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Just a heads up the road to Brainard Lake is closed for the season as of 10/15 so you have to park at the winter lot and hike the 2.5ish miles to the trailhead.

Hiked this on Monday, after a snowfall from the weekend. You get great views of several different ranges on a very easy, well-marked trail. I've hiked all over this damn state but this was my first moose sighting! A mother and baby grazing right at the trailhead. The trail does not require spikes as of 10/15/18.

Good trail with great views from Windy Peak. Don’t forget your $7 to park.
Found a perfect spot to hang the hammocks and chill.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful day on the trail on 10/14. Lots of fresh powder came in overnight. Some areas were quite icy, but it was very manageable if you come prepared and aren't hiking in sneakers. We saw less than 10 people total during our 3 hours out. Views were limited by the snow clouds, but it was still spectacular!

Fun trail. Nice views and follows creek most of the way up.

Fabulous views as you go up, and it's definitely worth it to scramble up to the top. The trail had heavy traffic though, making it not as peaceful as I would have liked. With snow on the trail, the traffic really packed it in, making it fairly slick.

Amazing trail. Bit rocky, but great!!!!!

This is our go to hike for visitors. It is easy enough for children and the views are exquisite.

It was beautiful but very icy! The whole trail was nothing but ice. Need some yak tracks and hiking poles. Went on 10/12 and it was very crowded on the way back down. Worth the views but definitely would wait until the summer to do it again.

Arrived around 9:30am Saturday morning and parking wasn't more than 5 cars although once we got back to the car around 11:30 there was a line of cars and more people. There was snow most of the trail and icy towards the last portion of the trail, but was an awesome hike and fantastic views!

For someone from Indiana this was definitely more moderate than easy.

This was a beautiful hike with varying difficulty in the trail throughout and lots of beautiful views along the way. we didn't make it to glacier lake but lake Isabelle was great!

hiking
5 days ago

Gorgeous views! The journey was through snow and ice for the entire hike. Would recommend traction and waterproof shoes. Sunny and clear Friday oct 12 when we hiked but very windy, especially at the edge of the lakes!

awesome views

great views

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike as expected but extremely windy! We started around 8:30 and the parking lot was pretty empty. Def would recommend wearing micro spikes because a good portion of the trail is very icy and also waterproof shoes! The wind was blowing so hard at Dream Lake I was sliding across the ice! It was pretty with the snow but hard to see the mountains. The trial was very crowded on our way back down so still would recommend going early.

5 days ago

Took puppy after first snow of season. He loved it and it was good trail for a young dog. Easy but lovely.

Awesome short hike with an amazing view! The view at the top is worth it. As of 10/12/18 there is a couple inches of snow and the top by the ridge is SO windy so be prepared.
Limited parking, we were the second car there at 9am and when we were back at 11am the whole side of the road was packed.

Super packed, but the lake is incredible.

hiking
6 days ago

It was pretty chilly, but still beautiful! Took us about 3 hours with a lot of photo stops. Unfortunately we couldn’t see much of the mountains, but we got some pretty amazing photos of snow-laden trees being reflected in the waters. It was by far the busiest trail that we did all weekend, I can’t imagine what it would be like during peak season! We went early (around 8am) and didn’t have issues with parking. The lot was filled by the time we got back

We hiked Saint Mary’s Glacier a few weeks ago. It’s a short, rocky climb, but the reward is breathtaking. The alpine lake, glacier and surrounding foliage is beautiful! We’re definitely making a return trip!

It’s beautiful but a tourist zoo. Not saying I wasn’t one visiting the bells (from CO) but go before 8 or after 5 so you don’t have to take the bus or pay $8 a person if you already have a npks pass. Have to take the bus even if you have a dog. That was fun.

The bells we’re worth it but also tourists were playing football in front of the lake. Just keep in mind the time you go.

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
6 days ago

One of my favorite hikes ever, even with the crowds. A must see during winter, too!

It’s a great hike for families. With a moderate gain and only 1.5 miles long you get some great views.

Fine little walk around the rock formations. Can get pretty crowded.

hiking
9 days ago

We do a lot of hiking in Colorado, and for my entire family this is our favorite. It is extremely easy, and just shockingly beautiful the entire way. I can't think of a better place for a hike. We went on a Wednesday, arrived at the park about 7:05 in the morning, and there were only two parking places left. Arriving early and bug spray are both a must!

Five stars for the hike. It's a beautiful lake with many aspens, and pretty short, so most anyone can walk around the entire thing and get the experience of a natural lake in an alpine setting.

However, negative four stars for the drive getting there. The last two miles is a dirt road with lots of ruts and small potholes. I saw large SUV's and trucks just cruising along, but anyone in a sedan and a fear of blowing a tire should be wary. Also, the road is so narrow at points that I was surprised that two cars could pass, esp. since the drop-off was very steep with no guardrail.

10 days ago

This is our go to trail near Durango with first hikes and folks that don’t hike a lot. It has a fair elevation, great trees, very nice overlooks, beaver dams, beaver chewed tree stumps, and the reward of a pretty lake you can walk around. We call it our highest ROI hike. It’s a great opportunity to try your light/easy/first time 4X4 skills to get to the trail head. It can be done with RWD only and some ground clearance. We did it in a RWD Suburban and once many years ago in a minivan. We think the drive has gotten slightly more difficult since then. We did see a Corolla with a smashed wheel being towed off, so pick your tire spots well.

Wonderful hike! Took my 60 year old parents on this and they loved it. It is very steep for the last half mile, but otherwise a very gradual income. Being a jacket for the lake, the wind has quite the chill. Perfect amount of sun and forested shade on the way up.

Pretty easy and amazing views, even on an overcast day at lower elevations. Would recommend to visitors to the area because of the huge reward for little effort.

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