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    Sarah Rushing reviewed La Plata Peak North Trail

    19 days ago

    A beautiful 14er, but not the greatest trail. The first couple of miles through the trees is great, but be prepared for very steep, eroded, gravel-y trail after the ridge/buttress. A few other notes: limited parking at the trailhead and no restroom. It looks like there are some places to park, however, further down the 4WD road a quarter mile past the trailhead. It's certainly a beautiful, worthwhile trail, just know that you'll earn it!

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Emerald Mountain Trail

    20 days ago

    This is a worthwhile jaunt, and was probably the least-crowded hike in Estes this Sunday afternoon! Follow Hwy 66 past the YMCA to the end of the road, where there's a cul-de-sac. There's parking available here. You'll see the start of the trail to the righthand side, with some informational signs about Estes and the surrounding areas. The "mountain" you see directly in front of you is Emerald. The trail is well-defined most of the way up. When you come to the intersection with several trail options, take either of the two trails to your right (going up the mountain). At the moment, the trail continues to be mostly well-defined to the top. When you reach the first rock outcropping on the left, continue on past it to the true "summit." Because it's not a designated trail, it's rather steep to the top, with lots of loose rock/gravel. Good shoes and/or poles would be helpful. Don't let the short distance fool you; this is harder than you might expect. Enjoy!

    Sarah Rushing completed Emerald Mountain Trail

    20 days ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Pawnee Pass Trail

    22 days ago

    Beautiful trail with a lot of variety. Love the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. Long Lake parking lot was full by the time we arrived at 7:30am on a Friday, but you can park and walk from Mitchell Lake TH or Niwot Picnic Area (which fill up less quickly) pretty easily; just adds a mile or less each way. Niwot Picnic Area actually has a trail directly from the road that links up to the Mitchel Lake trails. There's bathrooms at most (all?) of these parking areas/trailheads. You'll pass by Lake Isabelle (a worthy destination in itself if weather strikes or you're feeling tired) on your way up the pass. Once you've reached the continental divide sign, Pawnee Peak is a worthwhile detour, up to your right.

    Sarah Rushing completed Pawnee Pass Trail

    22 days ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Sandbeach Lake Trail

    26 days ago

    Excellent hike. I would put this on the more moderate side. The incline is pretty gradual a lot of the time, with only a few steeper sections. Great views of Wild Basin along the way, as well as the usual suspects (Longs, Meeker, Copland, etc.). We did this as our Plan B hike on a rainy day, as it's all under tree cover. Highly recommend for a rainy or sunny day!

    Sarah Rushing completed Sandbeach Lake Trail

    26 days ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Longs Peak Trail

    29 days ago

    We had a great day on Longs today. Started 2am, summited at 7:10am, arrived back to the car at 11:40. I drank all 3 liters of water I packed, and was glad my partner had a water purifier. Note that in addition to the restrooms at the trailhead, there are two more chances to visit the privy on the trail (at Chasm Junction and the Boulder Field). Bring your own toilet paper, just in case.

    Sarah Rushing completed Longs Peak Trail

    29 days ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Zapata Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    This is an awesome short hike with great payoff. A few tips:
    -the road up to the trailhead gets a bad rap, but I didn't find it to be too bad. I managed fine in my 2WD Ford Fusion. Just go slowly (5-10 mph max) and choose your line carefully. The road is plenty wide, so you have a lot of options to avoid the larger rocks. There are a few ruts in the road, but we didn't bottom out. Low and slow!
    -The hike up to the river isn't difficult, but note that you do have to wade in the river to reach the falls; you can't see them from the trail. Tevas, Chacos, or similar might be better than shoes/boots. My water proof boots were great until I had to wade in water up to my mid-calf!
    -If you feel like extending the hike, you could take the turn off to South Zapata Lake. The hike to the lake is long, but there are some old mining cabin ruins about 1 mile above the falls. The sign for this portion of the trail turnoff is misplaced (it must have fallen over), but the well-defined trail is on the right just before you reach the river crossing.

    Enjoy!

    Sarah Rushing reviewed High Dune Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Hiking on the Dunes is such an incredible experience. We went at sunrise, and it was well worth it. Some things to keep in mind:
    -hiking in sand is much more difficult than regular hiking. It's a short distance (approx a mile to High Dune), but each step takes a lot more effort than hiking on usual surfaces
    -we went the morning after a rainstorm. The sand was more packed/hard than usual, and this made hiking much easier. I highly recommend it!
    -even though it's counterintuitive, wear shoes/boots/socks, not sandals. The sand can get quite hot and it burns. Even if you start out in the dark/early morning, the temperature can rise quickly.
    -be careful in planning your path to the Dune; avoid the fragile plants!
    -if it's windy, you'd appreciate long pants, a hat, and a windproof jacket (a rain jacket would do). At one point while sand boarding, I even wished for goggles.

    Enjoy!

    Sarah Rushing completed High Dune Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing completed Zapata Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing added Sand Dunes Trip

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Hoosier Pass Loop

    about 1 month ago

    This is an excellent little hike with great payoff. A few notes:
    -there's plenty of parking at the Hoosier Pass summit, but if you're having trouble finding a spot, passenger cars can continue a tenth of a mile or so up the jeep road and park at one of the dispersed camping areas
    -we completed this as a counterclockwise loop, which I would recommend. If you choose to do so, there's a steep trail directly to the right shortly after the Jeep road splits off to Crystal Lake. You'll see the single track up the hill. It's a steep incline at first, but becomes more manageable soon.
    -returning via the Jeep road (continuing counterclockwise on the loop) is good on the knees because it's less of a grade
    -there are plenty of options to continue the hike once you get to the top (some mine ruins, other trails, Crystal Lake, etc.)
    Enjoy!

    Sarah Rushing completed Hoosier Pass Loop

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing completed Little Thompson Overlook Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing added VA

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing completed Diamond Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Chimney Gulch Trail from Highway 6

    about 1 month ago

    Nice hike with really easy access. You do get some of the road noise for the first mile or so, but then it gets quieter. The second half of the hike has some nice shade, but the beginning can get quite hot. We enjoyed this as a July hike, but Winter or Spring would definitely be the time to do this! Note that this particular trail doesn't go all the way to the top of Lookout Mountain/Buffalo Bill's grave, but you could really easy extend it to do so. Also: after the second road crossing, be sure to go left through the parking lot and pick the trail back up there. There are a couple of other trails across the road to the right that lead elsewhere. If you don't have as much time, you could also park at one of two parking lots on the way up and do only a portion of the trail.

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Coulson Gulch Trail

    about 1 month ago

    A very enjoyable hike for a Sunday afternoon. As you'll see in the trail profile, it's mostly downhill on the way out, making the return more difficult. Starts out in the shade, then goes to a couple of open meadows (bring sunscreen!). I'd suggest continuing on a bit further than the map on AllTrails displays so that you come to the river - great place to hang out for a while. Some of the trail is eroded from use/flood damage, but there's usually an "up-and-over" alternative if you look for it. The directions for "Getting There" on AllTrails are helpful. I had no trouble driving there in my 2WD lower-clearance car.

    Sarah Rushing completed Coulson Gulch Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing completed The Hilltop Mine Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Horseshoe Mountain

    about 1 month ago

    We looped Horseshoe in with our hike of Mt. Sherman, Sheridan, and Peerless Mountain, and I'm glad we did. Good place to watch the line of ants summiting Sherman!

    Sarah Rushing completed Horseshoe Mountain

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Mount Sherman Trail

    about 1 month ago

    This would be a really great 1st 14er. We parked up near the gate on the road (lower clearance cars could probably make it close to there) and were on the summit within 1:30. Weather was nice so we also traversed over to Sheridan, Peerless, and Horseshoe. Great day!

    Sarah Rushing completed Mount Sherman Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Meadow Creek Trail to Lily Pad Lake

    about 1 month ago

    This was the perfect hike for a leisurely morning post-camping. Mosquitoes here are pretty fierce along the trail - bring bug spray. A lot of the hike is in forested areas, but there are some open meadows too - bring sunscreen too!

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Finch Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Nice hike. There appear to be some discrepancies in this trail listing. As previous reviewers have stated, you can access this lake from two different trailheads: Allenspark trailhead (not part of RMNP, thus not subject to the park entrance fee), and from the Finch Lake trailhead in Wild Basin (part of RMNP, subject to the entry fee, and little parking). The map on All Trails actually shows it starting from the Allenspark trailhead (which also shortens the distance slightly). We actually made it to Finch Lake an entirely different way, for a 12-mile tour of Wild Basin: started from the Wild Basin trailhead, passed by Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, and Ouzel Falls, backtracked a mile to get to the connector trail that took us up to Finch lake (after 3.5 miles), then back down to the Fern Lake trailhead from there. The connector trail offered some amazing views of peaks that aren't easily available in other parts of the park, and we went through an incredible variety of scenery and terrain. I'd highly recommend this loop for a longer hike. Enjoy!

    Sarah Rushing completed Finch Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed North Mount Elbert Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Good things to know:
    -there are bathrooms at the trailhead (bring your own toilet paper, just in case)
    -Halfmoon campground is just down the road and a convenient place to sleep the night before
    -there are two false summits; you can't see the peak until near the top of the second false summit, just a few hundred feet away
    -the climb up the first false summit is the hardest part
    -trekking poles will be helpful coming down, especially
    -always check the weather; plan to be below treeline by noon
    -more info at 14ers.com

    Sarah Rushing completed North Mount Elbert Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing completed Ouzel Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Ouzel Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    We enjoyed this trail, and were particularly pleased that it's the perfect option for rainy, dreary weather, as it's all below tree line, and the main attractions are the immediate views of the falls and lake, rather than vast overlooks. For the most part, the ascent is very gradual. 1.8 miles from the lake (at the last turnoff), there's a steep section, but it doesn't last too long. I was surprised to see a privy halfway up the trail - good to know! Stop at Copeland Falls on the way down; it parallels the main trail and doesn't add any extra distance - well worth it! The Ouzel Lake trail is also nice because you get to see the Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls as well.

    Sarah Rushing completed Ouzel Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed MacGregor Falls Trail

    2 months ago

    This was our "plan C" hike on a rainy Saturday, and we were happy with our choice. The trail isn't very well signed, so bring a map and/or know where you're going! Start out by going left at the trailhead toward the Black Canyon Trail. Continue on this (don't take any of the climbing access trails) until you come to the turn off for the "Pear." Abut 1/4 mile beyond that sign (there's a gate), you'll see a well-traveled path to the left (opposite the gate). This eventually connects down to a larger dirt road, which leads directly to the falls. Note that if you're following along on the All Trails App, the route is slightly different at this point, though it will connect back up once you reach the dirt road. As others have mentioned, part of the trail is washed out close to the falls. You can either scramble through this part, or you could go up and over to avoid it entirely. There are two sets of falls once you reach the end of the trail; be sure to go to the very end!

    Sarah Rushing completed MacGregor Falls Trail

    2 months ago

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Trail

    2 months ago

    Trail is in pretty good condition as of June 14. There are still a few small snowfields covering some of the well-made switchback trail down to the lake from the top of the pass, but they are manageable.

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy Trail

    2 months ago

    Beautiful hike; trail is in good condition. There are a few patches of snow as well as some stream crossings, so waterproof boots are a good choice. Windy up on the ridge, so bring your layers.

    Sarah Rushing reviewed Grizzly Peak and Cupid Peak via Mount Sniktau Trail and Loveland Pass

    2 months ago

    An excellent hike, more challenging than it may appear. Being on the ridge, the trail gains and loses a lot of elevation, making it a little more difficult than your traditional summit hike. Trail is basically in summer condition; just one snowfield to deal with right now. I'd suggest going left at the rocky protrusion (after descending "Cupid"), scrambling over some large rocks and walking on the firm snow to another rocky scramble and the trail below. The most challenging parts of the trail are the first .8 miles from the trailhead and the last pitch up to Grizzly's peak. Poles might come in handy here due to the well-worn trail (dirt and small rocks makes for a fun shifting surface). The last pitch looks a little terrifying from afar, but it's not as bad once you're on it. The last 200 ft (or so) to the summit are a scramble over large rocks (somewhat of a relief after the small rocks and dirt). Pace yourself and remember that you have 3 substantial uphills on the way back to the car once you turn around. Definitely harder than the Sniktau trail, but enjoyable!