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Wonderful hike! Beautiful wildflowers, creek and views!

Did a one-nighter here. Absolutely gorgeous. Hiked in about 4 miles and set camp and then did the rest of the ascent without packs — definitely more enjoyable than camping at mirror lake itself (bugs were awful).

hiking
3 days ago

It's a pretty straightforward 13er with spectacular views! A lot of incline at first but then its mellows out shortly before the summit.

hiking
3 days ago

Great 13er to try, especially when 14er training. I would not say this trail is easy as it’s a steady incline most of the way with a few straight away moments.

The vast majority of the hike is above timberline, so plan bathroom breaks accordingly. There is a great bathroom at the parking lot. Although, during this last visit it was a disaster zone.

Expect windy conditions no matter what day you choose. However, we benefited from a beautiful, sunny day.

The trail to the top and back is closer to 7 miles versus the 6 listed on all trails. The view at the top are spectacular and worth the trek.

Lovely, easy 13er with decent views. Completed back in June when there was still some snow on the route.

hiking
5 days ago

Very nice hike, mostly above treeline. Nice views but also very windy for about half the route. Not too busy on a Saturday (8/4/18) but parking lot was full.

My friends and I spent 3 days, 2 nights on the trail for our first time backpacking. This was definitely a hard hike with our packs, but we also packed a little too much. This is doable for a one day hike, our last day we covered 8.4 miles in about 5 hours with our backpacks. Great hike with numerous stops for great scenery

Great backpacking trip for those looking for a challenge and adventure!

August 6th 2018: We are a fairly fit family (runners and cyclists) that hiked to Crater lake and back covering 15 miles in about 8 hrs. This included time for stopping to take in and photo the amazing sights along the way and stopping for lunch for about an hour at Crater lake. For a hike it really doesn’t get much better than this. This trail throws the most amazing smorgasbord of scenery at you with of course the reward of the spectacular views of Lone Eagle Peak at the top.

8/4/2018
Pack layers, it's chilly and windy at the top! The gradual incline and occasional flat parts made this a really good starter high elevation hike for me (new to CO from NE). It's more of a harsh mountain terrain and not so pretty like some other spots in Arapaho National Forest. Lots of friendly folks out on a Saturday!

Loved this trail! My husband and I got to the trail head about 730am and it was quite empty. The trail head is across the highway from the parking which was kind of scary, but at 730am there wasn’t much traffic. We started the hike through the trees and t was beautiful. Once we broke tree line it was AMAZING. It was quite windy, and we were not prepared for that but I guess that’s what happens with novice hikers

My husband and I along with our dog Breezy, hiked as far as Cascade Falls yesterday. We were in a time crunch otherwise it would’ve been great to keep going. The trail and views were beautiful! There was quite a few others on the trail but started to thin out once we went further. We had some thunder and light rain, but nothing too crazy. I hope to come back and complete the rest of the trail eventually!

bring bug spray!!!

Very scenic! It’s a nice level of challenge for a shorter hike. You see several clear blue lakes along the way and there are a lot of wildflowers. There’s some rock scrambling towards the top. It gets cold, in early August I was comfortable wearing a hoodie with pants.

Great family hike.

July 23-26: We stayed in the cascade zone all three nights. Then day packed to the lake. In the cascade creek zone you can disperse camp which is really cool. There are only 8 permits given but 11 designated camp sites for crater lake zone so you should reserve early. It was a long hike, but it was never boring. We enjoyed wildlife like Moose and deer every night at camp. The last night we did have a mountain lion sighting but he did not seem interested in us whatsoever. The waterfalls are amazing the entire way. It’s definitely a hike we will return to in the future. Next time we will have a permit for cascade creek the first night, crater lake permit for two nights, then another permit at cascade creek to hike out. The trail is so amazing you can break it up into days and still have so much to look forward to. Definitely go and definitely camp!

Stunning. Nice moderate hike; I ended up exploring around the lake, and it was worth the hike past initial views!

hiking
11 days ago

I loved this hike! I did it today and it was my first time hiking at high elevation. It was absolutely gorgeous but also pretty hard. But that was due to the elevation that I’m not used to. Definitely worth it!

Dense forest most of the way up but the tree line appears pretty abruptly as you approach the lakes. Beautiful streams most of the way up as well. The views hiking up to Roger's pass were incredible! One of my favorite stretches of trail so far. If you have some extra time and are feeling adventurous try hiking up James's Peak to the south (Elv. ~13,300'). I'm writing this review over a month past the fact but I think it took me an additional 2.5 to 3 hours or so round trip from the pass. Trail was easy to follow with a brief scramble near the top (I think that's the term). So if you want to do James's peak I would suggest starting your hike before 7am. I think I left around 6:30AM and got back to the parking lot around 3:00 w/James peak. One of the best things about this location is the ample parking near the trailhead. You'll never really have to worry about that.

Did this in a day! It’s definitely not hard with the elevation gain so spread out. At the end of the hike our GPS told us 17miles instead of 14. Unfortunately it rained the whole time and the low clouds hid Lone Eagle Peak from us so we’ll be back next summer! Amazing hike even without the reward up top!

12 days ago

This was a great hike. Lots of wildflowers and the falls at the end were beautiful.

Hiked this trail 7/31/18. Beautiful view of the valley from the summit. Saw a moose with a calf in the clearing. Many wildflowers in bloom. The majority of the well defined trail boarders the stream. My daughters (22 and 20) and I (53) completed in about 5 1/2 hours-2:45 hour climb, 1 hour lunch at top and 1:45 hour descent. First half fairly gentle climb then it becomes more strenuous with numerous switchbacks. We paused several times for pictures and breathers on the way up but rarely on the way down. We are all reasonably fit but not to the extreme. I clocked this at 4 miles each way. I felt google maps provided better directions to the trailhead compared to Alltrails. Much of the approach roads are unpaved and a bit narrow but were passable in a minivan in dry weather.

Great hike! Very Windy!! I had trouble holding my hiking poles at one section of the descent due to the wind. And I hike 14 er and 13er's on a regular basis. Other that it was amazing! Will definitely be hiking this trail again.

This was absolutely beautiful! We were supposed to go to Gourd Lake, however, my friends and I were enjoying ourselves, didn’t pay attention to the sign that said Buchanan Trail (whoops) and ended up at Crater Lake which was absolutely gorgeous! Such a fun hike either way though

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful! Really enjoyed the hike and I didn't mind the fallen trees. Trail was easy to follow. Smells, sounds & views were priceless!

Amazing spot if you’re willing to put the work in! I just went day hiking with a buddy, but next time we’ll probably backpack in. Starts out relatively flat and easy and then gets quite a bit tougher as you go deeper. The hardest part by far is the distance. It took us about 5 hours to get up (with breaks as needed) and 3 to get back down. Make sure to buy a parking pass at the as soon as you turn onto road 6, the trail head is about 10 miles from there and the ranger isn’t always on sight.

on Jim Creek Trail

hiking
15 days ago

Went Iast weekend with the kids. It was so beautiful! We made it to the waterfall at the top. So worth it. Kids said it was the best day ever.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful views about halfway up of lake in the valley and again at the top of a lake on the other side. Cool and windy at the top, so plan accordingly.

This trail is wonderful! It follows the creek most of the way, so water is almost always available. You pass through beautiful meadows with followers, multiple water falls and the trail ends at Mirror Lake. We spent the night (don’t forget your back country permit!) and would do the same if we were to hike this again. We saw two moose, multiple deer and a mountain goat. I would definitely recommend this as a begging backpack excursion.

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