7 hour round trip ranger station to Keyhole. Boulderfield is challenging, but seeing the Keyhole gives you something to push toward. Be careful on your way up and down immediately below Vaille Shelter and the Keyhole.

Wow!! Beautiful day. Will do again once all the snow melts

hiking
bugs
icy
off trail
snow
1 day ago

camping
fee
private property
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

June 1, 2020. Day hike entering through private property. I was really hesitant to enter on this side of 36 because the road goes through private property. It’s confusing because there are signs for hiking but the property owners have posted no access to trails or parking. There are signs of no trespassing in every corner but there’s a connection to the trail to the Rocky Mountains National Forest. I parked on an old 4x4 road, which connects with the trail. All the trail is under a pine forest and gets more beautiful as you go. There a remote campground a mile or two up the trail where I am planning on using shortly. There’s a nice small river a little farther and an old mine called Eugenia mine. Only met a group of six hikers .

hiking
rocky
snow
6 days ago

Hiked on 5/29/2020. I'd give this a 5-star rating, if not for the snow. We arrived at Bear Lake and were told by the Ranger that we would not be able to summit Flattop Mountain or Hallet Peak due to snow. We thought we'd keep going until we no longer saw footprints, and we were able to summit both; however, snow pack ranges from 1-5 feet deep for 75% of the trail. Beautiful route, but definitely not recommended right now unless you have spikes and poles, or maybe even snowshoes. If you make it to Flattop, it's definitely worth the extra time to go to Hallet. Took us 8 hours round trip and we got lost briefly on the way down. Trail is very difficult to find with the snow.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
6 days ago

started at the bear lake trailhead. Up to mills lake the trail was relatively easy to find; a combination of snow and dry patches. However, after passing jewel lake the trail was snowy and slushy with a lot of post holing and maneuvering around fallen trees. The trail was difficult to follow and for most of the trek from jewel lake we were off route. About half a mile from black lake we turned around due to a very steep slope; crampons and an ice axe would have been clutch. Despite the tiring bushwhack on our upper lake attempt, the views were gorgeous, the sky was Colorado bluebird and the weather was rocking.

icy
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
2 months ago

We attempted to make it to Dream Lake this past Saturday (3/14) for sunrise but only got as far as Nymph Lake. We started around 6:45 am with blowing snow and the trail was covered with about 8 inches of fresh powder. Not bad going to Nymph; someone had just gone ahead of us with snowshoes. Hard to get to the other side of the lake without crossing directly over the lake. The snow turned significantly deeper on the north end and we couldnt make it past without snowshoes. Nymph was pretty though.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

hiking
off trail
snow
2 months ago

Hiked this on 3/7/2020. Once the trail gets above the tree line the trail goes off the actual path on an ascent directly up the mountain. Deep snow above the tree line, but we managed with just spikes. Very windy at the top. Stunning views.

An epic experience. Not easy but doable in good weather and well worth the effort. Completed this last year on 09/13. Conditions warm and clear with a little ice in the Trough. This hike separates into two parts. The hike to the Keyhole is straightforward with some simple scrambling for the last half mile across the Boulderfield. After the Keyhole you enter a different world with some fun Class 2/3 scrambling (assuming no significant ice - if you have ice and snow you will need climbing gear). The Trough and the Home Stretch are the hardest parts because of the gradient. The Narrows and Home Stretch have decent exposure and are not for hikers who suffer from serious vertigo. Tips: This can be done in one day with an early start if you are fit and acclimated. We camped on the Boulderfield the night before to help acclimate. With an overnight stop, the trip isn’t particularly taxing. Make sure to fill up water at the Boulderfield. You have no more options after this. There is a lot of loose rock in the Trough. We didn’t have helmets but if I went again I would take one just to feel more comfortable. For a little extra, there are several nice add-ons. We summited nearby Estes Cone before heading up to the Boulderfield. There is also a nice one-mile turnoff to Chasm Lake with great views of the Diamond Face (you don’t see the Diamond at all on the Keyhole route).

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Amazing

Used crampons the whole way . Was going to go up the keyhole trail but decided not too . First big altitude hike since moving back to Colorado and gale force winds. Will be back

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