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    Giles Clasen reviewed Pancake Rocks and Horsethief Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    This was a great hike! The views aren't as majestic as other locales, but the trail was a fun outing.

    Finding the trail head is easy and is directly on highway 67, but parking is limited.

    The hike to the rocks is a fairly significant incline with some switchbacks. The forest is thick and once you are on the trail you feel completely alone. Some on the trail felt the elevation gain was more difficult than advertised, but if you are in reasonable shape it should be more than doable.

    The rock formations at the top are interesting but I would say this hike is about the trail not the destination. The waterfall was pretty anticlimactic. It is beginning to melt but still frozen.

    Giles Clasen reviewed Shrine Ridge Trail

    2 months ago

    Easy to access off I70.

    Snowshoed. Very different experience in summer.

    The trail up Shrine Pass Road was easy to follow. There were very few hikers. Once you pass the Shrine Mountain Inn huts there is not a defined trail. There are lots of snowmobile tracks, but no defined snowshoe route. You will want your gps to follow a route. We bushwhacked as best we could through the trees and up the final slope. The final slope is very steep. I loved it, but some in our group weren't ready for anything that strenuous.

    The snow is starting to crack on some slopes and may give soon. Pick your route carefully.

    The snow was passable, but the hot sun made it very soupy by the end of the day. It was miserable on the way down. You will need snow shoes. One of my compatriots took his off because the snow was sticking to his snowshoes pretty badly. He couldn't make it 100 yards without severe post holing.

    I think this was my last snowshoe excursion for the year. The snow is not a lot of fun to be in these days.

    Great views at the top.

    Giles Clasen completed Shrine Ridge Trail

    2 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Caribou Pass Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Devil's Thumb Lake Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed James Peak Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Slater Lake Hike

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Loch Lomond Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Breckenridge Peak Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Grays Peak Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Kelso Mountain

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Ben Tyler Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Bison Peak Summit Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Harmonica Arch Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen completed Lake Park Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen added to Backpack

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen added to hike

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen reviewed Beaver Brook and Chavez Trail Loop

    3 months ago

    Really easy to get to from Denver and roughly a 30 minute drive! It is easy to find with a fair amount of parking.

    This is a nice trail with a little rock exposure that makes it interesting. The trail is 2.5 miles down 700 ft in elevation then 2.5 miles up. The trail is well marked and easy to follow.

    We had a bit of snow last night and wore spikes, but not necessary. In the summer this is a great trail for running.

    Giles Clasen reviewed Estes Cone Trail

    3 months ago

    This is a wonderful hike. It is easy to find and offers amazing views from the summit.

    I started from the Long's Peak Ranger Station parking lot. It is easily accessible from Highway 7. The road were plowed, paved and easily accessible.

    We started later in the day, around 1 pm. That was probably a mistake because the snow was a bit messy and slushy due to the warm weather. The trail to Long's Peak and Chasm Lake was fairly busy, we saw 5 groups going in both directions over the first half mile. We saw only one group on the trail once we turned North toward the Cone. This was a nice surprise to see the trail nearly empty.

    The trail is well packed and easy to hike in micro spikes. Snowshoes were not necessary. The snow was not very deep and potholing was not an issue. The initial 2 miles of the hike are rolling hills with relatively little elevation gain. It was a very laid back hike. The final 1.2 miles is where the majority of the elevation gain comes from. Once you cross Storm Pass Trail you are on the final .7 miles of ascent. The snow is very sloppy here and you could see areas where people slid 5 to 6 feet through the slush. The trail is very steep here and very slick. Also, follow the cairns. I got a little lost because a set of foot prints that looked like the trail lead to a dead end. I used my GPS to find my way back to the trail.

    It may be getting to be a little late in the snow season to attempt this trail. Know if you are comfortable hiking on steep slick terrain. The snow is beginning to melt and there were small trails of melted water that made the trail even messier. There were marks in the snow from what looked like falls by other hikers. The descent was difficult and I did fall one time, though I was not hurt.

    The view is one of the best in Colorado because you can see the entire continental divide as it winds through Rocky Mountain National Park. It is pretty amazing and humbling. Long's Peak is definitely the highlight of the view, but the whole thing is pretty amazing.

    Giles Clasen completed Estes Cone Trail

    3 months ago

    Giles Clasen reviewed Herman Gulch Trail

    4 months ago

    Completed on 2-11-2018.

    This is a great trail to snowshoe that doesn't seem to be heavily trafficked during the winter months. I recommend snowshoes with a lot of float. Throughout the day I was falling waist deep in snow and breaking new trail. While fun, I wished I had brought tails for my snowshoes. Strava did record the distance just shy of 8 miles rather than noted 6.4.

    Very easy trail to find. Take exit 218 then look North for the sign pointing to parking lot.

    The lower third of the trail is a wide well packed trail. There is a pretty significant elevation gain over the first mile but this part of the trail is heavily used by skiers and snowshoers. The trail is wide and the snow is well packed down.

    After the initial climb the sounds of i70 vanish and the trail levels off a bit, though it is a sustained climb the entire way up. The trail becomes much less traveled once the skiers head away from the main path and up their own steep slope to play. But if you're like me you're always looking for the less traveled sections of Colorado.

    The middle third of the hike is through an open prairie before entering the trees. There is a 200-300 yard prairie section which had some of the deepest snow on the hike. The trail had been wiped out by an avalanche down Mount Machebeuf. There was a lightly broken trail created below the affected. The snow here is very deep and snowshoes with a lot more float would have been nice. Once you enter the trees you begin skirting the slope of Machebeuf. You are within treeline through most of this section so I wasn't worried about avalanches, but the slope is severe enough that I felt fatigue in my down slope leg from continually supporting me.

    The final third is an aggressive slope made up of a few switch backs but mostly runs strait up. The snow is deep and I had to fight from continually sinking. I didn't see any evidence of an avalanche, but the final slope looked like it would be a great area for everything to go. I was pretty careful none the less. Herman Lake is probably more exciting in the summer, but it was satisfying to reach the summit.

    Giles Clasen completed Herman Gulch Trail

    4 months ago

    Giles Clasen reviewed Shelf Lake Trail

    6 months ago

    This is one of my favorite hikes in Colorado!!! It is rarely busy and offers a wide range of environments to trek through from forest, to boulder fields to tundra. In July the fields above tree line are covered in a wide variety of wild flowers, and there are giant patches of columbines.

    The climb begins quickly. You'll accumulate a big chunck of elevation gain through the first 2 miles. The trail leads to an incredible view down the valley from a pretty exposed overlook. The next couple of miles are a more gradual uphill. It is a beautiful hike through boulder fields and forest with the sound of the stream ever present. The last third of the trip is the most grueling. It is a sustained climb to the lake.

    In past years I have camped along the trail then tackled Square Top the next day.

    Things to note - County Road 1038 is not well taken care of and has boulders that you will have to get over or around. There is almost always standing water a few inches thick somewhere on the road. I have seen a Prius make it to the trail head, but have been on trips where the driver of a Subaru didn't feel comfortable and parked two miles from the trial head. Be aware before you try and get there and don't be afraid to park before the road becomes brutal.

    Also, the trail head isn't extremely well marked when you are heading up the road. I needed my GPS to make sure I was headed the right direction and find the trail. But, there is a very large boulder with a sign that guides you, it is just easier to see if you are looking back down the road toward the entrance from Geneva Road.

    Bring bug spray or permethrin clothing. This trail is along a creek and bugs become unbearable without it. You may also want to make sure your hiking boots or shoes are waterproof. The trail has standing water sporadically and there aren't ways around the soupy parts. Lastly, once you get above tree line 7-foot-tall shrubs are grown right up along the trail and can feel like they are attacking you. Long sleeves offer a fair bit of protection.

    Giles Clasen completed Shelf Lake Trail

    6 months ago

    Giles Clasen reviewed Butler Gulch Trail

    6 months ago

    Got a late start and finished with headlamps, but a great day. Things to note... this is a well traveled trail and snow is very packed, but not icy. It is well marked and easy to follow. The heavy forest protects you from wind. Probably don't need snowshoes for the bottom third of the trail but eventually you do begin to posthole. I think it would be a long day if you planned to only use microspikes. The last third is pretty steep and somewhat taxing. There are some tracks that shoot off from the main trail and run parallel to main trail. So you can play in your snowshoes if you enjoy a less packed trail and have sufficient float. This trail is popular with skiers so you do want to pay attention for those on their descent. Today everyone shared the trail well.

    There are snowmobilers in the area, but motorized vehicles are not allowed on this specific trail and there is a bar preventing snowmobile entrance.

    Special driving information - The road to the trail is well plowed except for the last mile, then it is packed snow and one lane. Park at lower end of the parking lot, there is deeper less packed snow at the far end and two trucks with four wheel drive were stuck in deep snow. Use common sense when driving and be aware that parts of the road/ parking lot, that aren't heavily packed from use, are hiding deep soft snow that could ruin your day.

    Giles Clasen completed Butler Gulch Trail

    6 months ago