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TODO list Map
2 days ago

The trail continues longer, but 6.25 miles will get you to the wilderness boundary marker and a treed saddle. Very satisfying climb and well maintained trail, 3 hours round trip. The written directions to the trailhead are rather poor, but just follow a map and you'll be fine. There is a sign pointing to the trailhead past the Meridian Campground, when you make a left off of the pavement. The last one mile is bumpy but not so washboarded that a regular car couldn't make it with care. Loved it at this time of year - only passed one other couple of hikers, and that was on the way back. No footprints past the two-mile mark, yet the snow is not a deterrent at this time of year.

Yesterday started out with crampsons thinking that was enough however as soon as I got to the hut I found that snow shoes would definitely be needed I’d like to do it again

on Forest Lakes Trail

19 days ago

Hiked 10/28. It’s pretty snowy already but we managed without yaktraks. Beautiful hike for the short distance. Highly recommended esp, with dogs!

21 days ago

Great hike! We went last Friday and it was a beautiful day. The trail was icy and snow packed in some areas and even more so the closer we got to the lake.

23 days ago

Hiked yesterday 10/28, weather was great. Above 10,000ft, the trail is about 90% covered in snow, which is compacted so I would recommend micro spikes. I put mine on about half a mile from the lake and used them on the way back out for about a mile also. The lake is almost frozen over, some open water still visible.

This has quickly become one of our favorite hikes. The elevation gain is serious, but there are only a few spots that get challenging. The lake is peaceful, and we had it to ourselves today. It does get snowy and icy, so wear your spikes or bring your poles.

There was a lot of icy packed snow on 2/3 of the trail. I would suggest a little extra traction for your shoes. The trail has a great pay off at the end of the trail in the form of a beautiful view over Lost Lake.

Got to the trail at 8:30 on Sunday and there was plenty of parking. People were fighting for spots when I left around 11:30. Easy hike with good payoff. Be sure to walk all the way around the lake once you get there. Microspikes are a must for the climb to the lake.

very beautiful hike not so hard. there is several other lakes to hike as well.
parking was ok however it was in fall not summer. the road to the trail is not rough

Loved the lake! There was limited parking at the trail head with a dirt road to the trail head. I should have used snow boots/shoes. I went 10/16/18 and it was slushy with the top of the trail all snow and lake was frozen.

29 days ago

It was a gorgeous day to hike. I started early and there was no one on the trail all the way up to Diamond Lake. I did wear spikes the entire way due to ice and snow. I couldn't have hiked the last mile without them. My dog was with me and we had a blast. Yes, the road is awful to drive on but if you're a confident driver, you can make it. Please PULL OVER if someone is behind you and you're coasting down (or up) the road. It was a celebratory hike for my 61st birthday and the day couldn't have been nicer.

Third time hiking this trail (first during winter and the second during summer). Despite it being mid-October, there was still a lot of snow on the upper two-thirds of the trail, so definitely bring appropriate gear and be prepared to stay out all day; it's a very long trek. Mirror Lake was frozen over but there are some nearby streams to get fresh water, if needed. Also, the gate to access Monarch Lake trailhead was open, but I know they close it as it gets closer to winter so double-check this before heading out, as it can add an extra 2 miles (round trip) to the hike. Otherwise, beautiful hike - one of my favorites in Colorado.

1 month ago

amazing views. tons of snow. lots of back country skiers. very cold and windy above the trees.

Trail was well established to cabin and up to the stream. Became slightly harder to follow as you come around and up to the twin cones. Over a foot of snow is already on the ground, be prepared to post hole. Beautiful views, worth the hike .

Went on this hike back in 4/2017. It had a ton of snow which make it slippery and difficult but well worth it. The lake was frozen and beautiful! I highly suggest either going with no snow or wearing appropriate footwear! Would love to check it out again in the summer.

off road driving
1 month ago

Super easy trail. A Subaru Outback could run it. Great views of the continental divide. Dispersed camping is a plus. As of November 2018 it's probably covered in a few feet of snow.


Great trail. Trees that folks mentioned earlier have been cleared. Lots of water crossings. Recommend starting the trail on Waterboard Road (128) rather than at Bonfils. Trailhead on 128 is clearly marked and there is parking.

the directions are off, make sure to follow 353 and go left at the fork after cr4 and it'll get you there. high ground clearance is needed. you start the hike above treeline and go down to the lakes. make sure to see the cabin and the second lake! we saw no one there but a few Jeeps on the road. so pretty and unique!

Good hike, did it with my 3 kids (10/8/6). Some great waterfalls to check out on the trail up to Lost Lake. Would recommend parking at the shuttle lot as parking is limited at the trail head. Trail to Lost Lake gets a little steep but nothing too bad. Had lunch up at the lake before heading back down.

1 month ago

Nice, easy - moderate fall hike. Get there soon before the leaves fall. I would recommend a higher clearance vehicle for the last four miles to the trail head. I drive a Subaru Impreza and bottomed out more than once.

We did just the beginning part of the trail due to time constraints, but loved the fall colors! Gorgeous hike.

Probably one of the best hikes I’ve done in CO. Like others have said, makes for a LONG day hike - still so worth it. Wish I had 2 or 3 nights to explore the surrounding Crater Lakes area.

There are 12 designated camping spots around crater lake. On a Saturday the place was packed with campers. The ranger must’ve given out at least a dozen citations. Even though permits are not required at this time of year, got to get up there early to claim a spot.

Will definitely be bringing the pack for next time!

Careful on the drive up! There's a good stretch of dirt road with lots of big rocks that can be difficult to drive over. We got to the trailhead around 8:30 in the morning and it wasn't very crowded at all. Absolutely gorgeous trail with a good incline. Weather was pleasantly cool and crisp until the way down when it got hot (and kind of crowded) in the afternoon. There was a really neat waterfall about 2/3 of the way to the lake, and the lake was stunning, but very windy. Beautiful hike. We took it super slow on the way down because I managed to hurt my leg. Hahah, we still had fun!

If you want to go to Crater Lake I would definitely suggest doing an overnight backpacking trip. Its too far for one day. I think its also longer than listed. I saw a lot of HUGE moose. Bring tons of water. Don’t do it alone like I did.

overall this hike was very pretty, aspens were bright and the streams/lakes were great! the trail is all rocks, most smooth and loose so sometimes footing was sketchy (esp with excited dogs pulling!) but it was fine. It's kinda steep in spots, but took my time and did fine. My dachshund however did not appreciate steep rocky parts, but he was a trooper. It was extremely windy and chilly but it is definitely worth going all the way to the lake. Beautiful! not very crowded except for a few groups of people but mostly all to myself.
The best part of this hike was the descent! Almost walked past a moose and her calf next to the trail, they were so quiet. It was amazing!

always a favorite. steeper but short for what it is. very rewarding.

Solid trail and drive up. Little sketchy if you’re driving in a car but fun nonetheless. Beautiful waterfall along the trail and absolutely gorgeous destination at Diamond Lake.

1 month ago

Great trail! Weekend of Sept 23rd, fall colors were in full bloom on the drive there.

1 month ago

4.5 hours to complete with my girlfriend and dumb yellow. Its a steady uphill walk from the intersection with Rogers Pass trail. But beautiful weather and cold water to play in (if you want). Always great views in this area if you like alpine lakes and high altitude excursions.

1 month ago

Beautiful! Crowd thins significantly as you start up the switchback and the lake at the end is worth it. The train tunnel can be heard clearly for the first half of the hike but it’s peaceful at the lake and what you do hear is more like white noise. The leaves were at varying degrees of color but the drive out to the trail itself is breathtaking. There’s tons of parking and when I got to the lake at 2 on a Sunday, I had the lake almost entirely to myself. There’s also some great dispersed camping as you approach the lake!

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