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    KT Ash reviewed Grizzly Peak and Cupid Peak via Mount Sniktau Trail and Loveland Pass

    about 1 month ago

    Hiked this two weekends ago - had no trouble finding parking at the pass at 7:00am on a Sunday morning, though it seemed like the lot was filling up fast. No facilities/water up here so come prepared.

    This was a fairly intense hike - best interval training ever! It's heartbreaking to give up so much elevation in the final push up Grizzly, but the views over each side the entire way make the effort worth it. Absolutely would be great training for a 14-er - in fact, there was even more exposed/high-angle scrambling on the ascent than any 14-er I've done. The ascent is steep, but the footholds are solid (it's not all loose scree) and the trail is easy to find.

    Took a little less than 4 hours - we picked up the pace on the final push because it started to snow a bit and we were a little underdressed. In retrospect we should have brought an additional warm layer and gloves for everyone...

    In sum, I really liked this hike. Great training, great views, not too crowded. 4 stars because it really is a slog, and the weather can be unpredictable.

    KT Ash reviewed Pitkin Lake Trail

    3 months ago

    Hands down one of the best, most gorgeous hikes I’ve ever done. You’ll start within sight of I-70, and follow a well-marked, lightly trafficked valley trail to a pristine lake. Much of the trail is tree-covered, and while there is a fair bit of elevation gain, it’s nicely distributed throughout the hike. Nothing was sketchy, but I was grateful for poles on the descent. Approximately 6 hours out and back.

    Be aware that the trail does fork in multiple places, and it’s not always clear which way to go. We followed a clear and lovely trail the wrong way for 1/4 mile at one point, so check the map via the AllTrails app if in doubt.

    This hike is a standout because everything is just so gorgeous. The wooded areas have some serious fairy forest vibes, and there are several expansive meadows lined with ancient aspen groves. We saw a moose! The mountain views are also stunning, even for Colorado. Part of the trail follows a stream, and there are a couple of good waterfall views. The lake itself is gorgeous, clear, and looks totally pristine. We spent an hour with the lake all to ourselves. There is some dispersed camping near the lake (but out of view of the lake itself). We already have plans to come back for an overnight trip.

    KT Ash completed Pitkin Lake Trail

    3 months ago

    KT Ash added Big Hikes

    3 months ago

    KT Ash reviewed Chasm Lake

    3 months ago

    Hiked this trail last Sunday. The parking lot is comically tiny given the volume of traffic on this trail, so prepare yourself for a hike up the road unless you arrive at dark-thirty. There are super sparkly clean pit toilets at the trailhead, and a spigot for potable water a few hundred feet up the trail after the ranger station.

    The trail was heavily trafficked and always very visible - except in the couple hundred feet approaching the lake. I saw a lot of people not turn right with the trail, and then find themselves having to scramble down large boulders to get to the shore. A little bit of scrambling is required during the final ascent to the lake, but it's not terribly treacherous or technical (assuming conditions are good).

    The lake itself is fantastic, and worth the trip despite being incredibly crowded. Many other beautiful views along the way, and tons of wildflowers all over. In addition, the trail features the most scenic toilet I've ever come across, near the Longs Peak Trail fork. Caution - it is ruled by a bold group of marmots.

    A final note, I'm surprised to see this hike called "moderate". It's absolutely not technically difficult, but it is long, and there aren't a lot of breaks in the elevation gain. It may be moderate in comparison to Longs, but it's not an "average-level" hike compared to other things I've done here in CO.

    4 stars for crowds, the parking situation, and quite a bit of horse poop on the trail.

    KT Ash completed Chasm Lake

    3 months ago

    KT Ash saved Moody Hill Trail

    4 months ago

    KT Ash saved Emmaline Lake Trail

    4 months ago

    KT Ash reviewed Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross Trail

    4 months ago

    Hiked this last Sunday. We were trying to avoid the storms that were slated to set in around 11am, so arrived at the Kite Lake trailhead around 4pm Saturday. We had no trouble finding a campsite, and it's a truly lovely spot to spend the evening stargazing.

    We decided to take the clockwise route so we could catch the sunrise from Mt. Democrat. We left the trailhead at 3:30am, and made it to the summit of Democrat around 5:30. No trouble finding the trail with headlamps on high power, even as you get onto Democrat proper, which is scree marked with cairns. The sunrise was fantastic - everything we hoped for. Our second-favorite summit of the day.

    The walk from Democrat to Cameron is a slog. Very rocky and not very scenic. Not much to see from Cameron, so we quickly continued on to Lincoln, which we made around 8am. This was my favorite peak - a fun climb and fabulous views. Not as exhausting as it looks, either!

    Finally, we turned our attention to Bross, which seems miles away and kind of tall from the trail near Lincoln. Some nice downhill, then some gentle uphill and you're pretty much there. Not the most scenic summit, but savor the moment if you're going clockwise because the descent of Bross to the Kite Lake Trailhead is pretty terrible. Piles of loose, slippery scree everywhere, and the trail is not always obvious. We accidentally turned left too soon where the trail steeply descends from the summit into a valley to rejoin the main trail and ended up having to slide down a near-vertical wash for about 150 feet. Not fun! The descent seems to take an eternity, with slippery scree the entire way. By the end I was cursing Mt. Bross big time. We made it back to the trailhead a little after 10am. In retrospect I think it's probably wise to go counter-clockwise (safety first).

    This hike should be do-able by anyone who is fit and acclimated (even the bad descent of Bross). Just be careful to avoid slipping and twisting an ankle! The place is full of flowers this time of year, and this set of peaks is relatively thinly trafficked - we had time alone on each of the 4 summits. Would definitely recommend this hike - and plan to do it again myself (just in the other direction next time...)!

    KT Ash completed Mount Bierstadt Trail

    5 months ago

    KT Ash reviewed Mount Bierstadt Trail

    5 months ago

    Completed the hike on Saturday, June 2. My first fourteener! Harder than I expected (I'll blame the altitude), but incredibly rewarding, and well worth the views!

    We arrived around 7:00am and the place was already jam packed. We had to find parking off the road, over 1/4 mile away from the trailhead. We pretty much followed a queue of hikers from parking on the road up to the summit. Lots of dogs, and many off-leash. Also quite a few young kids and large, loud groups, but the trail was clean and folks were friendly and courteous. A word of warning - there is really no place to "pop a squat" on the mountain (unless you'd like an audience), so make sure you take care of business at the trailhead. We were back in the car by 1:30 or so.

    This is a tough hike, but should be do-able by most folks who are in good shape (and acclimated to the altitude), assuming you bring lots of water and take lots of breaks. A bit of scrambling and scaling a snowbank is required during the final pitch, but there's little exposure and conditions are not sketchy. No real scary moments here, just a long push to the top. Views were absolutely stunning, and the whole adventure was totally worth the effort! I will do this again, but next time on a weekday!

    KT Ash reviewed Hidden Fawn to Mount Muhly Trail Loop

    6 months ago

    A nice hike, not too far from Denver. Crowds were out in force on Memorial Day, but thinned out greatly as we got farther away from the park entrance. We saw many more mountain bikers than hikers.

    Trails were all in good condition and clearly marked. Lots of gentle elevation change, and a couple of nice views. A good warm-up for more rustic hiking. There are lots of trails and shortcuts back to the park entrance in case the day goes south for any reason.

    4 stars because a lot of the mileage comes from retracing steps on a highly trafficked trail, and also because folks with dogs left little tied baggies of poop all over the trails. The beautiful wildflowers made up for it!

    KT Ash reviewed Bunsen Peak

    6 months ago

    Did this hike May 21 (a week ago). We left early afternoon, and luckily had a great day weather-wise, with a clear view for miles. We ran into a few patches of snow and mud, but nothing not easily navigable with poles and regular boots.

    Hike begins in woods, then you begin climbing the mountain via a series of switchbacks. You navigate a fairly steep expanse of scree before reaching the summit. Round trip took about 4 hours. Trail is easily visible and was pretty highly trafficked. Some careful foot placement was required given trail conditions, but this hike seems more on the “medium” end of the spectrum.

    3 stars for crowds, and because the views from the summit aren’t particularly outstanding given what’s on offer at the park, and accessible via less painful means. It’s a good workout for sure, and definitely a nice way to spend a half-day.

    KT Ash completed Bunsen Peak

    6 months ago

    KT Ash saved Cascade Lake Trail

    6 months ago

    KT Ash completed Chicago Lakes Trail

    6 months ago

    KT Ash added May Hikes

    6 months ago