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I enjoyed a very quiet hike on the Walker Ranch Loop, right up until the end, when I ran into folks starting from the other direction. It's a lovely trail that winds through a very pretty forest. Loved the hike. No snowshoes or spikes were needed but I did use poles the whole way just cos I felt like it. We were cautious about going over the steps but didn't put our spikes on. (Always carry spikes!) Cheers.

Great hike in the winter. We only needed our spikes for the stair section that takes you down to the river, which is the most exciting and beautiful part of the hike. Our dog loved it and the 8 miles felt more like 6 miles. The trail should be rated as moderate not hard. One note, the map above is not accurate towards the end of the loop if you do it counter clockwise. The trail has been updated and remapped for the last mile.

Love this hike, my fav! The change of scenery never gets boring.

Man, this was an amazing challenge.

hiking
12 days ago

I hiked on this on Saturday morning. I brought my spikes but didn't end up using them. There were a few slick spots but nothing major. I agree with the previous reviewer that counterclockwise is the way to go to avoid a steep decent. This hike goes through a very pretty forest. I wish I had read the previous review prior to my hike to find out about the trailhead change. I ended up asking a ranger to find out that you need to access the trail from Slough Pond.

hiking
12 days ago

This is a nice hike to do in the winter. It can be pretty crowded the rest of the year. Easy to follow trail even with some snow. There were a few icy patches and one stretch on the north side but the trail was doable without micro spikes. A couple of nice stretches near the river which was flowing very well right now. If you are on a bike keep in mind there is one spot where you will have to carry your bike either up or down a very steep staircase. No spectacular views but the woods and the meadows make for a nice hike. Keep your dog on a leash on this trail. They are very strict and rangers are out watching.

Did this hike Last Saturday. Very cold, windy and snow was deep. Didn't seem safe to complete for many reasons. Snow covered any sign of trail, so would recomend GPS tracking to avoid getting lost.

UPDATE (6:23 PM): This afternoon, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified that the US Air Force Academy was asking for assistance in locating a missing Cadet Candidate, Micah Tice, 20, who was last heard from late Friday, November 23. Tice’s vehicle was located at the Longs Peak Trailhead late this afternoon. It is unknown what Tice’s planned destination or route was. The weather on Longs Peak on Saturday was poor with significant snow accumulation, extremely high winds and bitter cold temperatures.

Tonight, members of Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team are coordinating search efforts that will begin early tomorrow morning. Teams will focus their efforts tomorrow on the lower sections of the Longs Peak Trail to the Keyhole and Chasm Junction.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Longs Peak area since Saturday morning, November 24 or who may have had contact with Tice regarding his planned route on Longs Peak. Please call Rocky Mountain National Park at (970) 586-1204.

Missing since Saturday Micah Tice....
If you are on the trail tomorrow keep an eye out for him. I'm putting a photo up as well.
Search and Rescue will be out as well.
Prayers appreciated.
God Bless

Great little trail on top of Scottsbluff National Monument. Great views of surrounding bluffs and the surrounding area. Great flowers and plants depending on time of year. I try to make it there whenever we visit family in the area.

The hike was beautiful, especially with all the snow! I would recommend parking on Waterboard Rd as the short road to the trailhead itself (0.1 mi) has some pretty deep sections of snow that are very easy to get stuck in. We made it about 2 miles up the trail before there were no more footprints to follow, and we weren't confident in finding the trail on our own under the snow, so we had to turn back. There were some gorgeous views up until that point, but we definitely wish we'd been able to make it all the way to the top. The beginning of the trail has hard packed snow so is pretty easy to hike, but it gets less packed the farther you go, so snow shoes would probably be very helpful. Lots of animals tracks out, which is always fun to see!

Took 15 hours but it was amazing

We did it about a month ago! One of my favorites! Loved the colorful fall trees! Definitely a "MUST do" in fall.

We did this hike on Oct 31, 2018. We drove out to the trailhead in a front wheel drive Nissan Rogue rental car with about 10” of ground clearance. We took the lower canyon road and although it’s a bit rough, it’s not a difficult drive for anyone with experience driving on dirt roads, From the point where the upper canyon and lower canyon roads converge, the road gets a bit rougher. The conditions were dry and the lower part of the road was pretty easily passable for a little over two miles. At that point, we came to a ~14” rocky drop off spanning the whole road that we didn’t want to risk in our rental car. At that point, there’s a tun out with a parking area on the right. From there, it’s only about a ten minute walk to the official trailhead. The best views are gained by taking the trail down the backside of the mesa to the right. The hike goes counter clockwise around the mesa with spectacular views of the arches after about 1.5 miles. It’s a pretty easy hike but take plenty of water—particularly if it’s hot. The climb out through the last arch is not for the faint of heart. I’m a technical rock climber and soloing the 200’ of dirt covered friction climbing in my approach shoes had my full attention. I thought that the hardest move might have been 5.5 or maybe even 5.6. It’s not super hard but the consequences of a slip would be bad. It’s doable but I personally wouldn’t recommend it for most folks—particularly for those without any climbing experience. If you don’t want to risk the climb out, just turn around and backtrack to get out. The views from the top of the mesa are good as well (but not as good as from below.). Either way, there’s a lot to see and explore in this area! Overall this is an A+ hike. Highly recommended!

hiking
1 month ago

Great Hike - trails are snowpacked up high, there are steep trail sections that are snowpacked and icy. Bring your yaktrax. Almost made it to the lake by my partner forgot her sunglasses and didn't want to risk getting snow blind up high due to the wide open areas of snow we had to cross - bluebird day - high sun. Either way - great hike. Would do it again in fall. A lot of climbing right out of the lot, actually climbing all the way. Fun Hike - bring water and some snacks as you'll burn a ton of calories climbing

backpacking
1 month ago

Really steep beginning after that the steepness levels out somewhat. It’s definitely a trek with a pack. It’s a beautiful hike and great fishing in the lake. Many places to camp and there are other lakes nearby

Beautiful hike!! I have hiked this trail a few times, it never gets old! Great views any time of year! Slightly challenging to get to the lake without snow shoes in early may!
I would recommend getting there early as parking gets tight if you arrive after 9am, especially on a weekend. The road to the trail head is rugged, an off-roading vehicle or one with higher clearance is best.

Pretty low traffic and amazing views. Didn’t see any wild life but the river was awesome. Along the river there are a few picnic tables.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail late this morning. The trailhead is at the Slough Pond. (There is no longer a trailhead at the Visitor’s Center) The first third of a mile to the trail loop is in the shade all day and the ground is frozen already the runoff makes for a very icy trail in parts. It was almost impossible to get past the pit toilets because of the snow/ice. Did slip on the way down there.
As was mentioned in the description, there is a large stand of mature, large diameter, 50’+ aspens before you get to the shelter. Have to check that out next fall. I’d suggest going CCW to start as to not have to make a steep descent on loose rocks.

hiking
1 month ago

Very good hike with substantial natural variety along the way. Snow in the higher elevations (poles are handy). Still very accessible. Took me about 3 hours and 15 minutes. I lolligagged substantially at the start of the hike enjoying nature and was slowed down considerably right at the end due to snow (hard packed though and not bad to traverse). Round trip 11 AM to 5 PM, 6 hours. Third day in a row I have loved hiking in snow. Temperatures were very reasonable (had plenty of gear but hiked 100% in summer gear).

backpacking
1 month ago

Awesome hike! Very strenuous especially with a 40 pound pack. Don’t listen to people saying you can’t climb through the last arch to make it a loop. You most certainly can, it’s just for experienced hikers.

Did this hike in July on a clear day. Left at 0200, reaches the summit at 0830 and returned to the car by 1430. Views are awesome. The views before the keyhole were cool and once you cross to the other side the views change and get even better. Some slippery areas, but very doable.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Stretch your legs and enjoy the view.

A challenging hike where you are rewarded with beautiful vistas and a lake view at the top. Hiked on a Saturday morning in early October and only saw 2 other people on the entire hike. Amazing fog and snow flurries at the peak. After emerging from the cover of evergreens into open tundra, followed fox, coyote, and mule deer tracks up to the top. A classic Colorado hike and even better on a snowy fall day. Look for Mountain Chickadees, Grey Jays , Red Tailed Hawks, Picas and maybe a few Elk or Mule Deer.

Beautiful

Awesome hike. The rock after the keyhole is pretty darn worn from all the hikers. It was super slick even in completely dry conditions - wouldn’t recommend if any ice.

9/25 Extremely challenging with poor weather. Temps were well below freezing and winds strong from Chasm split through Boulder field. Sustained winds 35+ @ Granite Pass. Absolutely miserable. Took 5 hours to 6.5 mile Keyhole. 9 of 12 people turned around @ Keyhole. Not sure if any made it. Ice and strong winds stopped me there. Plus I blew my time window taking so long to Keyhole. Had a little AMS. I live at 800 ft ASL and had 2 days to acclimate. I’m an avid runner and in shape, but winds and cold kicked my butt. Still worth it; enjoyed the views. I will be back but in summer with lower winds. A guide said he was 2 for 5 on the year. Ranger said only 35% make their 1st attempt. I used all 4L of water and sandwich, cliff bars and Gu. Dressed same as snow skiing. Leave before 2am to arrive Keyhole by sunrise and snack/recharge. 13.2 miles to Keyhole and back. Good luck and watch the weather.

This is a very enjoyable hike. Parts of it are steeper then I expected, but I'm a flatlander so anything with an incline is steep. There is a "new" section that has been cut, off of the Walker Ranch Trail Loop parking area. Not sure how long it has been this way.

Great hike started at 315 stopped at the key hole very windy the morning I was there some were continuing on to the summit awesome views at sunrise at the boulder field go back next summer to try again

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