep section with stairs and if you go counter clock wise, the last mile is up. This is a good one if you are looking for something close to Denver that is no too demanding.

Just did this guy last week on Thursday, it was GORGEOUS. No need for spikes or snowshoes. We parked at the upper lot which added 2 miles to the hike, that was the only downside.

25 days ago

Feb 19 2018 hike. Started at 4am. Super windy. Had a ton of struggles with the crampons that I was using. Saw a Snow White ptarmigan! It was awesome!

Made it to false summit around 7am. Was freezing cold and getting blown down. The wind was fierce. Decided to head back. Made it back around 8:45am.

The snow was pretty crunchy.

25 days ago

Close to Denver, views of Red Rocks, and a nice climb up. Go during the week if you want a less busy hike.

This was a beautiful hike however be aware that the road (county road 7 I believe) is closed. The last 4.4 miles of driving become walking. Also the snow was very deep (up to my waist at points) so bring snowshoes. It was still beautiful but be warned that this 8 mike hike is a 17 mike hike in the winter!

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