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Beautiful Packed snow trails. Micro spikes came in handy. Chicago lake was amazing

hiking
7 days ago

Awesome trail! Started a little too late and made it nearly a mile from the end and it was getting too late and we were too tired to go any faster. Right now only need mircospikes, snowshoes don't seem necessary if you stay on the hard packed trail. Trees blocked most of the wind. Definitely will be going again!

Extremely beautiful!!! Make sure once you hit the first lake, to keep going. Did this hike over the summer and was beautiful the whole way! Not sure what the blue bomber is speaking of! Peaceful and gorgeous.

11/16/18 - packed snow/ice all the way up to the lakes. Carried snowshoes but didn’t use them, only used microspikes but could’ve been done without. Very few people past TH, nothing spectacular until the views above treeline. Damn kids doing there vaping stuff around Echo Lake, hopefully the fruity chemical flavors they crave will end up killing them sooner than later so when we go out to get fresh air, we can breathe it instead of breathing their second hand vape smoke!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Incredible trail! The snow makes the trek a little difficult but the views are beyond rewarding! Went last weekend and left feeling changed. Hop over to @2_Summit_Up on Instagram to see great pictures of what you can expect to see on this trail

Great trail so close to Denver. Hiked a week ago and got into some snow near first lake. Can't wait to go back next summer or when I get some snow shoes!

1 month ago

Honestly, really incredible views. Tough elevation climb and there’s a bit of uphill near the end on the way back which was especially challenging. We went in late October on a warm clear day and it was beautiful, challenging, and very fun. Enjoyed doing the labyrinth/maze on the side of the trail too, about half way up :)

Parking is easily accessible. I turned around at the junction with Craig Park Trail (9 mi, 3000ft elevation gain round trip) due to the snow being a little deeper than my liking and my legs not wanting to trudge through anymore. I was also alone and had seen a TON of animal tracks. Didn’t see any people until I was on the way back down about 2 mi from the TH. Pretty diverse with the stream, aspens (who have lost their leaves) and evergreens. I’ll be back in the summer to go all the way up!

Taco, 2.5" Lift, 33s, Sliders

Road to trailhead certainly looks like private property, but just do the "grip the wheel and don't make eye contact" thing. Only did the hill and part of the loop. Many snowy areas, lots of mud, and you can tell there are multiple holes that have been increasingly dug out by spinning tires, making the features more challenging. The 1 mile section of the loop I did (headed counterclockwise) was very tight with tricky spots that were entirely covered in snow.

In comparison to other AllTrails ratings, I would rate this firmly within Hard and certainly not Moderate. You need considerable clearance, some skill, and a spotter. Rock sliders, skid plate, rear locker, maxtrax, and hand winch all saw some action on it today, primarily due to snow, mud, and big wet roots. Drive up the hill, but do not drive down; take the Bill Moore Lake trail back to Empire. Bill Moore is rated as Hard, but the section I drove back from Red Elephant was a very easy Moderate.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike on October 8, 2018. First snow of the winter. It was magical, nobody after the first two miles. saw moose! The mountains and meadows we're gorgeous with a couple inches of snow.

This is one of my favorite trail to date. Ample amounts of parking at trailhead, and beautiful scenery throughout. Very long hike close to 18 miles long, but we'll worth it. Didn't make it up to the top of the summit, due to rainstorms moving in. Would recommend.

hiking
2 months ago

**Started from the the Rock Creek Trailhead and did a total roundtrip of 8.5 miles** From beginning this side of the trail it was uninteresting and disappointing. It offered no view other than your typical dense pine forest. Honestly felt like you could have been anywhere. There there are so many more interesting trails than this one coming from this side. Not sure why people say this trail is ranked as "hard". It is not technical and a super gradual incline.

Rock formations and soil color were beautiful. Not much shade.

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful and great place to see the leaves change. it has some hills that are steep in places.

My favorite alpine hike especially in mid July when the wildflowers are out in abundance. STP is across the street from the trailhead for Mt. Beirstadt with all of the beautiful views but far less crowds. Square Top Lakes are below the summit and is another great hike but is far tamer. Both are a great way to spend the day!

The best time to visit is mid- July when the wildflowers are out in abundance and this year, they were spectacular. The trailhead is on the west side of Guanella Pass just opposite the trailhead for the highly trodden 14er Mt. Beirstadt. Square Top Peak is the 111th highest peak in Colorado. The terrain is somewhat rocky but the grade can be steep near the top. Views from the top are like any alpine peak, spectacular. But there is a bonus. Square Top Lakes are below and are also spectacular. For those wishing an easier hike, end the trip at Square Top Lakes. Although difficult, this is my favorite alpine hike. All the beauty of any 14er without the crowds.

hiking
2 months ago

This was my second time doing this hike and it was better than the first! Although the views leading up to the lakes are not amazing, once you get within a mile of the first lake, things really open up and make everything worth it. After the reservoir, the elevation gain really kicks in. The first mile of the trail is down hill so dont forget that you have a short hike back up to your car(up hill both ways!). The first Chicago lake has no defined trail but there are plenty of paths to get down there. The yellows, greens, and blues really make this lake stand out. The hike to the upper lake is all gain. There are a few spots of loose dirt which make it slow going but the climb is about 500ft in less than a mile to the top lake. Once you're up there, it all pays off. We had an amazing blue sky day with some gusts of wind rolling through to cool us off. Mount Evans sits behind the lake and offers amazing mountain views and a great place to relax. With the side routes to the lower lake and walking around, the total trip was roughly 11 miles but the trail itself is about 9 miles as it is listed here.

Me and my pup loved this like - 2 lakes you can stop at, the perfect views 360, steady incline after you pass the last lake but it is so worth it! It’s all exposed so make sure you start early. I was there at 7:15am on a Sunday and plenty of parking. Like others said, it has its own parking lot!

Beautiful hike!

Great trail with lots of shade. The higher section was not to crowded even for a Saturday, there was more people near the bottom on our way back, but that was because it was in the 12 o'clock hour. I would rate this trail as a moderate not difficult. We went counterclockwise, and the climbing sections were nice and steady, but not crazy steep.

Awesome

Beautiful and a perfect distance. Amazing views

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful, fairly easy trail.

It was a good trail up until I got to a technical point that I wasn’t going to attempt for fear of damaging my 2017 Tacoma. I have a 2” lift and the trail seemed to be washed out more than usual. If I wasn’t alone or if had a winch I would’ve attempted it. I will be coming back later when I am more equipped to tackle the obstacles.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this route on Friday, September 21 on a clear sunny day when Denver was in the 80's. I arrived at the parking lot at 6.45 and was the first car there. Saw no one along the route until close to the first summit (there are two "summits") so my thought of being the first to the top that day were dashed. The hike to the first lake is easy and there is a second lake about half a mile further on. On reaching that lake I lost the path and so bushwacked up a steep slope to the left of the lake. I eventually reached the main track again. What I should have done was to turn left along the trail marked South Park 160 at the first lake. A short way along this track is the junction point for the start of the real ascent to Square Top Mountain. I only realized this during my return journey. From the lakes the hike is a real grunt up a steep slope. This will test your legs and fitness. I am 65 so my days of long hard hikes are coming to an end but I am proud to still be fit enough for this one. I had to stop frequently on the way up for short (30-60 second) breathers. We are talking about 13000 feet here so that should be no surprise even though I have lived at altitude for the last 30 years. The trail is not always well marked or easy to see and it is easy to end up tramping across the tundra - something I was loathe to do but there wasn't much choice about this. On reaching the first rocky summit the views are so amazing that one is tempted to stop right there. My All Trails app indicated that the end of the trail was further on at the second peak. That peak looks quite a ways off but it only took 15 minutes to get there and the extra uphill was a lot easier than it looked. I do tend to stop for photographs so my journey times are longer than if I solely hiked the route. I took 3 1/2 hours to get to the top and 2h 20 minutes to come down. The down part is about right but without stopping for photos I reckon 3 hours to the top would be more accurate. The descent will test your quads. I saw no large wildlife (bummer) but the solitude I had on this hike was totally worth it. Bierstadt was so much more crowded even at 6.45am. Ah the naiivety of youth! All in all, this is a quiet and beautiful hike although I rate it as HARD, at least by my standards.

Beautiful trail. Well maintained and well marked with benches placed along the trail. As other reviews mentioned as a hiker you constantly have to step off of the trail for MTBs.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, tough on lungs and legs. No scrambling at all. The pup loved it as it wasn’t all too rocky until the summit

hiking
3 months ago

We hiked Saturday September 15th. The colors are at or near Peak. Beautiful! The Aspens run just over 1 mile. Lots and lots of color... I've posted a few pictures.

When you reach your destination, enjoy the very old Bristlecone Pines.

Hiked 9/15/18. Add this to your Fall colors to-do list! Understand, there are zero trees on this hike. But there are a bazillion willow bushes that light up, and unlike aspens, they actually get some orange too. And there are plenty of aspens along the drive in. The wide open gulch gives you expansive views above and below. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. And the lake is very peaceful.

hiking
3 months ago

went yesterday and the leaves are just about done falling off the aspens. Today will likely be the last day the hike will be good to see the aspens. low bush foliage is very pretty at the end in the bowl.

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