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    Charles S reviewed Herman Gulch Trail

    15 days ago

    Simply beautiful, and plenty of fresh powder!! There were folks doing this hike with microspikes but snowshoes really came in handy as the powder was knee deep halfway into the hike and above treeline.

    Charles S completed Herman Gulch Trail

    15 days ago

    Charles S reviewed Hells Hole Trail

    2 months ago

    We hiked Saturday September 15th. The colors are at or near Peak. Beautiful! The Aspens run just over 1 mile. Lots and lots of color... I've posted a few pictures.

    When you reach your destination, enjoy the very old Bristlecone Pines.

    Charles S completed Hells Hole Trail

    2 months ago

    Charles S reviewed Crystal Lake Trail

    2 months ago

    There's little on Crystal Peak - that's what I'll concentrate on.

    As you are hiking toward Upper Crystal Lake on the single-track trail, you'll see a cairn on the right and a dirt trail. At this point, you're about 0.5 miles from the upper lake. The AllTrails recording reflects the trail with the dashed line.

    There is a trail part way to Crystal Peak - to the saddle. You can also see it on google maps satellite.

    Turn right, briefly hike up, you'll see one or two more cairns. The trail temporarily disappears as you head left and cross a few rocks - maybe 10 - 15 yards - and you'll pick up the trail again. Trail takes you to the saddle - left is Crystal Peak, right Peak Ten.

    As you head to Crystal Peak, there is a semblance of a trail in the beginning. Eventually, it's all rocks - class 2 scramble/limited exposure. Your choice - stick with poles or put them in the backpack and put on your gloves as you climb to the peak.

    Gloves came in handy for the rock scramble. Beautiful views!

    Charles S completed Crystal Lake Trail

    2 months ago

    Charles S reviewed Blue Lake and Little Blue Lake Via Mitchell Lake Trail

    3 months ago

    We arrived 6:55 am Saturday. Mitchell Lake/Blue Lake trailhead parking lot was filled. No big deal. It adds 0.80 miles from Brainard parking to trailhead - easy peasy.

    The Mitchell to Blue Lake hike is moderate. You'll be treated to several bodies of water along the way to Blue Lake. Blue Lake is spectacular, and the trail is easy to follow. Spend some time soaking in the beauty.

    The hike to Upper Blue Lake (Little Blue Lake) is strenuous, challenging and steep in spots.

    Initially, the trail from Blue Lake continues partially around the lake.

    The Alltrails recording eventually leads you to another lake, a stunning close-up mountain panorama, and views of a waterfall. Mt Toll is breathtaking and dominates the landscape.

    But, we came to a steep boulder field, no marked trail, save a few scattered cairns you may or may not see. We tracked to the right of the rocks/talus and opted for the boulders.

    It's a strenuous scramble up to the lake; take your time, choose your line carefully, route-finding skills help. After reaching the Upper Lake, we turned right and made our way back to Blue Lake - clockwise loop. Poles came in handy on the steep descent that contained plenty of scree.

    Challenging, rewarding, difficult (Upper Blue Lake), and beautiful.

    Charles S reviewed St. Mary's Falls Trail

    3 months ago

    My tracker placed the hike at 6.7 miles. It's pretty and offers nice mountain views along the way. But too many people fail to clean up after their dogs. Be careful as you walk this trail.

    Charles S completed St. Mary's Falls Trail

    3 months ago

    Charles S reviewed Grizzly Peak and Cupid Peak via Mount Sniktau Trail and Loveland Pass

    3 months ago

    This class 2 is a crazy tough hike, but soooo rewarding. Lots of ups and downs. A 700 foot ascent in the final third of a mile took us close to 40 minutes. Poles come in handy on the descent.

    Grays and Torreys loom large, but look for Mt of the Holy Cross, Quandary, Democrat, Cameron, Bross and other 14ers.

    You may save some time by turning right about two-thirds of the way up from the trailhead. A cairn marks the spot that takes you towards Cupid.

    Charles S reviewed Chasm Lake

    3 months ago

    Absolutely beautiful - one of the best, if not the best lake hike in Colorado! My only criticism: far too many steps built into the trail. Steps needlessly make this a more difficult hike than it needs to be.

    We arrived 6am Wed. Parking lot was full. We parked 1/4 mile down the road from the trailhead. The trail runs 8.4 miles roundtrip per Rocky Mtn Natl park website. It is a moderate hike, IMO (some will find it easy, some hard, depending on conditioning).

    The final climb to the lake is a steep rock scramble, under 0.2 miles. it is generally intuitive and partially marked by cairns. If you can't ascend, you'll miss the lake but still be treated to the majesty and splendor that lies before you.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE respect the mountain and weather. I saw one person who had no water or backpack, and people hiking in sandals and one in overalls. Cotton is the worst thing you can be wearing if you get wet. Summer rains mean windy and temps in the 40s, or lower.

    Be prepared. The rangers can suggest the right items.

    Charles S completed Chasm Lake

    3 months ago

    Charles S reviewed Butler Gulch Trail

    4 months ago

    Wildflowers are past peak but don't let that stop you from enjoying this moderate hike that takes you above treeline.

    Some cool mining ruins at the top and a very cool waterfall about 1.5 miles into the hike.

    We arrived just shy of 9am Saturday morning and parked about one-third of a mile from the trailhead. It's a short, bumpy dirt road with a few potholes but nothing a sedan can't navigate - we saw several sedans in the parking area. Just drive carefully.

    Charles S completed Butler Gulch Trail

    4 months ago

    Charles S reviewed Rampart Reservoir via Rainbow Gulch Trail

    4 months ago

    This is an easy hike, with a gradual descent toward the reservoir.

    Take your time, bring the kids, and enjoy the stream that feeds the reservoir. The reservoir is low right now, but gives you a unique and interesting perspective.

    Charles S reviewed Rampart Reservoir via Rainbow Gulch Trail

    4 months ago

    Beautiful hike, easy peasy, fast-running stream, and fun for kids. Trail is easy to follow and low reservoir offers unique perspective. Enjoy!

    Charles S reviewed Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross Trail

    4 months ago

    Stunning views, great workout, alien landscape and very windy in spots - was most blustery on Democrat and on the way up to Cameron. The wind forgot to check forecast of 10-15 mph breeze.

    Poles not only help you with balance when the wind howls, they come in handy descending from Bross. Just take it slow coming down.

    Parking? We took the last spot in the lot at 6:45 am Wednesday. No big deal, lots of openings on the road approaching the parking lot. There is a fee to park.

    We saw hikers in tennis shoes. Hiking boots are a must! Coming down Democrat to saddle, trail gets sketchy but we stayed on it, more or less. Have fun, stay safe!

    Charles S reviewed South Park 600 to Square Top Lakes

    4 months ago

    RT is closer to 4.8 miles. AllTrails consistently underestimates most hikes. That said, it's a relatively modest hike above the treeline that offers up two alpine lakes, with a mountain backdrop and beautiful wildflowers along the way. Some will find it easy, others hard, depending on acclimation to elevation and your fitness level.

    The best viewings of flowers occurred along the far side of the second lake.

    We hiked Saturday and lucked into a parking place next to the trailhead around 8:30 am. If parking lot is full, spots are available along the road.

    Charles S reviewed Mount Parnassus via Watrous Gulch

    4 months ago

    This hike offers just about everything! except a lake. We hiked Monday - about 6 cars at the parking lot at 7:45 am. Plenty of wilderness, few people.

    The wildflowers threw a party, a big one! But the finale is near the end - near and above the treeline.

    The first mile of the trail is nothing special and you'll hear I70, but it becomes white noise and eventually disappears. The beauty comes after, including a stream, meadows, trees and mountain views.

    We tracked the trail to the saddle at about 3.2 miles one way. At about the 2.1 mile mark (11,400 ft), the trail splits. The more obvious trail is to the left (we didn't see one to the right). We went left. At about 2.5 miles (11,700), the trail peters out. We hiked to the right and picked up a trail and continued on to about 12,300. At that point, the trail ends and you hike to the saddle.

    We continued on to Parnassus via the saddle. You can cut over sooner, but it's even steeper and an experienced hiker told us that route is sketchy in a few spots. Your knees will thank you if you use poles coming down.

    The summit offers a spectacular view! - Grays, Torreys, Grizzly Peak, Sniktau, Herman Gulch and so much more. With the exception of Grays, you'll see the other 3 peaks on much of the hike.

    RT about 8 miles

    Charles S reviewed Watrous Gulch Trail

    4 months ago

    This hike offers just about everything, except a lake. We hiked Monday - about 6 cars at the parking lot at 7:45 am. Plenty of wilderness, few people.

    The wildflowers threw a party, a big one! But the finale is near the end - near and above the treeline.

    The first mile of the trail is nothing special and you'll hear I70, but it becomes white noise and eventually disappears. The beauty comes after, including a stream, meadows, trees and mountain views.

    We tracked the trail to the saddle at about 3.2 miles one way. At about the 2.1 mile mark (11,400 ft), the trail splits. The more obvious trail is to the left (we didn't see one to the right). We went left. At about 2.5 miles (11,700), the trail peters out. We hiked to the right and picked up a trail and continued on to about 12,300. At that point, the trail ends and you hike to the saddle.

    We continued on to Parnassus. Take your time. It's steep. Your knees will thank you if you use poles coming down. The summit offers a spectacular view - Grays, Torreys, Grizzly Peak, Sniktau, Herman Gulch and so much more. With the exception of Grays, you'll see the other 3 peaks on much of the hike.

    Charles S completed Watrous Gulch Trail

    4 months ago

    Charles S reviewed Wilder Gulch Trail

    5 months ago

    For such an easily accessible trail, it's not crowded.

    This is a leisurely walk for the first couple of miles. Most of the modest gain in elevation occurs after the second mile.The snow is gone from the trail, and a path is open to reach the top of Ptarmigan - over 12,100 feet. But the final ascent to the top is steep.

    The stream at the beginning is low, and we crossed without incident.

    Pretty streams, a pond dammed up by beavers, and mountain vistas await. There are wildflowers on the path, especially near the top. But if you are particularly interested in reveling in a blanket of colors, there are other hikes that offer a greater abundance of wildflowers.

    Charles S completed Wilder Gulch Trail

    5 months ago

    Charles S completed The Incline Trail

    5 months ago

    Charles S reviewed The Incline Trail

    5 months ago

    This trail is a "check the box" trail. It ain't easy; but if you persevere, you'll make it to the top. In my case, 1 hr 24 min. Beautiful coming down the Barr Trail!

    Leave early - 6:36 am. Later in the morning, it's not only busier, but the relentless sun will beat down on you.

    Bring water and food for energy. #beast #insane

    Charles S saved Rainbow Lakes Trail

    5 months ago

    Charles S reviewed Mount Sherman Trail

    5 months ago

    It's a rough road and it gets worse after the Leavick site at about 11k, but not nearly as bad as the road to Greys and Torrey's. We saw one compact sedan that made it to the parking area (can't call it a lot) at 12k feet. But caution with a smaller vehicle is advised. Most cars were SUVs.

    I would rate this as difficult only bc it is a 14er; an easier class 2 but still a 14er. Remember, you are at elevation. Most sites place the hike at about 5.25-5.5 miles roundtrip from the gate.

    A large snowfield awaits as you ascend to the saddle - probably about 100 yards? - just an estimate (see pic posted). Most hikers ascended without spikes. We chose to put ours on. It's a thin path in the snow and the spikes offer traction. One misstep and you'll slide down the slope. Snow softened up in the afternoon, descent is trickier. Other than that, it's summer conditions.

    Once on the ridge, it's rocky, steeper, and windy but reasonably calm at the summit. Take your time, poles help, and views of the Sawatch Range to the west are stunning! It was a rewarding day.

    Charles S reviewed Mount Flora Trail

    5 months ago

    There is some snow on the service road that we sidestepped and one snowfield as you approach the ridge, which you can choose to go around. Other than that, it's summer conditions to the peak.

    Breezy in spots but beautiful. You're hiking above 13k, so sunscreen up and bring layers. If it's 90s in Denver, it's 50s at the summit. Oh, and did I mention the wind?! Beautiful views and well marked trail. Enjoy!

    Charles S completed Mount Flora Trail

    5 months ago

    Charles S reviewed Quandary Peak Trail

    7 months ago

    Stunning beauty with all the snow-covered peaks!! Sunny skies and an occasional breeze. And the trail was about 99% covered in snow.

    We arrived shortly before 7am and a few spots remained in the parking lot. The gate at McCullough Gulch road remains closed and snow drifts block the road. Definitely bring spikes for traction. Snowshoes came in very handy in the afternoon for the last mile down, and we still post-holed in a few spots. Poles are very helpful, too, for balance in the soft snow.

    The snow enhanced the beauty but made it more difficult (5 1/2 hrs to summit vs 3 1/2 in the summer). Allow for additional time to descend.

    Still, totally worth it for us. Mountain goats, skiers, mountain beauty, snow covered peaks, and even those who parachuted off the mountain. Fantastic day!!

    Charles S completed Quandary Peak Trail

    7 months ago

    Charles S reviewed Grays Peak Trail

    about 1 year ago

    I've seen a sedan or 2 at the upper parking lot, but I would highly recommend a 4WD (or AWD) and a higher clearance vehicle. It took about 25 min to navigate this 3 mile, God-forsaken road to the trailhead (why can't this road be improved?).

    Additionally, calling this a "moderate" hike is misleading. Whether you just climb Grays or take the loop to Torreys, it's a 3000+ foot elevation gain to over 14,270 ft. Yes, it's an "easier 14er" on a well-marked trail, but it still requires acclimation to altitude and conditioning.

    That said, it's a beautiful hike - we hiked to Grays and Torreys. You feel as if you're on an alien world near and at the peaks - forbidden, strange, hostile and devoid of life (except for the occasional marmot or mountain goat); yet, stunningly beautiful.

    Carry enough food, water and the right supplies and enjoy.

    Charles S completed Grays and Torrey's Peak

    about 1 year ago

    Charles S reviewed McCullough Gulch Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Mark is right. This is a must-do hike. Mountain views, lakes, a waterfall. It pretty much has it all. And you don't have to climb to the top for the views. The walk through the forest at the beginning of the trail offers a unique and beautiful view of Quandary. But you will have to walk about 0.6 miles on the dirt road to the trailhead. No big deal - it's flat and a good warm-up.

    The trail is well marked until you get past the waterfall, then it gets a little tricky but it's doable.

    If you decide to go past Upper Blue Reservoir into the Upper Valley, the trail at the beginning is difficult to locate past the west side of the reservoir, but there is an actual trail, though it is steep in spots. Once out the brush, look for the cairns and trail cut into the mountain.

    Few trek into the Upper Valley, but the scenery, the lakes, the solitude, and surrounding mountains are outstanding. One other perk - the view on the west side of the reservoir offers another beautiful perspective.

    Charles S completed McCullough Gulch Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Charles S reviewed Catamount Falls Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Beautiful hike - you must park in the town and take a dirt road that runs 0.7 miles per my GPS. There are plenty of signs warning you'll be towed if you park on the road, but given that it's a dirt road, it almost feels like the trail. There was no shortage of parking at 9a Sunday morning.

    Following the 0.7 mile walk, you'll cross a bridge and the trail begins just to the left. It's easy to miss since the sign faces the opposite direction. The trail is well-marked and coded with "blue circles."

    At the 1.8 mile mark (including the road), you'll descent slightly. Drift to the right where you'll see a sign near the ground announcing the Garden of Eden meadows. Near the lake, you'll run into a road - head to the right. Another half mile and you'll be enjoying the lake,and its view of Pikes Peak.

    I would rate it moderate with one caveat: it's not a smooth, easy-to-walk trail. plenty of small/medium sized boulders to climb over. But then, that adds to the adventure.

    Charles S completed Catamount Falls Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Charles S reviewed Mount Evans and Mount Spalding Loop Trail

    about 1 year ago

    We reached the trailhead about 6:45am on a Sunday morning. Most but not all parking spots were taken.

    We hiked the loop - Summit Lake to Mt Spalding to the summit and down the NE face (the thin black line that connects to the road, which is reflected on the topo map AllTrails provides). Total distance: 4.97 miles and 5 hrs 16 min, which includes lunch, bathroom breaks at the top (yes, facilities at the top).

    It's a beautiful hike and challenging (tricky ascent to Spalding followed by the boulder field - definitely class 2), but extremely rewarding. If you return via the NE face, you'll drop 1,200 feet in elevation in 0.7 miles, according to my sportstracker app. There's a fair amount of scree so definitely bring poles for the descent.