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Good hike. Little disappointed trail went only to top of falls. Aspen leaves pretty much all gone. But interesting snow/ice in stream bed just above falls. I am 65 and over 240 lbs but in decent shape and very used to CO hiking so found it to be moderate difficulty. Went with adult niece & nephew who are not acclimated but they did fine. Took our time so spent about 4hrs altogether. Recommend this hike and if we started earlier would have definitely gone on well beyond Falls. By the way I think backpacking is allowed here.

2 days ago

The trail is beautiful. The day we went, it had snowed earlier in the week, then partially melted, then absolutely deep-freeze froze, then it was super slippery. Our group could not continue to Emerald due to the slow ascent and descent. Those who had some sort of trail traction blazed past us, safely and not really impacted. Do yourself a favor and go get yourself 1 pair for you and 1 for your ill-prepared friend, so that you both can blaze up and down the trail. You don't have to get them from Amazon; buy locally if you want, but they are less than $20/pair and essentially make a difference of whether or not you can hike that day. https://www.amazon.com/Yaktrax-Walk-Traction-Cleats-Walking/dp/B01LJ6FX3C And each of my kids is getting a pair for Chrismas this year. Lesson learned.

This trail is only difficult because of the shale covered boulders. The trail goes up and down a lot so you have to walk slow and carefully almost the entire time to stop from slipping. That part wasn’t that enjoyable. The views are great and the river is beautiful but there are better hikes IMO. The verticality isn’t that strenuous, the footing is just very soft.

You’ll definitely want to bring traction and poles for this one. It looks dry at the trailhead, but there’s a lot of packed snow on ice pretty soon after you start climbing.

You could probably even get away with having your snowshoes handy toward the top.

A beautiful hike. Top of the falls is a great lunch spot. We didn’t scramble around enough (in the snow) to get a good view of the falls.

9 days ago

Beautiful, fun trail.

10 days ago

Most beautiful hike I've even been on. The reward at the top is unbelieveable. I've never seen anything like it. The wildflowers were blooming like crazy when we went in the end of August. It was very difficult for us being from Nebraska due to the elevation but I would do it again!

10 days ago

Another classic Rocky Mountain hike. Great diversity with forest, meadows, snow caps all around, a couple of stream crossings and a nice lake at the end. The first half mile and the last 3/4 mile are pretty steep so be prepared for some climbing. Got lucky today with only six other cars in the parking lot. However, I am guessing this trail is very crowded in peak season. Go now before the trail is covered in snow.

Butt kicker

great hike...Billy the Ranger was a treat!

Me and my two dogs hiked this today. We started at 8 AM and it took 2 1/2 hours to get up there. The hike was so beautiful I kept stopping to take pictures. This might have been the prettiest hike I’ve ever been on! I highly recommend this hike

12 days ago

Short and steep - poles are handy, especially in the rain. I saw lots of visitors from sea-level who were struggling with this trail. I wouldn't recommend it for flat-landers unless they are already acclimated and/or in excellent shape! At the very least, come prepared for Colorado's changing weather. Falls are pretty and there were still pockets of golden aspens even though most of Vail Valley is past peak.

This was my third time doing this hike, it is one of my Colorado favorites! Mellow hike with 143 stairs to get to the tower. Panoramic views, similar to 14er views without the difficulty. Not a lot of aspens for fall colors, but the view at the top makes up for it.
To get to the trail there’s 10 miles of dirt road, manageable in all cars. The tower will be closed for the winter starting this Monday 10/8/18.

difficult incline but so worth it

13 days ago

Strava 6.6 miles in 3 hours 7 minutes. 1837 in elevation gain. Big climb up but awesome hike and so easy to get to right off of 70.

It’s a pretty hike with some really cool overlooks. The trail is super well maintained so, aside from the elevation gain, I’d put this as an easier hike. Not a ton of aspens out there but the ones that are were really pretty today! (10/4/18)

14 days ago

My two coworkers and I did this hike last Sunday (9/30), and it may have been one of the prettiest treks we have ever done!

It took us about 4 and 1/2 hours to complete this hike (including 30 minutes of leisure time at the Mill while having lunch/swimming) after driving up from Denver to Marble.

As everyone has stated in their previous reviews, the amount of Jeep/ATV traffic was a bit frustrating at times, but we didn't let that deter us from enjoying our perfect day!

The road up to the trailhead is unpaved, but if you have a vehicle with decently high clearance, you can eliminate about 0.6 miles of hiking (roundtrip) by parking in the area at the top of the hill.

This was a very moderate hike that runs along the Crystal River for the vast majority of the trek. The fall colors were in full bloom as well, which made this one of the most beautiful hikes to take in Colorado’s magnificent foliage.

Once you get the Mill, there is a $10 per person fee to go under the rope and view it from the water (which we did), but you can also view it from the roped off section on the road. I would highly suggest this option, as we had lunch on a rock next to the waterfall and I even jumped in to cool off!

All in all, this is one of the more rewarding hikes I have ever done in terms of scenery. The only reason I gave this trek 4 stars instead of 5 was the amount of traffic on the road. Would definitely return sometime during the week when the trail is a bit less congested. A must do for anyone in the area!

15 days ago

Parking lot this year is more packed than I've ever seen it-but can accommodate a ton of traffic! Water in the lake seems a bit lower than other summers? Expect initial climb & last leg to be tough, but the end is worth it!

the trail is well built and maintained. a little slope but good for even beginners. be careful of the high altitude dizzy

17 days ago

Steep climb in the beginning then opens to expansive views over rolling inclines/declines. Heavy snowpack, not many people go past the first mile. Drops into a forest and then leads to what is a iced over lake, from there you can take various routes up the surrounding peaks/rim to continue. Great place to nom nom at the top.

17 days ago

I agree with other hikers. While I’m so happy I did this 10 mile hike, the atv’s, SUV’s and dirt bikes were super frustrating. Lots of dust and traffic, not foot traffic. I’d suggest going from the other side, via Crested Butte. That’ll be my plan for next fall. Crystal was so cute and I’m happy we got to see it. My black lab was in paradise the whole way! Lots of swimming opportunities

17 days ago

GO TO @2_SUMMIT_UP on Instagram to learn more about the Dream Lake Trail (picture blog) Dream Lake is one of the most beautiful short hikes I have ever witnessed. Breathtaking view after breathtaking view. My blog here2summitup.wordpress.com provides a sample of what you can expect on this hike

nice hike. beautiful trees changing the day we hiked. 75 minutes up to main falls from trail head. falls worth exploring up river from trail.

17 days ago

Arrived at 9:30 and there was still plenty of parking. Trail starts off with an immediate incline then begins to level off after mile 1. Gently incline with sweeping views and then another sharp incline in the trail for the end view of the Continental Divide. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Bathrooms at the bottom of the trail.

This hike was truly incredible. Went on 9/28/18. Amazing views, so much to do, waterfalls to climb while on you’re way up, etc. Weather was perfect!!Getting to see that beautiful blue water was so worth all the effort to get up there. Pictures can’t show how clear and blue it really is. I highly recommend hiking the summit peak directly behind Ice Lakes. You will have a great birds eye view of the lake, you can see the other side of the mountain, and I got LTE up there to make a FaceTime call!

Take plenty of water and snacks. The hardest part is the very end of the hike as it becomes really steep before you hit the ice lake. I will definitely be back!

As beautiful as this lake was, I say Columbine Lake was even more beautiful and there was more to explore and do. We went on back to back days and I highly recommend both!

18 days ago

The best hike I have ever done - and I've been on many hikes throughout the US. The bluest blue I have ever seen in a lake - rivals Crater Lake in Oregon. Definitely worth the lack of oxygen... Took us around five and a half hours round trip with many many stops to catch our breath and take in the scenery. We are in our early 30's, pretty good physical shape, but we're flat landers from below sea level so the elevation change really tired us out... bring plenty of water (we ran out of 2L before the end of the hike) and snacks.. best to come early so that you can take your time and stop as often as needed. Listen to your body especially if you are from below sea level. Saw many dogs and a few kids doing the trail as well. The first lake is within 2.25 miles of the start and the 2nd lake (Ice lake) is another mile after that at around 3.5. My app calculated 7.20 miles round trip. There is another lake after Ice lake but we didn't have time nor energy to get there.

Lovely hike. Completed on Thursday morning. Arrived at 10am and there was plenty of parking spaces. The hike starts with an incline right away. I did this hike to acclimate for a 14er. views are amazing throughout.

18 days ago

Beautiful hike. Starting at the mailboxes is approximatly 10 miles roundtrip. Only four stars because of all the atv and 4x4 traffic. The dust and constantly moving out of the way gets very annoying. Amazing views and a beautiful mill. The little town of crystal is beautiful as well.

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