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    Will Connolly reviewed Warner Point Nature Trail

    18 days ago

    My friend and I did this very short hike last Sunday (6/3) after having spent the previous two days hiking down near Telluride. We hiked around 22 miles on our two day adventure, so the 1.5 mile round trip trek was a bit more strenuous for us than for some of the others who were just beginning their journey.

    It was a little overcast when we started our hike around 10 am, but the sun came out in full force once we reached the viewpoint, and it illuminated the canyon in spectacular fashion. Definitely one of the more panoramic views among the 12 stops along the "Scenic Drive", but the "Painted Wall" still may have been my favorite amongst the options.

    I would love to return to this National Park when I have some more time to explore the canyon and hike around. Definitely worth while for hikers of all ages and fitness levels!

    Will Connolly reviewed Bridal Veil Falls to Blue Lake

    18 days ago

    My friend and I did this hike last Saturday (6/2) around 10 am. We drove my friend's Rav 4 to the top of Bridal Veil Falls, which was a magnificent drive, but definitely a bit challenging for his vehicle in terms of clearance. However, driving to the top was the right option, as it took about 5 miles off our trek to the trailhead for Blue Lake.

    We started our "physical" hike around 11 am and completed the trek around 2:30 pm.

    This was a magnificent hike with incredible views of the Three Needles and Bridal Veil Creek all the way up to the lake. The trail itself was covered in river flow (no more than an inch at places), but made for an incredibly pleasant hike. There were also waterfalls galore in the Bridal Veil Valley, which just added to the majesty of this impeccable trek.

    The peaks leading up to the lake are breathtaking and there was a little bit of snow on the trail, but nothing that required Yaktrax/crampons.

    The lake itself was completely frozen and would have been cool to see a little later in the summer when it is completely thawed out. Still an amazing hike that I would recommend to anyone visiting Telluride for the weekend!

    Will Connolly reviewed Ice Lake Basin Trail

    18 days ago

    My best friend and I tackled this bad boy last Friday (6/1) after spending the night at the Mineral Creek Campground near the trailhead. We started our hike around 10 am and completed it around 5 pm. We did spend some time relaxing and having lunch at Fuller Lake, which probably added an additional hour to our hike.

    There were a plethora of magnificent waterfalls all the way to the top of Ice Lake, which made this strenuous trek incredibly worth while. When you reach the plateau right before the final ascent is where you arrive in the valley of waterfalls, which is absolutely astounding.

    There was quite a bit of snow once we reached Ice Lake, and that continued up to Fuller Lake. However, we did make it all the way up without crampons. But there were a few parts where we postholed and almost fell in the river, as the snow was incredibly soft from the heat.

    The weather was perfect (mid 60's) all the way up to Fuller Lake, without a cloud in the sky and just some strong wind near the summit where we had to pack on the layers.

    We had Fuller Lake all to ourselves and spent around 45 minutes there having lunch and taking in the views. We also lucked out with the same fortune at the top of Island Lake.

    The trek down can be a bit treacherous if you do not know the way, and it also didn't help that the trail was covered in snow. Luckily, I had the All Trails app pulled up on my phone and we were able to follow the trail via the online map.

    This is one of the most majestic and challenging hikes I have ever done. I would love to come back a little later in the summer when the lakes have thawed and I can enjoy them in all their beauty!

    Will Connolly completed Ice Lake Basin Trail

    18 days ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Bison Peak Summit Trail

    about 1 month ago

    My cousin and I tackled this bad boy last Monday (5/21) around 8 am. It took us about 6 hours to complete this out-and-back hike, which let me tell you, is no walk in the park.

    There wasn't a single car in the parking lot when we started and there were only three additional cars in the small lot when we returned. We only saw one fellow hiker and his pups on the trail, as well, which added to the tranquility of our journey.

    The first 1.5 to 2 miles of this trail are relatively easy (and misleading), but it is a very gradual climb for the next 3 miles until you reach the ridge line at about 12,000 ft. Around 10,000 ft. we started to see some snow on the trail, and that continued to get deeper all the way up to Bison Peak's summit.

    The trail became quite difficult to follow at the ridge line, as there were no visible footprints or trails to the summit, and we ended up misreading the All Trails map and summiting a neighboring peak instead. We eventually figured out that we were well off our course and found our way back to the trail.

    We made our own way to the summit by postholing and scrambling over some boulders to reach the top. The views from the peak were absolutely magnificent! I will most definitely be returning to conquer this peak in the summer when the trail is dry and a bit easier to follow.

    This is NOT a hike for the faint of heart, as the almost 4,000 ft. of elevation gain is a real butt-kicker! We ran half way down on our descent though, and that almost halved our return in the process. The weather was beautiful the entire time with the exception of a few raindrops on the way down.

    A must for anyone who's in shape and looking for a challenge!

    Will Connolly completed Bison Peak Summit Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Mount Galbraith Loop via Cedar Gulch Trail

    about 1 month ago

    My roommates and I tackled this bad boy last Saturday (5/12) as a part of a challenge checklist associated with Cotopaxi's Questival. We started our trek around 12:30 pm after completing Mount Falcon a little earlier in the day. It took us a little over an hour and a half to complete the loop.

    It would have been prudent to start this one earlier in the day, as the tiny little parking lot only has the capacity to facilitate about 20 vehicles max.We had to wait about 10 - 15 minutes for someone to come back from their hike and steal their spot before anyone else had the ability to do so.

    The hike itself was packed with people, especially on the way down. Like Mount Falcon, Galbraith was also covered in mist all the way up to the summit.

    This was a relatively easy hike, but was definitely a bit more challenging for our group after summitting Falcon a few hours prior and then driving directly to the Mount Falcon trailhead to complete that, as well. This brought our hiking total for the day to 11.6 miles roundtrip.

    This is a nice little trek that almost anyone in somewhat decent shape could complete with little to no problems.

    Will Connolly reviewed Mount Falcon Castle Trail

    about 1 month ago

    My roommates and I did this hike last Saturday (5/12) as a part of the many challenges offered through Cotopaxi's Questival. We started our hike around 9 am and completed the out-and-back around 11:30 am.

    It was a beautifully majestic morning as the mist settled upon the mountain and made us feel as though we were trekking somewhere in the Northwest U.S.. However, this did take away from some of the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape due to the lack of visibility.

    This was a bit more strenuous than I initially anticipated, but I also went in with no prior research being done on the hike and thought it was only around 3 miles round trip. When it was more than twice that length I was a little surprised, but enjoyed the challenge nevertheless.

    This was a very pleasant hike that I would definitely like to do again (on a clearer day) when I can take in some of the views!

    Will Connolly completed Mount Falcon Castle Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Hanging Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    One of my oldest friends and I did this hike last Monday (5/14). We drove all the way from Denver, leaving around 5 am and arriving at the trailhead at 8 am. It took us about two hours to complete the hike, and let me tell you, it was worth the drive!

    With beautiful cascading waterfalls the entire way up to the lake, this is one of the most majestic hikes I have been on. It is pretty much straight uphill after you leave the pavement. And although it is a relatively short hike, the 1200 feet of elevation gain over 1.4 miles made me break a sweat.

    The lake itself is magnificent. I wish we would have been there a few hours later when the sunlight could illuminate the brilliantly bright emerald rocks reflecting through the pool, but then the crowds would have been overwhelming.

    I think we actually enjoyed Spouting Rock more than the lake itself, as you can go directly behind/beneath it with the three waterfalls cascading down upon you.

    Overall this was a magnificent hike that I would love to revisit! As with all SUPER popular hikes in Colorado, it's important to start early if you want to avoid crowds and ensure a spot in the small parking lot below.

    Will Connolly completed Hanging Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Lake Helene Trail

    about 1 month ago

    I initially attempted to snowshoe this trail with my roommates back in January, but had to turn back due to poor visibility and 20 mph winds. Yesterday, Mother Nature was on my side, and I was rewarded with beautiful sunny skies all day long!

    I started my trek around 10 am and got back to the Bear Lake parking lot around 2 pm. This was a decently challenging trail (especially in snowshoes), which is probably why I only saw 5 or 6 people total throughout my trek.

    The snow was deep and slushy at times due to the recent snowfall and warm weather that followed (which added an extra level of difficulty to the trek). But the views upon reaching Two Rivers Lake and Lake Helene made this trip 110 percent worthwhile.

    I will definitely be back to tackle this one again and explore a little further!

    Will Connolly reviewed Mills Lake, Black Lake, Frozen Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    This is a phenomenal hike in RMNP that I will definitely be revisiting to complete the trek up to Black and Frozen Lake.

    The only reason I gave this hike a 4 out of 5 stars and not a 5 out of 5 is because there is no sign indicating where you need to turn off to go to Mills Lake, as opposed to continuing on to Loch Lake. Incidentally, I made the trek up to Loch Lake, only to find out that I had been there before (I did the Sky Pond Trail back in March of last year). This was incredibly frustrating as I had to backtrack about a mile and cross a small bridge to continue my trek to Mills Lake.

    The snow on the ground certainly may have contributed to my inability to follow the trail, but there should be a sign at the bridge notifying hikers which destination is where.

    The views from the lake were magnificent and there were only a few hikers on the trail midday on a Monday. However, on my way back to the trailhead I saw multiple families and couples attempting to concur some shorter hikes like Alberta Falls.

    I did this trek with just my micro-spikes and was quite comfortable trekking through the snow. I saw some people in snowshoes, which may have been helpful, but certainly not necessary.

    Definitely a worthwhile hike that I would do again later in the summer when the snow has melted and the trail is a bit easier to follow.

    Will Connolly completed Lake Helene Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Peekaboo Loop Trail

    about 1 month ago

    We started this hike around 9 am and finished around 11:30 am. There were about 20 cars in the SMALL parking lot when we started out on the trail, but the lot was completely full when we returned mid-morning. So, it goes without saying, but arriving early is imperative.

    This is an absolutely stunning hike with incredible views of Bryce Canyon along the way. It starts out all downhill on switchbacks deep into the canyon, which allows you to get up-close-and-personal with all of the beautiful rock formations throughout the trail.

    We decided to extend our trek slightly and hit three of the four Hoodoos, which added an extra mile to our journey. The first one you come across is the Wall of Windows, followed by the Navajo Loop ( a short 0.5 or 1-mile round trip detour to the second benchmark), followed by the 3rd benchmark located back on the Peekaboo Loop once you've returned from Navajo.

    The last mile and 1/2 of the trail is incredibly strenuous as you return up the switchbacks, which were so easy to go down, but is where that 1,500+ ft. of elevation gain comes into play.

    Such a rewarding and physically demanding hike with stunning views around every corner and loop. I would highly recommend this one for anyone looking for a challenging hike in Bryce Canyon NP!

    Side note: If you decide to complete the Hoodoos Loop like we did, make sure you take a picture at each benchmark so that you can collect your free sticker at the Visitor Center!

    Will Connolly completed Peekaboo Loop Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    My roommate and I tackled this trek on a beautifully sunny afternoon last week after completing Peekaboo Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park earlier in the day.

    I did this trail in my Teva sandals and they were the perfect choice to trek through the sandiness of this trek. It took us about 2 and 1/2 hours to complete the trail in its entirety and we even stopped at the pool for a quick dip (it was incredibly cold, but well worth it), before heading back out to the trailhead.

    A beautiful waterfall awaits you at the climax of this hike, but would recommend doing this one in late morning so the sun is shining down upon the pool, that is, if you're looking to go for a swim.

    Highly recommended!

    Will Connolly reviewed Zion Narrows Trail to Imlay Temple and Big Spring

    about 1 month ago

    I did this hike with my roommate after completing Angels Landing and Emerald Pools earlier in the day as a kind of "let's just see how far we can go" type of hike.

    We started around 3:30 pm and went about 2.5 miles down The Narrows before having to turn back because my companion's sandal broke. He had to hike back barefoot (ouch), but my Teva sandals held up well against the elements.

    The water was relatively warm for being late April and not incredibly high, which made it somewhat easy to river-cross back and forth to dry land throughout our journey. We saw people from all walks of life attempting The Narrows (some well-equipped, some not so much). We were relatively equipped and may have completed the trek in it's entirety had we not been a time crunch or had the proper gear.

    I would love to come back and complete this trek when we have a bit more time to complete it and have all of the proper gear! That being said, dependent on water levels and time of year, I would feel 100 percent comfortable attempting this is my sandals again. Hopefully I get to return for completion!

    Will Connolly reviewed Angels Landing Trail

    about 1 month ago

    One of the best hikes I have ever done! Absolutely stunning views of Zion Canyon all the way to the top.

    We arrived at Zion National Park late Tuesday night (4/24) and camped the night at the Watchman Campground. This is by far and away one of the nicest campgrounds I have ever stayed at, with an enormous area to camp, a gigantic fire pit and covered picnic area for meals.

    We got up at 6 am the next day (4/25) and packed up our things before making it to the bus stop at the Visitor Center around 7 am. We missed the first bus, but were able to hop on the second at 7:10 am. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get to this trail early, as it gets incredibly crowded very quickly, especially during the peak season.

    Watching the sun rise in the Zion Canyon is something that I will not soon forget. The switchbacks up to Walter's Wiggles are steady, but provide incredible views looking back upon the canyon. The trail is relatively easy until you arrive upon the ridge line up to the summit of Angels Landing. This is where the trail earns it's "hard" classification, as you are scaling the side of a mountain with 1,000 ft. drops, sometimes on both sides of the mountain. I found this portion of the hike to be incredibly exhilarating, but if you're afraid of heights, you may want to hold off on attempting to summit.

    Reaching the summit is truly worthwhile, as it provides impeccable 360 views of Zion Canyon. Watch out for the rodents on the very top though, as they are almost TOO comfortable with human interaction and may try to steal your food!

    Coming down is a whole 'nother animal, and this is where the trail actually gets dangerous. As those who are unfamiliar with hiking etiquette attempt to come up the side of the mountain and pass you when you are gripped to the chain links bolted into the rock, and this traffic can create some tensious moments near the top.

    All in all, one of my all-time favorites hikes and I would highly recommend to any/all adventure seekers!

    Will Connolly completed Angels Landing Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Bear Peak Trail

    2 months ago

    I started my trek around 10:30 am after having to run to the gas station to get cash for the $5 fee that was required to park in the lot. It was slightly overcast, but the sun was shining through the clouds and I broke a sweat after climbing up the hill and pushing forward around the bend on Mesa Trail.

    It was a relatively gradual and easy climb until I reached the fork in the trail to take Shadow Canyon North or continue on to Beak Peak. This is where the trail earns it's "Hard" classification, as it is a 2.2 mile trek directly uphill to the ridge line where South Boulder Peak and Bear Peak trails meet.

    From the ridge line it is a easy trek to the top of the peak, with just an additional 300 ft. or so of elevation gain. There is a false summit near the top, though, and if you want to reach the top you will need to scramble across some boulders to reach the true summit.

    Reaching the summit is well worth it, as you have incredible 360 degree views of Longs Peak, the Flatirons, the city of Boulder, South Boulder Peak, and so much more!

    This was a somewhat difficult hike with exceptionally rewarding views upon reaching the summit. Definitely not for the faint of heart, as this was as taxing, if not more taxing than some of the easier 14ers I've completed in the past. Absolutely worth it for those of you looking to test yourself with some beautiful landscape along the way!

    (It took me about 4 hours to complete the hike, with a few stops along the way)

    Will Connolly added Bear Peak Trail

    2 months ago

    Will Connolly completed Bear Peak Trail

    2 months ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Twin Sisters Peak Trail

    2 months ago

    My cousin and I started our trek around 7 am and arrived back at the parking lot around 11:30 am. When we first began it was lightly snowing and visibility was poor. But around 8:30 am the skies began to clear and the sun made it's way through the clouds to warm us up.

    The mist surrounding Long's Peak from across the valley made for an incredibly picturesque viewing of the peak. The trail was in relatively good condition, only covered lightly with snow most of the way up, and we pretty much followed the footprints of a prior trekker the entire ascent. We did lose the trail about a mile from the summit and had to scramble up some boulders before we found it again.

    Microspikes/crampons were abundantly helpful on the way down, as there were some areas on the switchbacks that were exceptionally icy, and the traction enabled us to descend safely. We only saw two other hikers on our descent, which made the peaceful tranquility of this trail one of my favorite spring hikes thus far.

    This is an amazingly beautiful hike that I would love to revisit later in the summer when the snow has melted and the trail's a bit easier to follow. The views along the way and from the summit are incredibly rewarding and the long, steady hike to the top is absolutely worth it. I would highly recommend!

    Will Connolly completed Twin Sisters Peak Trail

    2 months ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Carpenter Peak Trail

    3 months ago

    The $7 park fee was definitely worth the price of admission!

    I set out on my trek around 10 am and completed the 8 mile loop in just under 2 and 1/2 hours. There were only about 7 or 8 cars in the parking lot when I first began, but the lot was completely full upon my arrival back at the car (it's a small lot, so be sure to get there early).

    It was a beautifully sunny day (70 degrees-plus) and I only saw two other hikers on my way up to the summit. There were incredible views of the red rocks on the uphill climb to Carpenter Peak, and I often turned back to gaze upon it's beauty and photograph the contrasting red and orange against the bright blue sky.

    It was slightly windy at the top of Carpenter Peak, but I only stayed for a few minutes before continuing my journey to the Powerline Trail, which I followed until reaching the Elk Valley Loop to complete my circular trek. I didn't see a single hiker until I was back on the Carpenter Peak Trail, which added to the tranquility of my solo-hike.

    There were many signs stating to be aware of rattlesnakes and mountain lions on the trail, but I saw no indication of dangerous wildlife on my journey. The trail was somewhat muddy/snowy in certain parts, but sturdy hiking boots were more than sufficient to complete the trek.

    This is a beautiful spring hike through Roxborough that I will definitely be visiting again!

    Will Connolly completed Carpenter Peak Trail

    3 months ago

    Will Connolly reviewed Chasm Lake

    9 months ago

    My friend and I tackled this hike yesterday and it was amazing! It is accurately classified as 'Moderate', as the 8-mile round trip trek was somewhat challenging, but the end result (Chasm Lake) and waterfalls along the way make it incredibly rewarding!

    We started our hike around 8:30 am and completed it around 1:30 pm. The most difficult part of the trail is the uphill trek right before you reach the fork to head to Long's Peak or Chasm Lake. But once you reach that ridge it is pretty much all downhill from there, with the exception of a short scramble up the boulders to reach the lake.

    This hike definitely made me want to attempt to summit Long's Peak, which I know is incredibly difficult, but that peak was calling out to me! That might be the next adventure :) I would highly suggest this hike to all decently experienced hikers. I definitely want to do this one again ... Maybe in the winter next go-around!

    Will Connolly completed Chasm Lake

    9 months ago