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

want to do Map
VIEW FULL MAP

For such a short hike, you get an incredible view of Golden at the top! I hiked on 1/15 and the trail was still quite muddy and icy. Spikes on your boots would help out alot but not necessary if you are cautious of where you step. But you definitely do need boots of some sort, runners won't cut it. Enjoy though!!

hiking
scramble
snow
2 days ago

Plenty of scenic views and vistas along this 1.8 mile one way/3.6 mike in/out trail. Hiked it due to RMNP being inaccessible during the government shutdown. Trailhead parking on the side of the highway 5.8 miles south of Estes Park was pretty full. Nice gradual climb the first half, then pretty steep climbs the second half after “the turn”. We started at 1:15pm and got to the rock scramble at 3:15 and turned back due to time and pending darkness. Packed snow most of the 2nd half up. Made this video from the hike: https://vimeo.com/311379986

This hike was great and pretty easy. We parked by the trailhead on the street and started the ascent. It wasn’t very steep, but there were a lot of slick spots due to snow refreezing. Proper footwear recommended in those cases. The stairs at the top were also icy, but hopefully that’ll be gone soon! BEAUTIFUL VIEWS.

Made it to the lower crater lakes. Started at 9am and was back at the parking lot by 12:30pm. The last mile is a good upwards climb. Snowshoes only needed up top when you're exploring the lakes. I had crampons on otherwise.

Snowshoed 1/12/19. Tracks were easy to follow. Fairly gradual for the first couple of miles. The last mile is pretty steep so be prepared for a climb

Made it to the upper lake on snowshoes! Lots of people on skis up to the lower lakes, but I'm not sure it would be possible for most to make it to upper lake on skis - very steep! You'll need one or the other to make it to the first lakes, started postholing about half a mile from them.

Started around 8:30, got back to the car around 4, with lots of breaks and trail breaking and route finding slowing us down. Absolutely worth the effort! So beautiful.

Wow for sure the best snowshoe I've done so far in Colorado. This trail was magical in the snow! Even the drive there was delightful. It can be hard to tell which tracks to follow, but if you keep following the signs for the trail you'll get to the lake eventually! If you go up a little beyond the lake it is heckin steep but the views are stunning and majestic this trail was the best.

great trail - went yesterday and still didn't need crampons or yak tracks

snowshoeing
10 days ago

Hard packed to split. Floatation was ideal after as postholing was unpredictable.

hiking
11 days ago

Lovely hike through the forest. Best views are in the first mile and then it’s about enjoying the serenity of the forest. Follows and crosses the stream which is mostly frozen at this time of year. Trail was well broken, mostly packed snow the whole way, some bare spots. Could do it with boots, traction was helpful. Could use snowshoes but not necessary. Made it to the 4 mile mark where it flattens out and there are some nice logs to sit on for a snack.

snowshoed this trail 1/6/2019

beginning of trail needed just our micro spikes, transitioned to snowshoes a couple miles in. For a Sunday not busy at all..we arrived around 10am...plenty of parking. HIGHLY recommend some sort of GPS device...as you can follow 1 wrong set of snowshoe prints and add an extra mile (which made it waaaaay harder). we only went to the lower lakes as we were cold by that point. we plan on returning in the summer!

Took family there to snowshoe Dec 29, 2018. Was a beautiful hike, though not enough snow to merit needing snowshoes. Would love to return in summer

Great short walk/hike anytime of year! Took us about an hour up and back with stop at the top. The incline is not bad and worth it for the view of golden. Great place for sunset. We parked on the street in front and had no issues.

We went on a sunny day four days after the snow. We could see snow had been melted in most the places. Trail was muddy in some places. Lot of houses are there nearby! Restroom was clean.

hiking
12 days ago

Completed 1/5/19. Great hike! Loved the views. Packed snow about the last 1/3 of the hike....Used microspikes only on the way down

As another review stated, snowshoes weren’t necessary until the split. The trail is packed hard and wide. Lots of people and off-leash dogs (most under control and near their owners, some not. Off-leash is allowed here. ). Beautiful scenery on both ends of the split in the trail!

Did this hike on 12/28/18. Snow shoes not necessary for the first mile and a half. After that, they aren’t necessary but would be helpful. Snow is pretty deep after the split in the trail. We arrived around 9:15am and only saw a few people on the way out, everyone was on snow shoes or back country skiing/boarding. Got back to the parking lot around 11am and it was busy. Lots of off leash dogs running around. Absolutely amazing views, definitely recommend this hike!!

snowshoeing
13 days ago

Started off around 9:30 today. Beautiful day for a perfect snowshoeing trail! Honestly I used my micro spikes up until about 1/2 miles from the lake. The snow was perfectly packed. Only saw about 6 people all day, two skiers as well.

Solid climbs/workout, but really close to civilization. You can see houses for a lot of the hike.

Hiked to Lake Dorothy up the Arapahoe pass on Sept 17, 2018. A beautiful day, we arrived at the trail head at 8:30 AM and were able to find a legal parking space just down the hill from the camping area. We only saw 5 other hikers the entire trip; one woman coming down, two college men who passed us on the way up and three people going up on our way down.
Very windy at the lake, The "shelter" at the the lake is little more than an organized pile of rocks that is too short to protect you from the wind. The Arapahoe trail was protected from the wind, and the sunny south exposure was very pleasant. Completed the 7.6 mile round trip in a little less than 4 hours with a lunch break at the lake.

snowshoeing
15 days ago

Great trail for snowshoeing right now! Went on 1/1/19 and saw maybe 6 people (mostly skiers) on the way up, spent 30 minutes alone at the first lake, then passed lots of people on the way down. Would recommend getting to the trail head before 9 a.m. to avoid the crowds.

snowshoeing
18 days ago

This is a very pretty, and easy hike. Snowed all the way down and was just gorgeous. The summit at the top passed the scramble is where the payoff is for sure. Looking forward to doing this hike again in the spring!

Great for a short day hike. Can finish quickly and have a nice view. It was windy and chilly when I went (end of December), but was still nice. There is some elevation change in the middle of the hike that can be steep for some, but most will be fine.

Great trail. No snowshoes needed yet. Easy to follow and nice views.

For being so close to Boulder, I was amazed that there were as few people on the trail as there were. Completed the hike on 12/30 and the snow was pretty good - it’s certainly possible to do this in spikes, but I switched out my spikes for snowshoes after about a quarter mile and had a much better experience that way. The views at the top are gorgeous and do not disappoint! Highly recommend.

hiking
18 days ago

This is a great winter hike. The trail is well marked, is a mix of forest and sunshine, has several bridge crossings (all well maintained) and a small view of snow capped mountains toward the end of the hike (if you’re doing the loop counterclockwise). We brought our boot spikes but never needed them. It was very quiet on a cold Saturday, we never heard hunting activity and the trail has good uphill without being exhausting.

hiking
20 days ago

We did this one in June and it was perfect. It was a rare rainy day so we didn’t have the sun baring down on us. We loved the remote feeling of the hike once we got into the National Forest. Can’t wait to do this one again.

hiking
23 days ago

12/25/18
this hike was great but VERY icy. highly recommend hiking poles and/or micro spikes or doing it in the summer!

the views are beautiful, and besides the clear ice it's a very pleasant hike.

snowshoeing
26 days ago

I’ve done this trail both in the summer and winter now. Absolutely beautiful! As most trails, significantly less busy during the winter. Snowshoes are pretty much necessary this year after the second bridge (because we’ve had so much snow already this season!). The trail can be difficult to follow when you’re about 1/2 mile from the first lake, especially in new snow and with misleading tracks. Make sure to have your gps up, and if you’re able, make it to the second lake!

Excellent short hike close to Denver. Perfect for what I needed - a short, nearby hike for a weekday in December. I didn’t lose cell service, which is always a relief when hiking alone.

Load More