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hiking
muddy
snow
washed out
20 hours ago

Excellent hike with a little history at the top, I love hikes with a goal! As for the trails, Turkey Trot was far more entertaining than the Castle side which we came down. Being that the Castle trail was on the sunny side, it was pretty slushy and muddy. Yaks or spikes were necessary today to prevent slipping on my a$$.

Snow shoe or ski in. Otherwise you post hole. Busier than I wanted it yesterday morning. Trail condition is great. Mostly established main trails.. Packed snow on trails until you start climbing the last steep 1000 feet then it’s deep snow country and would be difficult without a reliable flotation devise (snowshoe or ski) The first lake we run into was frozen. To ski or snow shoe? If you ski here you glide. You snowshoe? Hard work = great toned legs! :) either way this place is relatively close to DENVER and offers amazing views and tons of photo ops with other like minded humans. And its as cliche as the saying “it‘s worth it”! Happy trails!

Great snow, great trail! Snowshoed up to the lower lake this morning. Started at about 9:30, done by 1:30. Definitely need snowshoes as we were breaking trail in tons of powder up by the lake. Also, snow is great all the way from the trailhead, so best to wear your snowshoes or skins/skis to keep the snow pack as smooth as possible for others.

If the parking lot is windy, don't worry. There is great tree cover all the way up to the lakes. The first mile is packed snow, but you can still wear your snowshoes. You will need them. The last mile is a steep climb up and traction is crucial. I continued to the upper lake and followed someone's else's tracks. Snow was knee deep - fun! Took me 3.25 hours RT.

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked on 1/14. Very difficult hike in the winter, trail is not visible above treeline, snowshoes/poles were very helpful but we saw a lot of people going in just yaktrax. It was extremely windy on the day we went. Beautiful hike though and less of a crowd on a Tuesday!

beautiful trail and perfect weather on 1/14. 6-8 inches of snow on each side of the trail, moderately packed snow on the trail itself. used micro spikes pretty much all the way.

Perfect. Yak tracks or microspikes help but not required.

Great views. Did trail clockwise so went up the stairs which felt safer. Trail was snow covered and deep in places. No ice but should wear micro spikes

Made it to the lower crater lakes. Started at 9am and was back at the parking lot by 12:30pm. The last mile is a good upwards climb. Snowshoes only needed up top when you're exploring the lakes. I had crampons on otherwise.

Snowshoed 1/12/19. Tracks were easy to follow. Fairly gradual for the first couple of miles. The last mile is pretty steep so be prepared for a climb

Went on a fresh snow day. It was stunning great views wildlife and moderate traffic. Under the snow there was packed ice but the drag snow kept the walk stable without having to wear spikes. Snowshoeers were out and about. I’d definitely do it again!

Made it to the upper lake on snowshoes! Lots of people on skis up to the lower lakes, but I'm not sure it would be possible for most to make it to upper lake on skis - very steep! You'll need one or the other to make it to the first lakes, started postholing about half a mile from them.

Started around 8:30, got back to the car around 4, with lots of breaks and trail breaking and route finding slowing us down. Absolutely worth the effort! So beautiful.

Wow for sure the best snowshoe I've done so far in Colorado. This trail was magical in the snow! Even the drive there was delightful. It can be hard to tell which tracks to follow, but if you keep following the signs for the trail you'll get to the lake eventually! If you go up a little beyond the lake it is heckin steep but the views are stunning and majestic this trail was the best.

One of my favorite trails! So beautiful. We did the loop counter clockwise, it seems like it could have been a little easier to do it clockwise though.

Didn't need spikes today. Nice view at the top, quick hike close to Denver.

One of the most beautiful trail from Boulder! This hike was a pure joy :)

snowshoed this trail 1/6/2019

beginning of trail needed just our micro spikes, transitioned to snowshoes a couple miles in. For a Sunday not busy at all..we arrived around 10am...plenty of parking. HIGHLY recommend some sort of GPS device...as you can follow 1 wrong set of snowshoe prints and add an extra mile (which made it waaaaay harder). we only went to the lower lakes as we were cold by that point. we plan on returning in the summer!

Loved it! Spectacular

My dad and I hike this trail often and love it

One of my favorite hikes. IPW is fantastic.

Good cardio hike near Denver. "Castle" is a bit of interesting history.

Great trail for a half-full day adventure the view at the top is so worth the trek. It may be a tough little hike for small kids, out of shape adults or those tourists coming from sea level so plan accordingly. I will do this one once a year now that I know its there.

Snowshoed up to Heart Lake on Sunday December30th. The trail was broken all the way to the lake and easy to follow. A little wind when we got out of the trees but wasn’t to bad. Love this trail in the winter and the summer!!!

For being so close to Boulder, I was amazed that there were as few people on the trail as there were. Completed the hike on 12/30 and the snow was pretty good - it’s certainly possible to do this in spikes, but I switched out my spikes for snowshoes after about a quarter mile and had a much better experience that way. The views at the top are gorgeous and do not disappoint! Highly recommend.

Well marked and nice scenery. Keep watch for cyclists.

Great option so close to Boulder, a very well maintained and marked trail. I arrived at 9am and was the 5th car in the parking lot. For the first couple miles I had the trail all to myself. When I left (around noon) the parking lot was almost full. I’d categorize this loop has moderate/moderate +, there are some good climbs but also a good mix of flat and downhill - plenty of time to regroup before the next incline :) Most of the trail is hard, packed dirt (currently) and the few slick spots are manageable without needing micro spikes. (*also this loop is a solid 8 miles)

hiking
25 days ago

We did this hike in June, we started counter clockwise which was smart. The first two miles were pretty brutal with some boulders and elevation change. We pushed on and it became easier. Loved the views and would do it again. My friend and I are beginner hikers and we found this to be totally do-able as long as you are in shape. As always, I would recommend a lot of water and snacks along the way.

Amazing views of Denver as well as other mountains in the distance. There were a few people on the trail (We went Christmas Day). There was ice, so please prepare accordingly. This was my wife and my first moderate trail since moving to Colorado. It can be challenging, but it isn’t too bad if you go prepared with water, snacks, and shoes for the ice.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Beautiful hike, make sure to bring snowshoes and your gps in the winter time!

the hike was beautiful, and the trail was mostly good. there were spots on the tail end of the trail (relative to the counter-clockwise loop) where spikes helped a lot. I saw an older man not using spikes and it was rough. do so at your own risk.

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