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“Easy/moderate/hard are relative terms. I’m not a great biker, but I am a stubborn persistent hiker. This was Harder than I expected- especially at the end. I finished, but my feet are paying for it. Warm September day- drank all my water plus some. Views were beautiful and so was the company. Glad to say I have completed an iconic Fort Collins hike.

We entered from CR 125 and 123–the latter a dirt road with lots of ruts and rocks as we neared the trailhead sign. Be advised that there are at least two different access points and that one may be easier than the other. The trail descended steeply over rocky scree before reaching the creek which it followed through a mountain meadow. The ascent from the meadow to the lake was fairly steep. Although the signage listed the distance to the lake as 1.2 miles,it seemed longer to us.

The lake itself is lovely and remote. We discovered a party of campers who had pitched tents and brought in a kayak. Yes, some of them were swimming!

High clearance four wheel drive vehicles are strongly suggested for accessing trailhead.

Beautiful hike. Limited parking, we arrived at approx 10am and were lucky to find a spot, I recommend going early. Lots of loose rock for nearly the entire trail. Great views, short and sweet.

Although it takes a while to reach the trailhead (where parking is limited), the hike around the lake is first-rate. The four+ mile loop is an easy to moderate trail shared with horses. This is one of the best hikes in the Arapaho National Recreation Area—don’t miss it!

This trailhead also allows access to other (more lengthy and difficult) hikes.

On our second visit to the lake, we watched kayakers and canoeists paddling around the lake. Fishermen were also in evidence.

Hiked this on Black Friday and with the road to the trailhead closed it adds about an extra mile out and back. Was pretty iced over and slick in areas so I hoghly recommend microspikes in the winter. I was the only one out there so I really enjoyed the serenity of watching the sunset over the frozen lake.

I'm guessing the hard rating is based on the minor scrambling required to get to the upper lakes. Overall a great hike with 4 gorgeous lakes. Saw some people braving the cold water and had wished I packed some extra clothes to jump in as well. Even though there's a decent amount of traffic on the trail, it didn't feel overly crowded and everyone I encountered was friendly and courteous.

I actually hiked this trail in the middle of winter and only saw 1 other hiker and her dog. It was quite peaceful and serene. The waterfall was frozen over and a perfect place to set up my hammock and have a snack. Not a hard hike even with some snow cover on the trail. A great winter acclimization hike for newbies.

Great easy, short hike for out of towners with a high reward. Extremely crowded which is to be expected for such an easy hike. I highly recommend continuing up to the glacier for a bit more of a challenge plus some great views.

Up to Cirque Meadows is very easy. The aspens are changed, making much of the path very colourful.
We were confused at first about the marked campsites which are farther up the trail past the meadow-the sites were nice, site 3 has a good view.
The rest of the way was tougher, and some places we lost the trail as it wound up the boulders.
The end views are breathtaking, and great photo opportunities. I plan on going again in June when the wildflowers are bloomed.

Incredible views at the lake! We logged 7.75 miles round trip with a short walk by the lake and parking close to the trail head.

Nice walk! Pretty easy but lovely and a nice morning walk that is not far from Denver! Hiked 8/16/18.

Nice little hike. Decent views from the ridge up above the falls. Popular trail, so it pays to get there on the earlier side. If you are going to bag your dog poop, please remember to actually pick up the bag; the trail is littered with good intentions. ; )

Great hike overall! Parking was easy. There are a few points when the trail was unclear, but we were back on the right trail pretty quickly. Took our dog and it was good for him too! Some pretty exposed parts where it got very warm, bring your sunscreen! Awesome views of the changing leaves!

We went on this hike Saturday. We started from the Allenspark trialhead, you can by pass the parking fees at RMNP. The first 1.8 miles is a steady climb with a couple of steep inclines, the forest is lush and dense and not a lot of scenery. At the junction you can go to the Wild Basin Station, Calypso Falls or continue onto to Finch and Pear lake. We continued into Finch Lake, the trail does level out in some places and in others you will have more steep inclines. The final push to Finch Lake will have you dropping several hundred feet before you reach the lake and then nestled in the trees is the lake, so peaceful and serene. There were only a handle of people at the lake and we had most of trail to ourselves.
It was a beautiful day with no clouds in the sky we just sat back and listened to the sounds of nature. We didn't allow time to attempt Pear Lake, that will be next time.

Hiked this today on a beautiful cloud free, warm fall day. We didn't get to hike around the lake but we went to it to take a peek. We had to make it back in time for the final shuttle of the day!

Pros:
1. The trail is shaded for much of the hike which is nice on warm sunny days.
2. Didn't see any rattlesnakes (my biggest fear since moving to CO) only one smaller snake that slithered away from the trail
3. Moderately challenging steepness (for most people - im not in CO hiking shape yet!) so this was a good middle level challenging hike for me that was a good mileage.
4. A few small waterfalls (unless we missed bigger ones) which were pretty. We werent able to stop and enjoy them too long because we had limited time but they were nice. you pass a handful of creeks on this trail.
5. Busy trail - i prefer this because the more people the less snakes (i assume haha) but i like that people are hiking the trail so you know if anything happens or you get hurt someone will cross your path at some point.
6. We saw a moose!! It was on the ride back to the parking area but still, super cool that there is some good wildlife in the area.

Cons:
1. Parking! Which many people expressed. We went today on a Saturday afternoon, and we drove around for a while and wasted a lotttt of time, before deciding to take the shuttle which is about 15 min from the trailhead so we wasted an hour trying to figure out where to park and what to do with that.
2. Only two major scenic areas, from a view perspective, one open area that has a view of some mountains and a sky resort towards the middle of the hike, and the lost lake, otherwise its mostly a wooded rocky trail with not much scenic views. Still pretty, dont get me wrong, but i like mountains, and lots of em!
3. Some rock was really lose - it was tough on the way down for me so wear hiking boots (I fell going down and hit my knee because of the loose rock - and i was even wearing good hiking boots).

we hiked this trail with our 3 and 5 year olds and it was great! easy enough for them to do without complaining. it took us about 25 minutes to get from the trailhead to the lake. the views from the top were beautiful! the actual hike is fine but not particularly scenic and quite a few people which is to be expected for a beautiful Saturday. we will definitely do this hike again!

We hiked the trail down to the lake and then on beyond down to a stream (dashed trail on the map ending in the red dot). Initially, we thought we would ride our bikes on the trail but they are fairly steep with quite a bit of loose rock. As others have said, the last half mile or so of the drive in in fairly rough. We were in a SUV that handled the road well, but a car in front of us nearly got stuck. The trail down to the creek is very steep and covered in dense growth of Lodge Pines, Quaking Aspens and Birch. It's beautiful but hardly "easy." The area was surprisingly crowded for as remote as it it. Several campers took the No Camping within 100' of the Lake Shore sign as merely a suggestion.

Tip: The trail down to the stream is sort of hidden behind the big pile of boulders at the north end of the lake. The trail appears to dead-end into the boulder pile but, in fact, it does not. You just have to climb over the boulders and continue on the trail heading south.

Saw two moose in the marsh area. Beautiful hike that’s on the easy end of moderate.

Good hike to get acclimated to the higher elevation. We took the shuttle from the Nederland Ride-and-Park, which worked very well to avoid the limited parking situation at the trailhead. Lovely views along the trail of mountain vistas, waterfalls, golden aspen, and clear Lost Lake. Really appreciated the shade along portions of the trail on a sunny day like today.

nice short and easy trail with a well worth it view

hiking
3 days ago

Fall colors, incredible, next week they will be popping even more than they were on this hike.
beautiful Lake on top wasn't too busy on a Friday.

hiking
3 days ago

Fun and quick trail. It’s a bit rocky and steep, but an easy trip to do for a nice view of the lake. The lake was pretty and there’s a good area to hangout and swim.

Amazing hike! Trail is well maintained and the views are extraordinary. The aspen were in peak color. Columbine Lake is a treasure—make sure you start early, bring some lunch and enjoy the lake views. Road to Junco TH is bumpy so take it slow.

Absolutely gorgeous views for a relatively short hike. The incline makes you work a bit!

Pretty hike only 20 minute drive from Lyons.
Great views of reservoir and Longs Peak at the halfway point.
2.5 hours total.

Great trail. Not hard until you start up to the upper lake. I would note that there are two trails up to the upper lake. If you go between the lakes and up, it’s pretty steep and you will end up climbing a lot of boulders. You will not follow the trail on all trails. You’ll end up to the left of the trail but will still reach the lake. You have to go around the lower big lake a bit to reach the actual trail (the one you find on all trails). It’s steep (maybe not as bad as the other way). Both trails have been travels a bunch so marked.

Trail was pretty but not sure I would do it again. Long dirt rocky road to get to the trail. Don’t not necessarily need a high clearance vehicle or 4wd. HUGE parking lot so you don’t have to worry about getting a spot. Probably holds 50 cars.

This was my introduction to Colorado. It was the perfect distance (for a guy coming from 700ft about sea level). Absolutely beautiful place and great for breaking in the lungs too!

Beautiful hike worth the climb to the upper
Lake. Great hike to break for lunch at the halfway point.

The start of the trail was a little confusing. It’s mostly a rock path. Once you get close to the glacier it gets pretty steep. It’s a beautiful hike nonetheless!

hiking
5 days ago

Nice views.
Scenic drive. The trail dead ends at South end of lake so you must back track or complete a loop around the lake which isn’t very scenic.
Heads up: A $14 park pass is required to park in the parking lot. You must purchase the pass at the park office which is about 10 minute drive from the parking lot, and easy to miss. Not worth it since there are so many other free, beautiful hikes around.

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