Explore trails to shoe - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
11 hours ago

I started this hike at 7:30 a.m. (second car in the otherwise empty parking lot) on a Monday and returned somewhere between 1:15-1:30 p.m. This hike was definitely challenging for me as a flatlander and I had to stop to take breaks quite often. I also spent quite a long time up at the lake *maybe 45 minutes or longer) and took another longer break during my return at the reservoir to soak my feet before making the final uphill climb. I think this hike is moderate for people who live at altitude and hike regularly, or who are otherwise very fit. If you're not much of a fitness enthusiast and don't workout very often, this is going to be a very challenging hike. If you're fit-ish to average on physical activity, this hike is challenging.

It really surprised me to see so many folks without adequate hydration and starting later. Do yourself a favor and start by 7:30 a.m. because there isn't much shade after you get passed 10:30 a.m. All of the regular rules apply: bring sunscreen and reapply once you're up at the lake, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring more water than you think necessary, and pack loads of snacks. I brought 64 ounces of water and drank about 3/4 of it. Didn't encounter too many bugs other than curious bees at the lake. The only wildlife I encountered were birds (saw an eagle at Echo Lake first thing) and chiding squirrels. Trail rules indicate dogs are required to be leashed but most were off-leash - doesn't bother me but it's something to consider if you don't like dogs.

Some additional navigation tips:
-Once you complete the initial descent and get closer to the water, look out for the primitive log bridge to cross
-Exiting the woods, take a left to follow the access road for about a mile; if you're early in the day, you'll pass the Idaho Springs Reservoir and see trout jumping out of the water to feed.
-Follow the access road past the cabins; the trailhead will be ahead on your right with a no-fee permit station. Fill out your permit and take the trail immediately in front of you, not the unmarked trial to your right.
-You'll pass a second sign indicating that you're entering the Mt. Evans Wilderness; don't worry, you're on the right trail.
-I tried finding the trail to the upper lake and was unsuccessful. I ended up following some of the unmarked trails that go around the lake and wound up in a boggy area just before the lake. Maybe avoid that and do more research on picking up the trail to the upper lake than I did.

hiking
13 hours ago

As with many others, this was my first "fourteener" and it was a blast. Couldn't of asked for better weather. Stayed in Georgetown, and got to the Guanella pass parking lot at approximately 0600. Yes, it was already full, however the summit overlook parking lot still had spaces left.I'm a flatlander from northeast Ks. but went prepared. Took my time, with frequent breaks, especially the higher I got. The scramble to the top was probably the toughest part, but by that point you've gone to far to not do it. While many folks, myself included, do Mount Bierstadt because their research reports it as being the easiest fourteener. Be forewarned - if you are a flatlander, even one who is in decent shape, there is nothing easy about trying to breathe at altitude.However do not let that dissuade you from doing this hike, as I can assure you that you will not be alone. Start to finish approximately 6 hours, half hour to 45 minutes on the summit.

Wonderful hike! Beautiful wildflowers, creek and views!

Gorgeous views and a vigorous uphill climb. Traffic thins out at the first “summit,” which you’ll recognize by the little rock “shelters” visitors have built to protect from the wind. However, don’t stop there – the mountain keeps going! Shortly after the false summit, there’s a beautiful lake tucked away between the mountains. Bring a lift coat and gloves to protect yourself from the wind because it’s relentless. Views at the top are beautiful. We saw plenty of pika, marmots, and a woodchuck at the summit.

Overall, it’s a challenging and quick hike. Highly recommended. We arrived around 8:30 am on a Sunday and it wasn’t too crowded. Took about 3 hours round trip with several breaks on the way up.

hiking
1 day ago

Delightful moderate hike above the treeline. Outstanding vistas. Last cairn is a throne!

Beautiful trail! perfect challenge for two sea-level-dwelling moderately fit people. the first two miles are a piece of cake, last mile is steeper and involves some light scrambling. We got there around 10 am on a Sunday and it was fairly crowded on the trail, but if you appreciate friendly fellow hikers and cute pups it's not a problem.

hiking
1 day ago

It's past peak wildflower season, but there were still some pretty blooms up near the top. Please be mindful that this trail is quite steep and rocky for the first mile and the last mile, so if you're bringing dogs or kids, make sure they have proper footwear (yes-- PLEASE put shoes on your dogs to protect their paws!!). View from the trail just before you hit the lake is gorgeous. Go early to avoid the crowds, we arrived at the TH just after 8:00 AM and snagged one of the last parking spaces. It was windy and chilly up at Herman Lake so bring layers!

Great, challenging hike. You must go early to get a parking spot.

Went hiking on 8/11 and it was great! Got there early around 6:30 and their was plenty of parking. Definitely recommend getting there early to beat the crowds and have the lake and trails to yourself. Coming down it was starting to get overly crowded. Last half mile was a little tough but well worth the views.

Great 14er for first timers and out of staters.

2 days ago

Did this on 7/23. Parked at 3:00 AM and was only headlamp I could see on the trail above tree line. There were several cars in the lot and many Long’s Peak hikers. Very windy and steep then when trail splits to Chasm it gets much easier. Views were breathtaking and this is one of my favorite hikes of all time. Add this one to your list and do it. Sunrise on Long’s was worth it all.

2 days ago

The trail itself is relatively easy. The high altitude is its greatest challenge for most. Beautiful scenery in all directions!

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike! It took us about 4 hours, not including the 20 or so minutes we spend at the top. Great views and plenty of places where the dogs can drink water from streams and lakes.

Don’t be scared off by the incline at the beginning. Great views throughout the entire trip, very wooded in some areas and not in others. We clocked about 7.5 miles round trip.

When we do this one again, we will probably make it an out and back vs a loop. Half of the loop is on a gravel/rock road and isn’t very pretty. We preferred the tree-covered dirt trail.

Great hike! Parking was a bit chaotic but didn’t see a ton of people on the trail. We had a large group with several kids ranging from 7-16 yrs old. We enjoyed the hike through the forest and seeing the falls. But the best park was making it to the lake. Our dog jumped in right away to cool and swam around. Highly recommend this trail to families with kids!

hiking
2 days ago

This is a beguiling Trail we took our 11 and 12 year old children. The rating said moderate, okay. It was a Jeep road, okay. All features pointing to a decent hike. But I’d say this was more difficult than its rating. Jeep road was very rocky and it was steeper than we realized. True to the other reviews there were several false summits so we were prepared to go the distance. Trail says 8.1 mikes( we clocked 9.6. Yes we went all the way to the top. And the altitude slowed us down. The kids liked the wide open spaces and he fact that they had a sense of where the finish line was. Just when you think you’ve reached the top there is another rocky peak. The views were outstanding! We could see across Breckenridge. It took us about 5 hours moving and 6 total hours. Dad loved it; Dad rates it a 5 for high elevation and something tough. Kids said Mom was dead weight. (Altitude slowed her down) All in all we are proud of making it to the top. Thanks Colorado for this opportunity.

Amazing hike. Not that hard at all. Saw big horn sheep, mountain goats, and lots of marmots. Spectacular views

I usually love this hike but the lake was about half drained, almost no water.

Great hike, some steep parts, but I really noticed the incline more on the way down due to the trail being a bit loose. Great views though, lots of wild flowers, pretty lake at the end. Parking g lot fills up real fast, got there at 8am and it was already overflowing to side streets.

You want wild flowers then go here!!!

Also very underrated waterfall, photos don't do it justice.

First old mine is cool, second is not.

Went on a Saturday morning, arrived at 615 at trailhead and couldn't believe all the people there. But at least it was good company on the trail.

My wife and I made it up to 13,500 with a 2 and 5 year old. 2 yr old we had to carry the whole way, 5 yr old was able to do some hiking but we still had to carry a decent amount (she did great on the way down). This was very tough with the kids, I pride myself in my abilities to do bigger hikes with the kids. The kids had enough at this point, we stopped my wife and kids ate while I pushed as hard as possible up to the top.

At times on way up, it felt like torture carrying the kids but the views were amazing. Last section solo, pushing very hard and was getting headaches.

Views on top great. My first 14er.

Steep trail, but beautiful waterfall early on and great tree coverage at the start. “Lake” and mine at the top are so so.

Three stars for being a 14er and the boulder scramble to the summit which was a blast. Overall more of a moderate hike than hard... Lost two stars for the crowds (which are huge), exposure start to finish (no relief of making it to treeline and shade on the descent for this one), and the view (not fantastic-there are other 14ers and 13ers with better views). Do it to bag a 14er, but not really any other reason to go.

Excellent "first fourteener" hike. Trail is well-maintained and clear until the rocks; follow cairns to reach the top. parkling lot was nearly full by 4am, even on a day with forecasted storms. Really great trail with great views, very cool to see where you're going and then where you came from. Always keep an eye on the sky!

hiking
4 days ago

Very very pretty!

This was my 2nd 14’er (Bierstadt was the other) and the first for my son and sister who was visiting from sea level. We hit the trailhead at 9:00am on the first Sunday in August. There were quite a few others hiking, but most on their way down.

It took us a bit under 2.5 hours to summit with a number of pauses. The ridge was super windy, but it was quiet at the top with great views of Leadville, Turquoise lake in the distance as well as the surrounding mountains despite the fire haze. Hiking poles helped as there is plenty of loose rock and ankle twisters to hike across on the way up.

There are a lot of cool abandoned mines and mining equipment to look at right near the trailhead. That can make the bumpy drive worth taking even if you don’t complete the full summit.

It sprinkled a little on our hike and was cold near the top so we were happy to be prepared with rain and warmth layers. I saw a number of hikers who weren’t as prepared.

I agree it’s a great first 14er due to the short distance of the hike, but don’t let that fool you, it’s still a climb at altitude and my legs were complaining afterwards!

hiking
5 days ago

Second time doing this hike. We got to trailhead at 6 am. Parking lots was full but I parked on the side along the entrance so didn’t have to park down the road. We got to lake at 9am. So took us 3 hrs to get there with minimal breaks. It was sunny and no clouds in the sky. Couldn’t hAve asked for a more perfect weather. There’s definitely an incline and last half mile requires scrambling up rocks but it’s so worth it!! One the best and moderate trails to do!

backpacking
5 days ago

Backpacked in to Helms lake 8/6 - 8/7. A bit marshy getting around helms lake but the trail was in good condition and relatively easy to follow otherwise. Lost a blue nalgene somewhere in the helms lake area.

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