Explore West - 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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Beautiful and worth the trek. Avid hikers, but 20lb+ of backpack adds a whole new element to it. Arrived at 730p Friday and Hiked 2 miles in the dark. The next day we hiked 16 miles (ended just before Frigid Pass). Last day we finished the remaining. Plowed through it based on time we had. Would have loved a leisurely 4 day backpack, but if can be done in 2 days. DEFINITELY recommend doing it counter clockwise. My guess is everyone wants to ease into it w a gradual climb on day 1, but it’s worth doing Buckskin pass 1st!Pays off later. Low 40s/high 30s at night. No bugs. Had a 1/2 day of relentless rain. Hand warmers were key! Hammock camped both nights, and even with some rain I was a happy camper! Was not overwhelmed by the amount of people on the trail. Surprised there wasn’t more actually. Very rewarding!! But bed feels good now.

good views on the back side of the mountain theres some rock climbing after the keyhole but a good hike

hiking
2 days ago

Climbed Longs Peak to celebrate my 50th birthday. Had a great group of friends and my son along. It was my first 14er and was an awesome experience.

Being an avid hiker from East Tennessee, there was no hope for me. I completed the incline on my first day in Colorado, but my lungs paid dearly for it since I was not used to the elevation. I strongly suggest that you buy the "I completed the incline" sticker at the gift shop before hand and use that as motivation to get to the top. Overall once you make it to the top, the view is worth it as well as the sense of cheating death and accomplishment. Pack water, food, needle cheast decompressor and a good camera to document your humility.

hiking
3 days ago

Gets slightly tougher towards the summit but the views are totally worth the hike. Moderate difficulty for some stunning views.

First time hike for my brother and I both. We went June 20th 2018 and the weather couldn't have been better. We took our time and really enjoyed the trail and everything along the way. The rock scramble at the top may seem discouraging but do not let that stop you, the amazing 360 view at the top is worth every bit of effort!!! Highly recommend this trail!

fun trail, you'll get your cardio in!

hiking
4 days ago

Woman plumets to her death. Please be careful folks, she just tripped and lead to her demise!
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/colorado/articles/2018-08-13/woman-plummets-to-death-while-hiking-off-mount-royal-trail

hiking
6 days ago

This arch is a sunrise must. Get there earlier than 15 minutes before sunrise though because there were a wall of people setup with tripods hogging the entire photograph viewpoints at that time already. If not for the surprising amount of people I would’ve gave 5. Popular spot, so come early if you want a parking spot.

Great first hike in estes. Amazing views at the top. Pretty easy to navigate the entire route. Saw a lot of dogs on the trail. Weird bugs at the top but none on the trail. Good spot if you want to get a quick hike in.

It tricked my watch! Shorter than the app posted!

Me encantó la experiencia,excelente si lo
recomiendo.

Awesome! Incredible views. We camped in the Boulder fields. We booked months in advance, heads up! Morning hikers will wake you (we had some bozos playing music at 4AM hiking through camp, LNT is more than picking up garbage). Watch out for slick rocks if it rains. There were multiple water sources available. It is a popular trail. Be careful and follow the trail markers.

hiking
7 days ago

They aren’t kidding-this is an extreme hike. But it was awesome!!

My first solo trip. Weather was perfect and the trail lived up to all my expectations. CLockwise and glad I did!

Really nice short and easy hike to cap off my time at Canyonlands. Did it towards the end of the day when the sun was setting, which really made the experience!

My entire body feels like I got hit by a truck. Type 3 fun for sure. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before beginning your trek, though it’s really not as sketchy as others say it is, just be aware.

Bunch of knobs on the trail

We arrived to start the loop on Saturday morning at 5:30 am. Were greeted with overnight lot full sign. There were two parking spots in the overflow area just before the overnight lot. When we walked thru the overnight lot, there was one open spot. When we returned on Tuesday both of those parking areas were full. You might have to check out the other overflow parking area to find a parking spot.
We did the loop CW to West Maroon pass first. We did this because one hiker was not acclimated, and this direction is not as steep. The valley was crowded with hikers and runners up to the pass. The camp sites between West Maroon and Frigid Air are about 1/4 mile off the trail in the trees. There is a stream for water between the trail and campsites.
Thunderstorm started at 6 pm and rained and sleeted for a couple of hours. Intermittent rain thru the night. Only about 800 ft elevation change from camp to Frigid Air pass, a 100 yard section was steep and slick from the rain, so it was a relatively easy morning hike. 2100 ft elevation change downhill into the next valley.
We camped just after the intersection with the Geneva lake trail. Several nice camp sites in the area and water is close at the river.
Third day was a tough one. First 2170 ft elevation change up to Trail Rider pass. 1700 ft elevation change down into the Snowmass lake area. Then 800 ft elevation change up to our next campsite. The area was dry due to the summer conditions, so a lot of streams were dried up. There is water in Snowmass lake but we didn't need water at the time. We didn't really want to pull water out of the swamp, though the beaver dam was busted and it was flowing. At the campsites halfway up to Buckskin pass, there were two good streams for water.
Fourth day another roughly 800 ft elevation change to Buckskin pass, then close to 3000 ft downhill to the parking lot.
Outside of the main valley the trail was not crowded. Beautiful flowers, lakes and mountain scenery. Lots of animals, pikas, marmots, deer and a mountain goat guarding Buckskin pass.
Doing the trail in the CW direction was right of us, so the unacclimated hiker was able to make it. But it does make the last half of the hike the hard section. If you are a flatlander and live at low elevation like me, I do recommend spending a 3 or 4 days to acclimate before doing high altitude hiking.

hiking
10 days ago

The scene you can look through the arch likes that in another planet!

walking
10 days ago

Lots of people, but worth it because beautiful and unique rock formations. Make the trip if in the area. And it’s free.

on Ute Trail

11 days ago

Tourist trap. Comparable to Boulder’s Sanitas but with a looser and more narrow trail, heavier crowds, less shade, essentially nothing worth hiking to/seeing unless you just want a killer calf workout. Easily the worst hike I’ve done in Colorado.

hiking
11 days ago

Tough hike!! Had to take a lot of breaks!! The accomplishment of getting to the top feels great but I don’t need to do it again!!

Amazing climb, I’m 61 years old, have been doing CrossFit for three years and still got my butt kicked by this hike. This was one of the most exhilarating and foolish things I’ve done in my life (but truly rewarding). The weather was perfect. Don’t forget when you get down, you still have a six mile hike back to the car! Acclimate for a week, we went up after just 48 hours in Estes. Call me crazy, but I would do it again!

hiking
12 days ago

Standard Keyhole Route

I did this Wednesday, 8/8/18, from the Longs Peak Trailhead. I arrived in the lot around 2:20am and started at 2:31. There were probably 8 parking spots left.

As others have said, it's a pretty straightforward hike on a well maintained trail to the Boulderfield. Once to the Boulderfield (about 5am) I stopped to use the privy (two there, looked like they were building two more). The Boulderfield is well marked with cairns - even in dawn lighting conditions I was able to see cairns. I joined a handful of others in the lighting shelter atop the Boulderfield to wait on a little more light (and eat, change layers from jacket to vest).

I went through the Keyhole around 6am. It's where the real work starts. But seriously. It's no joke beyond the Keyhole - the hard work and sketchy-ness is just beginning. And it's both hard and sketchy. About the sketch aspect of Longs...listen to yourself - if you're too scared, turn around! But I was able to summit because I mentally focused on the next immediate challenge rather than the 100x challenges beyond (some of which you can see). I think people pysch themselves out by getting overwhelmed by all the impending difficulties.

I summited around 8:15am, spent about 15 minutes at summit, and was back to my car at 12:40pm-ish.

A few extra notes/thoughts:
-Per my GAIA GPS app: 13.93 miles, 10:06 total time, 4,871' ascent
-This is NOT a hike! It's not a good first 14er or one to take lightly. I'm serious - a slight mistake after the Keyhole can seriously injure or kill you (or someone else).
-Water. I drink a lot of water and went through 3.5 liters on ascent. I filtered water in the Boulderfield on the descent.
-Helmet. I'd estimate 90% of people don't wear one. I didn't (because I don't own one) but I'm not gonna lie - I wish I would've had one. Falling rocks/boulders would've just been one less worry in the Trough.
-Do others around you in the Trough a solid. If you cause a rock/boulder to come loose yell "rock" so those below you can be aware.
-I was glad to have a pair of light jogger type gloves for after the Keyhole. It's a little chilly in the shade but the rocks are cold and you'll be using your hands a lot!

Pretty neat!

hiking
13 days ago

Just did it! The climb is pretty steep the entire way up. Trails are loose rock and dirt and will definitely get your heart thumping! Just take your time and enjoy the views. The top of the trail winds you along the edge to amazing views overlooking all of Dillon Reservoir. Truly worth the hike. On the way down, the trail will definitely take a toll on your knees. We (2-48 yr olds and 3 teens) slowly jogged down which seemed easier than walking. Nice short hike, done in under 2 hrs, but stay longer and enjoy the vista!

14 days ago

Great hike. I found it tough but glad I did it.

Doing this loop at the end of the week and was wondering if bear canisters were required.

Extremely difficult but definitely worth it!

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